After three days of discussion and learning, participants in NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign forum, Changes, Challenges and Collaboration, left New Orleans with new strategies to continue their schools and communities on a path towards student success.
Through the Priority Schools Campaign, the National Education Association (NEA) is committed to transforming the nation’s persistently low-performing, priority schools. To support members and allies in this work, the Forum offered teams of participants from 36 schools across the nation an opportunity to share what’s working in their schools with peers dealing with similar challenges. Teams exchanged information on how their schools are implementing various requirements of their School Improvement Grants, with issues ranging from teacher evaluation, extending learning time, increasing family engagement and forging new partnerships with community organizations. “I hope you leave here gloriously dissatisfied” with the status quo, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel told Forum participants Thursday.
The forum comes just days after voters in Ohio rejected an extreme law that would strip educators and other public employees of their collective bargaining rights. By contrast, the conference shone a spotlight on what can be achieved through collaboration when teachers, education support professionals, union leaders, district administrators, community members and parents work together on their shared goal of making every public school as good as the best public schools.
Keith G. Pemberton is a social worker at Oak Hill Elementary School in High Point, N.C., where he has built a strong and steady pipeline for parental involvement, specifically among fathers and male mentors. Check out his Classroom Superhero profile and leave some words of encouragement.