Hello, my name is Courtney Spetko. I am the new intern at the Center for Public Education and will soon start posting weekly blogs here on The EDifer, so I thought I would introduce myself. I am currently a senior at The George Washington University pursuing a degree in Economics and Political Science.
I initially became interested in education policy during my freshman year of college when I started tutoring for an afterschool program in southeast Washington, D.C. I quickly learned that public schools in D.C. are drastically different than the schools I attended in a New Jersey suburb. It was disheartening to hear from students that their teachers had quit within the first few months of the school year and that they were then without a qualified permanent math teacher. I used this personal experience as inspiration for a research paper for my Labor Economics last semester. In this paper, I researched the differences between charter and traditional public school teachers in Washington, D.C. and their characteristics, including turnover rates, academic backgrounds, and salary.
In addition to my tutoring and class experience, I worked at a non-profit over the summer that aims to fix the achievement gap and end summer learning loss by implementing an enrichment program for low achieving students. I also have interned for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, where I provided assistance for their various research projects. I am especially excited to begin my internship with The Center to learn more about the public education system across the United States and to understand how education policy is used to confront the current challenges that students, teachers, administrators, and school boards face.