Category: Equity

Rural schools need equity too.

Rural Schools Need Equity Too

I just got home from a convening with the rest of the Kentucky State Teacher Fellows, where we had some long, tough conversations on equity in our schools. We’re preparing for later this fall, when schools across the Bluegrass are going to witness a major data collection blast from education groups and teacher leaders. The reason is simple: Kentucky is…

Move Over Boomers, Millennials Are Here And We Want Equity In Schools

Millennial life is like being a responsible teenager. You do all your homework, you hold down a couple part-time jobs, and you only have friends over late on the weekends. Yet the elderly neighbors down the street still complain about having to live next to a bunch of kids. (“Hey punks, get off our yard!”) Because no matter how you…

Want More Rural Students To Be Lifelong Learners? Give Them More Opportunities.

One of the best baseball movies I’ve seen is Moneyball with Brad Pitt. There’s this scene where Pitt’s character had just brought in an economics wiz and baseball fanatic from Yale, played by Jonah Hill. Using statistics, they were going to build a winning team. It was unconventional at the time. During a tense conversation, one of Pitt’s employees, a…

In Rural Areas, Education Means More

What’s white and red and would have been worth thousands in the 18th century? Yep, a Coke can. As it turns out, pure aluminum used to be one of the most prized metals in the world. Aluminum was once so valuable, in fact, that the government of France used to display Fort Knox-style bars of aluminum next to the French…

It’s Not Enough To Talk About Equity. You Have To Do Something, Too.

By the time I graduated college, I was well-versed in all sorts of teacher talk about equity and social justice. I had gotten into books like Pedagogy of the Oppressed and The Dreamkeepers, and they were basically my law and gospel. I thought the wisdom they imparted alone would be all I needed to close the achievement gap by myself.…

‘Tough Kids’ Need Love Too

For twenty years I worked in traditional school settings — “normal” elementary and middle schools. Then it all changed. I was sent to work at our district’s alternative learning center. I had heard about the ALC. That’s where the “bad” kids were sent. The kids that bullied others. The kids that brought weapons to school. The kids that made bomb threats.…

Live From Rural Kentucky, It’s The Belief Gap!

Mass media has an unmistakable impact on our impressions of people and places. Take, for example, shows like Baywatch and 90210, which color our perceptions of Los Angeles. When I think of the City of Angels, I see endless sunshine, luxury, and Kardashian-esque mansions. When I think of The Big Apple, songs like Sinatra’s “New York, New York” and Alicia…

The Rural-Urban Divide: Responses To School Shootings Show Us Two Sides Of America

When then-candidate Barack Obama was still seeking the Democratic nomination back in 2008, one of his most notable gaffes of the primary campaign trail was an ill-worded assessment of blue-collar culture. Speaking to a wealthy fundraiser crowd, Obama suggested that rural residents of Pennsylvania were bitter, and that they were inclined to “cling to guns or religion” as a result…

Citing Low Performance and Student Abuse, Interim Commissioner Lewis Calls For JCPS Takeover

Jefferson County Public Schools is facing a takeover. Referencing the low performance of several Louisville schools as well as abuses in student discipline, Interim Commissioner of Education Dr. Wayne Lewis stated on Monday that he will attempt to give control over the JCPS district to the state. JCPS is one of the nation’s largest school districts, and the largest in…

We Don’t Just Need Diverse Teachers. We Need Teachers Who Care About Diversity.

I just read this piece from Education Post about recruiting teachers of color, and it’s been on my mind lately. The story basically describes how the number of minority students are on the rise across the country, yet the schools they’re attending have few – if any – teachers that look like them. I immediately thought back to my own…

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