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Filling the Gap Educational Consultants, LLC presents The REWire; The REWire is a monthly email newsletter dedicated to curating Race + Education news, views and research

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This Latina's App Helps Undocumented Students Find Ways To Pay For College

Forbes Magazine

In 2014, Espinoza Salamanca took her seed of an idea and submitted a proposal to Voto Latino’s Innovator Challenge for what would later become DREAMers Roadmap, a nonprofit app that helps undocumented students across the country find scholarships that can help supplement what financial aid won’t.

News

School Leaders Can Help Reduce Minority Teacher Turnover

Education Week

Strategies to diversify the teacher workforce typically focus on improving recruitment: attending out-of-state teacher hiring fairs; recruiting from colleges of education that are doing a particularly good job of graduating students of color; and advocating for summer teaching fellowships and scholarships to offset the tuition costs for minority students interesting in pursuing a career in teaching. But recruitment efforts like these can be expensive. It's high time we paid better attention to the retention of teachers of color and the important role school leaders can play in those efforts.

Charlotte’s boldest bid to undo school segregation is about to become reality

The Charlotte Observer

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, a national symbol of successful desegregation in the 1970s, has since become an icon of resegregation. Some 20 years after a white parent’s lawsuit toppled the district’s race-based desegregation plan, a combination of neighborhood schools and family choice has created a pattern that’s familiar across America, with white and affluent families abandoning a broad swath of schools in the city while flocking to the suburbs.

Millennial teachers of color will change public schools—if given the chance

The Brookings Institute

This May, Harvard Education Press published “Millennial Teachers of Color,” a book that addresses a missing link in the recurrent conversation about teacher diversity. Though the new teachers we are trying to recruit are racially and ethnically diverse, we often overlook that they are also part of the millennial generation—the most diverse, educated, socially connected, and now largest generation in the workforce. They come to the classroom with perspectives and attitudes about education that have been shaped not simply by race or ethnicity, but by all of these characteristics.

Review: ‘America to Me’ Is a Searing Lesson in School Inequity

The New York Times

When does racial inequality begin? To answer the question, you could go back centuries. Or, as the empathetic, eye-opening documentary series “America to Me” does, you could go back to school.

In A Segregated County, A New Charter School Offers An Alternative

NPR

More than 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, school integration remains a distant goal in many parts of the country. Enrollment in Sumter County public schools has been virtually 100 percent African-American, and University Charter School aims to change that. For most students, it's the first time they'll be learning next to someone of another race.

Justice Department criticizes Harvard admissions in case alleging bias against Asian Americans

The Washington Post

The Justice Department sharply criticized Harvard University’s admissions practices Thursday, asserting that evidence in a federal lawsuit suggests the Ivy League school engages in “racial balancing” when it selects a class, a potential violation of boundaries the Supreme Court has set on affirmative action in college admissions.

Female, minority students took AP computer science in record numbers

USA Today

Female, black and Latino students took Advanced Placement computer science courses in record numbers, and rural student participation surged this year, as the College Board attracted more students to an introductory course designed to expand who has access to sought-after tech skills.

Teacher Helps Students Make ‘Skin Color’ Paints Beyond Brown And Tan

The Huffington Post

“Love the skin you’re in.” That’s the goal that kindergarten teacher Aeriale Johnson wants to teach her class this year — and she’s well on her way. Johnson, who kicked off the school year last week at Washington Elementary School in San Jose, Calif., shared her message in a tweet on Aug. 23, along with her first class project: skin-color paint. Not merely “brown” or “tan” skin color, either. Instead, Johnson had each student create a custom pigment to match their own flesh.

Reinforcing Diversity Through Teacher Residency Programs

Ahead of the Heard

Residencies also target post-secondary graduates of color to ensure that they stay in the profession. Since almost half of students of color are first-generation college students, many do not have the same set of life skills and social capital as their peers who come from middle-to-high income backgrounds. Residency programs provide needed support for these teacher candidates of color as they navigate the teaching profession.

Black Girl Sent Home From School Over Hair Extensions

The New York Times

An 11-year-old black student at a private Roman Catholic school near New Orleans was asked to leave class on Monday because administrators said her braided hair extensions violated school rules, according to a lawyer for the girl’s family.

A little boy with dreadlocks enrolled at a fundamentalist Christian school. It didn’t go well.

The Washington Post

C.J. wore the dreads through kindergarten, and was still in love with them in the summer, when Stanley and his wife decided to switch him to a smaller, more hands-on school. So they got a scholarship through a state program to help with the tuition, and enrolled him in Book Christian: 48 students, about half a dozen teachers — counting the piano teacher and Sue Book. Here comes the dispute, such as it is. Book said the family was given a copy of the parent handbook when they enrolled, which spells out as plain as day: “All boys hair must be a tapered cut, off the collar and ears. There are to be no dreads, Mohawks, designs, unnatural color, or unnatural designs.”

Richard Carranza Is Talking About Integration. Can He Make It Happen?

The New York Times

New York’s new schools chancellor wants to talk about how the nation’s largest school system is clustering the poorest children (mostly black and brown) in one set of classrooms, and the richest children (mostly white) in another set — and failing to live up to its progressive ideals.

Asian-American plaintiffs are 'pawns' in affirmative action lawsuit, says professor

CBC Radio

The U.S. Justice Department is throwing its weight behind a lawsuit filed on behalf of Asian-American students, who claim that Harvard University's admission policies discriminated against them.A trial for the case has been scheduled for next month. But more than 500 academics with expertise in Asian-American studies, race and education access have submitted an amicus brief in support of Harvard.

Who’d Be on Your Spaceship? A School Exercise Backfires in Ohio

The New York Times

An Ohio school superintendent has apologized for a class exercise that asked middle school students to choose from a list of racially, ethnically and religiously diverse candidates to save or leave behind if Earth were “doomed for destruction.”

Increasing Equity for All Students

Edutopia

I’ve heard several white educators say, “I treat all my kids the same.” While this may come from a sincere place of wanting to promote equality, a color-blind perspective can diminish and undermine a child’s culture and identity and the validity of painful experiences they may have had with racism and bias.

Making ESSA’s Equity Promise Real: State Strategies to Close the Opportunity Gap

The Learning Policy Institute

It is well-documented that students of color, and other historically underserved students, have had less access to an equitable and supportive learning environment, perpetuating school failure and, too often, a school-to-prison pipeline that is difficult to escape. The inequalities have included exclusionary and discriminatory discipline practices that have pushed students out of school and on a pathway to dropping out, unsupportive school environments, and less access to high-quality curriculum that would prepare students for college and productive careers.

Closing achievement gaps in diverse and low-poverty schools

EdNC

Education leaders in North Carolina and across the U.S. have spent decades highlighting and attempting to close achievement gaps, focused especially on the gaps between African-American and Latino students compared to their white and Asian peers, as well as the gaps between low-income students and others.Many reformers have focused on the lagging results for students in extremely high-poverty schools—those with more than 75 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

Strength in Diversity Act Would Create Federal Grants for Schools

Education Week

Democrats in Congress have proposed legislation to increase socioeconomic diversity and address racial isolation in schools through federal grants. The Strength in Diversity Act was introduced Thursday by Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. The legislation would authorize $120 million in grants for "voluntary community-driven strategies" to increase diversity through studying segregation, hiring new teachers, and other means.

Advancing Equity Through the Every Student Succeeds Act: How States Can Use Indicators to Help All Students

The Learning Policy Institute

A new report from the Learning Policy Institute, Making ESSA’s Equity Promise Real: State Strategies to Close the Opportunity Gap, provides information on which states have included in their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability plans and school improvement efforts one or more of five measures (or “indicators”) to diagnose and address sources of inequity and school failure and to support the success of all students. These measures include suspension rates, school climate, chronic absenteeism, extended-year graduation rates, and access to a college- and career-ready curriculum. The report also examines how states are measuring improvement on those indicators.

Making ESSA’s Equity Promise Real: State Strategies to Close the Opportunity Gap

The Learning Policy Institute

It is well-documented that students of color, and other historically underserved students, have had less access to an equitable and supportive learning environment, perpetuating school failure and, too often, a school-to-prison pipeline that is difficult to escape. The inequalities have included exclusionary and discriminatory discipline practices that have pushed students out of school and on a pathway to dropping out, unsupportive school environments, and less access to high-quality curriculum that would prepare students for college and productive careers.

The Other Side Of School Safety: Students Are Getting Tasered And Beaten By Police

The Huffington Post

Jalijah Jones, then a freshman at Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan, remembers the punch of thousands of volts hitting his slight frame. At 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing 120 pounds, he was small for his age. He remembers four school security guards officers pushing him up against a hallway wall before a school police officer arrived and Tasered him. He remembers a feeling of intense cold as if his high school hallway had just turned into a walk-in freezer. He remembers falling to the ground, his muscles betraying his mind’s desire to stand.

Mispronouncing Students' Names: A Slight That Can Cut Deep

Education Week

A bridge to understanding. "My name is where I come from," Michelle-Thuy Ngoc said. "It's a reminder of hope." A junior at Downtown College Prep Alum Rock High School, a San Jose, Calif.-based charter school, Michelle-Thuy Ngoc (Michelle knock twee) is among the students backing "My Name, My Identity," a national campaign that places a premium on pronouncing students' names correctly and valuing diversity.

The Controversial Couple Heading Trump's Hispanic Education Efforts

Education Week

Aimee Viana sat next to President Donald Trump in February 2017, joining a panel of parents and teachers gathered for a White House listening session with newly appointed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. That West Wing meeting foreshadowed a 12-month period in which Viana, who introduced herself to Trump as a parent and former educator from Cary, N.C., and her husband, José Viana, landed high-profile roles as political appointees in the Trump administration.

Does Teacher Diversity Matter in Student Learning?

The New York Times

As students have returned to school, they have been greeted by teachers who, more likely than not, are white women. That means many students will be continuing to see teachers who are a different gender than they are, and a different skin color. Does it matter? Yes, according to a significant body of research: Students tend to benefit from having teachers who look like them, especially nonwhite students.

Slidell teacher 'no longer an employee' after racially-charged social media post

WWL-TV

Valerie Scogin, a teacher at Slidell High School is no longer employed at the school after a racially-charged post on Facebook recently drew ire on social media nationally."When this situation was brought to our attention, the School System launched a full investigation, and the teacher involved was allowed due process," the school district said in a statement. "This process has been completed, and the teacher in question is no longer an employee of our School System."

The School-to-Deportation Pipeline

Teaching Tolerance

On a Saturday afternoon in Houston, Dennis Rivera-Sarmiento crossed a stage donning a green graduation gown. The 19-year-old was proud of this moment—one he wasn’t sure would happen. Just months before, a scuffle with a classmate near Stephen F. Austin High School threatened his future in the United States. Charged with assault, he was arrested by campus police, sent to county jail, then held in three different Texas immigration detention centers, including one located more than an hour from his home.

Rethinking What Gifted Education Means, and Whom It Should Serve

The New York Times

When this Maryland school district diversified its gifted programs, some parents felt their own children were hurt by the changes

The Dilemma of Teaching Race in High-School Biology

The Atlantic

Early 20th-century biology textbooks, after all, were replete with ignorant racial and gender stereotyping and classifications purporting to be scientific—and some even extolled the virtues of racial purity. It would be hard to find such discussions in today’s biology classrooms and supporting materials. But to a growing number of academics, that’s a problem, and the omissions represent glaring intellectual lacunae—a sort of sanitized approach to biology that ignores the political and cultural veins that have historically run through it. After all, the history of racial, sexual, and gender classification is very much a story of scientific debate. And biological concepts—and misperceptions—continue to exert profound influence on national conversations about diversity and human difference.

Sonia Sotomayor’s Book Tour Is a Hit With Hispanic Kids: ‘I Like How She Stood Up for Herself’

The New York Times

As Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke at the Brooklyn Public Library about her life and the story behind her two new children’s books, she told the audience of about 500 people about an instance when a man had questioned her choice of footwear. “‘Supreme Court justices don’t wear high heels,’” she recalled him saying. “And I looked at him and I said, ‘Latina Supreme Court justices’” wear heels, she said, her last few words drowned out as the crowd erupted in laughter.

Research

Do Suspensions Affect Student Outcomes?

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis

A suspension decreases math and reading achievement for suspended students. The effects are robust to IV estimates leveraging a district-wide policy change in suspension use. Suspensions are more salient for students who personally experience suspension than for their peers. Exposure to suspensions for more serious misconduct has very small, negative spillovers onto peer achievement, but does not change peer absences.

AROS Education Debt Report – We Owe Billions to Low-Income, Black and Latino Students. It is Time to Pay Up.

The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools

Confronting the Education Debt, by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools argues that still today, the disenfranchisement of communities of color has allowed elected policymakers to pursue priorities that deny children—especially Black, Brown and low-income children—the educational opportunities they deserve.

Research Design Flaws Identified in Study Suggesting That Chief Diversity Officers “Hurt” Diversity

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Last week, numerous media outlets highlighted a working paper submitted to the National Bureau of Economic Research contending that Chief Diversity Officers have no influence on faculty diversification and that their presence inversely influences the diversity of tenured faculty. The articles were widely shared in social media and received a visceral response from diversity experts who questioned the motivation for the study, analytic approach, its theoretical underpinnings, and interpretation of the results.

Substantial racial stereotyping toward young children of color found among white adults who work with them

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

New research from The Australian National University (ANU), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the University of Michigan has found that young children and youth of color in the U.S. face significant racial stereotyping from adults who work with them.

Complimentary preview of "Indigenous and Decolonzing Studies in Education: Mapping the Long View"

Taylor & Francis Group

Indigenous and decolonizing perspectives on education have long persisted alongside colonial models of education, yet too often have been subsumed within the fields of multiculturalism, critical race theory, and progressive education. Timely and compelling, Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education features research, theory, and dynamic foundational readings for educators and educational researchers who are looking for possibilities beyond the limits of liberal democratic schooling.

We Want Black Students, Just Not You: How White Admissions Counselors Screen Black Prospective Students

Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

Most historically and predominantly white institutions (HPWIs) now desire some number of black students on their campuses. However, recent theoretical scholarship suggests that HPWIs’ desire for and willingness to embrace black students is predicated on their racial palatability. The theory of intraracial discrimination stipulates that white gatekeepers are increasingly inclined to screen blacks to “weed out” those they perceive as too concerned with race and racism.

Views

Confessions of a white teacher in an urban school

The Hechingher Report

My first year of teaching, I did almost everything wrong. They tell you to be yourself. Here was my first mistake: I didn’t want to be myself. I wanted to be Michelle Pfeiffer. Or, more specifically, Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds. In the 1995 movie, Pfeiffer plays urban high school teacher LouAnne Johnson, who breezes into class and finds what makes her urban students tick by teaching them karate. In real life, Johnson was an ex-Marine. But I was a cupcake out of cosseted Cherry Hill, New Jersey, driving a powder-blue Jeep into 1990s-era Bushwick, Brooklyn. I hadn’t a clue.

30 Books That Inspire Black Boys to Be Creative and Build Their Dreams

Philly's 7th Ward

Two years ago, I walked into a bookstore searching for a birthday gift for a young Black boy. When I approached a woman who worked at the store, I said, “Excuse me, can you direct me to the African-American children book section? She replied, “We keep all of our books together. We don’t have a section for African-American children.” I followed up by asking if she could help me find books for African American boys. She agreed and searched the children section for the aforementioned books. After a few minutes, she gathered four books with Black boys or men as protagonist characters from a section that had thousands of books. I decided to purchase one of the books, but I was extremely frustrated with the lack of books with Black boys or men as main characters.

Advancing Diversity by Empowering the Arts in Our Nation’s Education Decision-making

American for the Arts

Almost three years ago, in December 2015, Americans across the country applauded our leaders in Congress and the White House for finally reforming our federal education policy and bringing forth the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). I was pleased to attend this bill signing and am still inspired by the powerful and positive role that the arts will play—because of this legislation—in this new chapter of education policy in America. This bill brought into code the popular opinion of Americans that the arts are a central part of a well-rounded education for all learners; especially for those students who traditionally don’t have access to arts education because of their race, socio-economic status, or zip code.

What Happened to Serena Williams at the U.S. Open Happens to Black Girls in School Every Day

Education Post

Serena Williams, decidedly the greatest athlete of our generation, is no stranger to the obstacles of being a strong, Black woman. This past weekend at the U.S. Open in the final match between her and Naomi Osaka, Williams—who was competing for her 24th Grand Slam tournament win—was charged with three penalty code violations, contributing to her ultimate defeat and a victory for Osaka who became the first Japanese player in history to win a Grand Slam.

Serena Williams and the Audacity to be a Black Woman or Girl with a Voice

The Education Trust

By now, we all know what happened in the women’s final match at the US Open. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that what Serena Williams experienced on the court that day is not only rooted in the same systemic and institutional racism that has left Black people out of tennis, but Black children out of the classroom. Tennis is an institution that has been historically regulated by rules made without people of color in mind. Similarly, schools and the rules that govern them were not created in order to open the doors to opportunity for children of color.

Me and My White Teachers

The New York Times

Her name was Ms. Harris, and I was in the third grade. Of all the teachers I had coming up in school after I emigrated to the States from Trinidad and Tobago at age 6, she stood out. She was stern, she was fair. She would give you Lucky Bucks at the start of the week. When you behaved badly, she would take one away. If you had the most Lucky Bucks by the end of the week, you would get to participate in some sort of fun activity. If you did not, there would be punishment. Ms. Harris was the only teacher I remembered having in America who was, like me, black.

Response: Teachers Can't Ignore Racism Issues and Hope They 'Will Go Away'

Education Week

The new question of the week is: What are the biggest mistakes teachers make when approaching race and racism issues in the classroom and what should they do instead? Today, this three-part series will be wrapped-up by Dr. Larry J. Walker, Dr. Jaime Castellano, Dr. Mara Lee Grayson, Ashley S. Boyd, Jennifer Orr, and Kelly Wickham Hurst. I have also included comments from readers.

Civics Education Must Put Racial Equity First

The Education Trust

Civics education is popular again. As our democracy itself sits on a historic precipice, people from around the country are calling for a national renewal of civics education. However, more civics education by itself is not sufficient. This new political moment requires a new civics: one in which a quest for racial equity is front and center.

Turning Discipline into Dialogue

EdNC

As a high school student, discipline almost never impacted me. I always did as I was told, careful to never draw any negative attention to myself. This changed for me in my junior year of high school. After making a light-hearted joke about another administrator, I was asked to stay behind after class to talk with my teacher. My teacher proceeded to tell me that I had a “sass” problem, and my sense of entitlement needed to be eradicated immediately.



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