The Public School Insights Blog
The Congressionally mandated Equity and Excellence Commission issued its report on a conference call in February that proposed ways to improve public education for all the nation’s children. The report describes a landscape that those of us who have spent our professional lives in public education are well aware of….that students living in affluent, largely white communities receive a truly world-class education while those who attend schools in high poverty neighborhoods are getting an education that more closely approximates schools in developing nations. The report states the obvious, and what we all know: ...
By Dennis Van Roekel, President of the National Education Association
It starts early. When we are maybe age three or four or five. When we are young and impressionable. Someone close to us opens a book and reads to us about animals that talk, ghosts that live in haunted castles or pirates in search of buried treasure.
And we are hooked. We can't wait for someone to read us another story that causes our imaginations to run wild. If you've ever shared a book with a child, you know the joy and excitement this small act can bring. It's almost comical how some children want to hear the same story over and over and over — they are so spellbound by it.
Research shows that children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school and frequently develop stronger reading skills. Reading is the foundation of education.
Unfortunately, too many children have no one to read to them. The National Center for Education Statistics tells us that almost 50 percent of children ages three to five do not get read to on a daily basis. This is staggering.
We at the National Education Association (NEA) are working to change this. We offer a number of resources to help educators improve reading instruction and to help parents develop reading skills in their children. And each year we host Read Across America, an initiative that celebrates reading and literacy and encourages more adults to ...
New Accrediting Body for Educator Preparation Seeks Public Comment on Next Generation of Accreditation Standards and Evidence
Public Comment Period February 15–March 29
By James G. Cibulka, president, Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
Education reform over the past decades has ushered in changes in standards, assessment, curriculum, and teacher evaluation. Most recently, the focus has turned to teachers and their professional preparation; research has shown that teachers are the most significant in-school influence on student achievement. While education reform is often politicized, the opposing sides share considerable common ground. In the end, those vested in the topic of education reform agree that every student deserves the best teachers and education possible.
The Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP)[i] takes up its responsibilities as the new national accreditor of educator preparation providers at a time of high interest in P-12 student performance and in the capabilities of the education workforce. In this context, accreditation must be a strong lever in shaping educator preparation, assuring the public of the rigor of educator preparation programs. ...
By Annelise Cohon and Lisa Sharma Creighton, NEA Health Information Network
"Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day," that’s the March National Nutrition Month 2013 theme. In celebration of the observance we’d like to share three ways you can work to promote good nutrition at your school by increasing access to school breakfast, ensuring all food sold in school is healthy, and encouraging nutrition education and physical activity at school.
(1) Increase access to school breakfast. Research confirms that eating breakfast at school helps children learn. When students are hungry, they struggle academically and are at risk for long-term health issues. In the U.S., 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Below are important resources for teachers, principals and administrators, and parents to increase access to school breakfast and positively impact hunger.
- Teachers: The NEA Health Information Network (NEA HIN) hears from educators who are on the frontlines of hunger. We created the “Start School with Breakfast: A Guide to Increasing School Breakfast Participation” in partnership with ...
The Commission on Equity and Excellence had a Congressional mandate to provide advice to Secretary Duncan on the disparities in meaningful educational opportunities and to recommend ways in which federal policies can address such disparities. They just released a report titled “For Each and Every Child,” after a two year work period. The distinguished members of the panel, with diverse professional backgrounds and different political ideologies, focused on the inequality in our nation’s public school system as the primary driver behind two achievement gaps, the internal domestic gap and the international gap. Their conclusions and recommendations won’t surprise education professionals, but the report serves as a well-timed call to action for the struggles facing African American students, particularly males, during Black History Month. The opportunity gap also exists for a significant number of Hispanic and Native American students. ...
Deeper learning will ensure students possess transferable knowledge, or the ability to use their knowledge and skills to solve problems and navigate new situations. As a 21st century skill set, it should be a core element of the public education academic experience. A recent report from the National Research Council, Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century argues that when facilitated through teaching and learning of academic subjects, this approach to learning pushes students beyond rote memorization of facts and procedure, and prepares them to succeed in work and life. This opportunity ensures that we are teaching and assessing the skillsets that we want our students to acquire as a majority of states work to implement the Common Core State Standards. Emphasizing deeper learning will require several shifts, in teaching methods, curricula, and assessments much like the shifts that are necessary to ensure success for Common Core. ...
Congress is in session; the President delivers the State of the Union address; and education groups convene in DC to showcase excellence, visit policymakers, and advocate for 21st century skills. Over the past several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to attend meetings here in the nation’s capital that spotlight strategies for strengthening our public schools and celebrate those that are successful in supporting student achievement. It’s clear that there’s not only lots of work to be done, but that many dedicated citizens are working to improve the lives of all our children. It’s also clear to me that the work is complicated and the challenges varied and localized. ...
By Cheryl Williams, Executive Director at Learning First Alliance
The following post appeared on January 31, 2013, as the final LFA entry in the Transforming Learning Blog on Education Week. For the past year, LFA members have contributed postings to the EdWeek blog on a regular basis. Those wise commentaries are archived at Education Week and can be accessed here. This entry also describes the messaging campaign that LFA launched in January and will be featuring on this site and in other venues in the months ahead.
Over the past year, member organizations in the Learning First Alliance (LFA) have shared their perspectives and expertise on the work their members and stakeholders have led in support of public education throughout their careers. If you’ve had the opportunity to read some or all of these postings, you’ll know that public education professionals are tireless in their work to meet the needs of their students and that no silver bullet exists to “fix” what doesn’t work in public schools. With this, the final Transforming Learning post, we reiterate what we know to be true as professional educators and ...
We have access to a lot of good sound research and information in today’s information age. Education practitioners, those working in schools and districts, are ultimately responsible for overseeing system-wide changes, but they rarely have time to sift through data and evidence to identify sound research that might offer guidance for their respective district or school. Therefore, those higher up in district administration are more likely to be the ones assessing available research and working to support struggling schools. Taking action on sound research requires strong networks and strong communication among system professionals to move the evidence and information down to the school level. Ultimately, even if the research is good, it does not guarantee change. The system must be prepared to implement the necessary steps to produce changes in student performance. In fact, research suggests that an emphasis on the technical aspects of improvements leads us to overlook the relational component to system-wide change. ...
This was written in collaboration with many Project UNIFY staff members.
Editor’s Note: This post is form our partners at the Special Olympics Project UNIFY. Each week in January, we will feature a new article on a topic related to the social inclusion of youth with intellectual disabilities. Through this effort, we hope to inform the public of the importance of such inclusion as well as offer educators and parents resources to implement it.
On Friday, January 25, 2013, the United States Department of Education (DOE) released new guidance to schools and school systems throughout the nation that receive federal aid about the requirements of providing quality sports opportunities for students with disabilities. While the guidance does not make new law, it does identify the responsibilities that schools and school systems have under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The key messages in the new guidance could be summarized as the following: ...
Click here to browse dozens of Public School Insights interviews with extraordinary education advocates, including:
- 2013 Digital Principal Ryan Imbriale
- Best Selling Author Dan Ariely
- Family Engagement Expert Dr. Maria C. Paredes
The views expressed in this website's interviews do not necessarily represent those of the Learning First Alliance or its members.
Excellence is the Standard
At Pierce County High School in rural southeast Georgia, the graduation rate has gone up 31% in seven years. Teachers describe their collaboration as the unifying factor that drives the school’s improvement. Learn more...
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