Below are a few of the education stories we’ve bookmarked recently.
Children can face psychological trauma and toxic stress caused by racism in school. “Young people tell me about racist teachers, here in Modesto schools,” said Dr. Lynette Grandison, a pediatrician with Sutter Gould Medical Foundation in California. “At one school, things seemed so bad that I went to the school to talk to the principal.” She and other health experts discuss the long-term impact of racism on children’s health and offer advice for parents and educators on how to intervene.
In light of the protests across the country, superintendents are looking at their districts to combat racism. Prince William Country Public Schools in Virginia plans to ban Confederate flags, remove monuments, rename schools, and require district staff to complete training in culturally responsive instruction. “This behavior is often meant to intimidate students of color, and as such, it is a disruption to the educational environment,” said Superintendent Steve Walts.
For educators, being an effective LGBTQ+ ally requires strong self-reflection and a willingness to take on their students’ struggles as their own. “Eighty-three percent of educators felt that they should provide a safe environment for their LGBTQ students…[but] only half had taken action to do so, according to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), an organization that helps K–12 schools create safe environments for LGBTQ students.” Dr. Christine Wells offers educators some advice on how they can work proactively to ensure safer, more inclusive schools for all students.
Research from NWEA shows that teachers will likely see even broader gaps in achievement when schools reopen. Children who have been historically underserved are at high risk of falling further behind, compared to high-achieving students with more resources. Teaching students within a remote learning setting will be an even further challenge during the next academic year, which may make differentiation in instruction even more difficult to achieve, according to Beth Hawkins for The 74.
While K–12 administrators have faced many challenges with remote instruction, there have also been successes, including the increase in access to education technology for students. Still many questions remain for educators and administrators about what comes next. “What does that mean for when this is over? We don’t have all the answers yet, but we can certainly take the skills we’re learning now and use them to develop models that better meet the needs of all students,” said Whitney Oakley, chief academic officer at Guilford County Schools in North Carolina.