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Volume  2,   Issue 7           December 2016
Newsletter Editor:  Dr. John E. Holmes
We Made a Promise: School-Community Collaboration, Leadership, and Transformation at Promesa Boyle Heights
Annenberg Institute for School Reform | December 2016
Promesa Boyle Heights, a neighborhood-level collaborative in Los Angeles, works to deliberately develop relationships, coordination, and alignment across multiple partners to benefit young people and families – with positive, measurable results. One unique aspect of Promesa is the substantive engagement of parents, youth, and residents as key stakeholders, decision-makers, and owners of the work. This engagement is too often missing in collaborative education and collective impact efforts, but lays crucial groundwork for ongoing support, sustainability, and success.

This study by AISR, with support from the Ford Foundation, was conducted with the hope that an exploration of the processes, structures, and belief systems of Promesa Boyle Heights, as well as the lessons learned by the collaborative, would be of value to those working to foster meaningful collaboration across the educational ecosystem.
Read Study
The State of Personalized Learning
Dr. Philip W.V. Hickman, Dr. Eliot Levinson, EdNET Insight | December 2016
Personalized learning is the ed tech phrase of the year and a key concept for how digitally delivered teaching and learning will make the most significant impact on teaching and learning, but what is it? The variety of products and practices that claim to personalize learning differ vastly, making the term hard to understand.
Schools want to provide personalized learning, a plethora of vendors are selling it, and it is required for ESSA beginning in 2018. A few BLEgroup superintendents, staff, and vendors held a discussion to see if we could define a way to understand the reality of the concept. We also conversed with vendors who believe they are providing personalized learning products and services to K-12 schools and with school districts who believe that they are far down the path of providing personalized teaching and learning.
All personalized learning is not the same: Before data collection and discussion, all stakeholders held a common definition of personalized learning as “customized curriculum targeted to each student’s level of subject knowledge and his/her learning style.” After our discussion and observation of several districts’ practices and conversations with vendors of personalized learning platforms, we came to the conclusion that there needed to be an easy-to-use taxonomy for the types of PL products and practices so that school systems can clearly understand product and practice variation.
Read full article on personalized learning
NAEA Board
Kay Davenport, President 
Jacqueline  Whitt, Vice President
Pat Conner, Treasurer
Dr. Ed Lowther, Secretary
Dr. Ja Net' Bishop, Dr. Pam Bruening, Kathleen Chronister, Dr. John E. Holmes, Denise Riley, Richard Thompson, and Dr. Amy Schlessman, Board Members
Connect with NAEA!
Follow @NAEA_Hope on Twitter and join in the  NAEA Monthly Twitter Chats – (30 Minute)

Held on the last Tuesday of Each Month 9:00-9:30 EST using #NAEACHAT
Connect with your regional director today 

NAEA Board Annual Election Info
Information for the NAEA Board Annual Election Call for Candidates can be found here. 2017 Elections Chairperson: Jerry Randolph

More information
Every Student Succeeds ACT 
Read the NAEA statement and recommendations about the Every Student Succeeds ACT

Alternative Accountability Policy Forum!
Above: Members of the Arizona Alternative Education Consortium plus Utah Alternative Education advocates at October 2016 Alternative Accountability Policy Forum
Below: Dr. Amy Schlessman from Rose Management Group in AZ and Kathleen Chronister, NAEA board member joined together to present at the Alternative Accountability  Policy Forum in San Diego, CA.  
School Counselors Boost Students' College, Financial Aid Chances, Study Finds
Catherine Gewertz, Education Week | December 2016
Meeting one-on-one with a school counselor to discuss college admission or financial aid makes a big difference in students' futures, tripling the chance they'll attend college, doubling the chance that they'll attend a four-year college, and increasing by nearly seven times the likelihood that they'll apply for financial aid, according to a study published Wednesday.
The analysis by the National Association for College Admission Counseling is one of the few that measure the impact school counselors have on students' lives after high school graduation.
David Hawkins, the organization's executive director for educational content and policy, likened the new study to "the holy grail" for the counseling field: proof of its quantifiable, statistically significant and positive impact on college access for students.
Using a federal database that follows 23,000 students who were in 9th grade in 2009, the organization calculated how likely students were to attend college four years later, and to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, after meeting one-on-one to discuss those issues with a counselor.
The Power of Meeting Individually With Counselors
Students who met with counselors to talk about financial aid were 6.8 times more likely to submit the FAFSA than those who didn't have those meetings. Students who met individually with a counselor to talk about financial aid or college were twice as likely to attend a bachelor's degree program after finishing high school. Their odds of attending college—any kind of college—were tripled.
The power of meeting individually with a counselor outstripped the power of many other factors in the study to influence students' odds of applying for financial aid and attending college.
Those meetings were far better predictors of FAFSA submission than other factors, such as whether schools helped students fill out the FAFSA or sent FAFSA deadline reminders. When it comes to the likelihood of attending college, the one-on-one meetings with counselors were far more likely to boost those odds than holding a college fair or having a counselor in the building whose primary role is college planning.
Other factors, however, such as how much college education parents expect from their children, and parents' own educational backgrounds, are also powerful predictors of students' likelihood of attending college, the study showed. The analysis did not examine the role students' motivation might play in seeking out counselors or being likely to apply for financial aid or attend college... Continue to Education Week article

How Can High School Counselors Shape Post Secondary Attendance Full Report

2017 NAEA Video Contest! 
“UNLEASH THE INNER STAR,” that’s what it’s all about! Tell the story of your alternative program in a 2-5 minute video or rap.
This contest is open to middle and high school students who attend alternative education programs. Your video should communicate the message and mission of program and relate to the annual national NAEA conference theme “UNLEASH THE INNER STAR.”
All entries must be uploaded to Youtube and be submitted by a link to a YouTube URL to: Denise Riley ( and by JANUARY 15, 2017.
Winners will receive the following cash awards:
First Prize—$400.00
Second Prize—$300.00
Third Prize—$200.00
Up to five Honorable Mentions—$100 each
Entrants must be currently enrolled in and attending a middle or high school alternative education program at the time of the submission.
Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
  • overall impact 
  • effectiveness of conveying theme 
  • artistic merit 
  • technical proficiency 
A panelwill make the final selection of winners. Judges’ decisions are final.
Read the full rules and watch the 2016 video winners by visiting
See you in Dallas!
23rd Annual Conference on Alternative Education
March 8–10, 2017
Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria, 
Dallas, TX

American Psychological Association Report Challenges School Zero Tolerance Policies and Recommends Restorative Justice

Doug Graves, Laura Mirsky | September 2007
A report issued by the American Psychological Association challenges U.S. school zero tolerance policies and recommends restorative justice. This article by Doug Graves and Laura Mirsky provides details from the APA report.
A report issued by the American Psychological Association (APA) at their summer 2006 annual meeting found that zero tolerance policies in use throughout U.S. school districts have not been effective in reducing violence or promoting learning in school. The report called for a change in these policies and indicated a need for alternatives, including restorative practices such as restorative justice conferences.
The report was written by an APA task force, led by Cecil R. Reynolds, Ph.D., of Texas A&M University, which was charged with reviewing the effectiveness of zero tolerance policies in American schools. In essence, the report found that “zero tolerance has not been shown to improve school climate or school safety.”
Although it seems intuitive that removing disruptive students from schools will improve the school experience for others and that severe punishment will improve the behavior of both the punished and those who witness the punishment, the task force report asserts that the available evidence “consistently flies in the face of these beliefs.”
Read the report issued by the American Psychological Association
Classrooms First Initiative Council Report 

Arizona Department of Education | December 2016 
Read the Classrooms First Initiative Final Report. We hope you will note the Arizona Alternative Education Consortium's proposal summary found on p. 12 and state funding for alternative education on p. 16. 
Read the report!
We would like to recognize NAEA Board Member Dr. Amy Schlessman, pictured below for her work and commitment to alternative education. Pictured from the December 14, 2016 Classrooms First council meeting are  Dr. Johnson Bia, President Elect, AZ
Alternative Education Consortium; Jim Swanson, Co-Chair, AZ Governor Doug Ducey, (not pictured) Co-Chair, Classrooms First Initiative Council; Dr. Amy Schlessman, incoming President, AZ AEC.
Harassment in schools skyrockets after election,
teachers report
Kelly Wallace and Sandee LaMotte, CNN | November 2016
In the days following Donald Trump's presidential victory, students in Kansas chanted, "Trump won, you're going back to Mexico," to students from other countries, according to a high school teacher in a suburban community within the state.
In Oregon, a high school teacher photographed vandalism in the boys' bathroom, which mentioned the KKK and used the n-word.
In Tennessee, a black student was blocked from entering his classroom by two white students chanting, "Trump, Trump," according to a high school teacher at the school where this happened.
And, in Georgia, a 12-year-old white male student saw an "X" on another white student's paper and proceeded to draw a swastika on his paper, according to a middle school teacher at the school. "And our administration is telling us not to talk about it," the teacher said.
Those are just a few of the examples given by more than 10,000 educators, 90% of whom are teachers, who responded to an online survey sponsored by Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is dedicated to reducing prejudice and improving relations among school children across the country. The organization has been critical of Donald Trump following comments from the candidate it characterized as fueling racism and bigotry. The educators were asked to answer a series of questions about the climate at their schools following the presidential election.

National Alternative Education Association  •  110 Glen Echo Drive  •  Smyrna, TN 37167

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