Why Educators Should Create More Inclusive Conversations in the Classroom

As a third-generation Korean American, I was never conscious of my family lineage, especially growing up in Irvine, California, which has been a melting pot of diversity for the last twenty-some years. Like many others in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, recent headlines like the deadly killings in an Atlanta nail salon have … Read more

What the Odd History of ‘Pulling Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps’ Says About Education Equity

There’s a phrase that’s used a lot when talking about the American Dream, a phrase that captures this idea that anyone can rise up and make their own fortune: “Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.” And it turns out, the idiom has a precise—and surprising—origin story. It starts back in 1834, with an inventor from … Read more

What If Students Didn’t Have to Leave Community Colleges to Earn Bachelor’s Degrees?

Set a few miles from the sea and surrounded by swampy state parks, Indian River Community College was for years a lone outpost of higher education on Florida’s Treasure Coast. The nearest university—Florida Atlantic—was nearly 60 miles away, a long haul down I-95 for someone seeking more schooling but bound to her community by a … Read more

How Do You Teach in a Pandemic? Focus on Core Values

For many years, I listened regularly to the This I Believe podcast, which showcased people from all walks of life sharing the core values that guide their daily lives. Though it has been off the air for quite some time, I still think back to these stories and their poignant reflections. As a young teacher, … Read more

School Counselors Have Implicit Bias. Some Are Ready to Address It.

During his sixth year as a school counselor, Derek Francis faced a situation that would change his career. It was 2017, and the Minnesota high school where he worked—which also happened to be the high school he attended as a teenager—was in turmoil over a video circulating on social media. In it, one of the … Read more

Diverse Leaders are Changing Education

I was 20 years old and wearing my best suit. I woke up early so I could make the one-hour trip to Midtown Manhattan to begin my Wall Street internship orientation. The Sponsors for Educational Opportunity team planned an intense training. We learned Excel modeling, financial terms, and networking. The goal was to leave the … Read more

The Awkward Truth About ‘Free College’—It Isn’t Truly Free

In 2014, when Tennessee unveiled a statewide scholarship to cover tuition expenses at community colleges, the program was praised for making higher education possible for more people. It even inspired President Obama to pitch a similar federal program. But as soon as more people showed up to campuses in 2015, Tennessee higher ed leaders discovered … Read more

Let’s Teach Computer Science Majors to Be Good Citizens. The Whole World Depends on It.

Digital technology has become increasingly important in the lives of all Americans, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, which has made many of us even more reliant on computing devices to execute our daily responsibilities. Yet, many social, political and ethical concerns have emerged as the application of technology has grown in daily life. For example, … Read more

How Three Nonprofits Are Connecting Kids With Diverse Mentors During the Pandemic

Friday the 13th turned out to hold more than the usual amount of superstitious bad luck in March 2020. On that day, millions of teachers and families across the U.S. learned that they would not be going back to school the following Monday. As leaders grappled with emerging COVID-19 information, one week off became two … Read more

By Putting Tensions on Stage, Colleges Aim to Change Campus Culture

The new professor had a choice. He arrived early to a meeting to discover a senior faculty member lying in ambush, armed with a crude joke and disparaging words for a researcher—a woman—who’d applied for a job in their department. An angel appeared at the young man’s side, encouraging him to disrupt the distasteful monologue. … Read more