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Schools Under-Identify Giftedness in Low-Socioeconomic Status Students Meeting the academic needs of all students requires ensuring that high-ability, low-income students have the same access as their high-income classmates to the challenging, enriching content that gifted programs often provide. In our article in the Fall issue of the Harvard Educational Review, we show that the US is falling well short of this goal. We draw on two cohorts of data from the nationally-representative Early Childhood Longitudinal Study to examine socioeconomic status (SES) gaps in gifted program participation. In moving beyond a simple focus on free/reduced price lunch eligibility to measure SES, we document three important conclusions.
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Toward a Behavioral Science of Testing...and Testing Policy Nearly forty-five years ago the preeminent scientist of psychological measurement, Lee Cronbach, summarized “Five Decades of Public Controversy Over Mental Testing.” As we approach the centennial of the period covered in Cronbach’s review, there is no sign the controversy is subsiding. On the contrary, recent scandals of testing fraud—involving parents obsessed with getting their kids into elite colleges working in cahoots with unscrupulously greedy consultants and admissions officers, as well as not-so-distant memories of K–12 teachers and administrators who went to jail for tampering with student scoresheets—have brought the whole American testing enterprise back onto the front page. Evidence and allegations of cheating add fuel to the flames of longstanding anxiety that tests perpetuate inequality rather than attenuate it, and that the tests don’t even measure what matters. Some pundits pile on in a frenzy of “I told you so” rhetoric that blames all of higher education for privileging the most privileged, despite convincing data showing that returns to educational attainment and college completion are increasing for all groups in society (although at different rates).
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Why Writing Instruction Works Best in Inclusive Settings American educators have long debated the impact of tracking—here defined as between-class ability grouping—in secondary schools. Although tracking advocates argue that the practice targets instruction to individuals’ varying needs and cultivates excellence for the most talented, critics contend that inequities related to race, language, and social class segregate students from one another and limit the most vulnerable students’ opportunities to learn.1 A good deal of recent discussion has focused on how some students’ reduced access to gatekeeper courses, such as algebra, can undermine future achievement in the STEM fields.
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Losing More This Summer: Summer Learning Loss Reconsidered Is anyone really an educational expert? Many people, whether students or teachers, use their personal expertise as a lens for their educational wisdom. In my years of educational research and of training teachers, I have never encountered an individual who truly believes they are a bad teacher. How could this be? Clearly some people must have a better understanding of the art of teaching than others. Though knowledge is plentiful in this digital age, educators continue to disagree on some big ideas. There is an expertise dilemma where teachers and researchers paint very different pictures. Who is the real expert? This expertise dilemma led me to think about the notion of the summer learning loss.
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Global Adaptation: Montessori in India The Montessori method has crossed international boundaries since it began in the early 1900s, and it continues to be a global educational method.
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What Is Racial Equity in Education According to Asian Americans? On March 16, 2019, a Chinese American protester held a sign saying “Equity: A code word for Anti-Asian,” during a town hall event in Queens, New York. Participants at the event discussed proposed changes to the admissions policies in New York City’s specialized public high schools. Although many Asian Americans would disagree with the framing of education equity, and in this case proposals for increased racial integration in public schools, as “anti-Asian,” the sentiment this protester expressed is becoming increasingly common among some segments of Asian American communities.
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“Los Músicos”: Mexican Corridos, the Aural Border, and the Evocative Musical Renderings of Transnational Youth Latinx bilinguals and emergent bilinguals are among the most researched youth communities in the field of education. Ironically, however, we know very little about them due to myopic understandings of their skills, abilities, dispositions, interests, and everyday cultural practices (García & Kleifgen, 2018). Moreover, increasingly vile rhetoric about Latinx communities and harsh immigration policies and practices continue to exacerbate the socioeducational context for these youth, shaping how they are viewed both inside and outside of school.
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Controversial Speakers and Intellectual Fairness As political polarization increases in the US, colleges and universities are often treated as ideological battlegrounds. In this context, invited speakers serve as flashpoints for controversy, especially when student protests erupt. Such controversies seem unlikely to abate, and thus campuses would be wise to consider how their responses to controversial speakers support or undermine their educational aims. While much has been written about protecting free speech in such crisis moments, we believe the educational significance of these events warrants deeper consideration. How should colleges and universities navigate campus controversies in order to better foster intellectual and civic development on their campuses?
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Teaching Students How to Think and Argue Together Fake news, alternative facts, post-truth—we live in a time when people find it hard to agree on what to believe or do about many important societal problems, including climate change, gun violence, immigration, and health care. Moreover, we seem to be losing the ability to discuss complex questions in a rational, evidence-based, and respectful manner. Perhaps, we never learned how to do it in the first place.
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The Distrust Beneath the Recent Teacher Strikes Beginning with the well-publicized teacher walkouts in West Virginia and continuing this year in Los Angeles, Denver, and Oakland—teachers across the United States initiated strikes for a variety of reasons: to demand increased social services for students and smaller class sizes, to protest the movement toward the privatization of schools—which has led to budget crises and potential school closings—, and in opposition to other current reforms such as performance-based pay. Although the initial teacher walkouts in 2018 were short and symbolic and frequently organized through social networks, the more recent strikes have been initiated by teacher unions, lasted for days, and drawn wide support from community members and, in a few cities such as Oakland, principals and board members.
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