Slover: Remembering Mitchell Chester, the ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of U.S. Education Policy | The 74
Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” In that vein, it makes sense that my first conversation with Mitchell Chester was about assessments.
It was 2000. He was the assessment and accountability director in Philadelphia, and I was a young policy analyst at Achieve, after four years as a high school teacher. Achieve had been floating a crazy idea to build common state expectations coupled with a common test that could simultaneously signal the extent to which students were ready for high school math and allow for comparisons across states and drive improvements at the system level.