Journal of Educational Controversy


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Countdown to Mars: A Researcher at Our University Shares some Good News about her Work

Look to the Stars -- some good news to contemplate.   Melissa Rice,  a researcher at our university, Western Washington University, tells our readers about the Mars launch in which she is participating.  Brad Johnson, Dean, College of Science and Engineering at Western wrote,  “We are so excited that Western’s Mars Lab, led by Dr. Melissa Rice, is part of this groundbreaking experience to explore the geology of Mars. This mission will deepen our understanding of the red planet, set the stage for future missions, and may even uncover signs of life."  The lift off to Mars took place on July 30 as part of NASA’s Perseverance Rover launch!

Melissa Rice talks about her hopes for the upcoming Mars 2020 rover mission

Link to video:

Today is also the anniversary of  the birthday of Maria Mitchell, (born August 1, 1818, Nantucket, Massachusetts, U.S.—died June 28, 1889, Lynn, Massachusetts), first professional woman astronomer in the United States.

Friday, July 17, 2020

In Memory of Civil Rights Icon John Lewis

We are saddened to hear of the death of U.S. Congressman John Lewis today.  To honor his life, his lifelong fight for civil rights, and his struggle for the 1965 Voting Rights Act, we must assure that no one is denied the right to vote in the upcoming November elections.  Keep his memory and struggle alive and teach the Movement!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

A Personal Reflection on our Journal amidst the Events Across our Nation

As the nation erupts with demonstrations and protests against the police killing of George Floyd and the long years of systemic and institutional racism that it represents, I have been thinking about the role each of us has in trying to form a more perfect union.  Since 2006, the Journal of Educational Controversy has been trying to shed light on the inequalities in education by examining topics like “The School to Prison Pipeline,” “Black Lives Matter and the Education Industrial Complex,” “The Hidden Dimensions of Poverty: Rethinking Poverty and Education,” “Challenging the Deficit Model and the Pathologizing of Children: Envisioning Alternative Models,” “Schooling as if Democracy Matters,” “Who Defines the Public in Public Education?” and “Jonathan Kozol's Nation of Shame: the Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America Forty Years Later,” among others.

We cannot examine the tensions in our schools without understanding their roots in our larger political philosophy and history.   How do institutions like schools reproduce the larger inequities in society?  How does the socializing experience of the hidden curriculum contribute to the reproduction of class and racial injustices? How are taken-for-granted assumptions rooted in history experienced at the level of our commonplace understanding?  How does such understanding provide categories that tacitly accept an ideology about what counts as “normal”? How do the values embedded in school culture contribute to the powerlessness of students of dominated cultures?  How does the way we define our problems contribute to the ways we construct our solutions?

At this time, our efforts seem so small and insignificant when you watch the moral courage of protesters on the streets and all the pain and suffering that is being experienced.  Still I have to believe that there is some power in the pen. The late philosopher Maxine Greene who fought tirelessly for social justice wrote the words that we have used as our logo:  “This journal opens and reopens spaces for thoughtfulness and concern.”  Perhaps, in some small way, we can face boldly the controversies, injustices and tensions of our time and help to clarify and deepen an understanding of their moral significance.  Hopefully, this will contribute in some small way to the understanding and solutions we seek.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Attorney General Bob Ferguson Challenges DeVos from blocking Dreamers and other Washington students from accessing money in the CARES Act intended to help college students impacted by COVID-19

Editor:  Below is the latest action by our Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson who has challenged the U.S. Department of Education decision to block aid for Dreamers and other Washington students from funds made available in the CARES Act.  For readers who would like to read about other ways to support undocumented youth, check out our earlier article, "A DREAM Deported: What Undocumented American Youth Need their Schools to Understand."

AG Ferguson challenges Department of Education decision blocking coronavirus aid for thousands of Washington students
May 19 2020
DeVos blocking Dreamers and other Washington students from accessing money in the CARES Act intended to help college students impacted by COVID-19
*Updated 5/20/20 with link to Washington's motion for preliminary injunction
SPOKANE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today challenged aU.S. Department of Education decision that deprives thousands of Washington college students from receiving critical aid included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Under its Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, the CARES Act appropriated more than $12 billion to higher education institutions across the nation to prevent, prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act required that at least 50 percent of the funds be disbursed to students as emergency grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations.
On April 21, without congressional authorization, the Department of Education announced that only students who are eligible for federal financial aid may receive CARES Act grants. No such requirement is in the text of the CARES Act itself.
The Department of Education’s restriction excludes many students in need, including students without a high school degree, adult basic education students, students who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status and more.
“Betsy DeVos is unlawfully trying to deny Dreamers and other Washington students the assistance they need — and that Congress intended,” Ferguson said.
“The pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption for all of Washington’s students without regard for the arbitrary, harmful lines the Department of Education has drawn,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “Congress intended this aid to be distributed to all students struggling to cope with the COVID-19 emergency, not only those Betsy DeVos deems eligible for assistance. All higher education students in Washington state deserve to be part of our recovery.”
Ferguson’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington in Spokane, asserts that the department’s decision is unlawful and a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, as well as Article I of the U.S. Constitution, which gives exclusive “power of the purse” to Congress.
Ferguson asserts that the department’s actions violated the Administrative Procedure Act because they exceeded the department’s statutory authority, lacked any reasoning or explanation and therefore were arbitrary and capricious, and were adopted without proper procedures.
Ferguson also filed a motion for apreliminary injunction, asking a judge to immediately block the Department of Education’s restrictions on the grants. 
Impacts to Washington students
As a result of the department’s decision, thousands of Washington higher education students who desperately need financial assistance have been excluded from the program.
These are among the students whose financial survival and lifeline to higher education is most threatened by COVID-19, because, for example, they worked part-time to pay for tuition, health care and childcare, or they did not have high school diplomas. They include:
·        Adult basic education students at Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges who are acquiring reading, writing, math and language skills to leverage a job, college degree or a trade certification
·        Many of Washington’s roughly 17,000 “Dreamers,” individuals brought to the country at an early age, who have been educated by Washington schools, and are protected under the DACA program
·        Students whose academic progress has fallen below a C average
For example, according to the Washington State Board of Community & Technical Colleges, nearly 52,000 of the state’s 363,000 community and technical college enrollees are adult basic education students, the majority of which are not eligible for CARES Act funding. Adult basic education students account for about 14 percent of community and technical college enrollment.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than 85 Washington universities, community and technical colleges and cosmetology schools have received more than $113 million for emergency grants to students.
Assistant Attorneys General Jeff Sprung, July Simpson, Paul Crisalli and Spencer Coates are handling the case for Washington.
Ferguson has now filed 61 lawsuits against the Trump Administration. Ferguson has 28 legal victories against the Trump Administration and one defeat. Eighteen of those cases are finished and cannot be appealed.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit to learn more.
Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727;

NEWS RELEASE from the Washington State Office of the Attorney General

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Today is the 66th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

May 17, 1954 marks the landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that ended legally mandated racial segregation in schools.  Since 2006, the Journal of Educational Controversy has tried to contribute to the ongoing conversation this nation has had with itself over the inequalities of education, the intractable problems of segregated schools, and the creation of a public capable of sustaining a democracy and continuing the conversation.

Volumes from the Journal of Educational Controversy focused on the legacy of the Brown v. Board decision:

Volume 2, Number 1 (2007) Jonathan Kozol's Nation of Shame: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America Forty Years Later

Volume 7, Number 1 (2012) The School-to-Prison Pipeline

Volume 12, Number 1 (2017) Black Lives Matter and the Education Industrial Complex

Volume 14, Number 1 (2019) The Ethics of Memory: What Does it Mean to Apologize for Historical Wrongs

Friday, May 1, 2020

Working with Children at Home during the Time of COVID-19

We would like to pass on this resource for all the families working with their children at home during this crisis.  Professor Gail Coulter teaches in the Special Education Program at Western Washington University. 

 Professor Coulter writes: “In the spirit of being of service to families during COVID-19, who have children out of the traditional school setting, I have created a blog that has suggestions and ideas that might be helpful for some faculty and students. Please feel free to share this blog with family or friends who are struggling with schooling issues. The name of the blog is the Accidental Teacher: Homeschool Now.”  

Thank you Gail for your caring concern.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Executive Power in the Era of COVID-19: An eLesson

As our students are at home with their school or home lessons, they are exposed everyday to the press briefings of our president, governors and mayors on actions taken on the spread of the coronavirus.  To help them see deeper into what they are viewing, the Bill of Rights Institute has created an eLesson on “Executive Powers and the Coronavirus.”

In their eLesson, “students will explore the role of the executive in times of crisis and analyze the history of some executive agencies that are especially important during this challenging time.”

Editor: Use the small group activity only online.

Monday, March 9, 2020

How do the Educational Plans of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders Differ?

Editor: Below is an article from Inside Higher Ed on some of the differences between the educational plans of democratic primary candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.  We thank Inside Higher Ed for permission to reprint their analysis for our readers.

Big Differences in Biden and Sanders's Plans

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have different ideas about college affordability and higher education policy, both in their approaches and the specificity of their plans.

Federal policy reporter

Inside Higher Ed
March 9, 2020 

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Elizabeth Warren’s departure from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination has left two candidates with different approaches to dealing with college affordability and other higher education policy issues. In addition to having different price tags, the plans released by Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders differ in how much detail they provide.
Price Tag:
Biden: $750 billion
Sanders: $2.2 trillion
Debt Forgiveness:
Sanders: Would cancel the entire balance of $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt in the U.S.
Biden: Would take a more targeted approach, enrolling all existing and new borrowers in income-based repayment plans, except for those who choose to opt out. Borrowers who make $25,000 or less per year would not owe any payments on their undergraduate federal student loans and wouldn't accrue any interest on those loans. Others would pay 5 percent of their discretionary annual income above $25,000 toward loans. The plan would forgive 100 percent of any remaining debt for those who have made payments for 20 years. It also would change the tax code so that debt forgiven through income-based repayment wouldn’t be taxed.
Biden's plan also would revamp the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, giving $10,000 of undergraduate or graduate debt relief for every year of national or community service worked, up to five years. Individuals who work in schools, government and other nonprofit settings would automatically be enrolled in the forgiveness program. It would seek to address the problem of applicants for PSLF being rejected for not enrolling in the right repayment plan. Adjunct professors would be eligible for forgiveness, depending on the amount of time devoted to teaching.
Free College:
Sanders: Would spend $48 billion per year to eliminate tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities, tribal colleges, community colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs. His plan would create a federal-state partnership in which the federal government would pay two-thirds of the cost of providing free tuition, with the state responsible for the other third.
Participating states and tribes must meet several requirements to be eligible, including reductions of their reliance on low-paid contingent faculty members. Funds generated by the program could not be used for administrator salaries, merit-based financial aid or the construction of nonacademic buildings such as stadiums and student centers.
Biden: Would make up to two years of community college free for all students, including those who attend part-time, the children of undocumented immigrants and those who did not graduate high school recently. The program also would be created through a federal-state partnership, in which the federal government would provide 75 percent of the cost, with states picking up the remainder. The federal government would cover 95 percent of the cost of eliminating tuition at tribal community colleges that serve low-income students. Those who would receive two years of college tuition-free could then get another free two years at historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions.
Other Student Aid:
Sanders: Because tuition would no longer exist at public institutions, low-income students would be free to use federal Pell Grants for books, transportation, housing and other costs. The plan would require states and tribes that participate in the federal-state partnership for free college cover any costs that are left over, after grants, for low-income students. It also would triple spending on Federal Work-Study, with a focus on institutions that serve large numbers of low-income students.
Biden: For community college students, the federal-state partnership for free college would be so-called first dollar, meaning that student aid grants could cover other costs of attending college besides tuition.
To help students at four-year institutions pay for costs other than tuition, the plan would create a new grant program to provide support services for students, especially veterans of the U.S. military, single parents, low-income students, students of color and students with disabilities. The grant could be used for public benefits, textbook and transportation costs, and childcare and mental health services. Institutions also could use the money to create emergency grant programs for students who experience an unexpected financial challenge that threatens their ability to stay enrolled in college.
The plan would double the maximum award amount of Pell Grants, increasing the number of middle-class students who’d be eligible for the program. It would allow Dreamers and the formerly incarcerated to receive the grants. Biden would prioritize the use of Federal Work-Study dollars for jobs that either provide skills that are valuable for students' intended careers or that contribute to their communities by mentoring students in K-12 classrooms and community centers.
For-Profit Institutions:
Sanders: The plan does not mention for-profit colleges or debt cancellation for students who were deceived by for-profits.
Biden: The plan would require for-profit institutions to prove their value to the U.S. Department of Education to be eligible for federal aid. It also would eliminate the 90-10 loopholethat, according to several veterans' groups, gives for-profits an incentive to aggressively market to service members and veterans. The plan would empower the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take action against private lenders who mislead students about their options and do not provide an affordable payment plan during times of financial hardship. It would restore the Obama administration’s borrower-defense rule, making it easier for people deceived by for-profit institutions to have their student debt forgiven. It also would allow private student loans to be discharged through bankruptcy.
Improving College Performance:
Sanders: His plan would create a federal-state partnership that would differ from the one eliminating tuition. That program would provide a dollar-for-dollar federal match for states and tribes to increase academic opportunities for students, hire new faculty members and provide professional development opportunities for professors.
Biden: His plan would create a grant program to help community colleges implement evidence-based practices to increase student retention and completion of credential programs. It would invest $8 billion to help community colleges improve the health and safety of their facilities and acquire new technology. It would provide grants to states that work to accelerate students’ attainment of bachelor's degrees and other credentials, such as through offering dual-enrollment programs for community college and four-year degree tracks.
HBCUs and Other Minority-Serving Institutions:
Sanders: The plan would spend $1.3 billion per year to eliminate or significantly reduce tuition and fees for low-income students at roughly 200 HBCUs and minority-serving institutions. To be eligible, at least 35 percent of students at the institution would have to be low income.
Biden: The plan would invest $18 billion in grants to provide two years of free tuition to low-income and middle-class students at HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions. In return colleges must invest in lowering prices, improving retention and graduation rates, and closing equity gaps for students of color.
It would spend another $10 billion to create at least 200 new centers of excellence that serve as research incubators and connect underrepresented students in career fields like climate change, globalization, inequality, health disparities and cancer. Would boost funding for agricultural research at land-grant universities, including HBCUs and tribal colleges or universities, and would dedicate additional federal funding or grants and contracts for HBCUs and minority-serving institutions. The plan would require any federal research grants to universities with an endowment of over $1 billion to subcontract with an HBCU, tribal college or minority-serving institution. It also would spend $20 billion to build research facilities and labs at HBCUs, tribal colleges and minority-serving institutions. And the plan would invest $10 billion in programs at HBCUs, tribal college and minority-serving institutions that increase enrollment, retention, completion and employment rates.
Biden: He would pay for the $750 billion plan by closing the “stepped-up basis” loophole, which lowers the capital gains tax liability for property passed on to an heir. Biden also would cap itemized deductions for high-income taxpayers at 28 percent.
Sanders: He would pay for the $2.2 trillion plan by taxing Wall Street trades.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Author Sam Chaltain Responds to President Trump's State of the Union Address Tonight

Author Sam Chaltain writes an insightful analysis in anticipation of tonight’s State of the Union address by President Trump. We reproduce it here for our readers.  Readers can read a previously published article by the author in our  Volume 3 issue of the Journal of Educational Controversy, entitled, Ways of Seeing (and of Being Seen): Visibility in Schools.  

Feb. 4, 2020

In his State of the Union address tonight, President Trump will renew a call for tax breaks in order to provide more scholarships for students to attend private schools.

The Education Freedom Scholarships would provide up to $5 billion in federal tax credits to individuals and businesses who donate to scholarships for families to use at private, faith-based schools or to fund homeschooling. “For decades,” Trump explained, “countless children have been trapped in failing government schools. We believe that every parent should have educational freedom for their children.”

To which I say, buyer: beware.

And: it’s complicated.

As a resident of Washington, D.C., site of one of the country’s most ambitious school voucher plans to date, and a city in which half of the city’s students attend public charter schools, I feel like I’ve seen this movie before. And, for what it’s worth, I even support school choice. I helped launch a charter school here. My sons attend another one, and the city is beginning to see some real collaboration between its charter schools and the district. Good things are happening.

At the same time, I worry about what could happen if too many of us simply assume that the invisible hand of the modern school marketplace — or, worse still, the incentivizing hand of the federal official — is a sufficient strategy for ensuring that all children receive equal access to a high-quality public education.

One sees, for example, the horror stories from Michigan — aka Ms. DeVos’s former laboratory — where four out of five charter schools are run by for-profit entities (read that again). One sees the sizable discrepancy between the expulsion rates of charter and district schools in D.C. and elsewhere. And so one should take seriously the warnings of scholars like Harvard’s Michael Sandel, who urges us to think much more carefully about the role market-based thinking should have — scratch that, does have — in our lives.

“Markets don’t just allocate goods,” Sandel writes in What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets. “They also express and promote certain attitudes towards the goods being exchanged.” And what has occurred over the past thirty years is that without quite realizing it, we have shifted from having a market economy to being a market society. “The difference is this: A market economy is a tool — a valuable and effective tool — for organizing productive activity. A market society is a way of life in which market values seep into every aspect of human endeavor. It’s a place where social relations are made over in the image of the market.”

Anyone who has closely followed the sturm und drang of American school reform over the past decade has seen evidence of what Sandel is describing. Our growing reliance on — and resistance to — data-driven decision-making is a direct result of an ascendant technocratic faith in applying scientific rigor to the previously opaque art of teaching and learning. Economist Gary Becker sums up this thinking well when he asserts: “The economic approach is a comprehensive one that is applicable to all human behavior, be it behavior involving money prices or imputed shadow prices, repeated or infrequent decisions, large or minor decisions, emotional or mechanical ends, rich or poor persons, men or women, adults or children, brilliant or stupid persons, patients or therapists, businessmen or politicians, teachers or students.”

That’s a mouthful, and it captures the sea change Sandel wants us to see. Whereas in the not-too-distant past, economic thinking was restricted to economic topics — inflation, investment, trade — today it is being used to outline a new science of human behavior: one that assumes modern society will work best when human beings are allowed to weigh the costs and benefits of all things (including where to send their children to school), and then choose whatever they believe will yield the greatest personal benefit.

The part of me that agrees with that logic is the part that supports the basic idea of school choice. After all, we have tolerated a system of unequal opportunity in this country for too long, and there’s real merit in the argument that one’s zip code should not become one’s destiny. School choice in cities like mine gives everyone the same chance at a high-quality education, and empowers each family to set its own “shadow prices” — the imaginary values that are implicit in the alternatives we face and the choices we make — and then make their own decisions about where to send their children to school. As the rally cry goes, MY CHILD, MY CHOICE.

Who could argue with that?

Certainly not Texas Senator Ted Cruz, one of the legislative sponsors for the new plan. “Competition improves,” he asserted. “And in this case, injecting new money to give that freedom, to give that competition, to give that power of choice, will enhance the quality of education to kids all across the country.”

But here’s where it gets complicated.

In the end, should we define public education as a public good, or a private commodity? Will our efforts to unleash self-interest (which is, after all, what the economist seeks to economize) strengthen or weaken the connective tissue of our civic life? And will the current trajectory of the school choice movement unleash a virtuous cycle of reforms that improves all schools, or merely add another layer in our historic apartheid system of schooling?

On these questions and others, I agree with former Chinese premier Zhou Enlai, who, when asked by reporters in 1971 to offer his assessment of the impact of the French Revolution of 1789, said: “It is still too soon to say.” But I also agree with British sociologist Richard Titmuss, who argued that “the ways in which society organizes and structures its social institutions can encourage or discourage the altruistic in man, foster integration or alienation,” and strengthen or “erode the sense of community.”

President Trump’s myriad other amoral tendencies notwithstanding, our changing notion of community should be the central concern of anyone who cares about school choice. How can greater choice bring us closer to each other, and to a revitalized notion of civic virtue and egalitarianism? How can we ensure that school choice does not contribute to an even wider divide between the haves and the have-nots, and an even wider discrepancy between those who know how to negotiate the increasingly commodified assets of modern life, and those who are merely left to take whatever comes their way? And how can school choice reflect this basic truth about democracy — that while it does not require perfect equality, it does require that citizens share in a common life, one that is grounded as much in the “we” as the “me”?

These are the questions we must explicitly ask — and answer — if we want school choice to become a force for good. And we can’t do that without explicitly debating the extent to which market-based thinking can get us there. As Michael Sandel reminds us, “when market reasoning is applied to [an issue like] education, it’s less plausible to assume that everyone’s preferences are equally worthwhile.

“In morally charged arenas such as these, some ways of valuing goods may be higher, more appropriate than others.”

Check out Sam Chaltain’s  four-part short film series, Diverse by Design  (produced in partnership with Pigeon Roost), that provides a different picture of what school choice can (and must) resemble.

Permission granted to reprint.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Wisdom from the Faith Traditions for 2020

In the beginning of each year, we like to draw on the great faith traditions for wisdom on living the good life.  The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding again offers us its list of resolutions from diverse religions, beliefs and traditions.


To Live the Golden Rule
In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
Christianity, Matthew 7:12

To Embrace Religious Differences
Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship.
The Bahá’í Faith, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, Bishárát

To Act Virtuously
Cultivate virtue in yourself, And it will be true.
Taoism, Tao Te Ching chapter 54

To Respect the Earth 
Ether, air, fire, water, earth, planets, all creatures, directions, trees and plants, rivers and seas, they are all organs of God’s body. Remembering this a devotee respects all species.
Hinduism, Srimad Bhagavatam (2.2.41)

To Treat the Stranger with Kindness
And a stranger shalt thou not wrong, neither shalt thou oppress him; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Judaism, Exodus 22:20

To Challenge Fake News
I replied thus: I am Zoroaster, the staunch enemy of liars and falsehood. I shall fight against liars as long as I have strength and shall uphold truth and righteous people whole heartedly.
Zoroastrianism, Yasna 43 (Verse 8)

To Advocate for Justice
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just.
Islam, Sahih International 4:135

To Speak with Honesty and Compassion
Speak only that which will bring you honor.
Sikhism, Guru Nanak, Sri Guru Granth Sahib

To Practice Nonviolence 
One is not called noble who harms living beings. By not harming living beings one is called noble. Buddhism, Dhammapada (Verse 270)

To Make Peace Possible
Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.
Confucianism, Confucius

Monday, December 30, 2019

Education Week Lists its Top Debates for the Last Decade

If you want to read Education Week’s selection of the top eleven “policy debates” and “challenging issues” of the last decade, you can link to it here:

2010 to Now: A Turbulent Decade for Schools

By Evie Blad and Andrew Ujifusa

December 18, 2019

 The new year brings to close a decade of stormy education policy debates, challenging issues for the nation’s schools, and the maturing of a new federal education law—the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Between 2010 and 2020, enrollment at U.S. public schools grew more diverse. The public narrative on the teaching profession swung between calls to fire ineffective educators and sympathy for those who must work two jobs to keep up with their bills. And U.S. education secretaries caused controversy like never before. (continue to article)

Here is their list.  Go to the article for a description of each.

  1. The Every Student Succeeds Act
  2. Betsy DeVos
  3. Obama Makes His Mark
  4. Common Core and Testing
  5. Tumultuous Times for Unions
  6. School Shootings and Safety Debates
  7. Student Enrollment: Two Tipping Points
  8. Pendulum Swing for Civil Rights Enforcement
  9. Battles Over School Choice
  10. Teacher Activism
  11. Bonus: ‘Whole Child’ and SEL

See also:


Friday, December 27, 2019

For Teachers Preparing to Teach about Impeachment and the 2020 Election

iCivics, the civic education organization, founded by former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has come out with new programs, lessons, and video games to help students understand the upcoming impeachment process and the 2020 election.

Check out their latest resources. 

1.     NEW Cast Your Vote Game
There’s a whole new version of our Cast Your Vote game that gives students practice researching candidates and issues ahead of Election Day. Download the Cast Your Vote Extension Pack and use the materials to help you reinforce the game's key concepts.

2.     Impeachment and Conviction Infographic   
Do your students have questions about how the impeachment process works? Our new infographic and accompanying teacher’s Slide Deck will equip you to teach about this current event in your classroom.

3.     Politics & Public Policy Unit 
Dive into this curated unit to amp up election excitement in your classroom. Students will learn concepts and processes through simulations, presentations, vocabulary-building activities, and a mock election!