The transgender question: What are schools to do? 

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As the debate goes on, schools must protect students and comply with the law.  Over the past six months, considerable media and legal attention have been focused on the rights of transgender students in public schools. Last month, a Kappan article, “Seven reasons for accommodating transgender students at school,” tackled the arguments against providing transgender students access [...]

Student online speech rights on and off campus

col - Underwood, featureblog|

  If off-campus online speech presents the likelihood of a disruption on campus, administrators can respond by disciplining the responsible students. Students do not “shed their rights to freedom of speech and expression at the schoolhouse gate.” — Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503 (1969) Nearly 50 years ago, Justice Abe Fortas penned those [...]

In reform decisions, somebody knew consequences

col - Richardson, featureblog|

“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” sputtered the leader, as it finally dawned on him that, no matter how many times he snapped his fingers, he couldn’t conjure up effective and affordable medical coverage for millions of Americans. Pleased by the media’s response, “Nobody knew. . . ” became his signature line. [...]

School-related activities influence student equity

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      Some students spend 25 hours a week in school-related activities; others may spend three times that. And guess how that disparity influences outcomes. By James H. Lytle As someone who’s worked in a range of schools, from inner-city schools to private boarding schools, I’ve concluded that there’s a straightforward explanation for why [...]

Getting students to believe in themselves

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Surrounding students with messages that they have the ability to learn is at the core of closing the achievement gap. By Jon Saphier Students of color in America are at the center of a vortex of forces that have created an achievement gap. What a close look at these forces reveals is that the achievement [...]

Critical consciousness: A key to student achievement

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Black students can achieve at higher levels when schools teach them how to see, name, and challenge racial oppression. By Aaliyah El-Amin, Scott Seider, Daren Graves, Jalene Tamerat, Shelby Clark, Madora Soutter, Jamie Johannsen, and Saira Malhotra Research has suggested that critical consciousness — the ability to recognize and analyze systems of inequality and the [...]

Why I got rid of my desk

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What happens when a teacher removes the time-honored symbol of power from his classroom? By Matthew R. Morris I feel bad when I take a day off. I imagine the substitute teacher looking around my classroom, trying to locate that spot where they can clearly define their territory and mark their space as the commander-in-chief [...]

Teacher self-captured video: Learning to see

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The power of video comes from unpacking the twists and turns that are so common in teaching and learning. By Miriam Gamoran Sherin and Elizabeth B. Dyer Recording moments of our lives on video is commonplace today. And we’re no longer just recording weddings and bar mitzvahs. We’re recording all kinds of moments, big and [...]

Design principles for new systems of assessment

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Rather than being led by national testing mandates, state and local leaders should design balanced assessment systems guided by coherence, research on learning, and attention to equity. By Lorrie A. Shepard, William R. Penuel, and Kristen L. Davidson When Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015, it carried forward many of [...]

Got it wrong? Think again. And again.

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By Donna L. Miller

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