Court cases such as Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard (2019) and Fisher v. University of Texas (2016) have brought around tensions around the practice of affirmative action. Time and time again, affirmative action’s use of race in the admissions process has been deemed appropriate from the U.S. Supreme Court. While this is the case, news outlets throughout the political gamut and over the years such as CNN, Fox News, and PBS have weighed their support on socioeconomic status being considered as a factor in the college admissions process.
From equity and school discipline to affirmative action and sexual harassment, the current political climate is affecting the civil rights of P-16 students. The U.S. Department of Education (“Department”) has proposed to rescind, or has already rescinded, numerous rules and regulations that were developed by previous administrations. Rather than providing state and local education agencies with clarification, these policy changes are causing uncertainty. In this article, we focus on three areas that impact the civil rights of students, providing policymakers and educators with a timely explanation of the changes that are currently underway.
Building on Karalis Noel’s (2019) research surrounding belongingness of women in STEM fields, this commentary aims to address the critical underrepresentation of and prejudice inflicted upon minority women in STEM higher education. Rida, a current graduate student at a large, R1 midwestern institution, and Karalis Noel, a previous graduate of the same institution, came together to compose a commentary that calls attention to the crucial underrepresentation and alienation of minority women in STEM.
To support every student’s educational progress, the IDEA provides a framework through a system of measurable annual goals listed within student IEPs. Benchmark objectives following the gradual release of responsibility model of instruction scaffold supports for students to master skills identified within their measurable annual goals. When fading these supports through benchmark objectives, students transition from external to internal motivation when achieving independence with their target skill.
Education reform organizations, such as the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), leverage rhetoric to sway public opinion using sensationalized approaches. Language has long been a powerful tool of the education reform movement, perpetuating a false narrative about the United States’ “failing schools” and the “mediocrity” of U.S. teachers and university-based teacher preparation. NCTQ has a wide reach to education stakeholders via listservs and social media, and their arguments offer a straightforward and simple framing of problems and common-sense solutions. Problematically, however, their arguments are rarely supported with clear and accurate evidence. Despite this, their message remains pervasive and can affect policy. Educators must develop ways to combat these negative tactics; four strategies are proposed.
In McNeil v. Sherwood School District 88J, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals made clear that a school district may expel a student for out-of-school speech that contains threats of violence against other students without violating the First Amendment, even if the student never communicates those threats to anyone.
A dissatisfied former student sued Kaplan University in federal court, accusing the for-profit university of making false claims and disseminating false advertisements. A federal court dismissed her claims, ruling that she had agreed to arbitrate her dispute with Kaplan rather than sue. On appeal, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's dismissal.
This commentary considers the significance of the growth of new digital platforms that link families, children, and teachers through the well-known example of ClassDojo. The ubiquity of platform use is a relatively new phenomenon in schools, one not driven by findings from empirical research, but rather the result of a perfect storm of popular psychology and market forces. These platforms allow for communication between teachers and families in real time and across many languages. Teachers can send pictures of children, comment about student behavior, achievements, or activities, share information about upcoming programs, and more, all via a self-contained online platform or app on a phone. Parents in turn may message the teacher (usually via smart phone), but not other parents. Although they build on seemingly established and normed forms of communication between teachers and parents, we challenge how platforms like ClassDojo create and shape behavioral norms for families and teachers. For example, what impact does the digital footprint of a student’s classroom behavior have on how their parents treat them at home? And to what extent might casual family conversations become centered on the concerted calculation of ClassDojo avatar points, akin to how our daily “steps” (vis-à-vis the Fitbit) have come to stand for how far we have walked in a given day? We put forth this commentary as part of a broader call to action for the field to consider how interactions via platforms may be shaping family relations with schools and to continue to foreground in our collective studies the more general ways that the “datafication” of education is transforming teaching and learning practice.
Over the past few years, there has been a rise in predatory journals in academic publishing. They can generally be defined as publications that lack any real peer review, have hidden publication fees, and blast spam emails to solicit submissions. This commentary describes the landscape of predatory journals and outlines a few checks that researchers can take to avoid these publications. However, this is not simply a warning to the rise of predatory journals, but rather a call to action for the field of education. Few studies have considered the impact and reach of predatory journals on our field and the phenomenon has been almost completely absent from the biggest educational research conferences in North America. Educational researchers need to take seriously the threat that predatory journals pose to the field’s credibility.
Civil discourse is a necessary component to a functioning society, but one that seems to be recently absent. This paper discusses the need for civil discourse education, and the key features of English and Language Arts classes that make them an especially strong platform for teaching and modeling civil discourse.
For many community college faculty members, the textbook remains a staple of the college classroom. However, free and open or low cost texts via open education resources (OER) offer the possibility of expanding access to college for would-be college students otherwise discouraged from ever giving college a try. This narrative account challenges administrators and faculty members to engage in a promising educational change process that enriches curriculum and pedagogy of community college teaching and opens doors for students seeking post-secondary education and career preparedness.
After 30 years as a neurodivergent within the field, I believe that it is time to fundamentally reform special education. Not only are we harming the students in our care, the structure of Special Education itself drives 20% of the population into a statistical underclass.
Low retention rates for special education teachers remains a consistent nationwide epidemic, impacting our most vulnerable population. The introduction of a systematic support system aimed at assisting special education teachers in navigating the many demands of their positions such as mandatory individualized assessment practices is necessary to increase the likelihood of special education teacher retention.
Teachers’ digital competence (or digital literacy as it is referred to in some countries) has been given significant attention in recent years, and this has resulted in the publication of several supranational competency frameworks. Yet like all frameworks, they have evolved over time and have, embedded within them, assumptions about teachers and technology. Unearthing these assumptions that have shaped their current form is important, however, as it can reveal the dubious nature on which they are based.
In this commentary, the author reflects on what she learned from a note left for her by a custodian at her university.
The author of this commentary applies John Rawls' principles of justice to K-12 education policy.
The authors of this commentary raise questions from an educational policy perspective about discrimination against educators in private religious schools.
This commentary focuses on how the politicization of issues, and intolerance from community members, can overshadow evidence-based data in school policy decisions and create a hostile climate in the district.
This commentary adds to the discussion of theorizing education as infrastructure. The author discusses how aesthetics can be a part of the concept of school infrastructure.
This commentary aims to present and emphasize undergraduate students’ voices to call attention to issues surrounding belongingness and non-retention of women in STEM fields.
This commentary is an attempt to ground a better discussion of the achievement gap. It is from the perspective of a classroom teacher who explores discussion and interactions as a part of her practice.
A new report from the Oklahoma Department of Education confirmed that that state has lost 30,000 teachers in the past six years, a significant number in a state that employs a total of only 41,000 teachers. Response to teacher flight in Oklahoma, as in other states, has focused on finding warm bodies to fill classrooms, not on teacher quality. As a result, the neediest students in Oklahoma are being taught by the least qualified teachers.
In Jackson v. McCurry, escalating tensions between a student’s father and school officials led to a federal lawsuit.
In this commentary, authors argue that the “deep rules” that exist around how teachers accrue status and use that status to wield power and influence, also exist in teacher collaborative groups and can greatly impact the extent to which those groups can be productive.
This commentary features an extraordinary example of a teacher team that overcame significant obstacles with complex group dynamics, diverse curriculum responsibilities, and a history of ineffective meetings.