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From the Heart’s mission is to close gaps in academic achievement by providing comprehensive educational services that will raise student achievement and promote holistic self-awareness.
We realize that school communities are now faced with achievement issues in ways they never have before. In both public and private institutions, access to quality instruction is not a guarantee for all children. Nevertheless, the overwhelming civic expectation is that children and youth grow to be productive citizens through the methodology of "schooling;" a context that should provide excellent opportunities for self-growth and intellectual development. In essence, "schooling" becomes a necessary pathway, next to "parenting" and "spirituality," for American children to reach their maximum potential. However, the road to success can be unnecessarily arduous unless children participate in developmental experiences that include the guidance of highly motivated persons and well-structured comprehensive systems of academic and social support.
We are aware that historically, American political and social conditions in public education have created a "mosaic of gaps." This mosaic includes achievement gaps, expectations gaps, opportunity gaps, and income gaps. Within the last ten years the American achievement gap in Reading and Mathematics among minority and majority children has been extensively researched; indicating the gaps steadily widening with many minority children leaving school undereducated (NAEP, 2009). From the Heart (FTH) International Educational Services exists to close gaps in academic achievement. In response to the research, we have constructed the foundation of our approach around a set of best practices that reflect the latest in academic research, what we have learned as professionals, and what we have gleaned from formal educational training programs as necessary criteria for highly effective schools.

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We have entitled our systematic framework:

"The Six Essential Elements of Highly Effective PK-12 Learning Communities: A Context for Experiencing School."

1. Competent Leadership

  • Educational leadership that is dynamic, culturally relevant, and actively committed to student achievement, growth, and development
  • Leadership that is capable and demonstrates a love for learning
  • Leaders who supervise through coaching and consensus building and model best practices both academically and professionally

2. Scientifically Based Research Curriculum and Instruction

  • Teaching and learning systems that are focused on what students are expected to know and demonstrate (supported by national core content standards)
  • Pedagogical strategies that are systematic, explicit, and based on cutting edge research
  • Instruction that is culturally relevant and responsive to all students and include literacy skills development as a core component of the learning process in the four core academic areas: English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies

3. Ongoing Professional Development

  • Consistent training that builds skills in relevant content areas and is sustainable by providing several opportunities for onsite technical assistance and mentoring
  • Training that expands skills for all teachers in literacy based instruction, classroom management, student-centered instruction, culturally relevant and responsive instruction, and differentiated instruction
  • School leadership training that expands organizational and instructional skills for aspiring and practicing administrators

4. Valid and Reliable Assessments

  • Schools that facilitate a thoughtful and well organized accountability program that informs and guides all educational and instructional decisions
  • Accountability programs that hold all stakeholders accountable, beginning with the leadership at the top and identifies "teaching and learning gaps," as well as, "comprehensive educational systems gaps"

5. Responsible Fiscal Management

  • Financial management that appropriately wraps the lion's share of school dollars around student achievement and student development
  • A budget that reflects what is best for children
  • Financial management that demonstrates competent and responsible stewardship over the resources allocated to the educational organization

6. Parent and Community Involvement

  • Acknowledging that parents consist of myriad caregivers (i.e. grand grandparents, foster care system, extended families, etc.)
  • Including parents as a central role in student learning and achievement
  • Helping parents build skills that will assist them in propelling their children toward academic and social success
  • Giving students several opportunities to participate in community activities and events that demonstrate academic and social excellence
  • Making the necessary connections between school and civic progress

We believe that contemporary public PK-12 education
is in desperate need of a paradigm shift.

The Six Essential Elements (SEE) work in concert creating symbiotic relationships between school leadership, faculty, and parents, as well as, producing high levels of academic achievement and self-determined and resilient students. SEE places a heavy emphasis on a culturally relevant and responsive approach to "schooling." All of our work is reflective of one or more of the SEE components.

We believe that contemporary public PK-12 education is in desperate need of a paradigm shift. FTH International Educational Services is comprised of school superintendents, school administrators, teachers, researchers, evaluators, accountants, human resource professionals, early childhood specialists, writers and a former professional athlete who all have a passion for creating structural changes in public education. Many are survivors of the disparaging situations that plague marginalized students attending public schools.

To facilitate change, we provide intensive training, technical assistance, program facilitation, and educational management services that focus on attacking the ever-growing achievement crisis in American public schools, particularly from a culturally competent context. We seek to develop long term partnerships with schools and school districts that align our work with the clients' strategic planning and long-range goals. We address the challenges that school administrators face in a culture centered on accountability through standardized testing. We empower teachers with research-based strategies for improving instruction for all children, especially for Black and Hispanic males who consistently rank as the group most at risk for not meeting national learning expectations. We advocate for quality education so that students' potential for success in school is greater. Ultimately, our goal is to be the impetus for change and a solution for making PK-12 public education better.