PowerMyLearning in Atlanta Update

PowerMyLearning in Atlanta Update

June 29, 2020 | The Stock Report

Dear PowerMyLearning Community,

I am writing to share the exciting news that, effective July 1, PowerMyLearning in Atlanta will officially launch as Inspiredu, a non-profit incorporated in Georgia. Please visit their website to learn more: http://www.iuatl.org/

We are enormously excited about this spin-out and are proud of Richard Hicks and the entire Atlanta team for what they have been able to accomplish, especially during the pandemic where they have been “essential workers” making a difference in the lives of so many in the Atlanta community.

We hope you will continue to support and “follow” Richard and his team as they embark on this new chapter. We also hope you will continue to support and “follow” PowerMyLearning as we work to activate the exponential power that occurs when the trio of teachers, students, and families collaborate on the same learning goals.


Elisabeth Stock, CEO & Co-Founder, PowerMyLearning

A Letter from the CEO

A Letter from the CEO

June 1, 2020 | The Stock Report

Dear Friends,

In solidarity, we want to add our voices to those who are feeling angry and deeply disturbed by the events of recent weeks. George Floyd’s death is not a singular event but is part of an unconscionable pattern of injustice and aggression committed against Black people throughout our country’s long history of racism.

There is power in acknowledging the work we need to do as a country. This is an opportunity to listen to one other as partners. Together, we can do more. I want to voice special encouragement to those of us who are White to push ourselves to confront racism in all of its forms. As a first step, we need to make progress in our own personal journey so that we can speak up and act against racism. We have to reexamine our own actions and views and not stand idly on the sidelines.

While our education system is implicated in the upheaval we are seeing today, I still believe deeply in education’s potential to build understanding between people and heal our broken nation. At PowerMyLearning, we are committed to creating learning environments that align with our organizational values of advancing equity, strengthening relationships, embracing learning, and embodying humility. As an organization, we have embarked on our own journey to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and have found this experience to be deeply meaningful and actionable.

Words alone cannot bring comfort but to our colleagues in the Black community—we see you. You matter, your lives matter, and you are valued.


Elisabeth Stock, CEO & Co-Founder

For Students like Nathaniel

For Students like Nathaniel

June 6, 2019 | The Stock Report | By Elisabeth Stock, CEO and Co-Founder, PowerMyLearning

Last month, PowerMyLearning celebrated our 20th anniversary at the 2019 Innovative Learning Awards. Want to hear from the stars of the night? Watch this brief video featuring the PowerMyLearning Triangle Awardees: Nathaniel, a second-grade student, his parents Sandra and Gabriel, and his teacher Mr. Steven.
We know children are most successful when they have a strong triangle of relationships supporting their learning. Together, we can make that a reality for students across the country. Make a tax-deductible gift now and unleash the power of teachers and families to drive success for all students.

Thank you for making this year one of the best for PowerMyLearning! We hope you’ll continue to support our mission.


Promising Solutions for Family Engagement? Four experts weigh in.

Promising Solutions for Family Engagement? Four Experts Weigh In.

March 28, 2019 | The Stock Report | By Elisabeth Stock, CEO and Co-Founder, PowerMyLearning

Family Engagement Panel

Last month, I participated on a panel at the Carnegie Corporation of New York called “Promising Solutions in Family Engagement.” I was joined by: Johns Hopkins University Professor Steven Sheldon, PhD, EdSolutions CEO Jeff Livingston, and South Bronx Preparatory leaders Ellen Flanagan (Principal) and Alan Baer (Assistant Principal).

We had a lively discussion around the challenges of supporting family engagement that is focused on student learning. The panelists all shared how PowerMyLearning’s Family Playlists show promise in addressing those challenges by breaking down stereotypes about families in under-resourced communities, and by raising the expectations held by teachers and families of what students are capable of.

The “special sauce” in Family Playlists that is driving these results is the auto-translated communications between students, teachers, and families (our triangle!) and the step where students are asked to teach their family partner what they are learning in school. This “learning by teaching” strategy leverages the protégé effect and has a strong evidence base of improving student mastery and social-emotional learning.

Check out highlights from each panelist below!

Steven Sheledon

Steven Sheldon, PhD
Johns Hopkins University Professor

Steven Sheldon on how Family Playlists enable teachers to develop relationships with families and bust stereotypes.

Family engagement needs to be a part of school systems; it is a key part of sustained school improvement. Family Engagement is necessary for academic perseverance. Research shows that families do care.

One of the things I love about Family Playlists is the feedback mechanism—the two-way communication provides educators with a way develop relationships with families who they might not have otherwise gotten the chance to have a face-to-face relationship with. I think this is really important because in the absence of information, we tend to fall back on stereotypes. When we can have meaningful interactions, that’s when we move away from that.

Jeff Livingston
CEO, EdSolutions

Jeff Livingston on why we need to change our biases.

High expectations for every child and family is the goal. Family Playlists have shown us that students can do more than what we thought they could–particularly in under-resourced communities. By meeting parents where they are, in the language that they speak, at the level of literacy they’re comfortable with, Family Playlists have also shown us that families in these communities are more engaged and more capable of helping their kids than our biases made us think they would be. 

Ellen Flanagan

Ellen Flanagan
Principal, South Bronx Preparatory

Ellen Flanagan on how Family Playlists support the highest form of understanding.

Family Playlists are an extension of the conversation that happens in the classroom. When you think about it pedagogically, there is so much research supporting this: if someone can teach something to someone else, that is the highest form of understanding. The premise of Family Playlists is: “I am teaching. I am the expert.” When we are teaching someone else, it is the best kind of learning and that’s where rigor happens.

Family Playlists also offer an important social emotional aspect. It’s not just about the subject matter, it’s about the students getting a new level of confidence. Students have a sense of pride when they complete Family Playlists. Teachers experience this too when they see that they got 100% participation or receive an exceptional piece of feedback from a parent. There’s an internal motivation piece that happens.

Alan Baer

Alan Baer
Assistant Principal, South Bronx Preparatory

Alan Baer drives home why the shift in student confidence and perseverance is so important.

Our students, our families, and our teachers love it. PowerMyLearning uses technology to meet parents where they are. PowerMyLearning takes in to account the value of the family structure and honors it; engaging parents in a way that is respectful.

Maybe parents don’t want to see the teacher because they don’t have a proper shirt to wear, or they haven’t been to school in ten years, or they don’t like school, but now they have a platform to learn with their children and have their children show that school is important to them—they have a place to share learning and that is huge.

Debunking the Myth about Family Engagement

Debunking the Myth about Family Engagement

October 30, 2018 | The Stock Report | By Elisabeth Stock, CEO and Co-Founder, PowerMyLearning

“There’s a pervasive, but false, myth that families from low-income households are less engaged in their children’s education than wealthier, white families,” said Heather Weiss during an interview about her new report on family engagement commissioned by the Carnegie Corporation.

Dr. Weiss is the Director of the Global Family Research Project at Harvard and she thinks this myth can lead schools to deprioritize family engagement, which is a mistake given that the research shows it can have a large impact on student achievement.

Knowing whether a school is prioritizing family engagement requires the ability to measure it, and at the invitation of the Carnegie Corporation, I wrote a column entitled Measuring Family Engagement, Strengthening the Learning Triangle.

I know you’ve heard me talk about Family Playlists before and how this innovation helps boost family engagement. What might surprise you is that Family Playlists also help schools and districts measure family engagement.

Instead of keeping track of attendance at school events (like parent-teacher conferences, sports functions, and fundraisers), schools and districts can measure how engaged families are in their child’s learning at home—which is the kind of family engagement that researchers say matters most.

Jenny’s Story about Family Playlists

Jenny’s Story about Family Playlists

July 3, 2018 | The Stock Report

By Elisabeth Stock, CEO and Co-Founder, PowerMyLearning
As the school year comes to a close, I want to thank you for supporting our mission to strengthen the triangle of learning relationships between students, teachers, and families.

As you may know, The New York Times published a fantastic feature in March about Family Playlists™. This article included stories from two students and these stories were emblematic of many I heard this year.

One student, Jenny, told me a story that really stood out. She said that she sometimes struggles to teach her mother, who didn’t have very much schooling and grew up in Mexico. Jenny leans into that struggle because she wants to make sure her mom “really gets it” and because doing so helps Jenny prepare to become a teacher herself one day. Jenny’s efforts to help her mom persist is helping Jenny persist.

I invite you to watch this brief 50-second excerpt of Jenny’s story. I hope you find it as powerful as I did!

Thank you for making this year one of the best for PowerMyLearning, and for helping students like Jenny reach their full potential. As always, I’d love to hear from you.