HuffPost piece: Making Christmas Shine Bright All Year Round

As we reflect on 2016 and look forward to holidays and a new year, in communities across the country, many children and their families are struggling to find reasons to celebrate. But a broader bolder initiative, Bright Futures, is bringing joy not only at Christmas, but year-round, to students, families, and teachers alike. So add … Continued

In Our Schools, Black Lives Matter, Too

The Black Lives Matter Movement has drawn attention to the disparities African Americans face in the criminal justice system, but this blog post acknowledges that the discussion needs to include that black lives of all ages matter. These disparities actually begin in preschool, and then continue throughout the rest of a child’s education. Our education system … Continued

Appalachian Schools are Helping Isolated Students Go to College. Here’s How.

Appalachia has some of the worst rural poverty in our nation, but schools are creating new strategies to improve access to mentors, tackling summer learning loss and increase high school graduation rates. Elaine Weiss writes on how community engagement and family supports in Appalachian schools  have been critical in the efforts to improve educational outcomes in rural communities.

How one struggling school can help education policy-makers do the right thing

The documentary “Oyler: One School, One Year” provides a firsthand look at the economic and social factors that can affect academic success.  This post encourages the policy-makers creating the Every Student Succeeds Act to watch the documentary in order to understand the challenges that schools, principals, teachers, and students face. New rules under ESSA must address the diverse needs … Continued

Schools Didn’t Start it. Achievement Gaps Start Earlier.

The same systemic forces that have sucked most of the income and wealth from the bottom half of our population in recent decades and channeled it into the top one percent have substantially widened income-based achievement gaps. Without intentional measures to direct a broad range of educational and other resources to reversing that trend, gaps … Continued

How One Missouri School District Took on Poverty (and a Tornado)

Joplin, Missouri, a small city in the Southwest corner of the state, is probably best known for the devastating tornado that ripped through it on May 22, 2011.  The storm killed 161 people and caused more than $2 billion in damages. Less well known is the widespread and growing poverty that is damaging the community—especially … Continued

BBA Newsletter May 10

With new flowers popping up all over and bunnies hopping across our laws, babies are on our minds. And apparently it’s not just us. News and information about infants and toddlers and their care and education is all over the place. So we wanted to share some of the best new stuff out there. In … Continued

Student Poverty isn’t an Excuse, It’s a Barrier

The four co-chairs of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education — Helen Ladd, Pedro Noguera, Paul Reville, and Joshua Starr — write for EdWeek about why this is BBA’s ed policy moment. Increasingly widespread recognition that poverty is not an excuse, but a serious barrier to student and school success, is a first, and important step. And the passage of ESSA may make future steps easier. But if we are to build on those, and on growing momentum for investments in early childhood education, wraparound services, and systems to develop and support educators, we must seize this moment, not blow it!

Rich Hill: The Gap between Student Needs and School Capacity

This 2014 white paper jointly produced by AASA: the School Superintendents Association and BBA as a companion to the documentary Rich Hill illustrates the unique challenges many rural schools face in meeting their students’ needs. Inequitable funding schemes that put high-poverty schools and districts at a disadvantage are compounded in rural contexts by the difficulty … Continued

Arne Duncan’s mixed legacy

This Op-Ed by BBA National Coordinator Elaine Weiss reflects the emerging policy environment – which recognizes that reaching higher standards and ensuring accountability require addressing poverty’s impacts and incorporating educator perspective – in which BBA is poised to take on a new leadership role.