Huffington Post Blog: Improving Schools for Every Student

By Harriet Sanford
President and CEO
The NEAFoundation

“When one of the leaders of standards-based school reform and one of the products of one of the nation's most challenged school districts agree on something, I pay attention.

Paul Reville, who served as secretary of education in Massachusetts, is quick to defend the standards movement as crucial to establishing higher expectations for all students and maintaining public confidence in schools. At the same time, he argues that high standards and accountability are no longer enough to address the issues some of our students--too often, students of color and children from low-income families--bring with them to the classroom.

"We need a system that differentiates, braids health and human services, and levels the playing field of access to out-of-school learning," Reville, now a senior NEA Foundation Fellow and professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said during a convening we held for educators and school leaders earlier this month.

The importance of addressing the challenges young people face outside of school jibes with the experience that Atlantic senior editor and author Ta-Nehisi Coates had as a teenager in West Baltimore. To him, school was too often a meaningless abstraction compared to the very tangible danger waiting outside of the school building. ..."

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