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Articles: Equity

With the U.S. Department of Education doling out billions of dollars to promote diversity and to support low-income schools in 2017, administrators across the country are also working to better serve students of all backgrounds, abilities and interests.

Jon Saphier says policy-makers could create regulations that positively affect the levers of influence on what teachers do, such as teacher education and teacher certification.

As founder of Research for Better Teaching— an organization dedicated to improving instruction and leadership— Jon Saphier says underperforming students need to believe that “smart is something you can get.”

Corporal punishment can be used in schools for smaller infractions such as cell phone use during class, according to a 2008 report from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and ACLU, as well as a 2015 North Carolina Department of Education report.

While the controversial practice of corporal punishment declines, it remains legal in 19 states. In those states, boys, black students and children with disabilities are more likely to receive physical punishment than other students, according to recent report by the Society for Research in Child Development.

In the wake of a divisive presidential election, hundreds of students from about a dozen high schools in Oakland, California, cut class last November to voice their discontent with President-elect Donald Trump. 

Principal DeMarcos Holland created “Fantastic Fridays" to interact with K12 students on social media.

Principal DeMarcos Holland, of New Manchester High School in the Douglas County School System in Georgia, has replaced traditional class tardy bells with music, including compositions created by students and teachers. The friendlier sounds have lowered the average number of tardies from between 50 and 60 per day to less than 10.

School superintendency is a family business for the Prusators. Todd Prusator leads Community Consolidated School District 231 in a small community 70 miles west of Chicago. His two brothers, Bob and Jeff, also are Illinois superintendents, all within about 30 miles of each other in the northwest corner of the state. 

Autumn Blanchard, director of marketing and communications, says it’s not a question of will when tackling tough equity issues for district leaders in education. It’s a matter of capacity, support, and the time and space to strategize.

School district leaders in the southern United States looking to tackle equity challenges have some help on the way.

The collection and use of K12 surveillance data is severely unregulated and a cause for concern. (GettyImages.com)

With increased technological surveillance to protect and monitor students has come deep consequences for student privacy and equity, according to a new report from the National Association of State Boards of Education.

Try to stay calm. Don’t start cursing. Keep your hands off the cops. But know that you have rights—like remaining silent and taking note of witnesses. Such knowledge can prevent police interactions from escalating out of control when teenagers get pulled over or otherwise encounter law enforcement.

Adopting tech, preventing segregation, harnessing power of social media will be education priorities in 2017.

Education faces no shortage of important challenges in the quest to improve our nation’s schools. Whether it’s the debate over testing, racial issues, learning standards or shrinking funding, 2017 promises to be a year of change—for better or worse.

Students in districts across the nation have been harassed and intimidated based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual identity in the wake of the presidential election, according to the nonprofit organization Southern Poverty Law Center.

The U.S. Department of Education has released guidance over the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, a funding initiative under ESSA. (Gettyimages.com: Macrovector)The U.S. Department of Education has released guidance over the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, a funding initiative under ESSA. (Gettyimages.com: Macrovector)

Schools that offer more comprehensive instruction, increase school safety and student health, and better integrate educational technology may be eligible for new federal funds. A new grant program from the U.S. Department of Education will reward schools that improve access to music, social studies, environmental education and computer science.

Some 85 percent of teachers surveyed received PD to deal with bullying, but just 33 percent received training in LGBTQ issues  (Gettyimages.com: Peopleimages)

Educators need specialized professional development to prevent the bullying of LGBTQ students, according to a recent report released by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network. Some 85 percent of teachers received PD to deal with bullying, but just 33 percent received training in LGBTQ issues.

José Vilson’s book, "This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and the Future of Education," examines education reform through personal stories and hard research.

Math teacher José Vilson wants to reclaim the teaching profession from the education theorists and reformers who dictate standards and curriculum, and put it back in the hands of the people who actually work with kids and get results.

Young refugees who have fled foreign war zones, religious violence and dire poverty represent some of the country’s most “at-risk” students. In one New York district, for instance, refugee students who recently heard alarms during a fire drill worried the school was being bombed.

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