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One family's thoughts on back-to-school


It’s back-to-school time again (seriously – where did the summer go?!), and that signifies a yearly transition in many households. So, we wanted to reach out to a family and see what back-to-school is like for them.

Ursula Allston-Hill, a Stand Massachusetts parent leader, and her 6-year-old daughter, Kyrah, spoke to me about their plans and goals for this coming school year. Kyrah is about to start first grade in Boston Public Schools.


Stand: What is your favorite part about back-to-school?

Back to school, back to reality.


Ah, back-to-school. It’s an energizing time – students eagerly await meeting old friends and new, teachers have a fresh start for the year, and parents set goals and expectations for their children. Most of us fondly remember the simultaneous nervousness and excitement of stepping into a new class for the first time: Who’s in the class? What’s my teacher going to be like? Will I get good grades this year?

Thank you to our parents


In honor of Parents' Day this Sunday, some Stand staff members reflect on the things our parents did for us that strengthened our education and helped us achieve success in school. To our parents and all the others who instill the importance of education: we appreciate you!

Summer Reading Challenge Highlights


Friday marked the last day of our first ever Stand Summer Reading Challenge, and it was a success. Over 300 children across the country read for a total of over 144,000 minutes (that’s like watching the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy 211 times!) in an effort to fight summer learning loss.

Tell the U.S. Congress to Step Up Its Game


Like 25 million other Americans, I spent Sunday watching the U.S. women’s team dominate Japan in the World Cup final. What a game! I’ve never felt so alive watching from the sidelines.

Back at work on Monday, I again found myself watching from the sidelines, but this time I wanted to pull my hair out.

For months now, the U.S. Congress has been working its way to the final debate over improving No Child Left Behind, our nation’s most important education law. But what’s playing out on C-SPAN right now isn’t a game you’d want to watch—let alone play.

Don’t Let Anything Stop You From Making a Difference


It was an event so important that I chose to speak in English. I’m a native Spanish speaker, but I opted for a second, more mainstream language when it came time this week to deliver more than 1,000 petition signatures in support of common sense recommendations for the new Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) strategic plan. I wanted more people to hear and understand what I had to say.

Oregon and Washington students exceed expectations on new tests


The results are in!

Oregon and Washington students are scoring higher than expected on the new Smarter Balanced tests, which measure critical thinking and problem solving – not just memorization.

The preliminary results reveal that more students in grades 3 through 8 scored proficient than anticipated, according to reports released Thursday.

Summer is here...let the learning begin!


It's summer vacation, a time children wait for all year to swim in the pool, collect shells at the beach, catch up with old friends, host lemonade stands, and eat way too much ice cream.

This tradition started in the 19th century; it’s commonly believed that summer vacation was held so that children had time to help their families work on their farms. Nice as that story is, it isn’t true. It’s because the heat in urban areas became unbearable. Brick and concrete made everything so much hotter, driving families to spend their summers in the countryside.

Fighting Summer Learning Loss


Summer evokes a lot of memories and images: ice cream at the park, splashing in the pool, riding your bike down the street to meet friends. Fireflies, grilling, playing ball. Summer experiences are a pretty good illustration of the American Dream.

Great Teachers Save Lives (Literally)


So why don’t we reward and keep the best ones?

Stephanie Stuck is a spunky high school senior who’s full of life, humor, and optimism. But it wasn’t always like that.

Growing up in a small town just south of Portland, Oregon, Stephanie barely knew her mother, and from a young age she bounced from foster home to foster home.

For much of her time in foster care, Stephanie suffered through emotional and physical abuse.

“When I was in the system, some foster parents would tell me I was dumb and stupid,” she says.