Join the conversation

...about what is working in our public schools.


In our exclusive interviews, hear what some extraordinary public education advocates have to say about what it takes to give all children the opportunity for success in the 21st century.

The views expressed in these interviews do not necessarily represent those of the Learning First Alliance or its members.

Interviews with

Leading Educators

Hear educators discuss what they are doing, and what needs to be done, to ensure all children the chance to succeed in school:

  • Master Teacher Diane Siekmann shares her thoughts on teaching under new college and career ready standards and the supports needed to get it right. Particularly encouraging: the changes she has seen in her students under these new, higher standards. (April 22, 2014)
  • 2014 NASSP Digital Principal Daisy Dyer Duerr talks about her philosophy on digital learning and St. Paul High School’s (AR) transition to a technology-infused school, emphasizing the challenge that bandwidth (or more specifically, a lack of bandwidth) presents to her rural community. (March 20, 2014)
  • Teacher Educator Linda McKee discusses how university-based teacher preparation programs in general - and her institution, Tulane, in particular - are getting educators ready to teach under the Common Core. (October 16, 2013)
  • 2013 NASSP Digital Principal Ryan Imbriale shares his thoughts on how school leaders can promote digital learning and the challenges they face in doing so, as well as what it looks like in his building. (March 26, 2013)
  • Wagner Superintendent Susan Smit discusses how her district is using technology to overcome the challenges of teaching and learning in a rural environment. (November 3, 2010)
  • Two Boston Educators give the insiders' view of City Connects (CCNX) incredible work. (July 1, 2010)

Best-Selling Authors

Authors describe their ideas for improving public education:

  • New York Times best-selling author Kenneth C. Davis talks about the updated anniversary edition of his book, Don't Know Much About History, the role of history in creating informed citizens, and how to teach history in an engaging way. (August 22, 2011).
  • Best-Selling Author Dan Ariely talks about his work (which lead to Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality) and its implications for teacher compensation and school choice policies. (September 29, 2010)

Top Researchers

Learn what leading researchers believe works - and doesn't work - in educating our most vulnerable students:

  • Dr. Maria C. Paredes from WestEd discusses her Academic Parent-Teacher Team (APTT) model, where more meaningful parental and family involvement is contributing to improved student outcomes. (November 13, 2012)
  • Stakeholders discuss Advancing High-Quality Professional Learning Through Collective Bargaining and State Policy (an in-depth look at the professional learning policies of six states) and its implications. (September 14, 2010)

Other Advocates

Hear what other advocates say about specific issues in public education today:

  • National PTA President Otha Thornton tells us why his organization supports the Common Core State Standards, what parents need to know about them and how they can help support implementation. He also dispels some of the myths surrounding the standards. (February 24, 2014)
  • National PTA President Otha Thornton, the first African-American male to lead the organization, discusses his views on education and how the PTA is gearing up to address the challenges facing public education. (August 26, 2013)