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Letters to Congress about new report, Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0 - Bringing Learning to Life

January 17, 2012

Dear Senator/Representative:

Bringing Learning to Life in Columbus, Ohio, is one of 16 exemplary efforts profiled in Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0, a new research-based report on the role of families and communities in raising student achievement from the National Education Association, which represents 3.2 million educators nationwide.

Family School Partnerships 2.0 is part of NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, which aims to transform struggling schools — especially the bottom five percent eligible for U.S. Department of Education School Improvement Grants — in collaboration with parents, students, and community groups. Such efforts are most effective “when schools link activities for families to what students are learning and doing in class,” according to the report.

In Bringing Learning to Life, the Columbus Education Association and Ohio State University teamed up to provide K-12 teachers with professional development in service-learning. This proven means of motivating students revolves around applying classroom learning to everyday life — for example, investigating and proposing ways to reduce water pollution.

NEA members play an active role in all of the initiatives profiled in Family School Partnerships 2.0. Other common elements include mechanisms to evaluate student outcomes, reasonable cost, and potential for replication. Successful strategies identified by the researchers include:

  • Setting high expectations for students
  • Using data to determine priorities and strategies 
  • Tailoring programs to local needs

The full profile of Bringing Learning to Life is attached and available online at, along with the rest of the report. We urge you to check it out!


Kim Anderson  
Director, Center for Advocacy

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations