Priya Brannick

Senior Fellow

Priya Brannick is a Senior Fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation.

Priya has a Master of Arts in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University and graduated magna cum laude in 2002 with a degree in journalism from Texas Christian University. Before joining the Commonwealth Foundation, she was an international affairs journalist for WORLD Magazine and the Communications Director for the Institute on Religion and Public Policy.

Priya’s primary research areas include education reform and labor policy. Her expertise has been featured in various media outlets including: KDKA, WITF, WHYY, the Patriot News, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, amongst others.

A native of Zambia, Africa, Priya has lived, worked, and traveled across the United States (and still admits to a strong fondness for soccer). She is deeply passionate about America’s founding principles, crafting sound public policy to better people’s lives, and ballroom dance.

Education

Attacking Cyber School Funding

  • Priya Brannick
  • February 15, 2012

The House Education Committee held an informational hearing today with administrators from several of Pennsylvania’s cyber schools. The school officials mainly addressed myths about cyber school funding and performance,…

Media

Read More: Attacking Cyber School Funding

Public Union Democracy

Who Would Oppose Reforming a Costly, Unnecessary Law?

  • Nathan Benefield, Priya Brannick
  • February 14, 2012

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives may vote today on a bill to reform the 1961 prevailing wage mandate.  The prevailing wage requires government to pay higher wages and benefits for…

Media

Read More: Who Would Oppose Reforming a Costly, Unnecessary Law?

Education

School Choice Gives Students Hope

  • Priya Brannick
  • February 10, 2012

Chester-Upland School District in the Philadelphia area is in deep financial trouble, and it made news recently for suing the state for emergency funding to keep going. In a…

Media

Read More: School Choice Gives Students Hope

Public Union Democracy

Turn on the Fiscal Fire Hose

  • Priya Brannick
  • February 9, 2012

Since Gov. Corbett unveiled his 2012-13 budget Tuesday, we’ve noted how it reduces overall spending for only the second time in 40 years. We’ve also explained that despite…

Media

Read More: Turn on the Fiscal Fire Hose

Education

Happy Digital Learning Day

  • Priya Brannick
  • February 1, 2012

Today is national Digital Learning Day, during which groups across the country will commemorate how technology is changing education for the better. So what exactly IS digital learning? Digital…

Media

Read More: Happy Digital Learning Day

Education

Bill Cosby Explains How to Really Educate a Child

  • Priya Brannick
  • January 25, 2012

We're in the middle of National School Choice Week, which means the word “education” is hot on the lips of its advocates across our state and country. Schooling is…

Media

Read More: Bill Cosby Explains How to Really Educate a Child

Education

Ponderous PSEA, Virulent Violence Verified

  • Priya Brannick
  • January 18, 2012

Last December, the Commonwealth Foundation urged lawmakers to offer kids in Pennsylvania’s worst violent, failing schools a lifeline, and give them school choice for Christmas. We delivered bouquets of 17…

Media

Read More: Ponderous PSEA, Virulent Violence Verified

Education

Bring Choice to Chester-Upland

  • Priya Brannick
  • January 16, 2012

Chester-Upland, a chronically failing and bankrupt school district of 3,700 students in Delaware County, last week filed a federal suit against the commonwealth to demand a $20.7 million bailout…

Media

Read More: Bring Choice to Chester-Upland

Education

Crisis vs. Competition in Education

  • Priya Brannick
  • January 12, 2012

Here are two views on school choice, the idea that fostering a variety of schooling options for families—whether public, charter, cyber or private—is a good thing: School choice is a…

Media

Read More: Crisis vs. Competition in Education

Government Accountability

Teachers’ Union Dues at Leisure

  • Priya Brannick
  • January 3, 2012

A full-time teacher and member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association pays $654 a year in union dues to state, national and local affiliates of the union. While part-time teachers…

Media

Read More: Teachers’ Union Dues at Leisure

Education

PSEA Exposed: Vex, Lies and Audio Tape

  • Priya Brannick
  • December 22, 2011

Nestled in the $4.2 million the Pennsylvania State Education Asssociation spent in 2010-11 on political activities are some very telling expenditures on polling firms.  For example, remember the much-touted…

Media

Read More: PSEA Exposed: Vex, Lies and Audio Tape

Education

The Growing Lobbying Might of the PSEA

  • Priya Brannick
  • December 19, 2011

The Pennsylvania State Education Association, the state’s largest government union with 192,000 members, spent an astonishing $2.6 million in 2009-10 on “political activities and lobbying.” If that seems like a…

Media

Read More: The Growing Lobbying Might of the PSEA

Public Union Democracy

County Data Shows Prevailing Wage Hikes Costs

  • Priya Brannick
  • December 16, 2011

We have documented the racist origins of Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage law, how it artificially raises the costs of taxpayer-funded construction projects by 20 percent (or approximately $1 billion…

Media

Read More: County Data Shows Prevailing Wage Hikes Costs

Education

PSEA Ignores Children’s Cries for Help, Facts

  • Priya Brannick
  • December 6, 2011

Following the Commonwealth Foundation’s press conference with legislators highlighting how one violent act occurs every 17 minutes in Pennsylvania’s worst-performing schools, the Pennsylvania State Education Association retorted: “In…

Media

Read More: PSEA Ignores Children’s Cries for Help, Facts

Education

Teacher Evaluation Bill Up for Committee Vote

  • Priya Brannick
  • November 15, 2011

Reforming Pennsylvania’s teacher evaluation system is an important leg of Gov. Tom Corbett’s education reform agenda, along with school vouchers, charter school reform, and expanding the successful Educational Improvement Tax…

Media

Read More: Teacher Evaluation Bill Up for Committee Vote

Education

School Board President Ignores Will of Voters

  • Priya Brannick
  • November 14, 2011

How’s this for underhanded and nefarious election activity: On Nov. 8, longtime Pennsbury School Board President Gene Dolnick was voted out, but that didn’t stop him from trying to hurry through a…

Media

Read More: School Board President Ignores Will of Voters

Education

Teacher Evaluations in DC Help Teachers and Students

  • Priya Brannick
  • November 1, 2011

After three years, Washington D.C.’s IMPACT evaluation system for teachers is improving teacher performance and benefiting students. The results (reported by Democrats for Education Reform) are noteworthy for…

Media

Read More: Teacher Evaluations in DC Help Teachers and Students

Government Accountability

Government Unions Steal Worker Freedom

  • Priya Brannick
  • October 27, 2011

Pennsylvania is one of 28 states in which workers can be compelled to give part of their paycheck to a union just to keep their job.  Moreover, even non-membership is…

Commentary

Read More: Government Unions Steal Worker Freedom

Education

Ackerman: School Choice Necessary to Reform Failing Schools

  • Priya Brannick
  • October 24, 2011

In case you missed it, former Philadelphia superintendent Arlene Ackerman emphatically endorsed vouchers and an expanded charter school system as the best way to rescue kids in failing schools.  She writes:…

Media

Read More: Ackerman: School Choice Necessary to Reform Failing Schools

Education

The Learning Revolution

  • Nathan Benefield, Priya Brannick
  • October 10, 2011

Online learning serves a significant and growing number of students, and represents a significant shift in how we educate Pennsylvania's children.  In light of the growth of cyber and hybrid…

Report

Read More: The Learning Revolution