The bullying of teachers, sustainable schools, and gorilla nannies—here’s what you might have missed this week in news and thoughts related to student engagement, school climate, and the world that affects them.
1. “The worth of one’s dignity should not be on a sliding scale depending on how old you are.”
—The Cyberbullying Research Center’s Sameer Hinduja, on how schools shouldn’t ignore when students bully teachers
2. “Yes, Mike, if labor leader Al Shanker said that the answer to poverty and de-unionization was more highly educated workers he was wrong. He often was.” (Author note: Oooh, burn!)
—Deborah Meier, in her ongoing debate with Mike Petrilli over the role of poverty in student life
3. “Sustainability Academy is a lot of syllables for the name of an elementary school. But in Burlington, where if there were a word cloud of words spoken, ‘SUSTAINABLE’ would be in the biggest font, no one bats an eye.”
—Atlantic contributor Deborah Fallows, on her trip to a Burlington, Vt., magnet school
4. “I appreciated that this parent had taken time to write a note (particularly since, too many times, kids who are absent return to class without any excuse whatsoever, which is a separate issue), all the more so when I saw how she had clearly struggled with the writing.”
—Teacher Ilana Garon, on how academic achievement hinges on helping parents help their children
5. “Preschool also did not fit our family’s financial profile, which was fine since we’d spent months loudly complaining about nepotism and bribery at school open houses regarding the waiting list policies.”
—Jon Methven, for the profoundly satirical McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, about why his family hired a 400-pound silverback gorilla to be his child’s nanny. I think it provides a nice balance to Garon’s piece, to show that just as low-income parents can need more societal help, high-income parents may need help of a different kind
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.