The Ed100 Toolbox

by Jeff Camp | February 25, 2024 | 0 Comments
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Practical help for school community leaders

Schools are the glue that binds communities together.

The shared work of supporting students and teachers creates connections that can overcome biases and span partisan divisions. It has never been more important to invest in the work of building strong, well-informed school communities.

It doesn’t happen magically. To those of you who have stepped up to active participation in PTAs, site councils, boards, ASBs, ELACs and the like, thank you. Ed100 exists to support you.

At one point, a PTA leader asked me for a short overview presentation about Ed100, and I found myself rummaging around for it on our public Google drive folder. Slap to the forehead: if I can't find it, neither can you. (It’s here, by the way.)

So here ya go. This post summarizes the tools we have created to support you. Use what you like, and let us know if there's something more or different that would help you develop informed leadership in your school community.

The Ed100 Graduate Certificate

Ed100 Graduate Certificate

The Ed100 Graduate Certificate

The backbone of Ed100 is an orderly set of lessons in ten chapters. These lessons are regularly updated, and we aim to keep them concise. Each lesson focuses on an important aspect of the education system, examining it from different angles.

At the end of each lesson a quiz question reinforces a main point. The quizzes aren't meant to be particularly hard — their job is just to make you pause briefly so you’ll remember what you are learning.

The Ed100 Graduate Certificate is a mark of achievement. You earn it by passing every quiz in Ed100. Hundreds have earned this certificate, including parents, teachers, students, administrators, and even district superintendents. Why not challenge yourself to earn yours? When you do, please print it and post a selfie to encourage others! Send it to us and we will happily feature your achievement on our social media. (You can find your certificate on your profile page.)

The Ed100 Blog

The Ed100 blog is where we explore important topics more deeply, explore varying perspectives, and occasionally take a point of view.

We have invested significantly in key blog posts. For example, our post about homework is an important extension of Chapter 4 (time). Our blog post about teacher strikes is an important extension of our lesson about teacher pay. Our series of posts about the Dashboard is vital for understanding your role in holding your school and district accountable for success. Our series about school boards and site councils explains important elements of the school system that are often misunderstood. The blog also includes features on grade inflation, the California Lottery, the state budget, California’s funding for arts education, and other critical topics.

The Ed100 Mailing List

When you sign up for Ed100, you receive our email newsletter. About once a week, our emails draw your attention to new blog posts and updated lessons that we think merit your attention.

The Ed100 Drawing

Pass quizzes to win.

We periodically hold drawings for Ed100, with a prize of $1,000. Each quiz you pass on Ed100 earns an entry for the benefit of your PTA or other qualified non-profit. Why do we do this? Because it can help you spark conversations in your school community! Here’s an example of what you might say:

“Hey everybody, please join with me — it’s free, and it helps us learn about our role in the education system. The lessons are interesting, and each quiz you pass earns a chance for our school to win $1,000. The deadline is coming up, so please sign up today and take a few of them. We’ll check in about it at our next meeting.”

The Ed100 Leaderboard

Of course, just because you announce Ed100 once doesn’t necessarily mean people will actually sign up. That’s why we created the Ed100 Leaderboard — it helps you celebrate progress and create some accountability for followthrough. Here’s an example of what you might say about it:

“At our last meeting I urged you to sign up for Ed100 and take some quizzes. I see from the Leaderboard that four of you have done that, which is a great start! Mónica, you shared your name on the leaderboard — will you talk about what you learned?”

The Leaderboard can be incredibly powerful if you use it consistently in your meetings. If you are a leader of an organization that spans several schools, contact us and we can develop a custom leaderboard for you to develop some friendly competition. Remember, the point is learning, not winning!

Ed100 in 10 Weeks

Have you tried completing Ed100… but life happens and finishing it up falls to the back of your mind? It happens.

That’s why we created Ed100 in 10 Weeks (also known as the 10 in 10 program). Sign-up via our link and you’ll receive a syllabus to break down your daily readings, along with a daily reminder email with a positive message and links to your reading (think the fun of Duolingo).

Before you know it, 10 weeks will fly by and you'll be an Ed100 graduate. Share the fun and turn this experience into a discussion group with other members of your school community.

Discussion Guides

Try the discussion guides! Look for the red star ★ at the top of each lesson.

We know that discussions can be hard to get started. To address this, we created a discussion guide for each lesson on Ed100. These guides, updated in December of 2023, are available in both English and Spanish thanks to great work by a small team of externs from Carleton College.

You can find the discussion guide for any lesson easily — just look for the orange star in the “In This Lesson” section at the top right.

Discussion Groups

Ed100 is most valuable when groups of people use it together as a framework for learning and discussion over time. That can happen within a single school community or across multiple, and in 2022 we began supporting school communities (districts, PTA councils, PTA districts, and more). The program includes all ten chapters of Ed100, helping lead to the Graduate Certificate in just ten weeks. (Hence, the name 10 in 10!)

For advice about leading a discussion group or to join an Ed100 Ten in 10 group cohort, please contact Selisa Loeza.

Ed100 videos on YouTube

The introduction to each chapter of Ed100 includes a brief overview video (about 5-8 minutes or so). You can find all ten of them in the Ed100 YouTube channel.

These videos are great for PTA meetings because they are brief, informative and they help bring everyone to a basic shared level of understanding quickly so that everyone can participate.

The Ed100 Parent Leader Guide

The Ed100 Parent Leader Guide provides ready-to-go plans for parent group meetings. It's all here: Lessons, discussion guides, handouts and suggestions for taking action.

Using these resources, you can build your school's capacity to face facts, work together, sharpen focus, or change direction.

Content for Presentations, Meetings and Emails

Want to include some content from Ed100 in an email, meeting or presentation for your PTA or school group? Go for it. Feel free to draw from our lessons and blog posts (with attribution). We have more to offer, though. For example, if you want to give people a feel for how Ed100 works and how to get started with it, use our Ed100 Mini-presentation. It's short and sweet.

Want to get a conversation going? Try selecting teaser questions from our Big Book of Questions. It's a deck of Google Slides that you can copy, edit and share. (You can also download it as a PowerPoint file, if you prefer.)

Need a copy of the Ed100 logo to add it to your PTA unit or council web page? Or a flier to print and hand out, or forward? Want to find the data behind a chart you see on an Ed100 lesson? Or just want to dig around in the Ed100 toolbox? Help yourself to our Ed100 Public Folder.

The Ed100 Search Function

Looking for something specific? Try our search function. It spans both the lessons and the blog. Viewed on desktop, the search function is at the top, easy to find. On a mobile device, it’s a little hidden — find it toward the bottom of the “hamburger” menu.

The LCAP Checklist

The LCAP: The most interesting boring document you'll ever never read

A key concept of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is that communities are the ultimate source of accountability for school results. The Local Control Accountability Plan, written annually by your school district, is the most interesting boring document you'll ever never read. You know who it's written for, right? It's supposed to be for you.

If you want to make a change in your district's priorities, the most powerful way to get there is to change the plan. Read the current plan and then think specifically about how to change it. Talk with others about it.

The LCAP Checklist is a simple tool co-developed by Ed100 and the California State PTA that has been updated since the LCAP’s debut more than ten years ago. This tool can help you prepare for your community LCAP meetings. The checklist is linked to lessons in Ed100 to make research easier. By using it, you can tie your feedback directly to each section of your district's LCAP.

Ed100 on Social Media

If you're a Facebook user, please find, follow and share the Ed100 Facebook page. Also Instagram and Twitter. We occasionally post on LinkedIn, too.

Contact Us!

We often include our email addresses in our posts. I'm Selisa is Carol is Carol is We get busy, so please be patient with us — but we really do like to hear from you. You can also submit comments for specific lessons and posts. (Comments are curated. All are read.)

Updated February, 2024

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Our free lessons are short, easy to read, and up to date. Each lesson you complete earns a ticket for your school. You could win $1,000 for your PTA.

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