January 17, 2014

PSEA releases "Solutions That Work"

Students need “Solutions That Work” in Pennsylvania's public schools and classrooms. 

Educators know what works for the students who learn in their schools and classrooms – early childhood education, arts and extracurricular activities, parental involvement, tutoring programs, teacher professional development programs, and more. PSEA's recommendations on these initiatives are research-based and classroom-proven.

That's why PSEA released a new 100-page report called “Solutions That Work,” which details 20 specific initiatives that are proven to help students learn. 

PSEA President Michael Crossey, speaking at a January 9 news conference in Harrisburg, encouraged lawmakers to use the document to design the kinds of initiatives that actually work for Pennsylvania's students. The report is available at www.psea.org/solutionsthatwork.

“Every day, educators see problems. And we come up with ways to solve them,” Crossey said. “We come up with ‘Solutions That Work.' That's our job and our vocation. Today, we're releasing a package of these solutions. Educators are experts in our field, and we know what works and what doesn't for the students we teach every day.”

Crossey pointed out that proven school improvement strategies have fallen victim to state funding cuts. Despite some funding restorations by the General Assembly, Pennsylvania's public schools today remain more than $700 million below FY 2010-11 funding levels.

Crossey was joined by PSEA Vice President Jerry Oleksiak and PSEA Treasurer Dolores McCracken. They cited a number of examples of effective solutions, including: 

  • Parental, family, and community involvement in education has an effect on both academic performance and school improvement. Research indicates that parent and family engagement has been consistently shown to provide positive, significant, and stable effects on language and literacy development regardless of time, geography, and developmental level.
  • Not only are arts and extracurricular activities important in their own right, but they also have the potential to improve student outcomes academically and socially. Researchers have found that students exposed to arts education and extracurricular programs tend to be better at various social and emotional skills and competencies such as teamwork, confidence, communications, and leadership.
  • Tutoring programs work. Research proves that tutoring programs benefit students at risk for reading failure when these programs are well-structured, frequent, and regular.

“When you ask Pennsylvanians about the issues that are most important to them, public education is at the top of the list,” Crossey said. “Our students need these solutions, and we want to do everything we can to bring these solutions into every classroom in Pennsylvania.

“They're the only kinds of solutions we should be talking about, because they're ‘Solutions That Work.'”

Learn more and find the full report at www.psea.org/solutionsthatwork

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