The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week)

By Evie Blad — June 13, 2014 2 min read
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Happy Friday, Rules readers. It’s been a busy week for everyone, especially those on all sides of the school nutrition fight. In related news, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy followed through on his pledge to veto a bill that would have inadvertently banned chocolate milk in the state’s schools. Meanwhile, a U.S. House of Representatives vote on the federal agriculture budget, which includes controversial waivers from school nutrition standards, has been delayed as House Republicans adjust to unexpected shifts in party leadership. But that hasn’t stopped the war of words over school lunches from raging on on Twitter.

Have you read Education Week’s excellent Diplomas Count stories? The special edition focuses on nonacademic factors important to school success, motivation, and student supports. Read every story for great insights on grit, growth mindset, and peer-group supports.

Now let’s dig into some other good reads for folks who care about kids. This week, we read about graduation, exactly what teens are trying to accomplish when they use social media, and more.

Speaking of graduating ...

“If we know where to focus our efforts, we can put strategies in place that have shown promise, particularly over the last few years. While early childhood is critical, the most treacherous time for young African-American and Latino men is from ages 11 to 21. At the very moment they are the most developmentally vulnerable, the response from schools, foster care, the health system and child protective services gets weaker, while the response from the justice system is harsher.”
—Robert Balfanz, a research professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Education and the director of the Everyone Graduates Center, writes in the New York Times about raising graduation rates for young men of color.

Are fines an effective way to combat truancy?

“This woman died in prison, away from her family. And for what?”
—The Associated Press writes of a Pennsylvania mother of seven who died in a jail cell where she was serving a two-day sentence to erase fines for her children’s truancy offenses.

Teens are #seeking a #shallow sense of #social #affirmation ...

“The cool ratio, according to Josh, is when you take the number of people that follow you and you divide it by the number of people you’re following.”
—Caroline Moss writes in Business Insider about her experiment with teen social media habits. How could this inform your classroom discussions about internet life and cybercivility?

Hey, you don’t look like Gloria Steinem ...

“Every time you read a magazine, every time you listen to a song, you can hear the misogynist undertone.”
—High school boys explain why they consider themselves feminists.

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