American Opinion on Educational Standards

The Leadership Conference Education Fund, Hager Sharp Inc., and ORC International have collaborated to conduct a national survey among U.S. adults about their awareness, knowledge and attitudes regarding standards in public K-12 education. The survey broadly explores their expectations of public education and also includes questions pertaining specifically to the Common Core State Standards. The research team oversampled among African Americans and Hispanic Americans to ensure representation and adequate statistical power for the analysis. They also conducted the survey in three states—Georgia, Colorado and Tennessee —to guide state-specific messaging and communication efforts pertaining to the Common Core.

Following is a short summary of the results:

  • Nearly all American adults (97 percent) believe students need to be able to think critically and apply skills to the “real world” to be successful after high school.
  • Nearly all (92 percent) believe schools must rise to meet the expectations of colleges and employers.
  • Most (85 percent) also believe the U.S. needs consistent standards to help ensure higher expectations for students.
  • Nearly three-quarters of American adults (71 percent) believe expectations in U.S. schools are too low, and half believe U.S. schools are not being held accountable specifically for the performance of students of color.
  • Moreover, only 47 percent of American adults believe U.S. schools do a good job of providing a well-rounded education to every student.
  • There is strong support (82 percent) for “a wholesale transformation of our education system” to ensure “long-term economic security.”

Americans are divided on two issues in education:

  • Half believe there is too much testing in schools.

Nearly half (46 percent) believe the federal government should not have a role in education.

Despite the anti-federal sentiment among 46 percent of American adults, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) believe all states should have the same standards at each grade level in math and English so students have to meet the same expectations no matter where they live. Moreover, nearly all American adults (92 percent) believe “where a family lives, how much money they make, or their race or ethnicity should not determine the quality of the education that a child receives.”

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Our Spring Newsletter Is Out!

We just sent our National University National Board P20 Leadership Center Spring Newsletter to our nearly 650 members.  If you are a member and did not receive the newsletter, check to ensure your network is not blocking it or sending it to a spam filter (you would have received it at approximately 3:30pm Pacific, 6:30pm Eastern on April 18).  If this is the case, change your settings or provide us with a different email address to ensure you receive our future communications by contacting Sean McCarthy.

If you aren’t an NBCT-EDGE Alliance member, join for free to access all of our resources and information, including the newsletter.  Simply complete our membership form HERE to join!

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A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America

Here is a great article for EC Generalist candidates:

All parents hope their child will start school ready for success. Unfortunately, not every parent can find the high-quality early learning opportunity that sets their child up for success.

Earlier today the U.S. Department of Education released a new report outlining the unmet need for high-quality early learning programs in America. Roughly 6 in 10 four-year-olds are not enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs, and even fewer are enrolled in the highest quality programs.

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Information Text: Reading for Inquiry

Check out this video from the Teaching Channel on information text.  EC Generalist and Literacy Candidates might find this especially useful:


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Military Students–‘Tis the Season

I was tempted to let this April slip by without highlighting our military students. The timing of spring break threw me off my focus of remembering the challenges our hero families face. But then I remembered. ‘Tis the season

‘Tis the Season for orders to move and ‘Tis the Season of saying good-bye. Spring is so often the season of beginnings and new life. For military families spring is usually the season of endings. Our last season of moving started for our kids during spring break. Spring break aligned with house hunting and figuring out what we needed to do to help the transition OUT be as smooth as possible. We are back in spring and I can already see in my daughter’s eyes the question of if this is another Season of goodbyes.

There are several steps I’ve learned as a parent to help my kids transition OUT during the Season of Good-bye

  1. Say good-bye. They need closure with people and places, give them that opportunity!
  2. Celebrate and remember. Create a bucket-list with your family of what they still want to do before they leave – don’t forget to allow them to include doing something again! It is part of their good-bye
  3. Work with the teacher and the school to help in the transition out. Teachers usually have great and meaningful ways of saying good-bye.

Teachers? You have great and meaningful ways of saying good-bye RIGHT?!?

Social/emotional goodbye

First, it is really no different than helping any student say good-bye and prepare for a new school. Except, did you know most military-connected students move 6-9 times (sometimes more!) during their K-12 years? The number of moves does not make it any easier for the transition out; their resilience to moving can only be developed if YOU are supportive, understanding, and encouraging in the process. Remember, military kids don’t like being uprooted!

  1. Allow and encourage them to say good-bye.
  2. Create a friendship garden – this will encourage the student leaving and help those remaining behind with their loss
  3. Take a class picture; paste it on construction paper and have all the kids in class sign it
  4. Hug, shake hands, fist bump, smile… Don’t forget to say goodbye on their last day of school. Say their name and 1 thing you’ll remember about them forever.

Academic goodbye

Students struggle in their new schools because they arrive before their official records. They repeat classes or are placed in classes not appropriate for their level. While the counseling office is responsible for sending official transcripts, YOU know the student better than any transcript or grade. Consider giving the student the gift of a smooth academic transition:

  1. Write a letter to the new teacher detailing the strengths and challenges of the student. Remember the little things like – Does the student need to sit up front, near the teacher’s desk, in the back? Why?
  2. Build a Portfolio to send with student:
    1. Include a copy of their grades and if possible a description of what was/was not mastered by the student thus far.
    2. Include a few sample work projects (maybe make a copy of a few critical pieces before returning assignment to students). Even consider an initial assignment with feedback and their edited work.
    3. Include a copy of grade level content standards. It is very likely that the new location will use a completely different set of state standards!
    4. If you had specific academic goals for this student – perhaps a SMART goal – include it!
  3. Recommend any enrichment or support services the student will need – even those NOT on an IEP!
  4. Recommend any sports or clubs the student should join at the new location. Maybe you see a talent or skill the student isn’t even aware of yet!

April is Month of the Military Child. It is a time to celebrate and encourage our hero families. Some will be with you for only a few short years; some will receive orders this month to move. Make their spring a ‘Tis the Season of joy surrounding the goodbye.

Invitation: Supporting Military-connected Students- Strategies that Work! Monday – April 13, 6-7pm (9-10pm eastern). Online free webinar. Registration information

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