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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 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.

by Mat Jakobi — 2016
This commentary is a criticism of anonymous student evaluations as a measure of Aboriginal teacher educators’ effect and affect in Australian Teacher Education programs. It identifies how the policing of Aboriginal teacher educators’ student engagement limits the capacity in working with pre-service teachers in the national project of reconciliation through the development of respectful classroom curriculum and pedagogy.

by Michael McShane — 2016
Cultivating an ecosystem of new and better schools is a lot like gardening. It takes tilling (creating a policy environment that allows for new schools), seeding (starting schools with the necessary human capital to flourish), and weeding (regulation).

by Thomas Philip & Maria Olivares-Pasillas — 2016
The authors of this commentary explore the challenges that arise when learning technologies are not carefully examined for their possibilities and limitations through a critical lens of educational equity and justice. They outline an approach to the incorporation of learning technologies that begins with and prioritizes educational equity and social justice.

by David DeMatthews — 2016
The Texas Campus Carry Law permits students to bring guns into classrooms and many faculty members believe this will impact their ability to engage in social justice teaching that challenges the status quo and promotes the development of a reflective and equity-oriented teacher or school leader. This commentary discusses how campus carry is already effecting an institution serving Hispanic students in Texas.

by Judith Pace — 2016
The presidential election offers a rich opportunity for democracy education, through which young people engage with political, social, and moral questions about how we should live together. Discussion of controversial issues is widely advocated, yet teachers need support from researchers, teacher educators, and school leaders as they grapple with tensions in the charged classroom.

by Suzanne Eckes, Todd DeMitchell & Richard Fossey — 2016
Only one federal circuit court of appeals has addressed the legal issues involved with allowing a transgender student to use the restroom that aligns with his gender identity. We analyze this court opinion and discuss the status of the law for school officials.

by Richard Fossey, Robert Cloud & Neal Hutchens — 2016
In an influential concurring opinion to an important bankruptcy decision, Judge Jim Pappas, an Idaho bankruptcy judge, urged federal courts to adopt a more sensible way for dealing with student loan debtors who file for bankruptcy.

by Dick Schutz — 2016
U.S. federal government efforts over the last 50 years to strengthen elementary and secondary education have focused on instructional deficits and instructional gaps of disadvantaged students rather than on creating the capacity to improve the pre-collegiate schooling enterprise. The commentary finds that it is now feasible to operationally realize the intent of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) 1965, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and Race to the Top (RttT) with transparent results and without additional taxpayer cost.

by Zoë Burkholder — 2016
This commentary offers a brief critique of Governor Chris Christie's proposed school funding formula. Placing it into historical perspective, the author argues that New Jerseyans will reject his proposal, which offers cash to middle class suburban families in the form of property tax relief, while eviscerating the budgets of urban school districts with high concentrations of poor and working class students of color. We refuse to go back to separate and unequal public schools.

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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.

Recently-Suggested Topics
  • 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.
  • Student Loan Debt Crisis and Work Colleges
  • How Generation Z's preferences in learning modalities correlate to their experiences in higher educational settings.
  • Latinx Leadership in Higher Education: An Intergenerational Approach
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