For years, students in Mobile, Ala., endured school climates in which they were regularly suspended for such minor infractions as tardiness, talking and uniform violations. Over a three-year period, more than 1,700 long-term suspensions—suspensions lasting between 11 days and several months—were doled out.
The problem isn’t isolated in Mobile. Suspensions have been steadily increasing across the nation since the 1970s. According to the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization that tackles inequity with strategies and community alliance, more than 3 million youth are suspended in the United States each year.
Students can’t learn when they are out of school on suspension, and as a result they fall behind. Research has shown that students who are suspended even once are more likely to drop out—and that suspensions are an ineffective method of changing behavior. Since zero-tolerance discipline policies, which drive suspensions, disproportionately affect students of color, they also serve to widen the achievement gap that educators work so hard to close. And worse, they pour students into the school-to-prison pipeline.
In 2011, the Southern Poverty Law Center sued Mobile County Public Schools on behalf of the children of Mobile, charging that the district suspended students for minor offenses and did not offer students any procedural protections.
In a recent legal settlement with the SPLC, Mobile County Public Schools agreed to make significant changes to its discipline policy for the benefit of the students of the city. These changes will keep more students in school and learning.
A little bit heady, but this is an interesting read. The science of stress and poverty on learning. There are so many ways to incorporate stress relief in the classroom. This also begs the question: Are teachers' job duties changing?
In June, President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take the steps necessary to build high-speed digital connections to America’s schools and libraries, ensuring that 99 percent of American students can benefit from...
This is great, but there's a missing piece: Librarians. If they keep getting let go, who will be there to teach the kids media literacy? (99% of American students *can* benefit, but I'd like to see how that will be implemented into *will* benefit!)
"In today’s economy, schools are looking for innovative ways of serving the public by using lower-cost resources while not compromising on quality and service. Many schools do incorporate innovative methods to integrate technology in the classroom.
However, when it comes to technology infrastructure, schools are still vulnerable to commercial applications that are expensive and difficult to maintain."
This is an interesting infographic from Best Online Colleges, which describes the study of pop culture in education. It questions its relevance and goes through the pros and cons of studying modern cultural artefacts such as The Wire, The Simpsons and Aliens in the classroom Take a look, and let us know how, or if you use popular culture in your classroom in the comments below.
Learning Through Fantasy Play. Posted by Nancy on Dec 21, 2011 in BLOG | 0 comments. My last blog post offered a list of some of the activities our students are engaged in since the Philly Free School opened its doors for the first time on ...
Anyone remember playing school, playing doctor, having a lemonade stand? I learned so much from doing these things as a child; we sometimes take for granted just how much these things stick with us in life. They do stick, and with schools like this, where guided play is the learning, these kids might just remember! Cheers, Philly Free School!
A crowdfunding campaign can be a steepy learning curve and one should be reasonably well prepared before starting. In this post I share what I learnt after the first week of my crowdfunding campaign for a self published book.
Lots of good insights here: "The advantages of crowdfunding are many – apart from gaining funds for a project that might be hard to finance in another way, it provides free feedback."
At the righteous end of the spectrum is our propensity for empathy, a trait deeply rooted in our primate heritage. Empathy — putting oneself in another’s emotional and cognitive shoes and then acting appropriately — is now an incandescently hot topic, virtually a cottage industry of books, articles, and YouTube videos....
Studies on the evolutionary and biological origins of empathy are ongoing but we now have hard empirical evidence,not wishful thinking or even logical inference, on behalf of a case for organizing vastly better societies. There is sufficient evidence that our potential for empathic engagement is being subverted by the dominant economic system and its ideology.
The world of children's entertainment is a very different place in 2013 than it was a decade ago, with virtual worlds, smartphone and tablet apps, YouTube and social media emerging to complement and compete with TV shows, films, books and console games.
Has the disruption finished? That was the topic for the opening "Are We There Yet?" debate at the Children's Media Conference in Sheffield today, with a panel drawn from the broadcasting, book publishing and digital media worlds.
The panel comprised Joe Godwin, director, BBC Children's; Francesca Dow, MD of Penguin Children's; Nigel Pickard, CEO, Zodiak MEAA and UK kids and family, Zodiak Media; Amelia Johnson, CEO, Bin Weevils; and David Kleeman, SVP insights, programs and PlayVangelist, PlayCollective.
The first question asked what the panel wish they'd known 10 years ago about how the next decade would shake out.
Before rushing to spend millions equipping schools with more gadgetry, it would be prudent to determine whether this really will improve student learning. (So much to parse here… dripping in digital dualism and nostalgia.
The Netherland's pilot program to test for learning and make modifications versus LA's massive purchase of iPads: What do folks think about injecting 640,000 iPads into one of the most troubled school districts in the country? Will the costs, both hard and soft, amount to the benefits?
In schools around Jakarta, Indonesia, students, teachers and families are rolling up their sleeves and are learning about good health and nutrition by growing their own organic vegetables. Our school gardening activity is a ...
"Yesterday we told you Florida's fastest growing public school district is... online. About 148,000 students sucessfully completed 303,000 half-credit Florida Virtual School courses this past school year. And PE — as in physical education — is a popular class, according to students. So how do you take PE virtually?"
"I'm reminded of a Reddit question that was asked: "If someone from the 1950s appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about life today?" The best answer? "I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers."
I've recently been drawn to a slew of impassioned posts from several strong voices in education, each managing more than the last to confirm we're headed towards a defining moment in the history of our schools: a shift from an exploration of more effective models of teaching and learning, to an ethical imperative to implement them in our schools. (more)
The Guardian Science Slams - how do they work? The Guardian Science Slams were started by the Poetry Slammer Alex Dreppec in Darmstadt, Germany 7 years ago and since 2008 it has become quite widespread.
Anyone know of such things here in the states? HOW COOL! "Science Slams were started by the Poetry Slammer Alex Dreppec in Darmstadt, Germany 7 years ago and since 2008 it has become quite widespread."
If I could change one thing about Canada, it would be to place a greater emphasis on the study and practice of arts education at every level.
That's right: "...what is rarely mentioned in those presumptions is that countries that demonstrate high rates of accomplishment in STEM subjects are also the countries that place a high value on the study of the arts."