Earlier this year, I had the privilege of getting a first-hand look at the groundbreaking work that Raj Chetty, John Friedman and others are doing through Opportunity Insights. This initiative is far more than a research paper, data set or policy brief. It’s a team of talented scientists working to analyze hyper-local demographics to improve upward mobility for Americans across the nation.
What they’re learning from the data will surprise you, challenge you and inspire you to consider more closely the equity gaps, income gaps, skills gaps and achievement gaps that challenge our society and the future of our children.
With education and economic success so closely intertwined, Raj has a lot to offer to those of us in education reform. I’m pleased and honored that he’ll be a featured speaker at the 2018 National Summit on Education Reform.
We hope you can join us in December!
Our Q&A with Raj Chetty
ExcelinEd: Why are you excited to present at the National Summit on Education Reform?
RC: Every child deserves the chance to achieve the American Dream and its promise of upward mobility. ExcelinEd’s commitment to supporting state policymakers, reformers, educators and community practitioners in search of more opportunity for children is one that I share.
ExcelinEd: How can “big data” help children succeed?
RC: Our team’s research focuses on understanding the hidden forces influencing the achievement of upward mobility. We do this by leveraging “big data” to explore some of the most enduring beliefs about American society.
Our work suggests that neighborhoods are where the next generation is shaped. If you want to improve kids’ outcomes in adulthood, go to the places where they grow up. That’s where you can change the trajectory.
Using this information, we partner with local policymakers and organization that have a better sense of the local forces at play and what approaches might work in their area. The power is in merging the data and the local action together.
ExcelinEd: What inspired you to create the Opportunity Insights?
RC: We launched Opportunity Insights because the American Dream of upward income mobility has faded out of reach for many Americans. Our research has led to many new insights into the key drivers of economic mobility and we use it to work on reversing this trend.
Our goal now is to take those insights and work collaboratively with stakeholders “on the ground” to translate them into changes that will improve the lives of Americans in communities across the country.
On December 5–7, 2018, Governor Jeb Bush and ExcelinEd will host the 11th annual National Summit on Education Reform (#EIE18) in our nation’s capital at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC. Join this conference to learn, network, engage and share the latest strategies to help students across America prepare for success.
This year’s exceptional lineup of keynote speakers and in-depth strategy sessions will inspire and empower attendees to build a brighter future for our nation’s families. Visit ExcelinEdSummit.org to learn more and to register.
About the author
Governor Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush was governor of Florida from 1999-2007 and is chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education.