Progress for America's Children

Teachers, principals, students and families are helping to lead some of the largest and most ambitious changes in the nation's public schools in decades. Those changes—while hard work—are supporting historic achievements for students, including the highest high school graduation rate in the nation's history, sharp cuts in dropout rates, and major jumps in college enrollment for traditionally underrepresented groups.

We are spotlighting teachers and other educators who are doing this hard work to lead change, innovation, and improvement in classrooms throughout the country by taking viewers behind the scenes in our new video series.

In the next video in our series, learn how one Florida high school turned around to become one of the most sought-after schools in the district.

Seven years ago, Lehigh Senior High School in Florida was considered a "rough" school that few wanted to attend. Today, thanks to a dramatic transformation, students are eager to learn at Lehigh, teachers want to teach there, and parents insist on sending their children there. The remarkable turnaround was achieved through leadership committed to providing ongoing professional development for teachers, a more empowered and cohesive teaching force, and a relentless focus on advancing student success through best practices.

Another video spotlights the students at King/Drew Magnet High School in Los Angeles, California, and the teachers who are inspiring them to reach new heights by setting high standards for learning. In an area that was once known for racial and social tension and still one of the most economically challenged areas of the country, teachers are engaging their students through creative, meaningful work to prepare them for both college and careers. Students not only graduate in high numbers, fully 90% of those who graduate are going on to college, including many of the country’s top schools.

Another inspirational video features Principal Melissa Fink and the teachers at Jones Elementary School in Springdale, Arkansas. Take a look at how Fink and her team are using data to guide their work with students, and how a really vibrant level of collaboration has helped both teachers and students grow, fueling dramatic gains in student achievement!

An additional powerful story is that of Eastern Senior High School in Washington, D.C., where teacher Elise Patterson is helping students gain critical thinking skills as she helps them reach higher standards. Learn more about Ms. Patterson's success in her classroom.

Progress Blog highlights promising practices and reforms in action at the state and local levels

Every child needs and deserves a world-class education. The federal government is working to support states, districts, and schools as they make historic changes that offer major benefits for students. Those changes include:

  • Higher learning standards,
  • Better support for teachers,
  • Assessments that move beyond today's bubble tests, and
  • Smarter use of data and technology to accelerate and personalize learning.

The progress students have made is vitally important; and teachers, principals, families, and students themselves deserve great credit.

Still, there is much more that all of us can do. America has not yet fulfilled the goal of equality of opportunity for all students; we have much further to go to close achievement and opportunity gaps for minority students, English learners, students with disabilities, and other historically undeserved students. Parents everywhere are focused on making sure their children get an education that will provide them a secure future.

Stories from Progress Blog

Partners in Progress

A top priority for the U.S. Department of Education is to support and spotlight innovations developed by educators at the state and local levels.

In addition, building on traditional programs that support the needs of low-income and vulnerable students, the Department has developed funds and initiatives that aim to support bold new thinking at the state and district levels about how to serve all students better. Among these are:

Together, these and other efforts are helping to drive and sustain exciting progress for students and teachers in communities throughout the country.