You won’t see much from us in the next two weeks, as we break for the holidays. (Ed Trust offices are closed Dec. 24 to Jan. 1.) As we’ve admittedly covered an array of topics in the last two months since our launch, here’s a rundown of the trending themes and some of our most-visited posts:

  • One of the newest members of our team, Sonja Brookins Santelises, who was an administrator in Baltimore City Schools, writes about the ongoing debate surrounding Common Core implementation and how states like Louisiana and Massachusetts are right to slow down that process. High standards are important, but so is thoughtful implementation, writes Sonja, who heads up our K-12 policy and practice teams. Blair Mann, who works on our communications team, also highlighted the importance of messaging and disseminating information about the Common Core in this politically-charged environment.
  • Sarah Almy, our outgoing director of teaching quality work, wrote a few posts on policies and programs that will ensure our nation’s neediest students have the same fair access to quality teaching as do their more affluent, white peers. Our president, Kati Haycock, talked about her “mind-bending” experience at a conference earlier this fall, a moment when she saw that even a longtime opponent of affirmative action can see the desperate need for policies that ensure this kind of access to quality teaching.
  • Various bloggers have highlighted Ed Trust’s College Results Online tool, which allows students and families — and policymakers — to see how institutions stack up against comparable institutions, in terms of outcomes measures (like graduation and transfer rates) and access (like price and the percentage of students who receive Pell Grants). Meredith Welch shows exactly how the tool can point out disparities between two seemingly similar institutions.
  • On the K-12 side, Allison Horowitz has written about all things NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress). And Karin Chenoweth continues to feature schools that are accomplishing many feats, in terms of achievement and outcomes, despite the notions that diverse, high-poverty schools are destined for low performance.

Look for more on these topics, and more, in 2014. Until next year, Ed Trust wishes everyone a safe and healthy holiday!