Welcome to the first 2020 edition of The Source, a digital magazine focused on education thought leadership. To kick off the decade, we are changing a few things about how we deliver thoughtful practitioner-based digital content to you. We remain your trusted source for information, perspectives, and insights into education, and in The Source you will continue to find practical advice and information to take back to your institutions to use and share.  But we are broadening our scope to bring you more variety in each edition from institutions around the globe.


I think often about the changes the next decade will bring. Society influences changes in education and education influences changes in society. In this edition, we look at 3 Societal Trends that will impact education in the decade ahead and at Fair and Equitable Grading. Helping School Leaders Address Blind Spots, delves into the value of accreditation to do more than certify school quality, but to also help education leaders verify assumptions, pinpoint blind spots, and make continuous improvements they might not otherwise.

Perhaps you appreciate the value of quality school standards but are wondering how to pull together disparate data, build culture and take action for your improvement. Continuous Improvement Beyond Compliance is a case study of one school district in New Mexico that uses improvement practices to drive a common sense of purpose. We will be bringing you more case studies so you can see how other institutions with various strengths and challenges are making a difference in the lives of students.

Getting STEM right requires more than focusing on the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. These 6 Myths About STEM Education can help you strengthen approaches by challenge assumptions and broadening your perspective. Have you thought about making the library the center of improvement? In a story about Putting Libraries at the Center of Improvement  learn to build student engagement by making learning materials relevant. We have included a Student Engagement Q&A in this edition to help answer some of your questions about why student engagement is so important to learning. And as always, we have included  Suggested Reading to whet your appetite to learn more.

We’re glad you’re here and hope you enjoy our new look, format, and content. If you have not done so already, subscribe to The Source. We welcome your thoughts on your area of expertise in education. Contact us to contribute an article.

President and CEO

Mark A. Elgart, Ed.D.
Dr. Mark A. Elgart has served as president and CEO of Cognia since 2002. Under his leadership Cognia was established, following the merger of AdvancED and Measured Progress, to bridge the gap between school evaluation and student assessment.  Cognia serves as the trusted partner with over 36,000 institutions in 85 countries to advance learning for 25 million students.  Elgart has a long, distinguished career of 40 years as an educational leader including time as a math and physics teacher, school principal, and chief executive leading a global, education non-profit.  He is annually recognized, both locally and internationally, as an influential leader in education due to his impact on education policy and the work of schools.  He is an internationally recognized speaker on education and frequent author on educational issues including recent whitepapers on federal policy and school improvement.  In education, Elgart is widely viewed as the foremost authority on school improvement and education quality.  Elgart earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Springfield College, Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Westfield State College, and Doctorate in Education in Leadership in Schooling from the University of Massachusetts.