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Articles in the Announcements category showcased at ED’s Bullying Prevention Summit

New resources to combat bullying at school and online were showcased during the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) fourth Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit—“Keeping Kids Safe: Opportunities and Challenges in Bullying Prevention”—Friday, Aug. 15. a project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ED, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), features a growing number of resources to combat bullying including videos, a blog, and a list of existing state anti-bullying policies and laws.

SAMHSA premiered their new “KnowBullying” app which is available for iPhone® and Android™ smartphones. The free app, developed in collaboration with the federal partnership, was created to help parents, caretakers, educators, and others prevent bullying and build resilience in children.

Also at the summit, the CDC released a new, universal definition of bullying as “any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths who are not siblings or current dating partners that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated. Bullying may inflict harm or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm. A young person can be a perpetrator, a victim, or both (also known as ‘bully/victim’).”

Staff|August 22nd, 2014|Categories: Announcements|Tags: , , |

Ohio education policy experts testified on Common Core State Standards

Speaking before the House Rules and Reference Committee on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Ohio education policy experts voiced Ohio’s long commitment to standards and improving the state’s education system. Seeking to dispel myths surrounding the CCSS, the experts presented a fact-based analysis which included information on the standards’ origins and its limitation to mathematics and English language arts. The testimony went on to stress how the standards will support improved student achievement and promote a strong and secure economic future for Ohio.
A copy of their testimony and analysis of the Common Core is available at this link.

Staff|August 22nd, 2014|Categories: Announcements|Tags: , |

Voucher program found unconstitutional in North Carolina

Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood found North Carolina’s voucher program unconstitutional giving NC public school supporters cause for celebration. Hobgood found the program which effectively takes funding from public schools and directs it to private and religious schools, in violation of the fundamental provisions of the state constitution. “Appropriating taxpayer funds to unaccountable schools does not accomplish a public purpose,” Hobgood said in his ruling. The North Carolina School Boards Association filed a lawsuit in December 2013 against the state challenging legislation, and on August 21, won on all constitutional grounds.

Staff|August 22nd, 2014|Categories: Announcements, School Vouchers|Tags: , |

PDK/Gallup Poll Reflects Americans’ Support for School Board Governance

Local Community Public Schools Earn High Marks – A & B – From Public School Parents

National School Boards Association (NSBA) Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel joined William “Bill” J. Bushaw, Chief Executive Officer, PDK International, Brandon Busteed, Executive Director, Gallup Education, and a cadre of esteemed experts today at The Gallup Building in Washington, D.C., to co-present poll findings and overview report highlights.

The 2014 PDK/Gallup poll results include Americans’ knowledge and opinions of the Common Core State Standards; student assessment using standardized tests; governance, quality, and challenges facing America’s public schools; international comparisons of student achievement; and charter schools and vouchers.

A significant finding of the report is the public’s increased support for school board governance with over half of Americans – 56 percent – saying that local school boards should have the greatest influence in deciding what is taught in the public schools. Also of note is that nearly one-third of the public views financial support as the No. 1 challenge facing public schools in America.

In his remarks, Gentzel underscored that “the poll findings provide us with great insight on Americans’ support for local community public schools and state school board associations.” He also characterized the public’s attitude regarding the federal role,  as “a reach too far,” emphasizing the importance of local leadership.

The 2014 PDK/Gallup poll results are available at

Excerpts from the presentation of the findings featuring NSBA  Executive Director Gentzel

Excerpts from the presentation of the findings featuring NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel


Staff|August 20th, 2014|Categories: Announcements|Tags: , , , , |

NSBA mourns the passing of school law leader Ann Little Majestic

Ann Majestic, former National School Boards Association (NSBA) Council of School Attorneys (COSA) Chair and COSA Lifetime Achievement Award winner, died on August 16, 2014.

Ann dedicated her life to improving education – and special education in particular – in North Carolina where she represented several school boards, including the Wake, Durham, Orange, Alamance-Burlington, and Moore school systems. She also served as counsel to the North Carolina School Boards Association and the North Carolina Psychologists’ Association.

Ann was elected to the COSA Board of Directors in 1991, and served as the Chair from spring of 1998 to spring of 1999. In 2012, Ann was awarded COSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding service to the school law community and her leadership in legal advocacy on behalf of public schools.

“Ann was a respected leader in the school law community and a powerful advocate for public schools,” said NSBA General Counsel Francisco M. Negrón, Jr. “We will miss her leadership, her intellect, her grace, and her kindness.”

To view Ann’s memorial page visit this link.

Staff|August 19th, 2014|Categories: Announcements|Tags: , , , |

Heather Dean to serve as NSBA’s CFO

Heather Dean joins NSBA as CFO

Heather Dean joins NSBA as CFO

Association finance professional Heather Dean has joined the National School Boards Association (NSBA) as Assistant Executive Director for Finance and Administration. In this role, Dean will function as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and will supervise NSBA’s finance, information technologies, and office services departments.

“I am very pleased to welcome Heather to the NSBA family,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “Her considerable experience in both non-profit and for-profit sectors will be a tremendous asset to NSBA.”

A Certified Public Accountant, Dean has more than 15 years of experience in finance, as well as experience in managing data, office services, human relations, information technologies, and field services.

Most recently, Dean was the Deputy Executive Director, Programs and Operations for the National PTA. She also worked with Siemens Energy as a Sarbanes Oxley Officer and Senior Financial Analyst, Manager of Financial Reporting for the National Rifle Association, and auditor for a “big four” accounting firm. Dean began her role at NSBA in July 2014.

“I look forward to working with an organization that is dedicated to improving public education for every student,” said Dean.

Dean earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting from Gettysburg College.

Joetta Sack-Min|July 17th, 2014|Categories: Announcements|Tags: |

Share how your school district earns trust

School districts that earn the trust of their key stakeholder groups are more likely to win bond referendums, successfully implement their plans, and enjoy a better relationship with their communities than those districts where trust is lacking.

But what creates trust? Is it science? Can a process be found that works every time? Or must you tailor the process to fit your district’s size and location, the socioeconomic status of your constituents, and other factors?

Uncovering which elements of trust are shared, which are unique, and which can build successful school district/stakeholder group relationships is the purpose of The Trust Project. The study is a cooperative venture of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and Patron Insight, Inc.

You can contribute to the accuracy of this important study by taking The Trust Project’s 10-minute, online survey on trust. All responses are confidential. (Please be aware that the survey is set up to limit responses to one per computer address, so if you “exit the survey” before you have completed it, you will not be able to return later.)

A copy of the survey’s results will be sent directly to anyone who provides optional contact information. Survey results will be made available to the public at a later date.

The survey will be open through the end of August.

Margaret Suslick|July 12th, 2014|Categories: Announcements, School Boards, School Climate, Teachers|Tags: , |

NSBA names Michael C. Zola as head of federal advocacy and public policy

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) announced today that veteran education policymaker Michael C. Zola will join the organization as its Associate Executive Director, Federal Advocacy and Public Policy.

Zola will oversee NSBA’s legislative advocacy division, including the National School Boards Action Center, NSBA’s 501(c)(4) organization, and the Center for Public Education, NSBA’s research arm.

“We are very pleased that Michael Zola will lead the National School Boards Association’s federal advocacy initiatives,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA Executive Director. “Michael’s extensive experience in federal policy and government management will further strengthen NSBA’s relations with Congress and the White House on behalf of state school boards associations and the more than 90,000 school board members across the country.”

Zola comes to NSBA from Capitol Hill, where he was the Deputy Staff Director/Senior Counsel for the Education and the Workforce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Zola previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs and has served as Chief Investigative Counsel for the Education and the Workforce Committee. He also has held several positions in the U.S. Government Accountability Office, including: Assistant Director and Certified Fraud Examiner, Senior Attorney, Legislative Advisor, Senior Foreign Affairs Analyst, and Investigator.

“It is such an honor to lead federal advocacy efforts at the National School Boards Association at such a vital time for America’s public schools,” said Zola.

Zola is a graduate of Catholic University’s Columbia School of Law, the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Joetta Sack-Min|July 10th, 2014|Categories: Announcements, Federal Advocacy, Federal Programs, Leadership, Legislative advocacy, National School Boards Action Center, School Board News, School Boards|Tags: , |

Call for proposals for NSBA’s 2015 Annual Conference

2015 NSBA Annual Conference

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is requesting proposals for breakout sessions to be conducted during our 75th Annual Conference in Nashville, Tenn., March 21-23. The conference will draw thousands of attendees, exhibitors, and guests representing nearly 1,400 school districts, and will feature distinguished speakers and hundreds of workshops, presentations, and other events that will help school board members develop leadership skills, boost student learning, and improve school districts’ operations.

If your school district or organization has an idea for a high-quality breakout session that focuses on a topic of critical interest to school board members for presentation at this conference, please complete a proposal online by the deadline of Monday, June 16 at 5 p.m. EDT. Only proposals submitted through the online process  will be considered. Breakout sessions will be 30, 45, or 75 minutes in length and will be scheduled throughout the conference.

Proposals are being solicited for the following focus areas:

• Innovations in District Management
• Legal and Legislative Advocacy
• Professional and Personal Development
• School Board/Superintendent Partnerships
• Student Achievement and Accountability
• Technology + Learning Solutions

Stand Up 4 Public Schools unveils Magic Johnson ads

A new “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” ad featuring legendary basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jr. debuted today in Businessweek magazine.2014-201_nsbaStandUp_JohnsonAd.indd

Stand Up 4 Public Schools is the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) public advocacy campaign that celebrates the good things happening in public schools. In the ad, Johnson notes, “Who I am today began with public education,” the campaign tagline.

He also states, “I developed a strong work ethic at home in Lansing, Mich. My father was an assembly worker and my mother was a school custodian. I developed my mind and body at public school—that’s where the ‘Magic’ began.”

The ad, along with several other versions featuring Johnson, is downloadable at the Stand Up 4 Public Schools website. Other celebrity spokespersons include Khan Academy founder Sal Khan and television host and actor Montel Williams.

Johnson spoke about the campaign and the importance of public education earlier this month at NSBA’s Annual Conference in New Orleans. Watch a video of the presentation and a question-and-answer session with NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel on NSBA’s You Tube channel.

Aside from his professional basketball career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Johnson also is considered the most successful African-American businessman in our nation. Having left the basketball court for the boardroom, Johnson is Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE), which provides high-quality products and services that focus primarily on ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities through strategic alliances, investments, consulting and endorsements.

His business portfolio includes: ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball and the WNBA team Los Angeles Sparks; a $500 million private equity fund; ASPIRE, an African-American television network; MAGIC Workforce Solutions, a staffing company, and SodexoMAGIC, a food service and facilities management company, among many other entities.

His philanthropic work includes the Magic Johnson Foundation, which he founded in 1991 to develop and fund programs addressing HIV/AIDS prevention, HIV testing, and effective treatment for persons living with HIV/AIDS. It runs five HIV/AIDS Clinics that assist all patients regardless of their ability to pay and have tested more than 40,000 individuals.

The foundation also runs a scholarship program that currently has 160 students. It also helps fund and build Community Empowerment Centers to help bridge the education gap by providing ethnically diverse urban communities access to resources and programming that educate, empower and strengthen individuals through the innovative use of technology. Currently there are 18 empowerment centers.


Joetta Sack-Min|April 25th, 2014|Categories: Announcements, Public Advocacy, Student Achievement|Tags: , , , , , , |
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