Blogs on Education Equity

Blogs on Education EquityRSS
Steve GardinerApril 16, 2014

Watching a classroom of students working is fascinating. There are students who are engaged, who focus on the task and forge ahead. They get the job done on time, every time. There are other students who start working but get distracted. They work briefly, but as soon as the work becomes difficult or challenging, they give up. They look for help, or they refuse to even try.

What is the difference?

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For the last ten years, we've worked one-on-one with students from elementary school through graduate school. No matter their age, no matter the material, when you ask what they're struggling with, students almost universally name a subject: "math," "English" or, in some instances, "school." Doubting that all of school is the issue, we then ask to see their last test. After some grumbling, the student digs down, deep into the dark, dank recesses of his or her backpack, and pulls out a balled-up, lunch-stained paper that, once smoothed out, turns out to be the latest exam.

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Bob LenzFebruary 13, 2014

Good news for students and schools: A new study, released last week by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE), looks closely at four schools that are achieving positive outcomes for low-income students of color. The Stanford findings provide independent evidence that deeper learning strategies and student-centered practices increase academic achievement.

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José VilsonJanuary 24, 2014

My last piece about the anniversary of Wu-Tang Clan's 36 Chambers started a bit of controversy on social media, mostly around the relevance of the album to the work we do as educators. The thrust of the piece was mostly comical, because who thinks an organization like Edutopia would embrace the RZA, the GZA and the ODB with such fervor? Yet, in the piece, I left a few gems about taking classrooms to the next level, especially with students who might otherwise feel disengaged from subjects that don't often reflect their personal experiences.

If we don't find a way to connect with children whose culture is different from ours, how do we expect to teach them at all?

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Bob LenzOctober 29, 2013

Zip codes matter.

It is an unfortunate reality that where a student lives plays a significant role in determining how well she will do in school. Education leaders are actively looking for strategies to address the particular challenges faced by students from low-income communities. Pathways to Postsecondary Success: Maximizing Opportunities for Youth in Poverty, a recently completed five-year study from UC researchers, outlines five key findings as the things "that matter most for understanding and improving low-income students' success in post-secondary education."

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Anne OBrienOctober 22, 2013

It is now late October. Have any of your students already missed more than a month of school? Are any on track to? Can you even know?

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Mark PhillipsOctober 21, 2013

I posted a blog a few weeks ago in which I mentioned two films that renewed my faith in public education. That post focused on the film The New Public. The second of those films is The Graduates, an Independent Lens documentary that will be shown on PBS, the first segment on October 28 and the second on November 4. I want to share with you why I am so high on this film.

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Elena AguilarOctober 3, 2013

This year has begun with a lot of discussion about how Common Core will affect instruction, curriculum, and assessment, conversations that usually circle up to the intended outcomes of our K-12 education system. In my district in Oakland, CA, we aim to prepare students to be "college and career ready." Explorations of the achievement gap and structural inequities also point to ways in which some of our students (primarily low income black and Latino students) end up at a disadvantage when competing for jobs after going through our schools.

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Mark PhillipsSeptember 30, 2013

I love movies, especially good movies about kids and about education. I'm also often disappointed in these films. I've become tired of documentaries extoling or attacking charter schools. I've also seen too many films focusing on at-risk kids in struggling schools that somehow manage to be clichéd, repetitive and boring.

So when I discover films like the two that I want to share with you, films that are truly great in both their substance and the quality of the filmmaking, I feel uplifted and hopeful. They renew my faith in both public education and great documentary filmmaking. The two films are The New Public and The Graduates. I plan to review the latter film just before its wide release in late October. But The New Public airs nationally on PBS on October 1, so let's start with that one.

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Elena AguilarSeptember 24, 2013

In my last blog post, I suggested that by seeing the film, Fruitvale Station, you could be taking one step towards creating a more just and equitable society. Educating ourselves is an important starting point in this effort, and here are some more actions you can take to unravel systemic oppression and its offspring, bias and prejudice.

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