Blog

Nearly four decades ago, I encouraged members of Congress to vote for a separate cabinet-level Department of Education. Those working to establish the department felt that its visibility would improve the public discourse on education and lead to more resources for schools as well as better decisions on policy. We...
What if students planned their own out-of-class work? I often wonder at the amount of time a teacher can devote to entering zeroes in to a grade book, day after day. Johnny never does his homework. Parents are called. Parents are told he will get detention. He appears day after...
The Learning First Alliance is joining with EdReports.org and educators at the state and local level for a behind-the-scenes discussion about the importance of aligning instructional materials to college- and career-ready standards. As part of a webinar on Sept. 22, EdReports.org will show how its educator-led reviews are supporting teachers,...
Having health insurance makes a huge difference for children in school. Schools can make a huge difference by identifying uninsured students and connecting them to health insurance. The key is asking a simple question on school enrollment forms: "Does your child have health insurance?" Make this part of your back-to-school...
People with difficult or annoying traits are everywhere. But the stakes are high in education: Managing – or even just working with – difficult people can drain even the most positive educators and take focus away from a school’s mission. Veteran school administrators and leadership consultants Diane Watkins and Stephanie...
Stephanie Johnson and Diane Watkins have a combined seven decades of experience as teachers, principals and school administrators, where they learned to deal with many difficult personalities at all levels. Dr. Johnson (below), an assistant professor of education at Virginia’s Hampton University, and Ms. Watkins (at right), director of assessment...
Americans don’t agree on the purpose of public education, but they like their local schools, especially when they believe educators listen to their concerns. The Bush-Obama era of nationalist education policy essentially ended with the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Public education is a state function, and the...
September 8 is International Literacy Day, and 2016 marks the the 50 th anniversary of an event designed to promote reading and literacy in U.S. communities and worldwide, and celebrate the work of educators and literacy specialists. As part of the events, the International Literacy Association is promoting a service...
This fall, 50.4 million students will attend more than 98,000 public elementary and secondary schools, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, which each year releases the latest data on public and private schools in the U.S. In recent years, the number of students has...
If all goes well, about this time next year the new ESSA roll out in your state will be beginning. It will reflect your local input to your state’s plan and process. Your staff will be on board as they are fully aware of the new approach and have been...