Blog

It seems sacrilegious, really, but I am advocating that we do away with the K-12 grade level structure in education. Perhaps because it is how we have organized our schools since we evolved from the one room schoolhouse back in the nineteenth century, the grade level structure is taken for...
Join Learning First Alliance Executive Director Richard Long and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute's Michael Petrilli for a video chat about the recent past and near future of college and career ready standards. They will consider the state of Common Core, progress and continuing gaps in student outcomes across the...
Colonial School District straddles the boundary where suburban Wilmington gives way to Delaware’s rural eastern shore. Its one high school, William Penn, serves a racially diverse population, about 40 percent of whom come from low-income families. Penn is a model for getting kids ready for life after graduation. Ninth-graders who...
For the first time, the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the expertise that educators can bring to the policymaking process and calls for collaboration by practitioners and policymakers – but it gives few details on how those groups should work together. To facilitate that process, Learning First Alliance...
Summer slide refers to a decrease or loss of academic skills over the summer break. As summer goes by, if students do not actively engage in learning experiences, the progress they had made throughout the school year will not only decrease, it can actually regress. Avoiding this “summer slide” is...
In a presidential election season where speeches, debates and tweets have largely ignored education policy, I've found myself hungry for a conversation about the challenges America’s educational system faces. Last month’s Committee for Education Funding (CEF) Presidential Forum at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., didn't fully satiate me –since not...
How do you teach college- and career-ready standards to students who are still learning English? One educator explained his tactics in an online conversation with the Learning First Alliance on June 14. Larry Ferlazzo, a high school teacher, blogger and author of numerous books on topics for teachers, joined LFA...
Summer vacation is eagerly anticipated by students and teachers – eight weeks of out-of-school time in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). But it harbors a built-in risk that we call the Summer Slide: Academic ground gained during the school year can be lost without targeted summer learning.
How are the Common Core State Standards impacting English language learners? What do educators and policymakers need to know and do to ensure the needs of this growing population are met? On June 14, Larry Ferlazzo, an International Baccalaureate and English and social studies teacher at Luther Burbank High School...
Communication is complex, and tricky these days. And as important to our lives as the air we breathe. Let's look at air for a moment --it is all around us, 24/7, no matter where we are or what we are doing. It is essential for our survival and for our...