The Prison to School Pipeline and a Unique School Board Campaign in Minnesota | Last Week’s Best Articles


We’re back with Last Week’s Best Articles In Education!

Our team is always seeking the latest news in the field of education. As advocates for a 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 nations students.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…because we believe you should stay up-to-date, too!

How a unique solidarity campaign got a Minnesota community a school board that looks a lot more like the district it represents via MinnPost

Fartun Ahmed, 26 and the first Somali-American to be elected to a school board seat, won one of three open seats that were vacated by retiring board members. Her historic victory may not have brought the same level of attention, but its significance hasn’t been lost on her.

As she sets out to help elevate the voice of minority families in a district that’s 45 percent students of color (21 percent of which are black, a subset that includes both African-American students and East African students), Ahmed will have the support of two campaign partners, who also won seats on the board: Jen Westmoreland Bouchard and Chris LaTondresse.

Competing in a five-way race, the three newcomers ran a solidarity campaign that landed them 80 percent of all the votes, with each winning candidate taking home at least a quarter of the votes — results that offer a unique example of candidates generating support for creating a board that’s more reflective of the student body it represents.

Ed note: Chris LaTondresse, one of the partner candidates, serves as Hope for Students’ Campaign Director!

Helping Students Get the Great Teachers They Deserve via The Education Trust

In school districts across the nation, Black, Latino, and Native American students, as well as students from low-income families, are less likely to have access to strong consistent teaching than their White and more affluent peers. Even students have a sense that this is happening.

And while the academic impact of these inequities is dramatic — students with the strongest teachers gain months worth of additional learning — so too are the psychological effects on students who are left to wonder why they don’t get or keep the teachers they need, and whether they even deserve them.

Trump nominee for No. 2 spot at Education Department stumbles on key questions at confirmation hearing via The Washington Post

The two were peppered with questions from Democrats about their support for voucher programs — which use public money to pay for private and religious school tuition — and other issues, including upholding civil rights laws. Vouchers were a key focus of questions from the senators because school choice is the stated priority of Devos, who has spent decades promoting charter schools and vouchers and similar initiatives.

DeVos is so partial to schools that are alternatives to traditional public schools that Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) asked Blew if one of the Education Department’s priorities should be to “strengthen public schools.” Blew responded: “I look forward to answering more of your questions in writing. But absolutely, yes.”

One thing to read this week…

The Prison-to-School Pipeline via Teach for America

In the generation since tough juvenile sentencing laws peaked in the 1990s, educators and advocates have fought to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. They’ve developed alternatives to zero-tolerance disciplinary practices. They’ve lobbied for and won changes to local policy. They’ve rallied the support of the federal Justice Department and even President Obama himself.

Yet dismantling the pipeline is not enough to help the nearly 100,000 youth already in the juvenile justice system’s custody, or the hundreds of thousands more who have served time and been released. Roughly two-thirds of students released from the system never return to school. What chance do they have?

Ed note: This article is from one year ago. Be sure to read ‘What Happened Next’ to discover the impact that two young leaders have had in their communities.

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

November 17, 2017
The Expectations Project

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