Education Blogs

All Blogs are open to the public for comments and discussion only. Blog Posts are authored by The Education Alliance, its Board or special guests. The Education Alliance reserves the right to deny or remove any comment it views as inappropriate.

“ Our Voice: Supporting Improvement for All Students ”
07 Mar 2014
Blog Post

What are you doing to ensure West Virginia students have the best educational outcomes possible? There are several ways you can help: speak with your  Senate and  House legislative representatives, help spread the word, donate to this cause, or become more informed about the facts.    …   Read More


“ The Education Alliance Celebrates 30 Years! ”
31 Dec 2013
Blog Post

This year, The Education Alliance is celebrating our 30th Year Anniversary. Thanks to statewide business and community partners, our programs have touched the lives of thousands of public school students in West Virginia.    To commemorate our 30th anniversary, The Education Alliance has developed a short video that highlights the importance of business and community support for public education (link).  If your business, community group or school system would like to learn more about the Education Alliance or to get involved visit our website or call 1-866-341-KIDS.    “From the College Bound program in the 1980s to our new AmeriCorps project, The Education Alliance has continually placed students first and supported higher levels of excellence in our public education system,” said Amelia Courts, President/CEO.  “Together we are looking forward to another 30 years of improving public education  …   Read More


“ All-In For Education ”
12 Nov 2013
Blog Post

You may have heard the phrase “all-in” used as part of the recent dialogue related to our national energy policy.  I’d like to borrow the phrase and suggest for the future success of the Class of 2025 we need an “All-in” education policy.  The term is particularly applicable because it conveys two very different, yet critical components for our students’ future.   First, the most important and obvious component for success in 2025 is the “all.”  Dr. Lori Connors-Tadros from the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes outlines four key strategies to improve 3rd Grade Reading Success.  Number one on her list is “convince the community that we have an urgent problem and give them tools to address it.”  This is listed before “investing in high quality early childhood programs” (#2), before “reducing chronic absenteeism” (#3), and before “combatting summer l  …   Read More


“ Education is everyone's business ”
14 Oct 2013
Blog Post

This past week Twitter officially filed to go public and sell its shares on the stock exchange for the first time. Estimates project this could help the company raise $1 billion dollars on the initial sale. Launched in 2006 as a way to send short text messages to groups of people, Twitter has quickly become the "go-to" tool to post and receive instant updates on what's going on in the world.   Now, we can know instantly when our favorite celebrity/sports hero has a meltdown or what the guy in the next cubicle is having for lunch. Clearly the lines between "my business" and "your business" have, for better or for worse, been forever blurred by social media.   But what about the issues that really are everyone's business? How much attention are we paying to those? Another item released recently in statewide news, WV Kids Count reported that more than 7 in 10 West Virginia students are not reading proficiently at the end o  …   Read More


“ Governor's Day to Serve ”
20 Sep 2013
Blog Post

On Friday, September 20, 2013, The Education Alliance hosted a Reading Relay at Grandview Elementary School as a part of Governor’s Day to Serve.  The Reading Relay was a fun activity that exposed students to stories written by West Virginia authors.     The Education Alliance enlisted the help of business and community volunteers to spend time reading to each class.  In addition to reading, volunteers helped students complete a writing activity that challenged each child to engage in his/her own community service project.   “We appreciate the opportunity to participate in Governor’s Day to Serve. Volunteering is a large part of our mission,” said Dr. Amelia Courts, President/CEO of The Education Alliance. “We would like to thank Superintendent Duerring and Dr. Sullivan for welcoming us to the school and our business, community and board partners who volunteered to help make today’s event a huge su  …   Read More


“ New President/CEO ”
02 Aug 2013
Blog Post

The Board of Directors of The Education Alliance is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Amelia Davis Courts as president/CEO, effective July 31, 2013. She succeeds Dr. Patricia S. Kusimo, who leaves The Education Alliance after five successful years at the helm.   Dr. Courts has an impressive educational and professional background. Dr. Courts has 25 years of experience working professionally in the educational sector and collaborating with business and community organizations. Most recently, she served as the Assistant State Superintendent for the West Virginia Department of Education for three years. In this position, she provided strategic oversight to the State Board of Education’s policy and district-level infrastructure in support of federal programs, healthy schools, professional preparation, and school improvements in all 55 West Virginia counties.   “Amelia Courts has long been a leading advocate for enhancing public school stude  …   Read More


“ Short Takes: What Senate Bill 359 Means for Public School Students in West Virginia ”
23 Apr 2013
Blog Post

Several provisions of the recent education reform bill, signed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin on April 10, will have a very direct impact on students. The bill rightfully received a great deal of media attention, but much of the focus was on the bill’s impact on teachers and the reactions of the two teacher unions. With this edition of Short Takes, we are starting a dialogue about how this bill will directly affect students. We would love to get some feedback about the bill. Please contact us at info@educationalliance and let us know your thoughts.   Provision: §18-2-39 (College and Career Readiness Initiative)   Impacts: Students completing high school in 2015 and beyond   What’s New: College and Career Readiness Standards. Results from the 11th-grade statewide assessment (currently the WESTEST2) will determine if a student is meeting college and career readiness standards in mathematics and English/language arts. The We  …   Read More


“ Instructional Time and Student Achievement: What Research Tells Us ”
04 Mar 2013
Blog Post

Senate Bill 359, proposed by the Governor, gives students more learning time. Amendments to West Virginia Code§18-5-45 & 18A-4-8 ensure county boards have the needed flexibility to provide students with at least 180 days of  quality instruction.  The proposed amendment allows counties to structure a calendar to fit community and student needs.  Public meetings for community members--including teachers, students and parents--must be held if county boards want to change their current school calendar.   Research affirms that all students, particularly students living in poverty, need sufficient time in school to develop, maintain and enhance their academic skills. Currently, more than 56% of all public school students receive a free or reduced priced lunch, an indicator of poverty.  That’s slightly more than 1 out of every 2 students in West Virginia’s public schools.   A recent audit of  West Virginia’s educ  …   Read More


“ Educating West Virginia is impacting West Virginia students! ”
15 Feb 2013
Blog Post

The Education Alliance began talking with community members and policymakers about three strategic issues in July 2012 —ensuring West Virginia third graders can read at or above grade level by the end of third grade; providing students in every county at least 180 days of instruction; and having educational reform efforts result in measurable benefits for students. The Education Alliance applauds and supports the Governor’s education agenda announced in the State of the State address which reflects our organization’s priorities.   The Governor indicated that having all students read well by the end of third grade is a state priority and that counties will soon have the flexibility to structure their calendars and provide students with 180 days of  classroom instruction. The Education Alliance also supports the Governor’s plans to:   give more flexibility to local school boards; ensure technology is thoughtfully integra  …   Read More


“ The WVBOE Audit Response: Our Point of View ”
12 Dec 2012
Blog Post

The Education Alliance commends the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBOE) for prioritizing student learning in its “From Audit to Action” response. While the WVBOE’s comments are detailed and thoughtful, we believe the response should also include how  students will  measurably benefit from recommendations  and  how the WVBOE will prioritize and work with others (agencies, local school boards, Local School Improvement Councils,  faith communities, business community, etc.) to improve factors that profoundly impact student learning in West Virginia — teen pregnancy; gaps in students’  pre-school readiness associated with income, gender or ethnicity; children living in dysfunctional home environments; and children living in poverty.  Addressing these real challenges will benefit current students and future generations of West Virginia students.   While the Education Efficiency Audit aimed to “produc  …   Read More