The Pro-Business Case for Preschool

Young children and their families aren’t the only beneficiaries of early childhood education programs.

Most people would argue that the public and private sectors should invest in early childhood education because it’s the right thing to do.

Not Donnie Charleston. [More]

Screen Time

A group in Albany, New York is promoting early childhood developmental screenings as a way to boost educational outcomes years down the road.

Without early intervention, very young children who show signs of developmental delays tend to enter kindergarten less ready than their peers. Children who lag in kindergarten readiness tend to be less likely to read on grade-level by the end of third grade, and those who do not read on grade level by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. And high school dropouts face a wide array of negative outcomes, including drastically lower lifetime earnings than people who finish school. [More]

Improving the Student Experience

One four-year program in New York City helped change the way high-school boys think about their schools – and about themselves.

Last spring, when seniors at 40 public high schools across New York City walked across the graduation stage, they carried some intangible things along with their diplomas: a sense of belonging in their school communities, meaningful connections with the adults in their buildings, and a tendency to look toward the future.

The Young Men’s Initiative – part of a larger program called the Expanding Success Initiative – launched in 2012. Each of the 40 participating public high schools received $250,000 in funding over three years for the four-year program, which was focused on improving college and career readiness for black and Latino young men. [More]

Learning together, and from each other

When we think of education, we often picture a teacher in a classroom full of neatly ordered rows of desks. Some of the most important learning students do, however, comes from each other. This happens on the playground when students learn to interact as equals, on the ballfield where they learn to win and lose as team, and through programs like the Village Movement Mentoring Program.In school districts around the country, students who take part in PCG’s EPIC summer camp’s public speaking module take turns presenting at least one thing they learned to an audience of their peers, parents, district leaders. In other modules, students learn about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and team-building skills, and are encouraged to be creative while exercising their problem-solving skills. [More]

Villages, Villagers, and Scholars

Several years ago, Dr. Brenda Manuel, director of the Student Involvement, Development and Empowerment (SIDE) unit of the Los Angeles Unified School District, organized a conference for 400 high school boys of color – delivering workshops, introducing them to role models, and presenting content relevant to their lives. “The young men said, ‘Okay, now you’ve done this for us,” Dr. Manuel recalls. “‘What else are you going to do?’” Dr. Manuel took the boys to another conference, but they pushed for more. “This is not it,” she remembers them saying. “What we need is ongoing support, role models who tell us how and help us to mitigate systems through their life lessons, and then check on us to see that we are making progress.” [More]

Los Patojos, “the Little Ones,” comes to PCG

Los Patojos is a school that exists because of one man's dream to create a safe haven and a better future for the children in his neighborhood. Juan Pablo Romero Fuentes started Los Patojos in his family home in 2006 and, through his passion and determination, Los Patojos is now a thriving standalone school, health clinic, and community center. At Los Patojos, they focus on the whole child—education, health, happiness, honor, pride, compassion, and dignity. The school educates 300 students year round from pre-K through grade 7 through a progressive, child-centric curriculum. Every student receives two meals per day, medical services, and there is extensive afterschool programming for children of all ages. Los Patojos is striving to replicate their successful "whole child" education model in schools all across Guatemala. [More]

New Ideas and New Resources: The Benefits of Community Engagement

Other than parents, schools and teachers have more responsibility for raising children than any other part of society. But they can’t do it alone.

Diallo Shabazz, executive director of One Hundred Black Men, Inc. of New York, tells the story of how, several years ago, a school in Queens where the organization works with students experienced a mutiny of sorts in a global history class.

“One of the students stopped the teacher one day and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’” Shabazz recalls. “‘As students, we come in here and learn about all the terrible things that have happened. We learn about war and famine and racism and slavery, and we’re taught to recite what happened, but we’re not taught to change things moving forward. And unless you’re going to teach us how to use this information to change the world around us, I’m not studying this.’” [More]

PCG hosts three Chicago high school juniors for Job Shadow Day

For us at Public Consulting Group (PCG), that’s one of the best definitions we’ve ever heard of what it means to work as a consultant. And what makes that definition so especially wonderful: It came from an 11th grader in Chicago, Ahlexuss Lee from Theodore Roosevelt High School, after she and two other students visited us for a recent Job Shadow Day. Ahlexuss is on the Early Education/Teaching Career Path at Roosevelt. [More]

Changing Perception, Changing Reality

Mark Bedell, superintendent of the Kansas City Public Schools, believes that the district can’t change its story without first telling its story.

When Mark Bedell interviewed last winter to lead the Kansas City Public Schools, he knew that the media narrative surrounding the district was largely negative. But neither he nor local stakeholders entirely blamed the press for the bad rap. [More]

32 days to SXSWedu!

Excitement is mounting as we approach SXSWedu, and it’s all hands on deck here at PCG as we gear up for one of our favorite conferences of the year. We hope you have enjoyed the profiles of the panelists on the Wired for Job Embedded On-line Learning panel, including Michael Weinraub’s Found in Translation, Tom Liam Lynch’s Learning from Edison’s Mistakes, and Kim Frumin’s The Value of Teacher-Led Online Communities. [More]