The National Panel of Unheard Voices continues Hoover Education’s tradition of providing sound research-based information focused on improving education for every child in every community in America.  While there are a number of important K-12 surveys, only The National Panel of Unheard Voices combines and amplifies the voices of elected leaders, business leaders and community based organizational leaders and parents to identify policies and practices in K-12 schooling that will strengthen their communities.

Mobility in America is changing the landscape of K-12 schooling everywhere; from small and large cities, to towns, to counties and villages. In fact, the US Census Bureau indicates 20% of Americans will move at least once in the next 12 months. As so very many communities change, The National Panel of Unheard Voices wants to hear from leaders of those communities that support, employ, and govern as populations expand or decrease to build a solid body of research evidence as communities make future plans for their children’s K-12 schooling.  Join the National Panel of Unheard Voices to ensure your community and your state make smart, informed decisions about the future of schooling.

Unheard Voices

The Poll of Unheard Voices

The National Panel of Unheard Voices includes over four thousand community members that are elected leaders, business leaders, community-based organization leaders and parents.  Between 2022 and 2025, panel members will share their knowledge, opinion and voice through participation in five surveys.  It takes only ten minutes to complete a survey.  That ten minutes will make a true difference in the lives of children and communities showing priorities, dreams and challenges across K-12 schooling in communities nation wide.  

This survey seeks to understand the knowledge and opinions of local elected leaders, business leaders, community organization leaders and parents about K-12 education in their communities. Your responses are very important because they will shine a light into what choices of K-12 schools are available in your community and the quality of those options. Your input and responses will be vital in determining what actions and policies can be implemented to help build stronger K-12 schools in your community and state.

“Mayors, business and community leaders know just how tightly a community's success is linked to the quality of its schools. Yet that knowledge, that experienced voice, is infrequently heard across K-12 education research. This study will amplify that knowledge to inform and strengthen schooling in the future."

Susie Miller Carello

Distinguished Visiting Fellow

The National Panel of Unheard Voices | Advisory Council

Dena Wilson 

Dena Wilson is The 74's Director of Development and Partnerships, working with the Board of Directors to develop new partnerships and steward relationships with existing and prospective donors and volunteers. Dena oversees and executes fundraising campaigns and other activities to build financial and other support for The 74’s coverage of the most pressing issues in U.S. education. She has developed her expertise over 12 years of fundraising, advancement and strategy development experience, including 10 years working in the public and private education sectors. She most recently led the major gift and development team at Prince George’s Community College in the DC-Maryland metro area where she spent five years developing and executing effective major gift campaigns and solicitations, creative sponsorship opportunities, and donor cultivation events resulting in unprecedented new partnerships and fundraising growth for the college.

Abigail Payne

Professor Payne is the Director of the leading Australian institute of applied economic and social research. The Melbourne Institute has a team of more than 50 academic researchers that are engaged in research on various microeconomic and macroeconomic topics including health, labour, education, housing, social disadvantage, macro, and public economics. Professor Payne holds a PhD from Princeton University, a J.D. from Cornell Law School, and a Bachelor’s Degree (with honours) from Denison University. Professor Payne moved to Australia from North America where she previously held positions in Canada and the US.  Professor Payne has a longstanding research interest in empirical public economics issues with a focus on how government policy affects spending and performance. 

Paige Kowalski

Paige Kowalski is Executive Vice President for the Data Quality Campaign. She leads a team of passionate advocates to advance education data policies at the local, state, and federal levels that meet the needs of individuals and improve student outcomes.

Paige was previously DQC’s director of state policy and advocacy and managed DQC’s efforts to support state policymakers and help them understand their roles and responsibilities in encouraging effective data use at all levels. In addition, she led DQC’s work to inform state and national teacher effectiveness policies and supported state efforts to effectively implement data-related provisions of the 2009 federal stimulus act.

Jim Blew

Jim is a co-founder of the Defense of Freedom Institute. Before his Senate confirmation as the Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos, he worked in education reform at the state level for more than 20 years. Among other leadership roles, he was the national president of StudentsFirst and the national director of the Alliance for School Choice. He also helped guide the education reform investments of the Walton Family Foundation for nearly a decade until 2014. Before committing himself full-time to education reform, Jim worked at political and communications firms in New York and California.

Phoebe Boyer 

Phoebe Boyer was selected by the Children’s Aid Board of Trustees to be its president and chief executive officer in 2014. Under her leadership, Children’s Aid was recognized for exceptional management practices as a 2017 winner of the New York Community Trust’s Nonprofit Excellence Awards.  City & State honored Phoebe on its 2018 Above & Beyond list of 30 remarkable women. Phoebe came to Children’s Aid from the Robertson Foundation, a $1 billion foundation created by Julian Robertson and his family that takes a targeted approach to supporting critical national issues, including education reform. She spent more than a decade at the foundation, most recently as its executive director, where she oversaw operations and grantmaking of more than $100 million annually. During her tenure, she developed and executed the foundation’s national K-12 education reform strategy.

Sally Bachofer

An experienced leader in K-12 education, Sally Bachofer has created pathways for student, school and system success in both public education systems and national education focused non-profits. Sally most recently served as the Vice President at Wonderful Education, leading Wonderful's education investments in California's Central Valley. Previously, Sally served as Assistant Commissioner of Education at the New York State Education Department, Senior Advisor and Vice President at City Year, Inc., and worked with EL Schools. She started her career in public education with the San Diego Unified School District. She is a member of the fourth class of Aspen-Pahara Education Fellows, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.


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