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Join AACTE in Support of Public Schools Week, March 12-16


Today kicks off national Public Schools Week, March 12-16, celebrating the success of public schools around the country. AACTE is among the 50 national education groups representing teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, and other civic organizations that have issued a joint statement in support of public education and are celebrating the critical roles for public schools in developing future generations of successful citizens.

Sponsored by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the weeklong event provides opportunities for supporters to speak out about the value of public education. Using the hashtags #PublicSchoolsWeek and #LovePublicEducation, participants are encouraged to express their own feelings toward public education and why the success of public schools is essential to the future of education in America.

“AACTE remains steadfastly focused on the democratic ideal of providing all students equitable access to an excellent education,” said AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone. “Public schools play a vital role in providing high-quality learning experiences for all and preparing every student to be an engaged citizen.”

Quality public schools build the knowledge and skills young people need to succeed in a global, knowledge-based world and democratic society. Nine out of every 10 students attend a public school. Four out of five public school students receive a regular high school diploma within 4 years of starting 9th grade, and graduation rates nationwide rose from 79% in 2010-11 to 83% in 2014-15. Meanwhile, the dropout rate has steadily decreased—from 10.9% in 2000 to 7.4% in 2010, and down to 5.9% in 2015, based on data from the Current Population Survey. The gap in dropout rates between different racial/ethnic groups is also closing; the gap between White and Black youth narrowed from 6.2 percentage points in 2000 to 1.5 percentage points in 2015, and the gap between White and Hispanic youth narrowed from 20.9 percentage points in 2000 to 4.6 percentage points in 2015.

During polling of Americans on their attitudes toward public schools, PDK International reports in its 49th annual report that “the proportion of Americans who give their community’s public schools an ‘A’ grade is its highest in more than 40 years.” What’s more, 71% of parents give their own child’s public school a grade of A or B.

During #PublicSchoolsWeek, we celebrate communities, parents, and the many school professionals who work directly with public school students and families to improve educational outcomes for children. Please join us in showing your support! AASA will also host a special briefing in Washington, DC, on March 16 to discuss “Understanding the Funding Streams That Impact Public School Students.”

For more information on how to participate, download the Public Schools Week toolkit at www.aasa.org.

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Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE