iOS app Android app

Harriet Sanford
GET UPDATES FROM Harriet Sanford
Harriet Sanford is the President & CEO of the NEA Foundation and has led its work since 2005. The Foundation’s work is built on its commitment to support the collaborative efforts of public school educators, their unions, school districts, and communities to focus on learning conditions that improve student performance.

Sanford began her career as a public school classroom teacher, which led to a senior executive career that spans more than 28 years, with 22 years as the president and chief executive officer of non-profit/ public organizations including the Arts and Science Council in Charlotte, North and the Fulton County Arts Council in Georgia. Her career is bound together by an unwavering commitment to strengthening community by building on the skills, talents, and aspirations of each of its members. She is the proud mother of a public high school senior.

Sanford holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree and a BA in Education from New England College, as well as a MPA from the University of Connecticut.

Entries by Harriet Sanford

In the Weeds

(6) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 5:00 AM

Why urban farming helps students work across disciplines and solve our biggest STEM dilemma:

The greenhouse at Fernwood Montessori, a public school in Milwaukee, doesn't just contain a sustainable ecosystem for the plants and fish inside. Through an innovative aquaponics program that teaches students about healthy eating and entrepreneurship, it's...

Read Post

To Help Our Most Challenged Students, Listen to Them -- And Embrace Who They Are

(2) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 5:08 PM

Lexi is a bright, confident young woman at one of Washington, D.C.'s best public high schools. Austin is a two-sport student-athlete in western Pennsylvania. David, in his first year of college, is a community scholar at a prestigious Washington, DC university, having made his way here from among the most...

Read Post

A Good Start for Schools and Students

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 5:16 PM

As parents checked over their children's school supplies before the first day of school, chances are that owl pellets and hissing cockroaches probably weren't on the list.

But they were top of mind for Beverly Black, an elementary school teacher in Vallejo, California, who spent the waning weeks...

Read Post

It's About Time: Promising Efforts to Improve Our Schools With Right Amount of Time

(2) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 5:19 AM

We all know that the time educators spend in the classroom is just the tip of the iceberg. Grading papers, working with students before and after the bell rings, staff meetings and parent conferences -- these all add to the school day in ways that are rarely tallied. But when...

Read Post

Sense and Sustainability in Education Reform

(3) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 4:53 PM

It's a question that's daunted educators for decades: Why haven't well-intentioned efforts to improve teaching and learning in our schools had the kind of impact we want and need? It's often called a failure of bringing reform to scale, but in reality many of the proposed changes to date haven't...

Read Post

Want to Improve Teaching? Listen to Students

(16) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 4:17 PM

Annie Emerson doesn't have to wonder about what it takes to help her kindergarten students learn how to write or do math. They've told her.

Several times during the year, the Pinewoods Elementary School teacher asks her students two basic questions: what are ways that I teach you that you...

Read Post

Our Schools Need More Strange Bedfellows

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 4:20 PM

Getting communities more involved with their public schools can lead to strange bedfellows, like the group of motorcyclists that descended upon Littleton Elementary School in Lee County, Fla., this past holiday season.

The North Fort Myers chapter of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association motored onto campus to provide gifts,...

Read Post

A Real Recipe for Improving Schools

(6) Comments | Posted November 27, 2012 | 5:32 PM

To get one idea of how to improve teaching in our nation's schools, drop by the local hospital. Chances are you'll see a group of doctors and medical students walking from room to room, observing physicians interacting with patients, asking questions of each other, and thinking hard about how to...

Read Post

Helping STEM Take Root: Engaging the Minds of Students

(4) Comments | Posted September 5, 2012 | 10:39 AM

To see a hopeful future for science education, look no further than the Raccoon Creek watershed in rural Ohio. There, Vinton County High School students are literally getting their feet wet, testing water and examining fish to investigate the impact of acid drainage from more than a century's worth of...

Read Post

Addressing the Other Side of Teacher Evaluation

(9) Comments | Posted May 22, 2012 | 1:00 PM

When school starts this fall in Elgin, Ill., teachers will be evaluated on their work in the classroom, as they have been for years. But for the first time, those who are struggling will be paired with consulting teachers who will coach them and help them develop a...

Read Post

Bringing It Home

(6) Comments | Posted March 22, 2012 | 4:46 PM

To be sure, there are plenty of things for teachers to be discouraged about in today's schools. Budget cuts, increased class sizes, high-stakes testing -- small wonder that teachers are more concerned about their jobs than they have been in decades. But there's also cause for optimism -- among the...

Read Post