Last Week’s Best Articles | A Red State Invests in Preschool and Why School Counselors Matter


Our team is always seeking the latest news in the field of education. As advocates for a high-quality education for ALL students, we know we have to stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on in the education spheres of our nation…from the White House to the local public school district, from new legislation to the small acts of bravery and kindness made by a single teacher, from the milestones and celebrations to the hazardous injustices affecting many of our nation’s students.

Here are some stories we came across last week that we’re focused on.

Fewer AP classes, suspended more often: Black students still face racism in suburbs via USA Today

Even in generally high-performing suburban school districts, students of color, particularly black students, say they face pervasive prejudice when it comes to access to advanced coursework, academic achievement, and discipline. Figures from the most recent federal Civil Rights Data Collection show disparities in every part of the country.

In the wealthy Phoenix-area school district of Paradise Valley, white students are about twice as likely as black and Hispanic students to be enrolled in at least one AP class.

In Collier County, Florida, black students are 2.7 times more likely to be suspended.

Why School Counselors Matter via The Education Trust

Oftentimes, those who stand the most to benefit from a school counselor —students of color and students from low-income families — don’t have access to one. The fact is, the schools serving the most students of color or the most students from low-income families are shortchanged when it comes to school counselors. The average student-to-school-counselor ratio in America is 464 to 1. That’s nearly double the ratio recommended by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). But even 250 to 1 sounds like a lot of students for one person to keep track of. (Have you met a teenager?)

The Demographic Mismatch Between Students and Teachers Continues to Grow, Despite Rise in Teacher Diversity via New America

The demographic mismatch between teachers and students is especially problematic as research demonstrates that students benefit from having teachers that reflect their cultural, racial, and linguistic background. For example, various studies have found that students of color who are assigned to a teacher who looks like them experience positive academic perceptions and attitudes, a reduction in the likelihood of dropping out of school, and an increase in the likelihood of attending college.

One thing to read this week…

This Deep-Red State Decided to Make a Serious Investment in Preschools. It’s Paying Off Big-Time. via Mother Jones

It is the first real test, in the reddest of red states, of the notion that investing in early education can improve not only children’s outcomes, but entire economies. For years, many have argued that any preschool gains fade by the third grade—and they have used this claim to try to dismantle public preschool programs. In 2014, Rep. Paul Ryan famously charged that Head Start, the federal program that provides free preschool to poor families, was “failing to prepare children for school.” Alabama’s results fly in the face of such arguments. And its program never would have been possible without the support of a committed group of businesspeople and lawmakers—many of them as conservative as they come.

Did any of these articles particularly speak to you? We would love to know your thoughts! Let us know in the comments below:

February 10, 2019
The Expectations Project

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