Month: October 2017

Banning ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Because It Makes You Uncomfortable Isn’t How You Learn

Biloxi, Mississippi made news when its public school district pulled Harper Lee’s classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” from its eighth-grade reading list earlier this month. When pressed, the Biloxi School Board stated that the acclaimed Southern novel was pulled because some parents and students felt uncomfortable with it being taught at the eighth-grade level, given its themes of inequality and racism and…

Kentucky’s Changing How Schools Are Judged and Here’s Why You Should Care

With the adoption of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the marquee educational law that Congress passed in 2015, Kentucky stands ready to dramatically shift its approach to accountability. Designed to replace the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, ESSA gives states more freedom to set goals for their students’ achievement. Kentucky opened the floodgates for that earlier this…

What Teachers Can and Can’t Learn From ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Author J.D. Vance

In his provocative memoir “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis,” author J.D. Vance describes his childhood upbringing in Middletown, Ohio. Heavily influenced by his family’s Kentucky roots and their “hillbilly culture,” Vance uses his firsthand experiences with poverty to argue that these Appalachian, working-class values have ultimately impacted rural communities for the worse. That’s the…

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