The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week)

By Evie Blad — May 02, 2014 1 min read
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Happy Friday, Rules readers. Today I’ve been saying goodbye to a talented colleague, and learning more about who will be at the White House Correspondents Dinner tomorrow.

Now let’s dig into some links for folks who care about kids. This week, we read about cybergossip, new prom traditions, the personal story of the country’s new drug-prevention chief, and social and emotional learning programs.

On gossip in the tech age:

When you watch stupid movies about teenagers in high school, you roll your eyes at the classic fallout scene in which the hallways are filled with whispering students all gossiping about the same thing. This was exactly what Thursday afternoon looked like at Staples.”
—Will Haskell writes in New York Magazine about how gossip, anonymously spread through an app, “brought my high school to a halt.”

On prom:

“Boys ought to be taught that rejection happens, and you’ve just got to get up and dust yourself off ... Girls shouldn’t be trapped into saying yes, and nor do they need anything else encouraging them to believe their lives should revolve around whether a man will pop some sort of question.”
—Kelly Faircloth criticizes the trend of “promposals” in Jezebel.

On drug and alcohol abuse:

“If you had asked me 25 years ago, in the depths of that despair, if I at some point would end up as the Acting Drug Czar in the White House, I would have been like ‘You’re crazy! You’re really crazy!’”
—New White House Drug Czar Michael Botticelli says in an interview he’s been in recovery for years.

On social and emotional learning:

But are these programs making enough of a difference? Good programs improve student behavior and achievement, but the impact from even the best ones is moderate. This might be because SEL programs are not always used the way they were designed, some experts say.”
—Developmental Psychologist Suzanne Bouffard writes in the New York Times opinion pages on the importance of teacher training in implementing social and emotional learning programs.

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