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 / 7.8.2020

When America’s schools abruptly closed in March, few had strategies for keeping students engaged. Join RAS Associate Director Tressa Pankovits, as she moderates a 90-minute interactive discussion with CRPE and Public Impact analysts who will co-present comprehensive new data on how school systems performed, and top educators who will share how their teams excelled under […]

Op-eds and Articles

By / 6.1.2020

Conservatives call the House Democrats’ Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act a “gigantic political scam.” Senate Republicans say HEROES, passed by the House on May 15th, is “dead on arrival when it reconvenes. As they negotiate with Democrats, Republicans should think carefully about certain student loan relief provisions in the bill. Even in good times, a […]

Op-eds and Articles

By / 5.7.2020

Many state governments have deemed school construction an essential service during the coronavirus crisis. This is a good thing. While New York, the nation’s pandemic epicenter, didn’t give school facilities projects the green light until April 9, states less hard-hit were quicker to make the declaration. That sounds like good news for charter schools expecting […]


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 […]