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Equity Express

New From Ed Trust

Black and Proud: MLK, BLM, and Today’s Education Reformers

As the 53rd anniversary of the March on Washington approaches, Robin Harris reflects on the civil rights activism of the 1960s and the Black Lives Movement of today. “The desire to define a movement in simple terms, to contain it in 140 characters or less, makes sense. We push the internal conflicts, the doubt, the indecision, and the things left unresolved to the side. And just when we think we can claim victory, e.g., a post-racial society, we are confronted with what festers underneath,” she writes in New America Weekly. “This … plagues activists and talking heads alike, but so, too, does it impact the education reform movement, as advocates debate the role of race and racial justice in creating better schools. There’s much in this conflict to be learned from a movement’s gritty parts.”

Letting Students Take the Lead

Matthew Stensrud, an elementary music teacher in a Title I school, met with his colleagues last year to identify why their student assessment results hadn’t met state benchmarks. What they found was problems in their own practices—starting with attitude. “Reminding ourselves that students from low-income households are capable of higher-level thinking was the first step [toward improving our practices],” he writes, “and creating assignments that demand those higher levels was the next.” In this blog post, he shares four principles to consider when crafting assignments that are sure to foster higher-level thinking among students.

Getting Energized for the School Year

“Catching Butterflies” chronicles the experiences of five high school students who were disengaged in their traditional schools—and were drawn back to learning by educators in alternative schools and a high school in a juvenile detention facility. It’s a powerful narrative, especially relevant this week as teachers sketch out their goals and plans for the months ahead. We know that Baltimore educators are using “Catching Butterflies” in their back-to-school discussions, and we hope you will too.

Teachers in High-Need Schools Share Why They Do What They Do

We’ve asked educators across the country who teach in schools that serve large percentages of students of color and students from low-income families why they choose those assignments. What brings them back to the particular demands of these classrooms, year after year? Strong school leadership, networks of supportive colleagues, and the genuine opportunity to have a say in schoolwide decisions. See more about what they had to say as part of our Why I Teach Where I Teach series. Want to contribute? Email mzatynski@edtrust.org.

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