Blog

The public has demanding expectations for its schools. The strategies dominating education policy conversations won't meet them.

The 49 th annual PDK Poll of the Public Attitudes Toward the Public Schools reveals a public that defines the quality of education beyond the 3R’s of a bygone age. And certainly, despite much of the rhetoric at the national level, they don’t see issues as simply as private vs....

As we move forward after Charlottesville, AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech reflects on the outstanding work of the nation's public school system leaders and expresses his confidence that they will rise to the occasion, speaking out to ensure all children receive a quality education.

Some of the images we’re seeing on television and stories we’re reading about in our local newspapers are describing some of the most disappointing and disheartening moments in the history of our country. What has made it even more alarming? The violence, compounded with the flurry of discussions focusing on...

Get tips on how educators at all levels (principals, teachers, superintendents and others) can use their back-to-school letter to build support among the families they serve.

Educators send back-to-school letters to welcome students and their families to the new school year and keep them up-to-date on their classroom, school or district. These letters offer the chance to highlight new programs, share your educational philosophy and discuss goals for the coming year. Who should send a back-to-school...

President Lincoln's words at Gettysburg are a reminder that Americans must learn to talk to each other about issues such as the Confederacy, and schools are the perfect setting for those conversations

"I t is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work….” What is the unfinished work? Was Lincoln talking to us in Gettysburg on that November afternoon in 1863? Is he still talking to us in his statement of nearly 154 years ago, a week...

Resources aim to help educators and parents answer questions and assure students' safety after race-based violence in Virginia

Several Learning First Alliance member organizations have resources to help teachers and other educators deal with students’ questions on the race-based violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has a ssembled lessons and resources to help address the events in Charlottesville with students....

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...