LFA is pleased to present Working Together for Student Success: A Back-to-School Communications Toolkit. It contains talking points, sample op-ed, blog prompts and more.
- Issues and Publications
- Common Core
The Common Core has affected how all education professionals approach their work. We recently spoke with two leading school counselors—Dan Peabody and Cory Notestine—about how the implementation of the Common Core has impacted their work and the ways in which they are collaborating with colleagues during the transition to the new standards.
Dan Peabody (shown at right) is a counselor at Patapsco Middle School in Howard County, Maryland. Mr. Peabody was recognized as the Maryland State 2015 Middle School Counselor of the Year and recently elected to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Board of Directors.
Cory Notestine (shown below) is a counselor at Alamosa High School in Alamosa, Colorado, and was named as the 2015 School Counselor of the Year by the American School Counselor Association.
Q: What do you see as the primary role of a school counselor in 2015? ...
By Sharon P. Robinson, President and CEO, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
As another ambitious teacher preparation innovation captures national attention, I invite you to join me in taking stock of how widespread creative change has become in this field. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced the launch of their brand-new research laboratory and graduate program to prepare teachers and school leaders. The educator preparation field, already rife with innovation, welcomes the new Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning as the latest partner in a robust entrepreneurial environment.
While I do not embrace the negative rhetoric that accompanied the new program’s announcement, I am keenly interested in the work. In fact, the Academy’s goals are quite aligned with those being addressed by many other educator preparation providers and organizations. Foundation President Arthur Levine and his partners at MIT will find themselves in good company as they pursue their particular reform interests and share their findings.
Like any other field preparing professionals, educator preparation continually develops its knowledge base, adjusts to changes in policy demands and market conditions, seeks evidence of its impact, and collaborates with practitioners in schools—all in the interest of continuous improvement. The spirit of innovation pervades all that we do ...
Eighty-eight percent of respondents surveyed by the Kentucky Department of Education gave their state's standards – which are based on the Common Core State Standards – a thumbs up. And of the approximately 12 percent of respondents who indicated they would like to see some sort of change in one or more of the standards, the majority wanted to see one or more of the standards moved to a different grade level.
This data was collected through the Kentucky Core Academic Standards (KCAS) Challenge, which aimed to both increase awareness and understanding of the Kentucky Core Academic Standards in English/language arts and mathematics and to solicit actionable feedback on the standards as part of the department's regular review of the state's academic standards. ...
Mychael Dickerson, the award-winning chief communications officer for Baltimore County Public Schools, discusses how his district engages parents, students, school staff and other stakeholders.
By Marge Scherer, Editor in Chief, Educational Leadership
“If you believe that all children can have equal opportunity, get out of your seat and start doing something about it.” These words, spoken by P.S. 55 principal Luis Torres at a recent ASCD symposium on poverty and learning, could be the mantra of all the authors in our summer digital-only edition of Educational Leadership (EL).
Like Torres, many of the authors in this special bonus issue speak from personal experience about how they and their colleagues, no matter the obstacles, are making progress in improving schools from within. The stories express their passion and urgency as they make things happen instead of waiting for more support or resources from the outside world.
This digital-only summer issue of EL is our annual free gift to ASCD members and EL subscribers, and we want to extend this to everyone reading this post ...
In 1987 I attended my first ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference in Philadelphia. At that time the meeting was called NECC, short for the National Education Computing Conference. Saturday, I arrived in Philadelphia for my 28th visit to this event that attracts K-12 educators and university researchers from around the world. As I reflect on both the topics discussed and the nature of the meeting, much has changed and still much has remained the same.
In sessions, innovative education leaders continue to emphasize that the technology should not be the focus of our conversations, rather the instruments that enable us to lead and participate in more dynamic, inclusive learning spaces and activities. The emphasis continues to be on meeting each student where he/she is, personalizing the learning activities, and ensuring that the approach is student-centered, not teacher-dictated ...
By Rich Bagin, APR, Executive Director, National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA)
Most people outside of our profession do not fully grasp how busy school leaders are during the summer. Whether it is preparing your facilities for the new year, juggling last-minute staffing changes, upgrading tech applications, getting instructional materials and furniture where they belong, or planning professional development of all sorts for your instructional staff, you’ve got your hands full.
But for many school leaders, early summer is a good time for a bit of retrospection. And, take it from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), summer can be good time to assess what went well and what went wrong in communication and engagement during the past school year.
Dr. Summer Stephens believes that educators are only beginning to understand the power of assessments and data to improve teaching and learning. And, as superintendent of Westin County School District #7 in Upton, Wyo., she sees that the Common Core State Standards are beginning to transform not only what is being taught but also the way her students are learning.
She recently spoke with the Learning First Alliance for its “Get It Right: Common Sense on the Common Core” national campaign. As part of the campaign, LFA is profiling educators across the country to learn about their experience with the Common Core.
“One of the strengths that we've noted in our students with the new standards is the push for them to really be in charge of their own learning, which is what we know you need as an individual in the world to be a productive citizen and excel in your world of work, or if you go on to college, that you have to be able to own your learning,” Dr. Stephens said. “We're really trying to take advantage of the approach with the standards to develop that independence for our kids." ...
“One more time.”
These are the most dreaded words when you’re trying to get a rambunctious two year old to go to sleep—and it’s already 10:30 p.m. The big stack of board books had toppled. The Dreamland CD was finishing its last lullaby. Mom needed to do some work before bed.
But my son wouldn’t give it up—he just wanted to read the same books over and over: “Good Night Little Pookie” and the whole series of Sandra Boynton’s board books, “Trains” by Byron Barton, the classic “Big Joe’s Trailer Truck,” and anything about trucks, trains, or transportation.
Eventually, he began memorizing the rhymes and recognizing sight words. We moved on to longer books but I came back to several of his favorites to help him spell and sound out familiar words and phrases. Those late nights eventually paid off. By age 4 he was reading… his preK teacher didn’t believe me until she spelled out a word to another teacher and he announced it to the class. When he entered kindergarten his initial reading assessment score was already higher than the minimum to complete the grade.
As the National PTA kicks off its Family Reading Challenge this summer, consider these statistics: ...
By Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
As we fight our way back from the recession, it's clear that our economy isn't working for everyone. Too many are out of work or have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. Too many don't have the skills they need for the jobs available in their communities. Too many get the skills they need only to be saddled with crippling debt or faced with unaffordable housing. For too many, the American dream is out of reach. Meanwhile, the rich get richer and government grows increasingly gridlocked as money drives politics.
As a union, the American Federation of Teachers takes on these issues. Indeed, our members and those we serve count on us to fight back. So, yes, we confront corporations like Pearson in front of their shareholders for business policies that lead to gagging teachers and spying on children. We protest for-profit colleges like Corinthian that leave students with a worthless degree and a load of debt. And we call out hedge fund managers who denounce teachers' pensions as they profit from teacher pension funds ...