The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week): Littlest Learners Edition

By Evie Blad — January 09, 2015 1 min read
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Happy Friday, Rules readers! You should really take some time to read the special early-childhood learning package Education Week released this week as part of its Quality Counts report. While the annual state education grades included in Quality Counts are quick to grab headlines, the issue-specific work is always comprehensive and interesting.

Early-childhood education has been the focus of many recent conversations about state and federal policy and equity. But, as Education Week reporters note, there are still many questions to be answered about what approaches are the most effective. And, as intervening early is promoted as a key to confronting the effects of poverty, trauma, and generational issues, readers interested in child well-being would benefit from understanding the early-childhood landscape. Check it out.

This week, I’ll also share some links about racial perception in schools, homelessness and toxic stress, and more.

Bringing biases into the light...

It means acknowledging that perceptions about race are a part of education. As a microcosm of society, schools harbor the very same perceptions, biases, racial anxiety, and stereotypes about black people that exist in society. Making these notions explicit is an important first step." —This Equity Line blog post says discussing racial perception problems is crucial for schools. For more on that, check out this paper by a group of scholars on discipline disparities.

How does homelessness affect a child’s brain?

Half of children who are homeless experience anxiety, depression and withdrawal." —This graphic, made by University of Seattle students, shows the correlations between child homelessness and other educational, health, and social problems.

How do principals affect school climate?

—Education Week asked principals to share photos of their days. The submissions proved once again how exhausting it is to be a principal, and they also showed the many creative ways leaders make their schools great places to work and learn.

On engagement..

Now that we're back to school, what are some ways you can shake things up in the new year?" —Teaching Toward Tomorrow shares some ways to get students more involved and engaged in the classroom.


One student of the unnamed high school took to Reddit to express her outrage with her new photo—which she claims was a second ID issued to everyone apropos of nothing—and point out how ridiculous it is to photoshop young women's faces, especially when she has spent such a long time learning to love everything about herself." —Jezebel covers one student's claims that her all-girls school photoshopped student ID photos.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.