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A Pathway out of Poverty for Students in Low-Income Communities: Learning to Ask Questions I’m not poor now, but through the years I have continued to learn from people in low-income communities who have a lot to teach us all about fighting poverty. In fact, I learned a lesson that is relevant to addressing the effects of poverty in classrooms all over the country.
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At the End of Intellectual Disability Following a recent panel discussion focused in part on the presumption of competence in children with complex developmental disabilities, a teacher approached one of the authors of this post with an anxious concern.
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Turning Conventional Wisdom on Its Head: Public Schools Outperform Private Schools Market forces based on concepts of competition, choice, autonomy, and financial incentives applied to public education will improve learning outcomes. This formula for educational improvement, popularized as long ago as 1990 with the publication of Chubb and Moe’s Politics, Markets and America’s Schools, appears to reflect conventional wisdom today. In fact, these beliefs have gained momentum with the advent of No Child Left Behind, the growth of charter school legislation across the country, and the initiatives reflected in the federal Race to the Top requirements and incentives.
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An Alternate Lens on Young Black and Brown Males: Putting a Focus on Emotional Complexity When the public thinks about Black and Brown teenage males, they often think of problems and deficits. This is true in many social science journal articles as it is in mainstream media. Societal images of them are regularly overgeneralized, incriminating, and fundamentally untrue.
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Tech Is Changing Teaching, Finally The news comes fast, and breathless, with each passing week: a major school district will spend tens of millions of dollars to buy computing devices for every schoolchild. Other teachers are asking students to watch short videos on the subject matter at home and to come prepared to work in the classroom on what would normally be considered homework.
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Dissolving Boundaries: Understanding Undocumented Students’ Educational Experiences The Harvard Educational Review (HER) is seeking papers from researchers, practitioners, families, and youth for an upcoming Special Issue on Undocumented Students and Education. While undocumented students make up 1–3 percent of students in the U.S. public school system, they are also one of the most vulnerable populations—shedding light on their experiences reveals that there are structural factors that either inhibit or support the educational and personal trajectories of these students. As such, while undocumented immigrant students have a legal right to K–12 education in the United States, their academic and social experiences vary greatly.
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Perceiving Learning Anew The roots of “Perceiving Learning Anew” (Fall 2014, HER) stretch back to our work in graduate school at UCLA and our work with the Migrant Student Leadership Institute (MSLI), a summer, precollegiate program for high school–aged migrant students interested in attending college. Almost a decade after our participation, it is still a challenge to describe the dynamics of an educational setting that helped students reimagine the social world and their place in it.
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Equal Scrutiny in Contracts for Digital Education Public school districts are under more pressure than ever to buy digital services and products. . . But there is an important backstory to the digital surge that deserves equal and careful scrutiny. Digital education is nested in a broader trend where public schools and governance structures have come under increasing pressure to contract out core functions of teaching, learning, and assessment, mirroring a rise of privatizing initiatives in other aspects of social policy.
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Eliminating Teacher Tenure Versus Improving Teacher Hiring: Why Improving Teacher Hiring Is a Better Bet The recent Vergara v. California case has brought the issue of “grossly ineffective” teachers into the national spotlight. While there certainly are valid points on both sides of this case, the court case does illustrate a fundamental point . . . Namely, the notion that better teachers get better outcomes for students and so improving teacher quality is one critical way to improve schools.
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Why Meetings Matter Every day, millions of people gather in classrooms, faculty rooms, boardrooms, and (sometimes virtual) conference rooms to tackle problems that are so big that no individual can solve them alone. How to prepare students to thrive in a knowledge economy and rapidly developing world, how to support teachers in transforming their practice, how to create policy that drives opportunity and access for every learner—addressing each of these would truly make a big difference in learning and teaching. But although some of the meetings that could take on these issues are stimulating opportunities for generating ideas and creating solutions, many are not.
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