Meet Brett Turner

July 7th, 2010

Category: News

Hello! First, I want to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Brett Turner. I recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Master in Public Affairs and joined the Rodel Foundation team as a Program Officer. I am extremely excited about the opportunity to move to Delaware and take part in the tremendous education reform efforts currently underway throughout the state. I eagerly look forward to working with all of the students, teachers, campus staff, principals, district personnel, and policymakers who are dedicated to making Delaware’s education system the envy of the nation.

Second, a little background about myself might prove useful. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2005, I taught 5th grade science in Houston through Teach For America. That experience provided tremendous perspective on some of the most pressing education issues we are grappling with today, including standardized testing, charter schools, and teacher effectiveness. Based on that experience, I realized numerous aspects of our current system needed to be altered in order to ensure all students are provided access to an excellent education. Therefore, I decided to transition outside the classroom and into the policy realm to impact change on a broader scale.

Last, I want to set the stage for what will be a series of posts on a controversial topic in education policy: Performance Pay. While at the University of Texas, I had the pleasure to serve as a Graduate Research Assistant for the University of Texas System – Institute for Public School Initiatives. In this role, I was responsible for providing technical assistance to school districts participating in the statewide District Awards for Teacher Excellence (D.A.T.E.) performance pay grant program. Throughout my tenure, I traveled throughout the state, met with numerous stakeholders, engaged in difficult conversations, and, in the process, gained enormous insight into the challenges and opportunities of implementing a statewide performance pay program. In the following posts, I will try to distill some of the lessons learned and hopefully advance the conversation in Delaware as the state begins to address the adoption of incentives to reward and retain highly effective educators in our highest needs schools as outlined in the winning Race to the Top application.

Again, I am extremely excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with all stakeholders to help create the finest public education system in the nation.

Brett Turner