Last week, I attended The Boston Foundation’s first in a series of forums focused on examining Boston's growing inequality gap and charting Boston’s course to greater income equity and opportunity. Robert D. Putnam discussed his new book Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, an examination of the impact of the opportunity gap for the nation's children.

Learning is as much about struggling to achieve success, as about succeeding the first time around. More opportunities to succeed in the short term will encourage students to push themselves toward longer-term and much more impressive success.

 Fast forward three years and, under the stewardship of former Edwards Middle School principal (a pioneering MA ELT Initiative school) Jeff Riley, Lawrence has boosted its graduation rate by some 15 points, raised test scores, and turned so many of its schools into exemplars of practice.

At an event yesterday, NCTL was proud to host these ELT schools to celebrate all the great work that has been done to improve student achievement and development. Ten years later, 22 ELT schools have now taken root across 11 districts in Massachusetts

In the publication we released last year, Time for Teachers, we wrote of the monumental change taking place within the teaching profession now. 

Every year, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the organization of all the heads of state agencies in charge of public K – 12 education, celebrates the incredible work of teachers by running the State Teacher of the Year contest. 

Last week, the House of Representatives passed their fiscal year 2016 budget. In that budget, they funded the MA Expanded Learning Time Initiative at $14.2M, a cut of about $400,000 from FY15's funding.We are advocating for $15M in funding in FY16 for the ELT Initiative which would maintain funding for the 22 expanded-time schools across the state and allow them to continue to provide students with more time for engaging learning days.

Please join Massachusetts 2020 and the Building on What Works Coalition at "Financing Education Reform: The Next Chapter" on Tuesday, May 12 in Boston. 

I recently spent a few days at some schools in Colorado and have come away with many stories. But there is one particular scene that has really stuck with me because it resonates far beyond the little classroom nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where I sat.

Did you get to watch Sir Ken Robinson on “CBS This Morning” to discuss his new book, “Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education” yesterday?