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Issues in the Classroom

Student Achievement

NEA Resources

Arts Education Disappearing
When tap shoes are silenced and paintbrush bristles left to harden, student achievement suffers—often at the schools where the arts are needed the most. (NEA Today, January 2007)

Culturally Responsive Teaching
Race and poverty don't need to be the elephants in the classroom. As culturally responsive teaching takes root, these issues can actually help your students learn. (NEA Today, November 2006)

Guide Offers Strategies for Helping All Students Succeed
Check out our "C.A.R.E.: Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gaps." It provides a multi-themed approach to teaching that focuses on Culture, Abilities, Resilience, and Effort (C.A.R.E.).

Education Groups Collaborate To Improve Staffing in Needy Schools
A report by the Learning First Alliance offers a framework for ensuring the nation's neediest students access to effective teachers and school leaders. "A Shared Responsibility: Staffing All High-Poverty, Low-Performing Schools with Effective Teachers and Administrators," lays out a comprehensive set of actions to help the nation's poorest and lowest-performing schools attract and retain the most qualified staff.

NEA, Foundation Fund Partnerships Boost Achievement
We have awarded grants to two union-school district partnerships—one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the other in Chattanooga, Tennessee—that aim to boost achievement for disadvantaged and minority students, while raising achievement for all groups of students.

Student Achievement Resources from other organizations

Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Minorities
This report from the National Center for Education Statistics presents a selection of indicators that illustrate the educational achievement and attainment of Hispanic, Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students compared with each other and with White students.

Lesson Ideas

NEA's Read Across America offers the following booklists. Many are ethnic-themed.

  • Asian-American booklist
  • Spanish/English bilingual booklist
  • 50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Know
  • African American Booklist
  • Kids' Top 100 Books
  • Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children

Teaching About Tolerance
These five lessons including bursting stereotypes and using music have the power to make a difference in students' lives—and in the world those students will create.

Member Spotlight

Staying in the Game
Meet Sylvia Colston-Still. This 72-year-old former physical education teacher was a star player on her high school team in the 1950s and still loves the game. She plays three to four times a week. “I think I’ll be playing basketball until I reach 100.”

Courageous Conversations about Race in Our Schools
Meet Seattle educator Jacob Ellis and find out why he says, "We need to confront the fact that minority children are disciplined more harshly than white children."

No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), renamed the "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) Act of 2001, established laudable goals—high standards and accountability for the learning of all children, regardless of their background or ability.

Unfortunately, the law is seriously flawed and underfunded. But the importance of NCLB's goals demands that we work to "fix and fund" the law. NEA is supporting that commitment through public awareness, legislative lobbying, and member empowerment—working for things children need to be successful.

Take a look at these NEA Resources to learn more about NCLB and how it affects education your communities.


The Learning First Alliance, a partnership of NEA and 11 other leading national education groups, has developed a practical guide to talking with your community about NCLB and schools in need of improvement under the new federal requirements.


Teachers, parents, and the general public have long opposed private school tuition vouchers — especially when funds for vouchers compete with funds for overall improvements in America's public schools.

Take a look at the educational, social, and legal cases against them.

Charter Schools

NEA believes that charter schools and other nontraditional public school options have the potential to facilitate education reforms and develop new and creative teaching methods that can be replicated in traditional public schools for the benefit of all children.

 Whether charter schools will fulfill this potential depends on how charter schools are designed and implemented, including the oversight and assistance provided by charter authorizers.

Learn more about our policy on charter schools.



  • anc_dyn_linksFive Talking Points on Vouchers
  • anc_dyn_linksFocus On Learning About Each Other's Culture