Our Students Often Have Run-Ins With Police. We Started a Two-Way Dialogue to Help.

Ignacio first came to our alternative education program after a violent confrontation with school resource officers. His choice of friends left him at risk for gang activity, drug use, violence and dropping out. In some ways, he was hanging onto school by a thread. But as he spent time with us in the classroom we … Read more

How Digital Skills Can Promote Cultural Literacy and Create Pathways to Equity

Coding and computer science are typically associated with outcomes around problem-solving and analytical skills. For instruction that yields cultural literacy, we most often look to language arts and social sciences. But Victor Hicks approaches these academic pathways as complementary, not contradictory. With Google’s Applied Digital Skills as his foundation, Hicks prioritizes culturally relevant teaching through … Read more

It’s Time to Take College Student Hunger and Homelessness Seriously

Students cooking ramen noodle packets in the dorm microwave have come to symbolize what is deemed to be the universal college experience. However, that image demeans the dire situation of students experiencing food and housing insecurity in higher education. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Through advocacy on campuses and in communities and … Read more

What Teachers Pay Teachers Is Learning From Bad Lessons and Upset Teachers

The popular lesson-sharing site Teachers Pay Teachers first landed on Jenny Kay Dupuis’ radar a little over a year ago. Friends and social media users began alerting her that images and material from one of her children’s books, “I Am Not a Number,” about a young Indigenous girl sent to a residential school in Canada … Read more

The Digital Divide Has Narrowed, But 12 Million Students Are Still Disconnected

When schools closed last March, roughly 16 million U.S. K-12 students lacked access to a working device, reliable high-speed internet or both. In the months that followed, many states and school districts mobilized, using federal CARES Act funding, broadband discounts and partnerships with private companies to connect their students and enable online learning. Those efforts … Read more

Human Bias Is Everywhere in Tech. To Fix It We Need to Reshape Computer Science Education.

As we transition into the new year reckoning with a violent insurrection organized on social media, the spread of disinformation about a deadly pandemic and breakdowns in distance learning, it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the impact of technology on every facet of our society. We all have been equally unified in … Read more

The Pandemic Has Revealed What Really Matters in Education. (Spoiler: It’s Not Tests.)

A few weeks ago, I participated in a webinar with K-12 students, parents and teachers about how online learning is going. You might be surprised to hear that the news was not all bad. The students, in particular, had some good things to say about their virtual experience: They liked that teachers were focusing more … Read more

Delivering on Equity Post-Pandemic: Will We or Won’t We?

Several months into the pandemic and school closure, our leadership team at Highline Public Schools was struggling. Like so many other district leaders across the country, on many days we were exhausted, sad and overwhelmed by the challenges we faced. That was until our chief talent officer provided us with an incredibly insightful analogy that … Read more

Recovering From 2020 Requires Supporting Students, Starting With Their Basic Needs

Around the world, people are starting to turn hopeful eyes toward the new year as the fervent desire to banish 2020 grows. Many have tried to find meaning from the loss we’ve experienced over the past year. But the lessons to be learned here are not new or unique to the pandemic. If we have … Read more

The Pandemic Closed Our Doors But Opened Our Minds: Why My School District Will Not Return to ‘Normal’

Educators around the globe knew this school year would be like nothing we had ever experienced. In the face of a worldwide pandemic, how do school districts properly balance the well-founded fears of staff and families with the equally well-founded evidence that children need schools to learn and to grow academically, socially and emotionally? A … Read more