People / Staff

Tressa Pankovits

With more than 10 years of experience in domestic and international education policy, management, and operations, Tressa joins RAS to expand its work around school choice and a modern public school system built for the knowledge economy. Tressa served 10 years as the Chief Operating Officer for the Vallas Group, Inc., led by esteemed education and public finance expert Paul Vallas, managing large education reform projects in the U.S., Haiti, and Chile. She is the former Chief of Staff of the national education nonprofit AVID, which provides professional development to teachers to accelerate learning and close the achievement gap. Her political career included managing state and local campaigns, and she served as Communications Director for Illinois’ first female Lieutenant Governor. As a broadcast journalist for 13 years, she won several awards for impactful reporting on social issues, including a regional Emmy.



By / 3.20.2020

All the Distance Learning Tools in the World Don’t Matter if Kids Can’t Get Online Now that distance learning is virtually the only learning happening, all levels of government must shift into high gear to ensure that every child in America who needs Internet connectivity has it. School districts and charter schools across the country […]

Op-eds and Articles

By / 3.17.2020

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teachers’ union, endorsed Joe Biden for president over the weekend. Earlier the smaller American Federation of Teachers (AFT) hedged its bets by encouraging its members and affiliates to support and help Biden as well as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The NEA’s endorsement comes on the heels of last week’s “Big Tuesday” primaries […]


By / 2.12.2020

President Trump, in yesterday’s 2021 budget address, called for cutting the U.S. Department of Education budget by 8 percent. That is obviously terrible, but it is, at least, less than the 12 percent he wanted to axe in 2019 or the 10 percent reduction he called for in 2020. Slashing eight percent of the federal […]

Op-eds and Articles

By and / 1.22.2020

With 55 percent of its students in chartered public schools or renaissance schools — neighborhood schools operated by charter organizations — Camden, New Jersey, has implemented one of the most ambitious portfolio strategies in the nation in recent years. It has done so under state control, but New Jersey will probably return power to an […]

Op-eds and Articles

By and / 12.6.2019

D.C. Public Schools received well-deserved praise for its recent scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a.k.a. “The Nation’s Report Card.” Of the 27 urban districts that took the test in 2019, DCPS improved the fastest, continuing a trend that stretches back more than a decade. In 2003, when only a handful of urban districts participated, DCPS fourth-graders […]

Press Releases

Tressa joins the team working to modernize our education system for the knowledge economy and an ever-changing world.   WASHINGTON— Tressa Pankovits joins the Progressive Policy Institute as the Associate Director of the Reinventing America’s Schools Project (RAS). With more than 10 years of experience in domestic and international education policy, management, and operations, Tressa […]


By / 10.31.2019

Many advocates of school choice have slammed Senator Elizabeth Warren for her new education plan, released last week. We have joined them, on Twitter. But few have pointed out the inconsistency between Warren’s embrace of competition in the rest of her plan—and in many of her economic plans—and her embrace of district monopolies in public […]