Op-Ed

Education

Holding Ed Secretary Pick Betsy Devos Accountable on Accountability

THIRD WAY IS A CENTRIST THINK TANK LABELED

“THE BEST SOURCE FOR NEW IDEAS IN PUBLIC POLICY” The Washington Post
“RADICAL CENTRISTS” New York Times
“THE FUTURE OF THINK TANKS” Reuters
“INCORRIGIBLE PRAGMATISTS” New York Times

Our Impact

Case Study

Accountability measures included in the Every Student Succeeds Act

Third Way fought to preserve accountability measures for students in NCLB reauthorization

It became clear that NCLB overstepped, both by requiring states to meet unrealistic proficiency benchmarks and by prescribing a narrow, one-size-fits-all set of intervention strategies for states to use to turn around low-performing schools. Those who opposed accountability used those weaknesses to turn the law’s reauthorization process into a referendum on annual testing and federal oversight, risking a return to the days in which low-income students, students of color, and others who had once been invisible could again fall through the cracks of state education systems. So rather than throw the NCLB baby out with the bathwater, Third Way offered a different approach. Read the full case study...

Case Study

Marriage For Gay Couples

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By 2008, the passage of Proposition 8 banning marriage for gay couples in California had left advocates with an 0-for-30 record. We conducted deep public opinion research which revealed a serious strategic flaw: the focus on the rights and benefits of marriage was driving away Americans in the middle. To sway these critical voters, we advised advocates to emphasize instead the common value that all couples share around marriage: lifetime commitment. Our approach was widely adopted, and as a result, in part, the tide has turned. Marriage went 4 for 4 at the ballot box in 2012, and political leaders from President Obama on down have used the “commitment" message. Read full case study...

Case Study

Entitlement Reform

federal note

Even though Democrats built the social safety net, they were largely silent about the need to fix it to ensure solvency and leave room for critical government investments like education and infrastructure. That's why we launched a long-term campaign to make a progressive case for fixing entitlements. We helped pass Simpson-Bowles, released our own Social Security reform plan, helped draft the only existing bipartisan Social Security fix legislation, introduced the idea of a collision course between entitlements and investments, became a lead venue for entitlement reformers, and directly influenced the language and policies of top Democrats including President Obama. Read full case study...

Case Study

The Security Gap

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For almost four decades, the Democrats were behind in the public's trust on security issues. We have undertaken a major project to turn that around, beginning with a successful effort to frame Democrats as both tough and smart. When they used that construct in 2006, the security gap disappeared. We also proposed and helped pass bills to increase the end-strength of the Army and create an intelligence ROTC. Now, we are finding and proposing a series of fundamental changes to modernize American security and provide a legacy of progress for the next generation of security experts in Congress. Read full case study...

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