Weekly News Roundup: A Conversation with the Arkansas Teacher of the Year


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 the stories that got us talking this week.

‘My roots run really deep.’ How Arkansas’ Teacher of the Year uses poetry and hometown pride to connect with her students via Chalkbeat

Because I am from this community, and have never left this community, I’m still very connected. My roots run really deep and my reach is very wide. I tell students all the time that if they give me a few minutes, I’m almost certain I can find somebody that the two of us know in common.

Also, I live in the neighborhood with the students, they see me at church, they see me at the grocery store. I encounter the students all the time. It helps in a lot of different ways. It helps me with discipline; it helps me with establishing street cred. It definitely deepens our relationship.

Affirmation, and a call to action: Gathering focuses on discipline disparity in schools via MPR News

The founder of Project Diva, Neda Renee Kellogg, said she hopes the film affirmed the experiences of many of the girls and parents in the audience, and ignited a call to action.

“I think the audience was able to — especially the girls — walk away with seeing other girls that are going through it, to show that they’re not isolated,” she said. “I’m praying that the conversation was started, the call of action was started amongst us, amongst black women today.”

Only 3 States Expect Teachers to Learn About Institutional Bias. That’s a Big Problem. via Education Week

These institutional inequities are borne out by hard numbers. Consider funding: A recent EdBuild report found that predominantly White school districts receive a striking $23 billion more in funding than school districts who mostly serve students of color.

If we downplay the existence of these structural inequities, we risk harming students who deal with them in their daily lives. Not only does it allow us to abdicate our responsibility to remediate these disparities, but it also harms students.

One thing to read this weekend…

Flint’s Children Suffer in Class After Years of Drinking the Lead-Poisoned Water via The New York Times

Five years after Michigan switched Flint’s water supply to the contaminated Flint River from Lake Huron, the city’s lead crisis has migrated from its homes to its schools, where neurological and behavioral problems — real or feared — among students are threatening to overwhelm the education system.

The contamination of this long-struggling city’s water exposed nearly 30,000 schoolchildren to a neurotoxin known to have detrimental effects on children’s developing brains and nervous systems.

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

December 9, 2019
The Expectations Project

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