As a political junkie who works with and studies schools, I pay attention to what politicians say should be done to improve education. This year, as general election campaigns go into high gear, I hear a lot of talk about promoting school choice, increasing funding, reducing testing, reforming curriculum, emphasizing accountability, implementing teacher evaluation, promoting […]

At many schools across the United States, it’s parent-teacher conference time. Although being able to collaborate with parents is important, conference night can sometimes leave both parties feeling like they were unable to have a productive meeting due to the rushed nature and limited timeframe of the event. Search Institute’s work with families has given […]

By: Kent Pekel, Ed.D., President and CEO A decade ago, the National Research Council released a report that showed that between 40 and 60 percent of U.S. high school students are disengaged from learning and don’t put much effort into school. Since that time, other studies have found that student motivation is a problem at […]

By: Kent Pekel, Ed.D., President and CEO Holidays can be tricky things for educators, youth program staff, and other adults who work with young people. In the school district where I used to be an administrator and where I am still a parent, the principal of an elementary school recently ignited a firestorm of community […]

By Kent Pekel, Ed.D., President and CEO, Search Institute At the start of the current school year, I was struck by the number of superintendents, principals, and other educational leaders across the country who called on parents to get more involved in their children’s learning. I also noted that many of them promised to make […]

By: Kent Pekel, Ed.D. As I visit schools, youth programs, and community coalitions across the country to discuss Search Institute’s new research on developmental relationships, I have not met a single person who thinks relationships are unimportant. The people I talk with are invariably interested and sometimes downright excited to learn that our studies are […]

By: Kent Pekel, Ed.D, and Peter C. Scales, Ph.D. “I’ve read Paul Tough’s book and seen Angela Duckworth’s TED Talk and I’m sold that these noncognitive skills are important. What my school needs is a way to build those skills, but we also need another program like a hole in the head. What can we […]

By Dr. Kent Pekel, President & CEO of Search Institute The 2013-14 school year is well underway, and teachers across America are engaged in writing report cards to document their students’ progress. By June, our nation’s elementary and secondary schools will have cumulatively issued more than 100 million of those report cards, each of which […]

By: Kent Pekel In the days since the verdict in the Trayvon Martin trial and especially following President Obama’s slow and deliberate description of how the most powerful man in the world was once followed in stores and heard car locks clicking as he walked across streets because of his race, I have thought often […]