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Dialogue, discourse, and debate are essential to a vibrant and engaged educational community in an interconnected, global society. We welcome commentaries from scholars, practitioners, policy makers, community-based organization members, K-12 teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders who share in our commitment to education for the public good. Commentaries are original essays that address topics, issues, or events that are relevant to the field of education. We encourage diverse perspectives and questions that sustain deliberation, and engage multiple audiences and stakeholders to address educational and societal inequities. The commentaries are generative and lead to conversations across multiple communities to have broad impact in the field and beyond. Commentaries are reviewed internally by the Teachers College Record Editorial staff and published on our website soon after acceptance and copyediting. Submissions typically run between 1000 and 1500 words.

by Ángeles Donoso Macaya - 2022
What is (in)visibilized when “women" are rescued from the archive? What does the gesture of rescuing (re)produce? Is it possible to articulate forms of feminist criticism that do not rely on identity politics and which develop methodologies that do not reinforce patriarchal discursive paradigms and tropes? In this reflection, I describe an ongoing research project that tries to answer these questions.

by Katherine R. Rowell, Mark Maier & R. Heather MacDonald - 2022
In this commentary, we discuss ways disciplinary associations may advance diversity, equity, and inclusion through increasing two-way collaborations with community college faculty. We note that increasing engagement and leadership opportunities for community college faculty in disciplinary associations holds potential for advancing diversity in majors, increasing equity in student engagement, and promoting inclusion in the profession.

by Rebecca Garte & Cara Kronen - 2022
In this commentary we discuss ways to support community college students in successfully becoming teachers. We argue that there is a great need for teachers who share similar backgrounds with the majority of public school students. These future teachers are poised to become advocates for students given that many entered the field of education for this purpose. However, practicum experiences often serve to alienate and marginalize community college education students. We contend that both 2 year and 4- year schools of education must commit to providing culturally responsive practicum experiences. We must strive to cultivate mentors for community college students among classroom teachers who can relate to them. We believe this would go a long way to increasing retention and certification rates of pre-service teachers of color.

by Christopher Shults & Randall VanWagoner - 2022
The global pandemic forced colleges to face the reality that traditional business models are neither sufficient for ensuring continued operation nor, more importantly, designed to improve student learning and success. The community college business model implores colleges to utilize the urgency of the moment to intentionally redesign their operational models to enhance the student value proposition and establish educational experiences that prepare students for academic, life, and career success.

by Claire Wladis & Vilma Mesa - 2022
This commentary describes how supporting educational research conducted by community college faculty can improve both the quantity and relevance of educational research for community colleges, helping them to better fulfill their educational missions. It discusses some specific examples of successful research that originated from experiences on the ground at the community college, and how this benefited both the larger educational research discipline and the local community college. It also describes concrete approaches that could lead to an increase in this kind of educational research by community college faculty.

by Rashid F. Davis - 2022
When you accelerate learning you accelerate equity. Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) is a new grade 9-14 model that opened in 2011 where within six years after entering 9th-grade students can complete a free associate in applied science (AAS) degree in science technology engineering or math (STEM) pathways from a college partner and then be first in line for jobs with an industry partner. In 2021, seven states Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, and Texas have produced P-TECH AAS graduates.

by Emily Decatur - 2022
At this pivotal moment, higher education practitioners must examine the gap between intent to transfer and successful transfer to a four-year institution. Through the development of unified state-wide transfer systems a path forward is possible, one which mitigates cumbersome policy roadblocks, increases transparency, fully supports students, and offers affordable options.

by Monica Bhattacharjee - 2022
This commentary examines some of the less talked-about aspects of remote learning through my first-hand lenses as an online educator for an undergraduate course in Education. I look into the sociomaterial equations at play in connection to issues of agency, engagement, and perceptions of surveillance, concluding that these are gainfully supported by remote methods of learning.

by Mike Butcaris - 2022
In colleges that prioritize equitable access to quality education, accelerated approaches may not be the answer for adult learners trying to balance school with work and family responsibilities. While exploring the popular trend toward co-requisite solutions, community colleges must continue to support learning options that allow sufficient time for adult students to develop the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills that form the foundation for lifelong learning.

by Christopher J. Cormier - 2022
Historically, Black male teachers have been treated as foreigners in a majority-White, female profession. Research shows that Black male teachers are often viewed as intellectually inferior school support staff whose role is to serve as disciplinarians and coaches but not to teach pedological content. It is vital that Black male teachers be given more respect. In this commentary I provide a personal narrative of my experiences as a Black male teacher in relation to Wolf Wofensberger’s social role valorization theory, which purports that society values groups based on their perceived societal value. Using Wolfensberger’s theory will allow for better exploration the devaluation of Black male teachers based on the roles they are expected (e.g., support staff, cultural broker) and not expected (e.g., developer of school curriculum) to play in public schools. The ultimate goal in this commentary is to shed light on the unfortunate circumstance that in U.S. the archetype of the teacher is still a White woman and that Black men who work as teachers are asked to convenience these teachers at the expense of themselves and students’ needs.

by Leah P. Hollis - 2022
HBCUs are often lauded as diverse and inclusive environments. However, trends in tenure appointments and lawsuits show that women are often discounted This brief essay discusses some trends in tenure appointments and lawsuits which indicate that Black women are experiencing gender based inequities at HBCUS.

by Michelle G. Knight-Manuel - 2022
I am delighted and honored to share that we are launching a special commentary series on community colleges starting January 28, 2022.

by Sara Parker - 2022
Knowing that our current systems produce inequitable outcomes, community colleges are working to transform. As they do so, they must find ways to pursue and implement these system-level changes without neglecting individual-level changes in practice or a commitment to student learning.

by Katharine M. Broton - 2022
When it comes to recognizing and addressing the fundamental role that basic needs play in students’ college experiences and ultimate success, higher education has a lot to learn from our nation’s community colleges.

by Robin G. Isserles & David L. Levinson - 2022
This is the introduction to the special commentary series on community colleges.

by David Garcia - 2022
In the academic literature, “policy-maker” is an ill-defined word that is often applied to all policy actors, meaning it is effectively misapplied because it does not account for meaningful distinctions between different policy actors. In a policy environment, there are two clearly defined positions - politicians and professional staff and each serve different roles in policymaking. Politicians are public-facing, communicate a general message to a general audience, and must consider electoral implications to stay in office. There is also another important and underappreciated characteristic about politicians that is particularly relevant to those interested in influencing policy through research. Politicians are education research and policy novices - by design - and become generalists, at best. In this commentary, I apply the research on how novices become experts to help academics leverage their strengths as educators to teach novice politicians and engage in policy without becoming “political.”

by David T. Marshall - 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted all facets of society, and schooling was no exception. By the start of April 2020, schools were closed in all 50 U.S. states, and they remained closed for the duration of the school year. Given the unknowns associated with the novel coronavirus, this was an understandable measure taken to slow the spread of COVID-19. Prolonged school closures likely caused more harm than good. After the initial few weeks of spread, school closures and reopenings had minimal impact on COVID spread. At the same time, a range of negative pediatric mental health outcomes came to be associated with lockdowns and school closures. Extended remote learning has also been associated with stunted student academic and social-emotional growth. This paper concludes with a recommendation that school closures should not be reimplemented to curb COVID-19 spread.

by Lawrence Baines - 2021
The idea that liberal arts colleges are skirting on the edge of oblivion has been around for decades. Yet, recent data confirm the vitality of liberal arts colleges that prepare students for modern life and the unpredictable world to come.

by Antero Garcia - 2021
Building off recent research I published about exploring sound with young children on a school bus (pre-Covid), this essay questions the limits of vision-centered research approaches. I offer the metaphor of the Pinard Horn as a way of hearing the world around us: the Pinard horn is a non-invasive listening device for hearing the development of fetuses; it transformed obstetrics nearly a century ago and is continued to be used today. By offering this metaphor, I turn to questions of empathy and seeing versus hearing the voices of anti-vaxxers in this country. This essay connects qualitative social science research methodology to questions of empathy and healing amidst the pandemic. It links field-based research with children to larger questions about politics, trust, and disinformation.

by Timberly L. Baker & Joy Howard - 2021
This commentary addresses an observation and experience that we have confronted as cross-racial co-teaching, co-facilitating partners in training educators about racial equity. We have found that there is a consistent dilemma where the educators we work with tend to make topics in the areas of culture and race synonymous. This tendency is problematic and misleading territory for educators who truly want to progress in their understanding of their multicultural and multiracial classrooms and schools. In this essay, we explain our understanding of the differences between cultural literacy and racial literacy. Further, we explain why building competency in both is essential for the development and implementation of culturally responsive and/or relevant educational engagement

by Ceceilia Parnther & Sarah Elaine Eaton - 2021
In this commentary, we address issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion as related to academic integrity. We speak specifically to the ways in which Black and other racialized minorities may be over-represented in those who get reported for academic misconduct, compared to their White peers. We further address the ways in which electronic and remote proctoring software (also known as e-proctoring) discriminates against students of darker skin tones. We conclude with a call to action to educational researchers everywhere to pay close attention to how surveillance technologies are used to propagate systemic racism in our learning institutions.

by Omar Davila Jr.,, McKenzie Mann-Wood, William Martinez & Maria De La Lima - 2021
COVID-19 generated a strange paradox. Social suffering reached new heights, and simultaneously, we conceptualized new possibilities. Terms such as “reimagining” and “rethinking” became part of our everyday vocabulary, shaping new possibilities, especially in the field of education. Researchers have long demonstrated the way unequal structures produce unequal outcomes. Yet the very logic driving these inequalities has received much less attention in our imaginative spaces, that is, the zero-sum phenomenon. At its core, the zero-sum phenomenon is the way academic success is based on logics of competition, wherein the academic success of a few requires the nonsuccess of others. Simply consider selective enrollment, award distribution, and standardized testing. In a society in which race, gender, and social class are so intimately connected to notions of merit, it should come as no surprise that the zero-sum phenomenon consistently reproduces power and subordination. We, therefore, call on education scholars, practitioners, and activists to join us in reimagining the future of education, one that departs from exclusion and strives toward transformation.

by Connie Goddard - 2021
This commentary responds to and builds on a previously published TCR article titled “Getting to Scale With Moral Education.”

by Katie Zahedi, Jamaal A. Bowman & Harry Leonardatos - 2021
This commentary is part of the special issue on the Opt-Out movement.

by Martin Scanlan - 2021
Devastating in its own right, the COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated old educational inequities and created new ones. How we think about these can shape how we respond to them.

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Teachers commentaries provide an important perspective on current educational issues. If you are a K-12 educator, we welcome you to submit a 1,000-1,500 word commentary in which you draw on your experience to address problems and opportunities confronting students and educators.

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