Tag: Social Justice

Trying to Promote Equity In Your School? Here Are 5 Things Anyone Can Do.

I just got back from an amazing professional learning session delivered by Kentucky State University’s Dr. Roger Cleveland. In the session, he had us do an equity activity that absolutely made my jaw drop. Here’s how it worked. We were each given five index cards and were instructed to write different labels that identify ourselves, like race, faith, sexual orientation,…

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.…

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…

#ArmMeWith What Makes A Real Difference

On January 23rd, 2018, students and teachers across the state were horrified when the Marshall County High School shooting occurred in Benton, Kentucky. The effects of the tragedy were felt statewide. Classroom educators watched and waited as fear and trepidation fell over our classrooms like dominoes knocked loose in a hectic array of patterns as politicians began arguing whether or…

Trying to Talk About the Achievement Gap? Try This.

Politics and education are two of my favorite subjects. It’s neat when I have an opportunity to combine them. I recently listened to a speech by Gloria Ladson-Billings that did just that. I recommend you read or listen to it to catch all the specifics, but the premise is that, in many ways, our national debt and our national deficit can be…

Want to Close Achievement Gaps? Know Why They Exist in the First Place

There’s a sad reality in our education system today: Some students just don’t do as well as others. I realize I’m not breaking news here, but the fact that there’s such a disparity between students from poor families and communities and students from solid middle-class families is bad for everyone. The fact that minority students historically fall far behind their…

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…

Students Don’t Need ‘Saviors,’ They Need Effective Teachers

Until I had my first international experience, I didn’t have a race. Or at least, I didn’t know I did. It was when I returned home from a summer of living, studying and working with students in Latin America that I realized how flawed my understanding was of race in education. My teacher education courses and professional practice provided opportunities…

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