Articles tagged with Stand Up 4 Public Schools

National Teacher of the Year “stands up” for public schools

National School Boards Association (NSBA) Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel presented NSBA’s “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” red wristband to Sean McComb, the 2014 National Teacher of the Year, at a gala honoring the nation’s top teachers this week.

NSBA’s “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” is a national public advocacy campaign that celebrates the good work in public education and believes that all children, regardless of their ZIP code, deserve a world-class education and a promising future. Celebrities including Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Sal Khan, and Montel Williams have joined the campaign.

Sean McComb, the 2014 National Teacher of the Year

NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel presented NSBA’s “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” red wristband to Sean McComb, the 2014 National Teacher of the Year

The National Teacher of the Year Program is run by the Council of Chief State School Officers. McComb, a high school English teacher from Baltimore, Md., created a mentor-based, college-preparatory program that helps students who are academically in the middle and in need receive the mental and academic supports they need to take rigorous college preparatory courses. McComb and all 2014 State Teachers of the Year were lauded by President Barack Obama at the White House on May 1.

Kathleen Vail, editor of American School Board Journal, served as a judged for the awards.

Joetta Sack-Min|May 1st, 2014|Categories: Public Advocacy, Teachers|Tags: , , |

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: , , , , , , |

Magic Johnson offers crowd-pleasing life lessons

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What can school leaders learn from a basketball legend? When Earvin “Magic” Johnson spoke at NSBA’s Annual Conference in New Orleans Monday, he said they need to take a lesson from two of his favorite players, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan.

“They made the people they played with better,” Johnson said. “You have to make the people you work with better. You have to make the schools better. That’s your legacy. That’s what God put you on this Earth to do.”

Johnson said he was enthusiastic when NSBA approached him about appearing in public service announcements for its “Stand Up 4 Public Schools,” campaign, which NSBA President David Pickler announced has just been endorsed by the National PTA.

“I’m a product of public schools,” Johnson said, recalling his days growing up in Lansing, Mich.

He said he learned discipline when he failed to turn in homework and was told he could not play in a sixth-grade basketball game. And when a high school principal wanted him to talk to other students to cool racial tensions, “that was the beginng of my leadership skills.”

Also he noted that he has six sisters, all public school teachers.

Wandering among the audience at a General Session, pausing good-naturedly for a few photos and selfies, Johnson noted that he has focused part of his philathropic work since retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers on urban youth, and “they need access to a great public school.”

That includes having access to the same technology and other tools that are common in suburban schools, added Johnson, who owns the Los Angeles Dodgers and is involved a portfolio of businesses including the Aspire television network and Sodexo Magic, an affiliate of conference sponsor Sodexo.

“And don’t let them close those schools too early,” he added. Urban children need safe places to stay after regular school hours, he said.

When he meandered on to the stage, he picked two boys in the audience to be recipients of his crowd-pleasing life-lessons.

He told one boy, Thomas — the grandson of  NSBA President Anne Byrne — about the importance of having a personal vision. He said that as a 16-year-old, he had a job cleaning an office building, and he would linger in the chief executive’s office. He’d sit in the CEO’s chair and hit the intercom. “Aisha, can you bring me coffee and donuts and the paper?”

When the laughter died down, Johnson said, “Forty years later, I am the CEO.”

To another boy, Eric, he said, “I don’t worry about the naysayers” and recalled a high school security guard who told him he’d amount to nothing. Leaning his six-foot-nine frame over the boy, he said, “Being smart is really cool…don’t let anyone tell you any different.”

He also did the math on the chances of making it professional basketball (about 30 of 10,000 college basketball players make it in the NBA), and said that’s why every student with a dream like athletics or music should pursue it only while simultaneously getting a good education.

In a Q &A with NSBA Executive Director Tom Gentzel, Johnson recalled some clean “trash talk” from his days with the Lakers.

For instance, Larry Bird showed up in the locker room before a three-point shooting contest and asked, “Who’s coming in second?”

 

Eric D. Randall|April 7th, 2014|Categories: NSBA Annual Conference 2014|Tags: , , , , |

Pickler looks back on his presidency

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David Pickler, NSBA’s 2013-14 President, gave an overview of his year at the Second General Session on Sunday at NSBA’s Annual Conference.

“We said, nearly a year ago, that if we did not have a seat at the table, we could find ourselves on the menu,” he said. “We realized the power of our board members and stakeholders to stand up for public education and proclaim the real truth about public schools and the essential role of school board governance.”

He recalled the beginning of the Army of Advocates, which started out with about 3,700 members a year ago and now has more than 1 million members. “We have built a foundation to be a leading advocate for public education in America,” he said. “We are just getting started.”

Part of that foundation is NSBA’s national public advocacy campaign, “Stand Up 4 Public Schools“. Celebrity spokespeople such as Sal Khan, Montel Williams, and most recently, Magic Johnson, have brought the campaign to national prominence.

“Together, we will show the world the real voice of public education,” he said. “The power of partnership will become the power of possible.”

He pointed to NSBA’s partnership with the filmmakers of “12 Years a Slave” to distribute the movie to 30,000 high schools nationally at no cost to the schools. This partnership led director Steve McQueen to wear the signature Stand Up 4 Public Education red wristband while receiving his Academy Award for Best Picture.

State school board associations are recruiting their own local celebrities to personalize the campaigns for their states.

Pickler told the audience that NSBA was the only K-12 education group invited to testify in front of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee on the 2015 federal budget.

“We were truly at the table, engaging in direct dialogue with elected leaders who determine the budget,” he said. “This invitation is recognition of NSBA growing in influence and importance. It established this federation as the leading advocate for public education in the U.S.”

He reaffirmed his belief that publication education is a civil for our children. “It is the great equalizer. It makes sure our children can make a living and lead a life of limitless potential.”

Pickler closed with his signature line: “Together we can. Together we must.”

Kathleen Vail|April 6th, 2014|Categories: Federal Advocacy, NSBA Annual Conference 2014, Public Advocacy, School Boards|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Gentzel urges audience to ‘Stand Up 4 Public Schools’

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As the leading advocate for public education, NSBA has a mandate to “call attention to what’s working well, to promote our vision and needed changes, and to take on those who seek to dismantle the public schools of America.”

That was the message of NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel at the association’s Annual Conference First General Session Saturday as he reflected on his eventful first year as executive director, which included seeing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy cite NSBA’s brief in a major employment law case and seeing NSBA’s “fingerprints” in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. He also announced the launch of the Stand Up 4 Public Schools national campaign.

Gentzel explained that this national grassroots campaign will raise public awareness through credible spokespeople and powerful personal messaging.

“[Last year], we promised to mobilize our forces – you, the school board members of America, along with colleagues and other friends of public education – to take the offensive,” said Gentzel. “Our goal was to set the agenda for education, and not simply to react to what others think. And that’s exactly what we’ve been doing.”

Gentzel announced celebrities Sal Khan, Montel Williams, and Magic Johnson are on board as official spokespersons for the campaign. Johnson will address the conference audience on Monday. Gentzel spoke about the importance of the message these luminaries have to share:

“These spokespersons are able to say, honestly, that their lives were shaped in powerful ways by the public schools they attended.  They each have great stories to tell. We want to speak directly to the public that hears a barrage of unwarranted criticism about our schools. The truth is that today’s public schools really are better than ever.”

Gentzel encouraged the audience and public school students, educators, and school boards across the county to get involved to define their story and share gains in student achievement, graduation rates and school performance. This campaign, he explained, is for people who’ve dedicated their lives to public education.

“Here’s what we’re NOT saying: Public schools are perfect. They’re not, and we must acknowledge that we have work to do in some schools that are struggling to serve students well.”

Sharing the real stories of public education will be easier, Gentzel promised, with the rollout of the new NSBA website, which was unveiled at the conference. The new site features a robust search function, better functionality, including a responsive “mobile-friendly” design, and better content organization for easier access.

“We want to encourage every state association and local school district to join in this campaign,” explained Gentzel. “All these efforts are linked together and serve a common purpose: To fulfill our commitment to be the leading advocate for public education, to call attention to what’s working well, to promote our own vision and needed changes, and to take on those who seek to dismantle the public schools of America.”

Staff|April 5th, 2014|Categories: Federal Advocacy, NSBA Annual Conference 2014|Tags: , , , , |

Video: NSBA’s Executive Director welcomes attendees to the first day of 2014 Annual Conference

In his video welcome message to the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) 2014 Annual Conference, Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel’s discusses the reshaping of NSBA as an organization and the strategic launch of the “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” national campaign earlier this spring.

Gentzel describes the first General Session, where attendees will hear from globally recognized journalist and New York Times bestselling author Thomas Friedman, who will share his insight into how our schooling has changed in the last century.

In addition to attending the General Session, attendees should be sure to walk through more than 260 vendors in the “NSBA Campus”. Gentzel encourages attendees to download the NSBA conference app for easy browsing of the conference program book; the app is available for mobile phones and tablet devices.

Watch the video:

Alexis Rice|April 5th, 2014|Categories: Multimedia and Webinars, NSBA Annual Conference 2014|Tags: , , , |

Director Steve McQueen wears NSBA wristband at Oscars

It wasn’t designed by Fred Leighton and couldn’t be measured by carats, but it carried an important message.

Director Steve McQueen (L) and actor/producer Brad Pitt accept the Best Picture award for '12 Years a Slave' onstage during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. Getty Images/Kevin Winter

Director Steve McQueen (L) and actor/producer Brad Pitt accept the Best Picture award for ’12 Years a Slave’ onstage during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. Getty Images/Kevin Winter

Steve McQueen, Director of “12 Years a Slave,” wore the National School Board Association’s (NSBA) red wristband for its “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” campaign as he accepted the Oscar for the Best Picture at the 2014 Academy Awards.

NSBA’s “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” campaign centers on creating strong public schools, governed by school boards, to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn 21st century skills and are prepared for higher education and the workplace.

NSBA also is partnering with New Regency, Penguin Books, and the filmmakers to distribute “12 Years a Slave” to public high schools. The initiative is coordinated by Montel Williams,  who is a celebrity spokesperson for the “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” campaign. NSBA will assist in distributing an edited version of the film, book, and study guide to “12 Years a Slave” nationwide in September 2014. This version will be appropriate for high school classrooms and each school district can decide whether and how to utilize the resources.

In announcing the partnership to distribute the film, McQueen said, “Since first reading ’12 Years a Slave,’ it has been my dream that this book be taught in schools. I am immensely grateful to Montel Williams and the National School Boards Association for making this dream a reality and for sharing Solomon Northup’s story with today’s generation.”

“We are honored that Steve McQueen shared our wristband with the world at the Academy Awards in support of strong public schools,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “The red wristband sends a powerful message about the importance of standing up for America’s public schools to help every child achieve world-class standards and a brighter future.”

NSBA President David A. Pickler with Steve McQueen at the 2014 Oscars

NSBA President David A. Pickler with Steve McQueen at the 2014 Oscars

NSBA President David A. Pickler attended the Academy Awards and met McQueen on the red carpet before the event. Pickler gave McQueen the wristband to wish him luck and as a sign of support for the partnership and the film. During the ceremony, Pickler tweeted, “Just met Steve McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave. Shared a hug in celebration of the @NSBAComm partnership.”

Show your support for public education and get a wristband at www.standup4publicschools.org.

Joetta Sack-Min|March 3rd, 2014|Categories: School Boards|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

NSBA partners with filmmakers to distribute “12 Years a Slave” to public high schools

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is partnering with New Regency, Penguin Books, and the filmmakers to distribute copies of the acclaimed film, book, and study guide 12 Years a Slave to America’s public high schools.

The initiative, coordinated by Montel Williams,  will start to distribute 12 Years a Slave nationwide in September 2014 in concert with the new school year. It is modeled against an initiative Williams launched to distribute the Civil War film Glory to public high schools that ultimately led to The Montel Williams Show.

12 Years a Slave is one of the most impactful films in recent memory, and I am honored to have been able to bring together Fox Searchlight and National School Boards Association to maximize its educational potential. When Hollywood is at its best, the power of the movies can be harnessed into a powerful educational tool. This film uniquely highlights a shameful period in American history, and in doing so will evoke in students a desire to not repeat the evils of the past while inspiring them to dream big of a better and brighter future, and I’m proud to be a part of that,” said Williams.

“Since first reading ’12 Years a Slave,’ it has been my dream that this book be taught in schools. I am immensely grateful to Montel Williams and the National School Boards Association for making this dream a reality and for sharing Solomon Northup’s story with today’s generation,” said Steve McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave.

12 Years a Slave is an award-winning film that depicts the harrowing tale of a New York State-born free black man kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery. This groundbreaking film won this year’s Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama, the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Picture, the PGA Award for Best Picture, the BAFTA Award for Best Film and is nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Motion Picture of the Year.

“The National School Boards Association is honored to partner with Fox Searchlight Pictures and Penguin Books to ensure that every public high school student in America has the opportunity to stare the stark realities of slavery in the eye through books and film,” said NSBA President David A. Pickler. “We believe that providing America’s public high school students the opportunity to bear witness to such an unrelenting view of the evils of slavery is essential toward ensuring that this history is never forgotten and must never be repeated.”

Williams also has joined NSBA as a celebrity spokesperson in its Stand Up 4 Public Schools campaign that showcases the great things happening in America’s public schools.

“We appreciate the strong initiative by the producers of ‘12 Years a Slave’ and Montel Williams to bring this vividly accurate, award-winning documentary to America’s public high schools,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “Allowing students to see the tragic circumstances and messages conveyed through these works are vital to learning and reflection on our nation’s era of slavery.”

Joetta Sack-Min|February 21st, 2014|Categories: School Boards, Student Achievement, Student Engagement|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Celebrities showcase public education in NSBA’s national campaign

In partnership with its state associations, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) has launched www.standup4publicschools.org, an all-new national campaign to highlight the success of public education. The campaign features advertisements with celebrity advocates and public school graduates to tell their stories of public education.

“Great public schools reflect the will of local communities and the strong governance of local school boards dedicated to advancing student achievement,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “This is an excellent vehicle for NSBA and our state associations to connect to share the great things happening in America’s public schools.”

Sal Khan ad ad

Sal Khan, founder of the not-for-profit Khan Academy, is a campaign advocate

Sal Khan, founder of the not-for-profit Khan Academy, is the campaign’s first celebrity advocate. Two other household names have joined upcoming phases of the campaign: basketball legend and business mogul Earvin “Magic” Johnson and talk show host and celebrity spokesperson Montel Williams. State school boards associations will be highlighting local celebrities in their campaigns as well, and more celebrities will be joining the national campaign over the next year.

“NSBA’s campaign intends to counter the aggressive, well-funded attacks on public education with national and local outreach that supports local school board governance and honors the achievements of America’s public schools,” Gentzel said.

The campaign operates against a simple premise: “Who I am today began with public education,” paired with the rejoinder, “Today’s public schools are better than ever.”

In one of the advertisements featuring Khan, he notes that “People talk about college and career readiness, but both are just a means to an end. What we really need to talk about is life readiness.”

The campaign website, www.standup4publicschools.org, includes more details on the campaign and how individuals can get involved and take action to support public schools.

Joetta Sack-Min|February 19th, 2014|Categories: Announcements, Leadership, Public Advocacy|Tags: , , , , , |
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