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You are invited to add your unique voice and perspective to a vibrant, forward thinking conversation around some of the most timely topics in the education sector.   We welcome sophisticated commentary, similar to that found in the world’s leading publications, that covers a wide range of education related topics and draws fresh connections to contemporary issues.  As a contributor you will both be invited to discuss topics of our choosing and have the exciting opportunity to create content of your choice around subjects that interest you as both a scholar and practitioner.  Let’s work together to move the conversation around education further into the future while reframing and evaluating scholarship of the past.

by Danielle Apugo — 2017
This commentary highlights the urgency of establishing and nurturing communal social media spaces of resistance for Black women in urban education to support sustainability, retention, and overall career contentment.

by Julie C. Garlen, Lisa Kuh & Beth Coleman — 2017
This commentary reflects on a dialogue among members of the Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood Special Interest Group. A group of authors share contentions regarding the implementation of anti-bias education and implications for teacher education, teachers, children, and families.

by Chris Brown & Joel Malin — 2017
In this commentary, the authors set out thoughts on school leaders’ crucial roles in fostering evidence-informed and -engaged learning environments. They argue that school leaders must address both transformational and pedagogical aspects. Addressing both, they provide a definitive summary checklist for the role of school leaders in developing their schools in this manner.

by Kirsten Sadler — 2017
This commentary is a response to the renewed focus of funding and interest in gender equality in STEM in Australia. The author argues for new approaches and strategies, dialogic and inclusive of all diversities, toward creating a more inclusive STEM workplace into the future.

by Anne Vilen — 2017
The author of this commentary argues in favor of teaching evidence-based thinking; it underscores the relevance of education for creating an informed citizenry capable of thinking critically and voting purposefully.

by Judy R. Wilkerson — 2017
This commentary describes the process used by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the technical support it provides to Educator Preparation Programs. The author identifies discrepancies in: the definition of validity as it applies to qualitative research rather than measurement and assessment, a weak and insufficient definition of content validity, over-emphasis on predictive validity, and inattention to consequential validity.

by Saoussan Maarouf & Joseph Jones — 2017
This commentary discusses the problem of bullying as it relates to Muslim students. The authors posit that teacher education programs can impact how Muslim students are treated in schools. In doing so, they provide practical avenues teacher educators can use to prepare pre-service teachers to address the problem.

by Richard Fossey & Robert Cloud — 2017
Income-driven repayment plans for distressed student loan debtors offer short-term relief from burdensome monthly loan payments but they have many drawbacks.

by Tawannah Allen — 2017
Nonwhite students in our public schools face three distinct geographic disadvantages: a lack of political and financial support for public education, hyper-segregation, and extreme poverty.

by Janice Bloom, Mardi Tuminaro, Marian Mogulescu & Pat Walter — 2017
Written by teachers who worked at Central Park East Secondary School, this commentary seeks to rearticulate the vision and practices that inspired the early small schools movement. It also attempts to reframe and reclaim assessment, accountability, and rigor as goals and activities that are owned and implemented by educators, students, and communities.

by David DeMatthews, Barbara Pazey & Becca Gregory — 2017
The Texas Education Agency has a special education monitoring protocol known as the Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System that awards districts a perfect score on an indicator if fewer than 8.5% of students receive special education. This protocol has been the center of debate in the state and for the U.S. Department of Education. This commentary examines this system, state level data, and parent and educator testimonials presented in the media.

by Sarah Butler Jessen — 2017
In the wake of the presidential election, the author argues that we must shift our educational policy values toward more collective and democratic goals.

by Catherine Hamm, Nathalie Nehma, John McCartin, Jeanne Marie Iorio, Brenda Lovell, Mindy Blaise, Kelly Boucher & Kirsten Agius — 2017
As a group of critical early childhood teacher educators, we take inspiration from a recent commentary Where Do I Fit In? Adrift in Neoliberal Educational Anti-Culture and engage with Burn’s ideas of ethical resistance and courageous activism. We suggest that by "being present," we resist the ways teacher education has been reduced to a set of simple, technical skills, void of ethics and politics.

by Anne Corinne Huggins-Manley, Sophie Cohn & Tiffany Fisher — 2016
The purpose of this commentary is to present a systematic framework for comparing the standards for drawing causal inferences in educational research to the lack of standards for drawing causal inferences under state accountability plans. We aim to demonstrate that this framework encompasses many of the vast critiques of previous educational state accountability plans for estimating school and teacher effects on achievement, and hence offers a path to improvement for state accountability plans currently being developed under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

by M. O. Thirunarayanan — 2016
This commentary argues that transcripts, diplomas, and program certificates should include more information on coursework completed through online classes.

by Adam Crownover & Joseph Jones — 2016
This commentary explores the notions of relational pedagogy and how it can decrease bullying practices within schools. It proposes that teacher preparation programs implement methods to teach pre-service teachers how to construct a classroom that is premised on relational pedagogy.

by Rachel Klein — 2016
Drawing on induction programs for insight into what helps novice teachers navigate the precarious first years of teaching and remain in the profession, and utilizing respondent-driven survey data, this commentary argues that including the induction support of mentorship in teacher preparation models would increase teacher retention.

by Jason Margolis — 2016
This commentary outlines three related ways that a Trump presidency could be very good for American education and how education professors can play a more important role in educational improvement.

by Bradley Ermeling & Genevieve Graff-Ermeling — 2016
Research and observations suggest that many collaborative teacher teams in the United States are constrained by existing images of practice. One promising way to counteract these persistent images is to provide educators with a compelling new image or metaphor that helps to “reset” or “reframe” the activity.

by Dongwoo Kim & Cory Koedel — 2016
Most public school teachers in the United States receive retirement compensation via a defined benefit pension plan. This institutional feature of the public education system is often overlooked in education policy discussions, but is important for a number of reasons.

by Anna Montana Cirell & Joseph David Sweet — 2016
In this commentary, the authors discuss how gender inequality becomes manifest in deeper sociopolitical issues of proper schooling and proper education. They also show how regulation is far from recognition, as policing others’ identity and purpose exposes a whole other layer of intentionality.

by Denise Dávila & Meghan Barnes — 2016
This commentary responds to the ways public school teachers have become the scapegoats for young Americans’ civic disengagement. Despite states’ curriculum standards that could support teens’ civic engagement, there are inherent and pervasive social norms related to top-down politics that govern school communities. Some public school teachers are forced to choose between censoring political topics from discussion or potentially diminishing their job security.

by Kathryn Obenchain, Julie Pennington, Melissa Bedford, Hannah Carter & MaryLiz Magee — 2016
The purpose of this commentary is to reiterate our responsibility to educate our young citizens in ways that go beyond rituals and classroom walls. Our argument rests on the notion of bringing critical democratic literacy into elementary classrooms through examples of how students are thinking about the current election.

by Kindel Nash, Etta Hollins & Leah Panther — 2016
Focusing on high-performing early literacy teachers across multiple urban school contexts, this commentary introduces our conceptual model and one example of a high leverage early literacy practice.

by Sydney Freeman Jr. — 2016
This commentary argues that higher education, when viewed in light of its impact on students and broader society, is more than a profession: it is a vocation. This discussion is needed as higher education has become more complex and there is a commensurate need for well-prepared administrators to lead these important institutions.

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  • Suggest a Topic: We welcome your suggestions on the following: what issues would you like us to address; who would you like to see addressing them; what direction would you like us to go in?
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Upcoming Topics

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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  • As a first-year teacher in the states, I began to include home visits as a way to reach out to families in our small, Mississippi community after seeing my African-American women colleagues doing so. I am interested in writing (or reading) an article that examines the practice of home visits, especially its history in the African-American community and its implementation in African-centered schools today.
  • Abstract The mantra “Every Child Can Learn” originally appeared in the education discourse as a way to level the educational playing field in regards to children coming from varied socioeconomic backgrounds. This paper seeks to use a foil for discussion “All Children Can Learn: Facts and Fallacies” (Thomas and Bainbridge, 2001) and as such, will explore that article’s concerns and how they can be interpreted 16 years later. As the rally call of the Effective Schools Movement, one might even state that the phrase brings to mind a call for social justice since the Movement endorsed the “understanding that school practices and policies can make a difference, even for children from homes in which parents have few educational or financial resources” (p. 660). The overarching concern for this author is that a reductionist view of what has become a knee-jerk statement has had direct influence on the rise—and endurance—of standardized education; policies that are punitive to educators; even the rise of diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. To be clear, Thomas and Bainbridge (2001) warned of similar concerns in their work, yet little has been written critically on the topic since. For example, the authors listed as one fallacy of the phrase ‘all children can learn’ needs to be put into context of the same curriculum in the same amount of time and at the same level (p. 661). The statement “all children can learn” has taken on a nearly sacred connotation (for both the political left and right), and any educator who might challenge the statement, or at least demand context for the statement, can receive the consternation of colleagues at the least, or feel herself in career jeopardy at most.
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