To determine whether students are gaining the skills and knowledge they need, assessment systems should include multiple measures and promote a broad curriculum. This section offers information and examples of effective ways that schools and educators are using assessments, including and moving beyond standardized tests, to drive student learning.
This section offers information on how schools and districts are preparing students for postsecondary education and careers in a constantly evolving world.
Public schools are an integral part of communities and our democracy, and schools work best when the community is actively engaged and supportive. Likewise, state and federal lawmakers should engage educators to inform the policies that impact our schools. This section offers information on how educators can advocate for their students' and staff's needs and share their successes.
In this section, learn how technology is transforming teaching and learning, as well as the challenges that must be addressed to ensure it is used effectively and is available to all students.
More than 60 years ago, Brown v. Board made public education "available to all on equal terms." While this landmark ruling laid the foundation for equity in education, there were and still are many societal challenges in ensuring every child has the same access to resources and opportunities. This section provides examples of success as well as information on the achievement and opportunity gaps, and their many dimensions.
Public schools depend on the support of families and their communities to thrive, and with the rise in social media and technology they have more ways than ever to communicate and engage with these constituents. This section shows some of the best strategies, examples of success, and resources for family and community engagement.
Through a mixture of laws, regulations, guidance, and incentives, the federal government serves to protect the rights of the nation's disadvantaged students and their access to the public education system. In this section you will find information on federal policies, including the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Healthy students make better learners. In this section you will learn about initiatives that are helping kids come to school ready to learn, as well as get updates on research on how physical and mental health relates to academic achievement and success beyond the school doors.
A critical challenge facing American educators is how to improve the quality of schools, particularly those in high-poverty districts, and ensure that all students have an opportunity for academic success. This section shows the best practices, resources, and research.
The practice of teaching is an art, and it's critical that teachers understand how students learn and the best ways to deliver curriculum. This section offers examples of research-based strategies and methods for improving student learning through effective instruction.
Effective leadership--including teacher leaders, school principals, superintendents and other district administrators--is a critical factor in boosting student achievement, ensuring sound management, and recruiting and retaining talented employees. This section shows some of the best practices in school leadership and practical tips to help school leaders hone their skills.
This section provides information on programs that are supporting the development of high quality instruction and school leadership, beginning with formal educator preparation programs and continuing throughout a career.
There are many facets of school choice, from academic options within public schools to charters, vouchers, virtual programs, and tax and funding mechanisms that can move funding from public education and send it to private entities with little or no accountability to taxpayers. This section hosts resources and research on policies and the outcomes.
Featured resources: LFA recently hosted webinars on two school choice policies that offer private school options. View the archives of "School Vouchers: What You Need to Know" and "Education Savings Accounts: What They Are and How They Work."
The term school culture is developed from the norms, relationships, values, and perceptions, among other traits. It can encompass more concrete issues such as safety and social-emotional support systems. This section includes articles and resources that will help build a positive school climate.
Featured resource: In December 2016, the Learning First Alliance compiled resources to help educators address hate and harassment in schools. View the collection.
Schools are designed to keep students safe from harm, and students are much more protected in a school building with restricted access than in most public places. Sadly, school shootings and other violent acts continue to occur in schools, and beyond thoughts and prayers policymakers have few solutions for prevention. This section looks beyond physical elements of safe schools and addresses issues of mental health, bullying, drug use and other situations that may point to reasons why students may be targeted by their peers and others with violent tendencies.
Social emotional learning, which teaches students how to navigate conflicts, communicate, and manage emotions, is an integral life skill. Integrating social emotional learning into schools helps engage students and improves learning, studies show. This section contains resources and information about strategies to teach social emotional learning in schools.
High standards for all students leads to increased academic achievement, and a better chance to compete in today's global economy. In this section, learn more about college- and career-ready standards, including the politics around them, and what schools, districts and states are doing to help students meet the bar that they set.
Featured Resource: In spring 2016, the Learning First Alliance convened a focus group that consisted of a cross-section of education practitioners--teachers, principals, school counselors, parents, technology directors, superintendents, teacher educators, school board members and other ground-level educators--to discuss the future of college- and career-ready standards. Read the report.