School Reform That Matters Most
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School Reform That Matters Most
Creating Safe and Inclusive Learning Communities
Curated by Cindy Sullivan
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Fiction has significant role in social emotional learning

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Anti-same-sex marriage booklet sent to Catholic schools 'degrades' gay students

Anti-same-sex marriage booklet sent to Catholic schools 'degrades' gay students | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it
Advocates slam ‘desperate’ letter from Catholic bishops warning children ‘same-sex friendships’ are very different from ‘real marriages’
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When they ask ‘Miss, are you a lesbian?’, I tell them yes

When they ask ‘Miss, are you a lesbian?’, I tell them yes | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it
It isn’t easy for a teacher to be out in the classroom. But being seen to be accepted can be of real help to gay students at school
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A 13-Year-Old's Slavery Analogy Raises Some Uncomfortable Truths in School

A 13-Year-Old's Slavery Analogy Raises Some Uncomfortable Truths in School | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it
13-year-old Jada Williams' essay compared Douglass' story about being kept from reading with her experience in a struggling school.
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Public Letter on Standardized Testing from Authors and Illustrators of Books for Children and Youth | FairTest

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26 Amazing Facts About Finland's Unorthodox Education System

26 Amazing Facts About Finland's Unorthodox Education System | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it
It puts the rest of the world to shame.
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Hands On Learning: the hook that keeps kids at school

Jack Thompson AM presents a short documentary dealing with the hidden crisis of wasted potential with 16% of Australian teenagers not in full time education.

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Diane Ravitch Defends Public Education

Diane Ravitch, education activist and historian, rallied an enthusiastic audience at the AFT 2012 Convention with her sharp criticism of education "reform" that threatens public schools.

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Precious Knowledge: In Production at Dos Vatos

Precious Knowledge: In Production at Dos Vatos | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it

Precious Knowledge interweaves the transformative stories of seniors in the Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson High School. Inequalities in education continue to affect people of color. The ticking time bomb story of our time is that fewer than six in 10 Latino adults in the United States have a high school diploma. These alarming dropout rates will continue to have a serious impact on our nation. Our documentary goes further, however, by illustrating forms of critical pedagogy that can empower Latino youth and other youth of color and change this state of affairs. Precious Knowledge will illustrate to a nationwide audience a Mexican American Studies program that inspires 82% of its students to enroll in college. The themes of Precious Knowledge are embedded in the journey of each student as they: self reflect, seek out precious knowledge, begin to act, and ultimately transform, while nurturing positive images of Latino identity and embracing the dignity of all cultures and histories.

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Teach Respect, Demand Non-Discrimination

Teach Respect, Demand Non-Discrimination | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it

On Wednesday, a new international effort to combat racism and intolerance in schools was launched at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the full backing of the U.S.

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Elisabeth Skapetis's curator insight, August 5, 2013 8:06 AM

The United Nations Educational, Sciencitfic and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched an effort called, "Teaching Respect for All." This effort is designed to develop curriculum for use across the globe to promote tolerance and respect for all people.

Lydia Mackinlay Campbell's comment, October 22, 2013 2:16 AM
"because freedom can't protect itself" the slogan for this website and Campaign to protect people from racism in schools, a intolerance towards racism and a fight to put racism to its end.
Lydia Mackinlay Campbell's curator insight, November 2, 2013 4:06 AM

"because freedom can't protect itself" the slogan for this website and Campaign to protect people from racism in schools, a intolerance towards racism and a fight to put racism to its end.

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In a networked world, why is the geography of knowledge still uneven?

In a networked world, why is the geography of knowledge still uneven? | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it

On Flickr, countries in the north are covered by much thicker clouds of information. Google's databases contain more indexed user-generated content about the Tokyo metropolitan region than the entire continent of Africa. While on Wikipedia, there is more written about Germany than South America and Africa combined. In other words, there are massive inequalities that cannot simply be explained by uneven internet penetration rates. A range of other physical, social, political and economic barriers reinforce the digital divide, amplifying the informational power of the already powerful and visible. That's not to say the internet doesn't have important implications for the developing world. People use it not just to connect with friends and family, but to learn, share information, trade, and represent their communities. Consequently, it's important to be aware of the internet's highly uneven geographies of information. These inequalities matter to the south, because connectivity – though a clear prerequisite for access to most 21st-century platforms of knowledge sharing – is by no means a determinant of knowledge production and digital participation. How do we move towards encouraging participation from and about parts of the world left out of virtual representations? The first step is allowing people to see what is, and isn't, represented. 

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Improving access and diversity in HE | Higher Education Network | Guardian Professional

Improving access and diversity in HE | Higher Education Network | Guardian Professional | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it
On Tuesday 12 July, the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) announced that it had approved access agreements for 139 higher education institutions. Universities and colleges that intend to charge fees more than £6,000 have had to demonstrate to OFFA how they intend to guarantee access to students from disadvantaged backgrounds through outreach work and financial support, for example.The increase in tuition fees has raised questions about whether or not it is ethical for universities to encourage students to incur such large debts but social mobility is not the only issue universities will have to grapple with in their bid for distinctiveness.Demonstrating that students can feel at home at your institution irrespective of their race, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation is an important element in how a university markets itself. But are HEIs doing enough to cater to the diversity represented in society as a whole? And is it important for an institution trying to market itself as committed to diversity and equality to reflect that in its staff?
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Safeguarding LGBT Students

Safeguarding LGBT Students | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it
Some students in our public school system fit in to the school culture without an issue. It's almost like they go through their school experience unscathed because they were popular, good-looking, a good athlete, or did well in school. They entered school on a daily basis feeling engaged and safe, and when they get older, as we all do, they probably remember their high school days as if they were one of the best times of their lives. Our LGBT student population most likely feels differently. They do not always fit in, are not the most popular, are not given a second glance, unless of course it is to pick on them for being different. Many of these students never go a day unscathed, and are more likely to never attend a high school reunion or remember school fondly. Their memories often include remembering being called derogatory names. What if we could do things differently? What if we could make an impact on these students? What if we found ways to engage them through curriculum, after-school activities, or made them feel welcome in our schools by providing a safe space? We need to offer a Gay-Straight Alliance in every school which research tells us helps to create an inclusive and safe climate. The harsh reality is that we do not see all the teasing and torment that goes on in our school, and we need to change that. Our LGBT student population often feel the most marginalized. Every time we turn the other cheek, we have lost another student and helped prevent them from finding themselves. When we ignore opportunities to help those students, we give them a reason to hate the very school system that we love.
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12 Ways Young People Organized for Human Rights in 2014

12 Ways Young People Organized for Human Rights in 2014 | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it
Contrary to a narrative that young people are apathetic or lazy or too busy texting to care about human rights, in fact young people are at the helm of the movement for justice for all people. I, for one, can't wait to see what they pull off in 2015.
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Gay O.K. T-Shirts Are Not O.K. At A Texas Middle School

Gay O.K. T-Shirts Are Not O.K. At A Texas Middle School | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it
Students at a Texas middle school were sent home or made to cover up the homemade "Gay O.K." shirts they wore to support a 7th grader who recently came out as gay.
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▶ David Gonski - YouTube

Here's the man himself - David Gonski - again making the case for extra schools funding at a recent forum. He clearly gives a Gonski, and so must we. Have yo...
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Challenge Standardized Testing | Education on GOOD

Challenge Standardized Testing | Education on GOOD | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it
Provoke thought. Share. Parents put your foot down. Exam results shouldn't decide fate.
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Universities' assault on humanities signals a society going backwards

Universities' assault on humanities signals a society going backwards | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it

Universities' assault on humanities signals a society going backwards. A good reason to study the humanities is simply to survive mentally and emotionally in a world that cares less and less for the humanities. For a world that has less time for the humanities, which doesn't see the value in literature, history, philosophy as it once did, will be a world built increasingly on illusion. A world where everything will be spectacle in the service of endless distraction.
It is understandable, of course, that we tend to think mostly about how education will set us on a path to a career and financial security. But there is more to education than vocation, or at least there should be. Education isn't only about making careers, it's also about making minds - minds capable of scepticism, minds that question assumptions, minds that resist corruptions, minds that seek clarity and understanding, and minds that desire to love and diminish human misery.

 

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How this student proved a teacher wrong

How this student proved a teacher wrong | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it

STACEY Duddy carries the words of the vice-principal at her old school within her heart: ''You'll never amount to anything.''
It was nine years ago. Ms Duddy was at a crossroads. She was skipping classes and disrupting those she attended, hanging out with a rough crowd, smoking, fighting and rebelling, at every turn not knowing quite why. She was in year 9 at Frankston High School, hated attending at all and figured if she made it to year 10 without being expelled, she would quit. She had the vague idea she might become a hairdresser or a nail technician. Three years later, to the astonishment of her teachers, she graduated from year 12. Now, aged 23, she has only two units to complete for a degree in psychology at the Swinburne University of Technology. She studies by correspondence and works for a transport company to support herself. Her most satisfying job so far has been teaching autistic children to form words. ''My goal is to work in child protection, out in the field, for an organisation like the Department of Human Services,'' says Ms Duddy.
But how did she turn around her life so remarkably?

 

 

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NY1 Exclusive: Fifth-Grade Student Performs Banned Speech for NY1 Cameras - NY1.com

NY1 Exclusive: Fifth-Grade Student Performs Banned Speech for NY1 Cameras - NY1.com | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it
A Queens fifth-grade student was prohibited from giving a speech on same-sex marriage at a school competition, but NY1 had him recite the speech for our cameras.
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The Wild Reed: An Inspiring Event

The Wild Reed: An Inspiring Event | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it

It was a day-long conference entitled "Cultivating Respect: Creating Safe Schools for All Students." Geared for teachers, social workers, administrators, counselors, parents of GLBTQ individuals, students, GLBTQ youth and allies, and Gay/Straight Alliance leaders, the "Cultivating Respect" conference was organized and sponsored by PFLAG Twin Cities and held at Hamline University in St. Paul.

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Students Step Up Tucson Walkouts: Protest School District Folly and Mexican American Studies Banishment « SpeakEasy

Students Step Up Tucson Walkouts: Protest School District Folly and Mexican American Studies Banishment « SpeakEasy | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it

As the nation watches the Tucson Unified School District’s spiral into disarray, hundreds of students have walked out of their Tucson schools today in a coordinated protest against the banishment of the district’s acclaimed Mexican American Studies program. Pouring into the downtown Tucson area from Pueblo, Cholla and Tucson high schools, among other institutions, the students brought their march to the offices of floundering Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) administrators. In recent days, administrators and board members have issued a series of conflicting and inaccurate statements and carried out the extreme actions of confiscating books in front of children. Last week, a recently hired assistant superintendent from Texas made a troubing call for the deeply rooted Tucson students–many of whom trace their ancestors to the town founders– to “go to Mexico” to study their history.

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Values in dispute: secularism and tolerance in Australian education - The Drum Opinion (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Values in dispute: secularism and tolerance in Australian education - The Drum Opinion (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it
We need to examine our beliefs in the religious education debate more deeply and not use smokescreens to cover our real intentions and agendas. Therefore, for the religious education debate, the argument about tolerance can be seen as a ruse to subject a certain dominant belief system (Christianity) to another, atheist secularism. Modern secularism has no great respect for different religious forms, but wishes to equalise and subject all of them to its agenda. This does not mean that "religion" can't be studied in some form in schools. I think it should, but we should be clear what religion is: it is not just Christianity or Islam, but involves studying all belief systems that structure how we think about ourselves and how we act toward each other, which could include forms of modern secularism, nationalism and sport.
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Gov. Brown Signs California's LGBT Inclusive FAIR Education Act - Care2.com (blog)

Gov. Brown Signs California's LGBT Inclusive FAIR Education Act - Care2.com (blog) | School Reform That Matters Most | Scoop.it
California’s Governor Jerry Brown has made history Thursday by signing legislation that, for the first time in the United States, mandates that LGBT contributions to society must be included in the state’s history and social studies lessons. The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act was authored by Senator Mark Leno and is designed to address the current exclusion of LGBT history from school textbooks. The FAIR Education Act amends California’s Education Code to include instruction on the contributions of LGBTs and also prohibits discriminatory instruction or discriminatory materials from being used by the State Board of Education. The legislation was approved by the California Senate in a 23-14 vote on April 14 and then by the California Assembly in a 49-25 vote on July 6. The legislation, while receiving a great deal of public support, has been vehemently attacked by religious conservatives who say it is gay indoctrination and that openly gay Senator Mark Leno is trying to “queer” schools. The main issue opponents raise centers on the fact that California law does not allow parents to remove their children from selected lessons and therefore parents will not be able to prevent their children learning LGBT history when it comes up in the syllabus. Advocates have said the legislation does nothing more than address the artificial exclusion of LGBTs from school lessons and that concerns of indoctrination are simply overblown anti-gay rhetoric. It is hoped that the FAIR Education Act, which is expected to come into force around 2013, will help to alleviate the “otherness” surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and in doing so will combat anti-LGBT bullying, creating a better climate for all school children. Congratulations California!
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