For her leadership in the areas of teacher quality and educational equity and reform, the Learning First Alliance has named Stanford professor and accomplished author Linda Darling-Hammond as our 2013 Education Visionary Award winner.
Safe Great Places
By Nora L. Howley, Manager of Programs, NEA Health Information Network
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that students missed over 38 million school days a year because of influenza (flu).
While there are no figures available for adults that work in schools, CDC also reports that flu causes 100 million lost work days each year.
Help students—and yourself—by taking action. CDC recommends some simple actions to fight the flu. Many schools already do a great job of helping to prevent the spread of germs through routine hand washing and other basic hygiene strategies.
CDC notes that the most important step most of us can to take in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccine. This year flu vaccines have been available since September, but many people still have not gotten their shot. And many parents may not be aware that ...
There are few things as complicated as funding when it comes to our nation’s public schools. But a basic understanding on the part of policy-makers and voters can be a significant contributor to the vitality of public schools and our democratic society. This week, as much of mainstream media zeros in on the Presidential race and key competitive Congressional races, it’s worth remembering that on November 7th, governance will continue with policy decisions and consequences playing out on the local level, especially for education. As we continue our pre-election examination of school finance policies, we focus on the second half of the Center for American Progress (CAP) report, The Stealth Inequities of School Funding: How State and Local School Finance Systems Perpetuate Inequitable Student Spending. ...
By Nora L. Howley, Manager of Programs, NEA Health Information Network
The fourth-grade class at Shadyside Elementary is having a birthday party. Selena just ate a cookie brought into the class by parent of one of her classmates. All of a sudden she notices a rash and gives on her arms. She begins to feel short of breath, so she lets Pam the Paraeducator know that something is wrong
Next week is Halloween. For many classrooms, it is the first celebration of the year. But for approximately six million children in the United States who have one or more food allergies, this party could be a life-threatening experience. Is your school ready?
Food allergies are abnormal immune responses. In a person with a food allergy, the immune system mistakenly responds to a food as if it were harmful. Sometimes these reactions are life-threatening. While many foods can trigger an allergic reaction, eight foods are responsible for 90% of reactions.
So what should school leaders and staff do to be prepared for food allergy reactions?
First, managing and preventing food allergies requires a team approach. It involves all school staff, parents/guardians, health care providers, and students themselves. It involves ...
While a college education is acknowledged to be the pathway into the middle class, getting into the higher education system requires an understanding of the application process. For many first generation college students, especially those who are from low-income families, the process is daunting with an overwhelming amount of information and countless choices. My own experience, with significant support from my high-school guidance counselor and an involved parent who did the financial aid forms, was stressful and at times confusing, and not everyone has the type of support I had. ...
By Rocío Inclán, Director of the Human and Civil Rights Department of the National Education Association
October is Bullying Prevention month, and this year we see signs of progress in the national effort to stop bullying in our schools.
For example, the recently released 2011 National School Climate Survey from the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) shows for the first time decreased levels of victimization based on sexual orientation. It also found increased levels of student access to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) school resources and support.
This is excellent news. LGBT students have been a major target of bullying in schools. But the fact that 8 out of 10 LGBT students still experienced harassment in the past year because of their sexual orientation reminds us we have a long way to go.
Here is another encouraging sign: Bullying prevention resources are far more widely available today than in the past. Google “bullying prevention,” and a plethora of resources will open up to you. Indeed, there is so much anti-bullying material out there, it is hard to ...
Did you know that each year more than three million students are suspended from school?
While some of these suspensions are the result of violent or other extreme behavior, others are the result of relatively minor infractions – dress code violations, being late for school and so on.
Should we really be putting students through suspension for a minor infraction? Out-of-school suspension does not benefit schools in terms of test scores or graduation rates. And it can have a very negative impact on individual children. In addition to immediate academic consequences stemming from time out of the classroom (we all know the phrase, “you can’t teach to an empty desk”), suspension is a leading indicator of whether a child will drop out of school. It is also related to risk for future incarceration, part of the school-to-prison pipeline that we often hear about.
And these impacts are not spread equally throughout the student population. A recent report from the Civil Rights Project found that Black, Latino and Native American students are much more likely than their White and Asian American peers to be suspended. Seventeen percent of Black students – that is one out of every six enrolled in K-12 education – were suspended at least once in ...
President Obama recently established an education initiative for African American students. The goal: Provide them greater access “to a complete and competitive education from the time they're born through the time they get a career.”
There is little doubt that the timing of such an announcement coincides with November’s election, yet to suggest that such an initiative is merely politically symbolic is a defeatist assessment. A renewed focus on the achievement gap between black and white students, indeed between white students and many minority groups, is an opportunity for the education community to push for greater investment in the work they’ve been doing for years to produce better outcomes for students of color. ...
As a constituency, children receive little attention in federal budget discussions. Today in Washington, and indeed leading up to the implementation of the Bipartisan Budget Control Act (BCA) (aka sequestration) next year, federal expenditures will be on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
According to the Kids’ Share 2012 report, just released by the Urban Institute, federal spending on children fell by $2 billion in 2011, the first decline of its kind in 30 years. Of even greater concern, spending is projected to fall again in 2012 as American Recovery and Reinvestment (AARA) money runs out. According the report, “CBO Baseline projections suggest that federal outlays on children will fall 6 percent in 2012 and an additional 2 percent in 2013.” This takes the BCA into account. Public education emerges as the biggest loser as the AARA expenditures dwindle, losing $13 billion, primarily in the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, Special Education, and Title I/Education for the Disadvantaged. In total, federal spending for public education is projected to decline from $64 billion in 2011 to $37 billion by 2022, or $47 billion without BCA restrictions. Finally, total federal outlays will increase by ...
McDowell County Public Schools have been in the news a lot recently and for good reason. They are part of an exciting partnership that brings together public and private partners to revitalize the rural West Virginia community in which they are located.
McDowell faces an uphill battle, especially where statistics are concerned. Once a vibrant coal mining community with more than 120,000 people, McDowell experienced a mass exodus and decline after the industry collapsed in the early 1960s. Today, the county has around 22,000 residents with a median household income of $22,000. For the past decade, McDowell County has ranked last in the state in education, over 40% of students don’t live with their biological parents and 72% of students live in households without gainful employment. Roads are in a poor state of repair, making transportation difficult, many homes lack running water and medical care is hard to find. Significant problems for schools come with these realities – property taxes generate low revenue to fund schools, teachers are hard to recruit and keep, and resources of all kinds are scarce. ...
Chronic absenteeism is often thought of as a middle and high school issue. As children become responsible for getting themselves to school, those who are disengaged stop showing up.
But did you know that nationally, one in ten kindergarten and first grade students miss the equivalent of a month of school each year? In some districts, it is more than one in four. Why don’t we talk more about these shocking statistics?
Perhaps because we don’t know them. I had no idea that chronic absenteeism (when a child misses 10% or more of the school year) in the early grades was so common until a session last week at the Coalition for Community Schools’ 2012 National Forum, when Hedy Chang, director of Attendance Works, and representatives from school districts across the nation helped illuminate the scope of the problem.
I doubt I am alone in my ignorance on this issue. When data in Multnomah County (Oregon) showed that 20% of K-3 students are chronically absent – 28% of kindergarteners – stakeholders in both the schools and the community were shocked. ...
A VISION FOR GREAT SCHOOLS
On this website, educators, parents and policymakers from coast to coast are sharing what's already working in public schools--and sparking a national conversation about how to make it work for children in every school. Join the conversation!