Want to improve test scores? Remove these non-academic barriers

An alarming undercurrent to current academic declines is a rising tide of maladaptive behaviors across all student populations. We’ve all seen the statistics. Reading and math scores are down in the latest NAEP numberrs. The average scores for 9-year-old students in 2022 declined five points in reading and seven points in mathematics compared to 2020. […]

Federal Policy Brief: Coordinating Spending

As a funding cliff and other realities loom in the wake of massive education recovery spending, education leaders are now facing concerns over sustaining temporary, supplemental programs. Like going on a summer road trip, the ESSER journey is marked out with a clear start and stop, but it’s unclear for many which are the most […]

A Day in the Life of a Teacher

The tension between the schoolhouse and the district office seems to have always existed, regardless of how large or small a district may be, and it can become a board issue if not addressed early on. Underlying resentments and conflict become especially evident when it’s time for annual salary negotiations, when budgets get cut, when […]

Home Broadband: 3 Questions for Fixing the Problem

One of the many truths 2020 exposed was the necessity for and widespread lack of connectivity to home broadband service. The coronavirus stimulus package Congress passed late last year includes a $50-per-month “emergency broadband benefit,” (EBB) for low-income households, as well as funding for the expansion of infrastructure in marginalized communities. It marked a historic […]

5 ESY Do’s & Don’ts When Scheduling New Services

When the U.S. Education Department provided recent IDEA guidance in light of the continuing challenges districts face due to COVID-19, it hinted at a new normal for extended school year services. ED pointed out that many districts were not able to provide ESY services during summer 2020 due to pandemic restrictions, meaning the old way […]

Biden’s Stance on Special Ed: 5 Things We Know Right Now

Following an administration-changing election, pundits and experts line up like callers to preseason college football radio shows to throw in their two cents on the direction the new president will go on any number of policy issues. While the future can change from day to day when it comes to politics, with respect to the […]

6 Questions Superintendents Must Ask Their Special Ed Directors Now

For the past eight months, school districts around the country have spent the bulk of their time and resources trying to manage a pandemic, keep students and staff safe, and deal with public perception issues in the media and political arenas. Even with all of that piled on their plates, districts and the superintendents who […]

COVID Has Been a Travesty for Students Getting Services. But District Financial Leaders Can Recoup Some Costs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on students in many ways, not the least of which have been the loss of services funded by IDEA, Title I, and other federal grants programs. As districts move forward with efforts to provide services amid the continuing pandemic challenges, financial considerations are a real concern with budget […]

Child Care, Students’ Internet Top Teacher Concerns

The winds of K-12 reopenings seem to be shifting nationally toward remote, or all-online, learning to start the 2020-2021 school year. Even in a hybrid environment, most students will still have three days a week of remote learning. Since it appears most students and educators around the U.S. will be engaging heavily in virtual learning […]

Supermarkets and Airplanes

I still vividly recall my first trip to the supermarket when quarantining started in early March. I was freaked out. It was before masks were mandatory and health officials didn’t have a good grip (well, as good as they do now) on how the virus was transmitted. I never saw parking lots that crowded at […]

Unlocking Potential

My childhood relocation from Italy in the early 1970’s could have easily made me a student who succumbed to the risk, storm, and stress that many children face every day. As such, I have committed myself to a hyper-vigilance about understanding the why and how students drift away from public schools. A few years ago, […]

Move Beyond Your Change Management Issues

Every week at least one leader tells me that their biggest challenge “is a change management issue.” It’s not surprising that Amazon sells more than 2,000 books about organizational change. Use any one of those books to plan your next initiative, then answer these five questions. Who is affected by this initiative and what’s in […]