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New back-to-school toolkit helps school officials share the secret successes of their schools with parents and the public.

The Learning First Alliance recently released its 2017 Back-to-School toolkit, titled " The Secret Life of Public Schools ." This document helps educators share their success stories and engage parents, students, key lawmakers and community members, and the general public to support their schools. Below are tips for using social...

Veteran civil rights advocate discusses need for more diverse teaching field, efforts to boost educator quality, and next steps for her work and Learning First Alliance organizations

Sharon Robinson recently retired as president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), but she’s planning to continue the work that has defined her career. Robinson has been a staunch advocate for professionalization of the teaching field and has pushed for policies that would enhance...

Education Leader Shares Tips for Using the Summer Break to Reflect on Professional Development and Creating Dynamic Digital Learning Environments

In addition to picnics, vacations, and beach reading, summertime provides educators the perfect opportunity to look back on the year and plan forward. Throughout my 30 years in education, the months of June, July and August allowed me to reflectively ask “where am I” and then project “where do I...

Lynn M. Gangone plans to strengthen partnerships, boost member engagement for higher education association

Lynn M. Gangone took the helm of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) last month, bringing a wealth of expertise include higher education leadership, advancement of underrepresented populations, strategic planning, and change management to the association. AACTE is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to...

“Whether they work in the cafeteria or the classroom, school district employees are perceived by the public as being experts of schools, and as having ‘inside’ information. And since perception is reality, it is in our best interest to make sure employees have accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information.” - Jim Cummins, APR

As school and district leaders plan back-to-school communications, they often focus on “external” stakeholders, such as the families they serve, the media and the greater community. They might not spend as much time thinking about “internal” stakeholders—their staff and volunteers. But internal communications are key in maintaining and improving the...
The back-to-school season is full of hope and excitement. It’s also an extremely busy time for everyone in education, and it’s a particularly important opportunity to communicate with parents and the community at large about all the good things that are taking place in public schools across the country. The...

The ability to adapt to changes is the most important skill we can give our students, meaning educators need to instill a drive for curiosity and lifelong learning, education technology experts say.

Imagine a world where parents can genetically design and modify their own children. Think it’s far-fetched? The cost of sequencing our personal genome is dropping, and genome editing technologies are growing more accessible. It could become a reality within the next decade or so. “Do we want our kids to...

"The national debate about control is a waste of time and resources. Turning over taxpayer funds and public resources to private providers will not create the solutions we need to bring all schools up to the levels we need them to be."

When people look at a school building, what do they see? Why do some people think education, while others seem to be thinking about who controls it? I recently attended several presentations by conservative thinkers on vouchers, school choice, tuition tax credits, and education savings accounts. While each speaker listed...

Pennsylvania report spotlights the importance of community college to building a strong workforce.

A recent ReadyNation event in Pennsylvania highlighted the unique role of community colleges in keeping state and national economies strong, while also demonstrating the power of partnerships between the business and educational communities.
Every year during summer break, too many children lose more than baby teeth, frisbees and beach toys. They lose two to three months of progress in reading and math skills. This is what is known as the “summer slide.” And these losses add up. By fifth grade, summer learning loss...