New York and Washington D.C. Area gatherings this weekend highlighted challenges among educators: impoverished students, burdensome testing mandates and a lack of public funds to fill the void of the failed policies of “No Child Left Behind.”

A network of 150 NY schools attended the Center for Educational Innovation – Public Education Association Leadership Conference (CEI-PEA) this weekend to discuss solutions to these challenges. In addition, education reformers met in the Washington D.C. Area to participate in a Save Our Schools (SOS) rally that called for an end to “drill and kill” testing, an end to merit pay for teachers and putting a stop to making education a “race instead of a right.”

Alan Blankstein, the Founding President of the HOPE Foundation, advised education leaders at the conference on themes from his books The Answer Is in the Room: How Effective Schools Scale Student Success and Failure Is Not an Option: Six Principles that Guide Student Achievement in High-Performing Schools.

Blankstein’s message resonated with the attendees who are working to turn around low-performing schools. The HOPE Foundation is currently working with CEI-PEA to apply Blankstein’s six principles this fall to improve outcomes among low-performing schools.

“People in the trenches have two important challenges ahead,” said Blankstein. “They need to speak out to change the system while also ensuring their students’ success.”

For more information visit the article “Alan Blankstein Addresses 200 Public Education Thought Leaders.” For more information about the HOPE Foundation, visit


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