July 15, 2020
NCTR and Partner News

Earlier this month, Dr. Travis J. Bristol—Assistant Professor at UC-Berkeley and a member of NCTR’s Board of Directors—was interviewed for NPR’s early evening news program All Things Considered about infusing anti-racism beliefs and practices into education systems.  Listen to the story or read the transcript here

"...anti-racist teaching means a fundamental disruption of the way in which teaching and learning happens in our schools today: It centers whiteness and white people. And so we have to start with the preparation of teachers."

Program Spotlight: Fresno Teacher Residency

The Fresno Teacher Residency Program is a partnership between Fresno Unified School District and California State University, Fresno with the aim of improving student achievement in grades K-12, with an emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) education.

Resident of the Year Nominee

Francisco Barajas Sandoval is an exceptional residency program candidate.  He understands that the first step in creating a positive classroom culture where learning can thrive, is to build strong relationships with students.  He makes a point of getting to know each student as an individual and is intentional about ensuring that all his routines and practices convey trust, respect, and optimism.  This foundation increases his students’ engagement and motivation to attain the high expectations he has set for them.  Francisco is a collaborative partner that actively seeks out feedback and takes initiative to implement new learning for the benefit of his students.
Resources and Connections

Data Quality Campaign polled 750 U.S. teachers in late April on the ways COVID-19 was demanding remote learning and what types of data they measured (or did not) among their students.  Responses and recommendations for policymakers are summarized in a simple brief entitled Teachers Want Data to Understand the Impact of Remote Learning and Training to Use It Effectively

The new documentary film John Lewis: Good Trouble illustrates the impact of long-serving U.S. congressman and civil rights icon, including the many advocates and public servants he’s inspired throughout his life and career.  Participant Media produced a Racial Justice and Voting Rights Discussion Guide to accompany the film, and this free resource is especially appropriate for high school aged students preparing to vote.  

Featured News

Despite recent changes in harsh, zero-tolerance discipline policies previously employed in the state’s schools, The Baltimore Sun reports that Black students in Maryland from Pre-K through high school continue experiencing higher rates of suspension, and are also arrested on school property or at school events more frequently, than White students.  The state superintendent called this disproportionality “horrendous.”

Similarly, in Indiana, Chalkbeat analyzed data to learn that Black students are 2.5 times as likely to get arrested by school police than their White counterparts.  USA Today documented this trend in other states, too, with data out of Austin showing that the city’s public school district suspended Black youth at five times the rate as White students in the 2018-2019 school year, and the rest of Texas recorded an even wider overall racial disparity in out-of-school suspensions.

Scientific journal reviewed the new book mentioned in last week’s e-blast, The Legacy of Racism for Children: Psychology, Law, and Public Policy, and cite that the roots of racial disparities in both education and law enforcement are often racial stereotypes, which persist in adults.  

Stereotypes influence the creation of policy and embolden/protect those carrying out unfair practices in school systems and criminal justice systems: the school-to-prison pipeline so frequently referenced.  (A detailed infographic designed by MST Services, only a snippet shared here, was shared by Teaching Tolerance in 2016.)

Further, EdWeek reported a study out of North Carolina State University that revealed that among nearly 200 pre-service teachers enrolled in three southeastern colleges of education, teacher candidates of all races were more likely to perceive anger in their Black students than in their White students, even when they were wrong. 

Identifying “racialized anger bias” at the pre-service stage of teacher development provides educator preparation programs the opportunity to address and revise preparation experiences to mitigate the identified bias. 

In The News

Why U.S. Schools Are Still Segregated — And One Idea To Help Change That

Rebecca Sibilia of nonprofit EdBuild describes how educational inequities and racial segregation persists due to school funding models. “Property taxes and locally raised taxes make up about half of all education funding. And the state then tries to make up the difference between what local communities can raise [but] consistently fall[s] short.”

Kids With Disabilities Blocked from Bilingual Programs
Hechinger Report

One Boston-based special education coordinator fights for the many would-be dual language students who would benefit from learning English alongside their native Spanish, but are excluded due to emotional challenges and developmental delays.  “This, according to experts, is a violation of state and federal laws that prohibit districts from excluding kids from any educational programs just because they have a disability.”

The school reopening debate reveals that we don’t listen to teachers about schools
Washington Post

Education reform historian and author Diana D'Amico, Ph.D., writes that a recent “disregard of teachers’ shared professional expertise and practical knowledge is no accident,” rather is par for the course in America, where much blame is shifted to educators but rarely are these people consulted on major decisions that affect their own work.

Please note that the articles and events in the NCTR E-Blast do not reflect the opinions of our organization, but rather represent information that we believe will be relevant to you and your programs.

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