Solutions That Work: PSEA's guide to public education

Posted on Friday, 1/10/2014 2:05 PM

Increasing funding for extracurricular activities and after school programming are just some of the ways in which teachers and administrators can provide equal access to all students, as suggested by the Pennsylvania State Education Association's (PSEA) recently released report. Titled "Solutions That Work," the report catalogues 20 different recommendations for improving public school education. The PSEA emphasizes that the methods used in the report are educator-approved, research-based and classroom-proven.

Invest in early childhood care and education
By improving resources available to children in pre-K and kindergarten, school systems have the opportunity to maximize the potential academic growth of younger students. The report calls for the expansion of funding for education aimed at young children, especially those deemed to be at-risk. Through increased and equal educational opportunities for children of all socioeconomic groups, students have a greater chance of succeeding not only as they progress through higher grades, but after exiting the school system as well. Investment in early education could include the implementation of software for students, especially programs dedicated to the education of young learners.

Students who remained actively engaged in early childhood education had improved academic achievement later on in their academic careers, the report stated. In addition, it states that children who participate in high-quality educational programs in their younger years are less likely to engage in criminal activities later in their lives. 

Improve programs and funding for special education
To enhance the quality of education given to students with disabilities, the PSEA recommends an increase in both funding and educational opportunities for students. Specifically, the report calls for increased study opportunities using technology, such as student software aimed at special education, to assist in teaching. By providing students with supplemental technology, school systems enhance their potential learning experience.

Emphasis is also placed on the education and training of school teachers and administrators. By offering strategies to school workers to better improve how to identify and serve students with special needs, school systems may have a better chance at educating all students.

Provide tutoring programs to help students
Through the use of peer and volunteer tutors, public school systems should allow for continued tutoring programs to assist struggling students stay on-task with current academic workloads. Schools are recommended to use high-quality tutors and tutor programs, such as student or faculty software aimed at helping students who may fall behind. 

The report also encourages the use of research-based tutoring strategies specifically aimed at students currently exhibiting problems with moving forward. Through the implementation of increased and effective tutoring programs, school systems can continue to help students who need it most.

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