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Sunday, August 11, 2019

National Education Stories

From the National Education Policy Center, Adolescence: Six Facts to Know, is their article arising from a large study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth.


Well here's a good idea - free menstrual supplies at schools.  From Huffington Post:
The legislation, also known as the period poverty bill, requires menstrual products to be provided in all female and gender-neutral bathrooms in public middle and high schools across the state.
The bill was spearheaded by New Hampshire high school senior Caroline Dillon after she learned about how many people are forced to miss school or work because they can’t afford pads and tampons. Dillon, who worked with Democratic state Sen. Martha Hennessey to draft the measure in March, testified in front of the state Senate’s Education and Workforce Development Committee in February.  

Last month, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) announced that the city would provide free menstrual products in all public middle and high schools. New York and Illinois are among other states that also provide free tampons and pads to students in public schools.
Really good reflection piece from Our Future about where urban school districts that have been buffeted by political winds go from here, Many Public Schools Have Nowhere To Go But Up.
That very concern is currently being tested in an arena long regarded as the foundation of democracy itself—the nation’s public schools. Currently, numerous urban school districts around the country are returning to local democratic control after years of authoritarian, and often corrupt, rule by their respective state governments. 

In New OrleansPhiladelphiaDetroitNewark, and elsewhere, school districts that have spent years under the thumb of state-appointed boards and managers are transitioning to public control through either democratically elected boards or boards appointed by an elected mayor.

These urban, mostly black communities face the reality that there are simply no “better days” to return to. Like their peers at the national level attempting to present a vision of politics in a post-Trump era, they have to consider whether the usual business of politics can still work or whether forces that have waged a long war against democracy may have won.
Important reading from The Conversation about using data to talk about student performance; what do parents get out of it?  From How to teach and parent better in the age of big data:
I silently wondered: I have a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning, and I don’t understand what these data say about my kid. What are other parents getting out of these meetings?

It is not enough to collect data about a student. I believe that data are no substitute for building rapport with young people. And yet, elementary to high school teachers who work well with data, the ones who know how to measure and speak from percentages, are doing the job right. This is teaching in the age of “big data.” 
I believe that schools should focus on developing more data wisdom – considering the power of data for building pathways to better futures. Doing so means all educators, be they parents or teachers, use data wisely: considering what it does and does not show, considering that data in the larger social context, and looking at past experiences and trends in a child’s life to thoughtfully plan for the future. 
And Mac is a privileged white male not shouldering any stressors of racism, sexism or economic instability, daily realities for many students that are completely erased by a single metric. Quick assessments on bullying and anxiety, for instance, could meaningfully elaborate a MetaMetrics table for teachers and parents. 

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