Blog

Public Schools Week 2019 shows it's time to bring back the concept of the public good

We need to make considering the common good a priority in our school communities. We seem to be drifting to the idea that what’s good for me is much more important than what’s good for our entire community . A quick example is the anti-vaccination movement. It’s baffling that we...

Public schools have helped build our nation, and we must now focus on improving public education for all students

Our nation needs good public schools. For families, public education is the tool to ensure their children’s future; for businesses, to have the talent that they need to grow; and for communities, a means to come together to shape the future. And for your community to have good public schools,...

In 2018, LFA worked with the American Federation of Teachers' Share My Lesson resource to show educators how to apply the Elements of Success in their classrooms

The Learning First Alliance, which collectively represents 10 million educators, parents and school board members through our 12 member associations, unveiled its groundbreaking “ Elements of Success: 10 Million Speak on Schools that Work ” in January 2018. The report was designed as a compendium of best practices for schools...

Federal commission releases long-awaited report that most groups said does not go far enough to curb school violent and address mental health needs.

Member organizations of the Learning First Alliance found both praise and criticism for the long-awaited federal Commission on School Safety report released on December 18, 2018. The 177-page report included many recommendations advocated by LFA members, including a federal clearinghouse of information, support for school counselors, improved access to school-based...

On the 25th Anniversary of Schindler's List, legendary director discusses the importance of storytelling and ways teachers can use the film and other resources to guide students away from Anti-Semitism and other forms of hate

It's been 25 years since Steven Spielberg released the groundbreaking film “Schindler’s List,” bringing new life to one remarkable story of the Holocaust. With Anti-Semitism incidents on the rise, the American Federation of Teachers and Facing History and Ourselves recently called on teachers to use the film to help instill...

An assistant principal shows the criteria he uses to help make--and explain--the best decisions for his school

Being a leader means that you have to make decisions, and in my five years as an assistant principal, I have gradually come to accept the fact that not everyone is going to like the decisions that I have to make. Here is my story in a nutshell along with...

The proliferation of cell phones, social media, and interactive video games has made efforts to curb cyberbullying much harder. The father of a 13-year-old who committed suicide gives tactics to manage these dangers.

This is the second part of a two-part blog series on suicide prevention and cyberbullying resources for parents and educators. Read the first part here . John Halligan has spoken with many parents of children who committed suicide, and has found one common trait: Each child was described as “very...

A father shares the lessons he learned about children's and teens' mental health, and how their use of cell phones, social media, and other outlets impacts their thinking, after the suicide of his 13-year-old son

(Part one of a two-part series) After his 13-year-old son, Ryan, committed suicide, John Halligan became an advocate for suicide prevention in schools. And the first time he was asked to speak to students at a school near his home in Vermont, he agonized over what to say that would...

NSBA calls on federal government to provide resources to allow local schools to boost safety measures, including mental health resources

As the academic year begins, students and their families may find themselves concerned about the safety of their schools. After 22 school shootings in the first half of 2018 alone, their worry is reasonable. The National School Boards Association believes that the federal government has a role to play in...

Specific conditions make a difference in whether professional learning is effective. Learning Forward shows how, when these conditions are met, student learning will improve

Sometimes it makes all the difference if you use the right definition and process. After decades of half-hearted federal support for professional development, there is now data to support the investment in teachers and administrators. The new analysis was presented during a Congressional briefing late last month by Learning Forward...