Education

The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week)

By Evie Blad — March 14, 2014 1 min read

Happy Pi Day, Rules readers! For those of you who aren’t familiar, we celebrate everyone’s favorite irrational number on March 14 (3/14).

Let’s check out some interesting Internet links for people who care about school climate and student issues. This week, we determine whether we should “Ban Bossy,” we read about the latest school lunch criticism, and we consider a former educator’s thoughts on the progress we’ve made in helping poor students.

Point:

“When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a ‘leader.’ Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded ‘bossy.’ Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up.”
—Celebrities help jump-start Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” Campaign, which is designed to challenge the way adults talk to girls about being assertive

Counterpoint:

“Bans and boycotts can be used to great effect when they’re concrete and narrowly focused. But the feminist movement, at its best, does not simply decry negative media depictions or declare certain words off-limits; it creates better alternatives and rewrites narratives to be more inclusive.”
New York Magazine‘s Ann Friedman questions the approach of the “Ban Bossy” campaign

On school lunches:

“Most American mothers feel remarkably successful when everybody gets off to school with matching socks. Now Paul Ryan wants to tell them they’ve committed child abuse by failure to fill a brown bag.”
New York Times columnist Gail Collins takes on Rep. Paul Ryan’s comment that school lunches offer students “a full stomach and an empty soul”

On poverty:

“I was impressed that the kids came back day after day, that teachers closed their doors and coped, and that some kids learned what they were taught. Further, behind those same closed doors, some remarkable teachers did amazing things.

But I couldn’t get over the gap between the kind of education I had experienced and what I saw going on in these schools. I was learning, not about teaching, but about the kind of schooling far too many children were exposed to.”
Education Week blogger Deborah Meier, a senior scholar at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, writes about her experiences working in high-poverty schools in the 1960s

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

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