The top 7 takeaways from the PIE Network meeting

If you missed the Emmy’s (what’s up with Kevin Spacey NOT winning for his role in House of Cards?), here are the top takeaways from education’s own big awards ceremony—the Policy Innovators in Education Network’s Eddies—and rest of the PIE Network meeting.

1.     Massachusetts’ education-reform community is gearing up for a big fight to lift the arbitrary charter school cap, something Fordham supports, especially in light of the latest CREDO study. This legislative session might be the year it happens, thanks to a strong coalition led by Stand for Children Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education.

2.     A+ Education Partnerships, a PIE Network group that won the award for “best ensemble cast” (as did Advance Illinois) launched Alabama Graduate Ready Impact Tomorrow (GRIT). GRIT is doing a ton of great work in the Heart of Dixie. From defending the Common Core to fighting for school choice, the GRIT team is a group to watch, as is A+ Education Partnership. They just may be up for the Game Changer award next year.

3.     Humor and education reform should go hand-in-hand. My favorite jokes from the PIE Net team included calling for Michael Petrilli to write a book about diverse schools and calling for Rick Hess to leave AEI to be a superintendent in a wealthy suburb (#cagebusting).

4.     Suzanne Tacheny Kubach, PIE Network’s executive director, rocks. She’s an excellent writer and communicator, asking tough questions of panelists. If you’re not familiar with her work, read her thoughts on Common Core messaging.

5.     Fordham’s own Michael Petrilli won the MVP award (and rumor has it that several different folks nominated him). Without too much back patting, I’ll just say that the entire Fordham team is thrilled and honored.

6.     The biggest disappointment was the absence of the Tennessee SCORE team. They stayed home to defend the Common Core. (A worthy cause, but still…)

7.     Jokes aside, the conference reiterated the serious work ed-reformers must do going forward. And much of that work is about content knowledge—for students and teachers. The Common Core will prosper or wither during implementation. Teachers must have the content knowledge to make CCSS work. Do they have it? What can ed-reformers do to ensure that teacher-prep programs are training our future teachers well?

As always, you can check out the snarky conversation on Twitter: #PieSummit13

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