The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week)

By Evie Blad — August 01, 2014 1 min read
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Happy Friday, Rules readers. Facebook was down for about 20 minutes today, which was probably of great concern to many of the nation’s students. And let’s not pretend it wasn’t a concern for adults, too. Judging from Twitter, it looks like folks were taking to every other form of social media to seek comfort.

But enough about Facebook. Here are some good links for folks who care about school climate and child well-being. This week, we read about diversity, bias, school completion, and more.

On diversity...

We continue, for the most part, to treat the multiple languages spoken in schools from Los Angeles to Minneapolis as only a challenge for teachers, rather than the learning opportunity it could represent for classmates. We see only deficits for children who grow up in very challenging circumstances, rather than finding creative ways to help them share with their peers the resilience and creativity gained through those experiences." —Elaine Weiss, the national coordinator of Broader Bolder Approach to Education, and Richard Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow at the Century Foundation, writes about diversity in schools in the Huffington Post.

On community schools...

A strong education is critically important to secure a place in our middle class. However, we are not doing enough as a country to provide all of our children with the educational foundation they need to succeed." —Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., and Aaron Schock, R-Ill., write in Education Week about their bill that would support community schools.

On implicit bias...

Limiting our understanding and application of implicit bias to discipline-related actions and outcomes won't be enough to create equity in our classrooms. Implicit biases can also be responsible for more subtle, unconscious actions and attitudes, such as paying more attention and giving more praise to white kids, while inadvertently dismissing the contributions of students of color." —Esther Quintero explores implicit bias in schools in the Shanker Institute blog.

On electronic cigarettes...

It's kind of a wild, wild West in terms of regulations. Big companies can have a billboard with Santa Claus on it, or other child-friendly characters, promoting e-cigarettes." —Stacy Deeble-Reynolds, the prevention coordinator for the Orange County Department of Education, is quoted in this Education Week story about how schools are responding to e-cigarettes, which remain largely unregulated.

On making it to graduation...

While most states now have graduation requirements intended to launch students well in college and careers after graduation, it can be tough to identify how on- or off-track students really are in any given year." —Sarah Sparks writes in Inside School Research about efforts some school systems have made to identify specific academic milestones that correlate with graduating high school and enrolling in college.

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