Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:

Fuller: To Truly Honor Dr. King, Teachers Must Fight for Justice Beyond the Schoolhouse Doors for Their Poor Black Students
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated April 4, 1968. Since that time, much has been written and said about this “drum major for justice.” In my view, there seems to be a conscious or unconscious process at work to create a sanitized notion of this great man. We hear a lot about the power of his intellect, the man who spoke of his powerful dream, the man who believed in nonviolence, the man who preached about love. He was indeed intellectually gifted, but he was not abstract. He was a dreamer, but primarily, he was a doer. King was indeed nonviolent, but he was not passive. He preached about love, but he connected it to justice. He stated, “The Negro needs not only love, but also justice. Love that does not satisfy justice is no love at all. It is merely a sentimental affection, little more than what one would have for a pet.” (The 74)

Teachers Are Marching Ahead Of Their Unions, In Oklahoma And Arizona
“I’m 54 years old and my paycheck is $1,980 [a month]. I can’t afford f****** health insurance.” That’s one of the first things Larry Cagle says on the phone. He is spitting nails. The Tulsa English teacher is one of the leaders of a grassroots organizing group, Oklahoma Teachers United, that they say represents thousands of public school teachers around the state. His group, and both of Oklahoma’s teachers unions, support the walkout and rally happening across the state Monday in support of higher wages and more state revenue. (NPR)

Reimagining Middle School
Compliance. Restraint. Passivity. These are the behaviors and habits of mind that our education system — from discipline policies and curricula to teacher training and school buildings — is designed to impose on teenagers. Our approach to educating teens in America is governed by the damaging and mistaken notion that young people are predisposed to disruption, apathy, and noncompliance. They are taken to create, by nature, conditions that make teaching and learning difficult. Bluntly put, we view young people as presenting threats that need to be controlled rather than assets to be cultivated. (RealClear Education)

How does a child’s hairstyle interfere with education? Not the way most schools think.
This week, a high school student in Walker, La., revealed that he’s been threatened with expulsion for wearing his hair at chin length. In early March, a girl in third grade was sent home for having playful designs cut into her hair, and a 14-year-old boy was recently suspended for something similar. These are just the latest stories of kids whose hair was deemed in violation of their school’s dress code — rules whose text often vaguely alludes to “distracting” styles or anything that “interferes with a student’s performance.” (Yahoo)

Legislature May Require Schools To Teach The Holocaust, Genocide And Climate Change
State law requires the teaching of history and science, among other subjects, but should it specifically mandate the inclusion of the Holocaust, genocide and climate change in the curriculum? A number of legislators feel those topics — at times the subject of misguided campaigns denying they exist — are so compelling that they should be required. Others argue that the schools already address these topics adequately and that the proposals would be unfunded mandates and might actually hinder the integration of these subjects into the curriculum at all levels. (Hartford Courant)

More schools add armed security officers amid debate over guns on campuses
Amid heated debate over whether teachers and other school officials should carry guns, the number of armed security officers at schools is on the rise, with more than one in Delaware staffed with gun-carrying constables. Not everyone likes the trend and experts have questioned the wisdom of putting weapons in schools. In Delaware, many districts partner with state police and local law enforcement departments to have school resource officers, who are assigned to schools but are not district employees. Their duties include controlling outside traffic, patrolling the school, maintaining discipline, identifying problems and mentoring at-risk students, teaching law-related classes and serving as liaisons between schools and police. (Delaware Online)

​New Mexico
Students Need Role Models Who Look Like They Do
​Born to a poorer family on the rough side of town, “south of Second Street” in Roswell, I was supposed to become a statistic. When I was little, I remember my first goal being, “I want to afford to buy my children Happy Meals whenever they ask.”This was after running errands with my grandmother, who did not have extra money to purchase me the tasty kid’s meal. Later, my goals become bigger, but were they big enough? Growing up, I remember having Latino teachers who looked like me. I also saw people who looked like me working at stores and restaurants where my family ate. (New Mexico Education)

New Jersey
To underfunded N.J. schools, Murphy’s budget a ‘blow’
When Chesterfield Superintendent Scott Heino learned of the funding increase that Gov. Murphy planned for his school district, his reaction was “absolute shock.” This was worse than nothing. By his calculation, the $41,060 increase was a mere 1/100th of the Burlington County district’s entitlement, about $4 million, based on how its student population has grown. “I think if we would have received the same exact number of aid as last year, I wouldn’t have been as shocked,” said Heino. “The fact that there was an effort made, and changes were made and money was allocated, and still we only received the $41,000, … it was a blow.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

Hamilton County Schools launching task force to address inequities in schools
Hamilton County Schools will launch an equity task force next month, consisting of educators, community members, parents, business leaders and elected officials to address students’ universal access to support services across the district. Marsha Drake, who was promoted to the school district’s chief equity officer role last fall after Superintendent Bryan Johnson took the helm, said one of the purposes of the task force was to acknowledge that inequities exist. “By looking into some of those best practices, we acknowledge that there are areas of inequities with the system and we are being more transparent to address those,” Drake said.​ (Times Free Press)

Mimi Woldeyohannes is the Executive Assistant to the CEO at 50CAN. She lives in Maryland.


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