Blog

Education associations can play a key role in how and when to reopen schools during the COVID-19 pandemic

The schools we know well--classrooms teeming with learning and discovery, lunch breaks, sports and extracurricular activities--now seem like the distant past. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into the annual back-to-school season, school leaders have ventured into the uncharted territory of providing digital learning to all students and now must figure...

The COVID-19 crisis has given public schools new opportunities to rethink learning

For many years, people have discussed doing school differently. Educators can see how the world has changed—and with it, the needs of our students. This is evident not only in so much of what we see on a daily basis in our classrooms, but also from numerous studies related to...

Using a rubric can help educators make critical decisions about when and how to reopen schools.

It’s an understatement to say that we’re living at a time of uncertainty. Public education is a large endeavor: While we have 50.8 million students in traditional public schools, we also have 14,000 school districts, many communities, and families who all have different needs. Yet all want to know, what...

The National PTA has advice for parents and its local leaders on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the impact on their children and schools

The outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a rapidly evolving public health situation. State and local PTAs must follow the direction and guidance of their respective health and education departments. In order to assist and support the most vulnerable children and families, PTAs should reach out to their local school districts...

Implementing social-emotional strategies is important, but hard to do when there is little support. Teachers may have to build their own manuals, calling on the expertise of others, to help some students and groups.

Ever notice that the kids don’t come with instructions? We say that as parents, but I also was told that joke as I became a counselor for students with social and emotional challenges. I once was asked to work with four middle school boys who were not interacting well with...

Have your parents and community join the celebration for Public Schools Week 2020 in February

Public Schools Week 2020 is hosted by the Learning First Alliance (LFA) to remind our communities about the importance of public schools and the integral role public education plays in providing for the future of our students, ourselves, and our country. Our third annual event will be held Feb. 24-28...

Public schools have been improving for more than 50 years--a new infographic shows the vital stats

In the past 50 years, public schools have seen graduation rates have gone up while standards have been improved, the demand for higher-level skills has skyrocketed and the challenges have only gotten more profound. The National Superintendents Roundtable and the Horace Mann League released this infographic, "Giving Schools an Honest...

Compilation of research shows growing interest in apprenticeships in the United States.

Apprenticeships are one way to bring together education interests and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. An apprenticeship, which offers students and new graduates training for a trade or profession, includes on-the-job training and often some accompanying study. Since January 1, 2017, there are over 583,000 new apprentices in...

The 100-year-old Apprentice School has changed its course to offer high-level, high tech instruction for the shipbuilding business

Last summer, a young welder invited me to evaluate apprenticeships at Newport News Shipbuilding, where students train to work on nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines. As I watched this woman and others engaged in apprenticeships using a torch while getting instruction from a tablet, it was immediately clear that this...

LFA director discusses ways new poll results can be used at the federal, state and local levels

The annual Phi Delta Kappa International poll gives policymakers a valuable tool: Reliable data on teachers, one of the most critical parts of the education equation. The question is, how should this tool now be used? The title, Frustration in the Schools: Teachers speak out on pay, funding, and feeling...