The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is asking the public to stand up for public education, with the second phase of Stand Up 4 Public Schools, a national public education campaign that reveals the true teaching and learning in public schools. The campaign provides a means for people to demonstrate support for their community-based schools.

President of the NSBA is Kevin Ciak of Sayreville, a former New Jersey School Boards Association president, who is also still a local Sayreville board member.

With detractors defining the state of public schools and an unsettled atmosphere in Washington, D.C. and around the country, the phase 2 “refresh” of the Stand Up 4 Public Schools campaign could not come at a more opportune time.

The Stand Up campaign provides the public with a more accurate and thorough perspective of public schools by highlighting the creativity that is prevalent in public schools, producing unique programs and experiences and amazing outcomes every day. The public will learn more about innovative programs in communities across the country, and about the dauntless and bold actions of educators – teachers, administrators, superintendents, and school board members – that help prepare students for the future.

“The Stand Up 4 Public Schools campaign is an opportunity to share the rich story about public education, and accentuate that every day in a public school is unique and filled with acts of heroism,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director and CEO, NSBA. “The campaign is the best way for people to demonstrate their support for children and their community.”

Public schools educate nine of every 10 students – more than 50 million students – and have helped prepare artists, educators, engineers, health care practitioners, journalists, law enforcement officers, leaders in business and technology, scientists and people in the full array of professions for life. The vast majority of Americans believe public education is the great equalizer and that it provides them with the ability to control their own destiny. The long history of public schools proves that they are right.

Public schools have also lifted generations of people from lower to middle income, and from middle to higher income. And, public schools have enormous potential to elevate even more children and their families out of poverty, drive the American economy to new heights.

The campaign features a redesigned website and tools that state school board associations, school board members, administrators, teachers, parents and citizens can use to demonstrate support for public schools. A key feature on the site is a short movie titled No Ordinary Day. Through first-person accounts of students and teachers, viewers learn about a student who solves a quadratic equation for the first time, a child who studies birds of prey, and the objectives educators set for themselves. The final student in the video expresses the most important and true statement about public schools when he says that “every day my education makes a difference in my life.”

The new website also features stories about unique and successful programs and the people who are truly making a difference in student’s lives. Visitors to the website will also find “The Pledge,” which enables supporters to express their support for the schools in their neighborhood.

The red wristband remains an iconic symbol of the campaign and provides another way for people to express their support.

“For far too long, detractors have defined the state of public schools and much of their opinion is based on misinformation about what actually happens in our nation’s classrooms, or worse, they are deliberately trying to undermine support for public education,” said Gentzel. “Vibrant public schools are essential to the economic, civic and social health of the country and they need the public’s support to continue to do great work.”

In 2014, NSBA launched Stand Up 4 Public Schools to increase awareness of the work of public schools. The first phase of the campaign featured personal testimonials from business leader and National Basketball Hall of Fame member Earvin “Magic” Johnson, radio talk show host and actor Montel Williams, teacher and former NASA astronaut Barbara Morgan, and founder of the Khan Academy Sal Khan.

For more information, visit the Stand Up 4 Public Schools website.