First Things First Session 1: Geared to union leadership

School, union, and community leaders will have the opportunity to get to know leaders of EdWorks, First Things First, and the Institute for Student Achievement. These are intermediaries that have transformed urban high schools to improve graduation rates in other cities.


This session will be conducted by First Things First.


First Things First
First Things First (FTF), a framework for school reform, has one goal: to help students at all academic levels gain the skills to succeed in post-secondary education and good jobs. In the process, FTF helps districts and schools meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind.


FTF districts and schools commit to:

  • Strengthening relationships among students and adults.
  • Improving engagement, alignment and rigor of teaching and learning in every classroom, every day.
  • Allocating all resources - budget, staff, time and space - to achieve the first two goals.

Our partners achieve these changes using three strategies:

  • Small learning communities.
  • The Family Advocate System.
  • Instructional improvement.

Developed by the Institute for Research and Reform in Education, the FTF framework is grounded in research about how young people develop and how schools promote students' engagement and learning. FTF continuously incorporates changes suggested by new findings, the experience of FTF sites and other reform efforts.

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