National PTA President Otha Thornton discusses why his organization supports the Common Core, dispelling myths and sharing resources to help parents learn more and support successful implementation of the standards.
By Jared Niemeyer
Jared is a Special Olympics Athlete and a member of the Project UNIFY National Youth Activation Committee, and for him, friendship is a blessing that he’ll never take for granted.
Friends are people who care about you, respect you, really listen to you, are thoughtful and do nice things because they want to see you smile, but most of all – you are important to them because you matter! I have some really great friends!
As a Special Olympic athlete I have a lot of friends with intellectual or developmental disabilities. We love doing things together; we care about what happens to each other, we encourage each other and look out for each other. We are friends and enjoy doing things together! Special Olympics has given us the opportunity to experience a lot that some of us would never have had the chance to do. We also play Unified Sports, so many of our teammates are also Unified partners and don’t have disabilities; we are friends and have a lot of fun working and playing together. ...
By Chrystal Jones, Senior State Advocacy Strategist, National PTA
As the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the nation, National PTA speaks with a powerful voice on behalf of every child and provides the best tools for parents and communities to help their children become successful students. National PTA volunteers have adopted several position statements and resolutions, beginning in 1981, in support of voluntary, clearer, higher academic standards for all students. You can read our position statements on our website.
The National PTA has made a tremendous impact on education reform in the early stages of adopting and implementing the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) and is a strong partner in the CCSSI at the national level. Recent examples of the impact at the national level include:
- Inclusion in a National Governor’s Association Common Core State Standards Issue Brief. Delaware PTA and Michigan PTA were interviewed about their work to advance the Standards and were highlighted as ...
I cannot begin to count the number of times I hear a statistic related to children and education that causes me to pause and ask additional questions about the context. A troubling number is often just an indicator of a larger problem, which serves as backdrop to help explain how we as a society arrived at this measurement. I recently attended three separate events that collectively reminded me, once again, that we can help all children realize their true potential through collaboration and teamwork across schools, districts and communities. By addressing root causes and individual student needs, we may see students take the lead in their learning, becoming the future leaders of tomorrow, today. ...
When I logged onto my Twitter account last Tuesday, an interesting string of comments/news scrolled across my screen. As fate would have it, the National Education Association (NEA) annual meeting and the National Charter Schools Conference (NCSC) were both taking place, and their keynote speaker addresses filled my Twitter feed.
The NEA speakers, former Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools (MCPS) district superintendent Jerry Weast and Stanford professor Linda Darling-Hammond offered perspectives on the roles teachers can and should play as successful practitioners in the classroom and beyond. Dr. Weast profiled the MCPS Peer Assistance and Review Program (PAAR), designed in collaboration with the local unit of NEA and the district administration to institute a system of teacher evaluation led by teachers and predicated on ...
Want to know how American teachers are feeling these days? Judging from the new Badass Teachers page on Facebook, the answer is angry.
Started by three individuals who know each other only through Facebook, the Badass Teachers page started at 4:45 pm on Friday, June 14. In an hour, BAT had 1,000 members and has been gaining about 1,000 members every day since then. At last count, more than 21,000 Facebookers were following the page. The activity has become so rapid that the site now has 49 administrators just to keep up with new requests to join the group. (The group has since developed a website and Twitter handle as well.)
And Badass followers are not just following this page, they are posting like crazy. Hundreds and hundreds of angry, funny, and irreverent posts and responses every day. Barely anything else is getting through ...
We know a great deal about the high school dropout problem. From the research of Robert Balfanz and others, we know where dropouts are likely to come from – the majority attends a small subset of high schools where the graduation rate is 60% or lower. We know who is likely to drop out – the warning signs start as early as first grade, and by middle school they can be defined as the ABCs (attendance problems, behavior problems, and course failure). And we know that there are effective interventions that help retain likely dropouts.
Where we have struggled is in putting together what we know and addressing the issue at scale. But that might be changing. At a May briefing at the US Department of Education on the progress of three Investing in Innovation (i3) grantees, I learned of a promising effort to do so: Diplomas Now. The innovation? Arranging what we know are effective education improvement strategies into a coherent whole.
Based on Balfanz’s research (and he is the program founder), Diplomas Now brings together three national networks – Talent Development, City Year and Communities in Schools – to deliver a comprehensive secondary school turnaround model in high schools where relatively few students graduate.
Utilizing the evidence-based approaches taken by each of the partner organizations, Diplomas Now targets interventions at multiple levels – school, classroom and students. The model: Organize teachers into ...
By Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, AASA: The School Superintendents Association
In 2015, we will be celebrating AASA’s 150th anniversary, and as we arrive at this milestone, we are proud to announce the official launch of the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program. Working with our new partner, The SUPES Academy, we have been hard at work planning a robust experience that will focus on sharpening the skills that successful superintendents acknowledge are needed to thrive on the job, and provide a relevant experience for our members. As I have traveled across the country in planning this program, it has been made clear that the political and economic pressures of the job are exacerbated by growing intrusion into local control and a prevailing attitude that educators do not have the solutions and indeed are part of the problem. Our certificate will help our members strive in these difficult conditions.
The school district is often the biggest “business” in the community it serves, managing the largest budget and supervising the greatest number of employees. Yet the superintendent’s position was created to be the community’s educational leader, not the CEO of ...
By Jim Hull, Senior Policy Analyst, National School Boards Association’s Center for Public Education (CPE)
Minority students have made significant gains over the past four decades in both math and reading, according to the 2012 long-term NAEP results. While most white students made significant gains as well, achievement gaps narrowed considerably since minority students made much larger gains than their white peers. However, large achievement gaps still remain.
9 Year Olds
- U.S. 9 year old have made significant gains.
- Since the first year of NAEP in 1971, student achievement in reading has increased significantly from 208 to 221 (13 points, or just over a year’s worth of
The Learning First Alliance is pleased to announce that Dr. Sharon Robinson, President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and a lifelong civil rights activist, will serve as our new board chair.
By Ken Kay, CEO, and Valerie Greenhill, Chief Learning Officer, EdLeader21
Between the two of us, we have spent decades working on education and public policy. Ken started the CEO Forum on Education Technology in 1996, and we helped found the Partnership for 21st Century Skills in 2002.
Something happened around 2008. School and district leaders started approaching us, asking whether we could help them implement 21st century education strategies. In most cases, these were our closest professional colleagues who were facing huge challenges in the NCLB era to make learning relevant for their students. We felt a great sense of urgency to shift from our focus on public policy to the real challenges of district and school implementation.
In the summer of 2010, we went around the country and interviewed district superintendents about how we could help them with their 21st century education challenges. Collaborating with them, we came up with the idea of creating a profession learning community (PLC) for education leaders committed to building the 4Cs (critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity) into their K-12 strategies. ...
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!