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Weekly News Roundup: A Virginia Church Pays Off School Lunch Debt

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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 we’ve been talking about this week.

Some educators spend little extra time in the communities where they teach. Doing so can pay real dividends. via Chalkbeat

What that looks like is home visits to share good news about students. It looks like attending a city council meeting to advocate on behalf of your students on an issue affecting them and their families. It is also supporting Black- and Latinx-owned restaurants, bookstores, pharmacies, bakeries, and corner bodegas. It’s volunteering in the community where you work. It’s bringing your family to the community you work to see fireworks on the Fourth of July or to watch the lighting of the municipal Christmas tree.

OPINION: What if students returned to the same teachers the next year? via The Hechinger Report

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start the school year with all students “looping” into the rhythm of their classroom routines, with teachers already having a handle on every student’s strengths, struggles and home issues? A scenario in which teachers have the opportunity to go back and re-teach a hard-to-grasp skill that students completely understood last year?

A Virginia church pays off meal debt at two school systems. They want others to follow suit. via The Washington Post

School meal debt in the United States is significant, widespread and getting worse. At the end of the 2017-2018 school year, about 75 percent of school districts nationally reported unpaid meal debt, according to the School Nutrition Association.

Rev. Jerry Williams said he and his fellow pastors never expected their donation would “make such an impact.” But he was equally astonished — and pained — by the lack of awareness surrounding school lunch debt nationally, in Stafford, and within the walls of Mount Ararat Church.


One thing to read this weekend

America’s schools are more diverse than ever. But the teachers are still mostly white. via The Washington Post

Creating a diverse teaching corps is not just about hiring. It’s about retention. Black and Hispanic teachers are less likely to remain in the profession than their white peers.

Research shows that for black and Hispanic students, having a teacher like them can make a significant difference in academic achievement. So there’s been a recruitment push to get teachers of color into struggling schools. The Post analysis found people of color made up 20 percent of all teachers, but 34 percent of those in high-poverty districts.


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

January 3, 2020
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The Expectations Project
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