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January 6, 2017

Harry C. Boyte, Education Week

Dear Deb and Colleagues, Greetings in a consequential New Year. I see possibilities amidst the dangers. As I've said before, I appreciate your experiments in Central Park East and Mission Hill schools in democratic decision making. We can learn a lot from them. We can learn from other kinds of stories as well. These include examples when the “so what?” habit of mind you taught in your schools has been taken to scale, and publics became involved in thinking about and taking action on the purpose of education. David Mathews, president of the Kettering Foundation likes to call it, “the public in public education.” I'm eager to identify such stories, draw others in, and begin collective harvesting of experiences as prelude to and background for effective action. Today Diane Ravitch and others are “sounding the alarm” about the Trump team's drive to privatize education, which threatens to further marginalize public purposes.  But sounding alarms only works when publics exist to take action. Otherwise alarms are ineffective protests.


December 16, 2016

Alex Caputo-Pearl, KPCC

Los Angeles schools shouldn't only be places where students go to learn; they should also be community centers, after-school gathering spots and hubs for social services. That principle is better known nationally as the "community schools" model — and it's about to get the endorsement of a newly-formed, powerhouse coalition of labor unions, faith-based groups and social justice organizations who see it as a new organizing principle for the Los Angeles Unified School District. The coalition, known as "Reclaim Our Schools L.A.," envisions replicating the "wraparound services" already in place at some L.A. Unified schools — like at Garfield High's "Wellness Center," where a non-profit provider offers physical exams, family planning and mental health services — on campuses across the sprawling district.


December 9, 2016

Carola Suarez-Orozco and Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, US News

Nearly 750,000 young people without papers were beckoned out of the shadows by the promise of a presidential act – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, first offered in 2012

. After two decades of failed attempts to fix our broken immigration system, DACA would minimally address the needs of young people brought to this country as children, not of their own volition.  These youngsters cautiously signed up for a contract with their new society. As children they grew up in our midst, attending our schools and churches and playing Little League. Research, our own and that of others, found that while in college they held jobs and displayed academic resilience and high levels of social and civic engagement. Despite a powerful undertow – constant financial concerns, housing insecurity, high levels of discrimination and the near permanent fear that they or a loved one could be deported at any moment – they rallied forth, American in all ways but on paper.


December 2, 2016

Patricia A. Matthew, The Atlantic

The spate of racialized attacks on college campuses after the election are, in some ways, the flip side of the protests that sprung up across the country starting last fall. Then, students of color called for their schools to develop more inclusive climates—with big stories breaking from campuses like the University of Missouri and Princeton—and pressed elite institutions to confront the racist histories of the leaders they enshrine. Such activism took place on campuses that don’t have such high profiles, too. To put it simply, in the parlance of social media, the students protesting are woke AF—and one of the things they want are more faculty of color. It’s a complicated request in many ways. This is in part because a call for a more diverse professoriate suggests that faculty of color, simply by being brown and on campus, can serve the institution in unique ways. In turn, when faculty of color are hired, they are often expected to occupy a certain set of roles: to serve as mentors, inspirations, and guides—to be the racial conscience of their institutions while not ruffling too many of the wrong feathers.


Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed

A new website is asking students and others to “expose and document” professors who “discriminate against conservative students, promote anti-American values and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.” The site, called Professor Watchlist, is not without precedent -- predecessors include the now-defunct, which logged accounts of alleged bias in the classroom. There's also David Horowitz's 2006 book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America

. But such efforts arguably have new meaning in an era of talk about registering certain social groups and concerns about free speech.


November 18, 2016

Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post
There’s a reason that people who care about public education in the United States are mightily worried about President-elect Donald Trump. There are, actually, a number of reasons — all of which lead to this question: Will Trump’s administration destroy U.S. public education? The short answer is that he can’t all by himself destroy America’s most important civic institution, at least not without help from Congress as well as state and local legislatures and governors. State and local governmental entities provide most of K-12 public school funding. And there is no appetite in the country for intense federal involvement in local education, which occurred during the Obama administration at such an unprecedented level that Congress rewrote the No Child Left Behind law — eight years late — so that a great deal of education policymaking power could be sent back to the states.


November 11, 2016

Eliza Byard, Twitter, 2016
This is how the future voted. This is what people 18-25 said in casting their votes. We must keep this flame alight and nurture this vision. 

November 4, 2016

Peter Balonon-Rosen, NPR
If you're carving a jack-o-lantern tonight, take a minute to think about who picked that pumpkin.
Maybe it was Anayeli Camacho, one of the country's estimated 3 million migrant farm workers, and mother of two. For part of the year she rents a trailer on farmland in Oaktown, Indiana where she works in the fields, harvesting pumpkins and other crops. But as the fall harvest comes to a close, she and her family will head back down south for the winter, following seasonal work. This is what Camacho has done for the last decade, traveling north and south, from Florida to Indiana, bringing her family, which now includes 4-year-old Ximena, along with her.

October 28, 2016

Jonathan Zimmerman, The Chronicle of Higher Education

We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit." So began the Port Huron Statement, the student manifesto that Tom Hayden drafted in 1962. When Hayden died on Sunday, most accounts emphasized his many different roles in the tumultuous world he inherited: civil-rights organizer, antiwar protester, California state lawmaker. But Hayden and his fellow activists were educational reformers, too, focusing much of their dissent on the institution where they were housed: the modern university. Put simply, Hayden believed that college should teach people to critique the world around them. But too many colleges functioned more like assembly lines, stamping out students who would conform rather than question.

October 21, 2016

Robyn Dixon and Aminu Abubakar, Los Angeles Times

Twenty-one of the 218 missing Nigerian schoolgirls abducted in 2014 by Boko Haram militants were released Thursday as a result of negotiations with the extremist group, government officials said. The girls were released in northern Borno State, rescued by a military helicopter and transported to the state capital, Maiduguri, said Mallam Garba Shehu, spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari. Officials said the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government acted as neutral intermediaries leading to the first major breakthrough since the girls’ kidnapping in April 2014.

October 14, 2016

Liana Heitin, Education Week
Students in high-performing countries for mathematics are less reliant on memorization strategies than their peers in lower-performing countries, according to a new analysis of international assessment data. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which administers the Program for International Student Assessment every three years to 15-year-olds from around the world, periodically publishes reports looking at slices of the data. A 93-page report released last week offers takeaways for math teachers from the 2012 results (the most recent round available). Among other things, it looks at the relationship between memorization and math achievement.


October 7, 2016

Christopher Torchia, San Francisco Chronicle

South African students protesting for free education disrupted lectures at one of the country's leading universities on Tuesday, clashing with police who tried to disperse crowds with tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades. The violence at the University of the Witwatersrand, or Wits, in Johannesburg erupted despite an appeal from the vice-chancellor, Adam Habib. He had asked students and staff to "take back our campus" from what he called a minority of students who would rather protest than study.


Claire Lampen, Business Insider

Most people know that rape and sexual assault are wrong, but that knowledge hasn't prevent either crime from occurring at alarming rates. And yet some students U.K. universities are balking at newly instituted freshman classes on consent, calling them "patronizing," the Sun

reported. For roughly five years, the University of Oxford has offered such workshops — but for 2016's incoming freshman class, consent classes will be "compulsory," according to the BBC.


September 30, 2016

Christian Kenworthy, Christian Science Monitor

When it came to prompting a federal investigation into racial discrimination at America’s oldest public high school, one voice proved pivotal: that of students. This week, US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz released the findings of a nearly half-year investigation into allegations that the selective Boston Latin School had mishandled a number of racially-charged incidents – including failing to notify the parents of a black female student after a non-black peer used a racial slur against her and threatened to lynch her with an electrical cord. It wasn't the first time such hostility had roiled the school, which admits students based on an entrance exam score and grades. But it wasn't till Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year – Jan. 18 – that two black 12th-graders, Meggie Noel and Kylie Webster-Cazeau, pushed the problem to the fore.


September 23, 2016

Press Association, The Guardian

Gordon Brown has described funding education in the world’s poorest countries as “the civil rights struggle of our generation”. Almost half of the world’s children face the prospect of growing up without proper schooling unless there is a transformation in education funding, the former Labour prime minister said. Brown, who heads the international commission on financing global education opportunity, said the shortage of schooling represented a ticking timebomb that could trigger new protest movements among a generation frustrated by a lack of life chances.

September 16, 2016

Laura Isensee, NPR

When teachers and activists demanded schools in Texas, where more than half of the public school students are Hispanic, teach more Mexican-American studies, the State Board of Education responded by calling for more textbooks on the subject. So far, though, the only book submitted for approval has drawn fierce criticism. This week, activists voiced that criticism in front of the Texas Board of Education in a public hearing in Austin. Dozens attended, with some driving hours to the capital from Dallas, Houston and other parts of the state. Some scholars on the subject say that the textbook, "Mexican American Heritage,"

is riddled with factual errors, is missing content and promotes racism and culturally offensive stereotypes, such as Mexicans being lazy, not valuing hard work and bringing crime and drugs into the United States.


September 9, 2016

Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times

Hardy Williams, a physical education teacher and former Los Angeles High football coach, was getting his car repaired Saturday morning when his brother called and told him that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had refused to stand for the playing of the national anthem before an NFL exhibition game. “What?” Williams said. “He’s immediately my favorite player.” It was 31 years ago, in the fall of 1985, that Williams filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District and his principal at Los Angeles, Patrick DeSantis, after he was fired as a coach for turning his back when the national anthem was played before games. When he heard that Kaepernick said he was protesting “a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Williams said, “I thought it’s been a long time since somebody picked up the torch.”


Sarah Freeman-Woolpert, Waging Nonviolence

Students in central Bosnia and Herzegovina return to school this week, but not with the usual nerves that accompany back-to-school season. This year, high school students in the small, medieval city of Jajce are returning with a newfound sense of purpose and empowerment. Over the summer months, the students organized protests that successfully pressured the local assembly in the Central Bosnia Canton to postpone its plans for a new segregated high school teaching only Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) students. This proposed measure would extend a policy of ethnic segregation, already implemented in Jajce’s elementary schools, to the high school level.


September 2, 2016

Greg Nicolson, Daily Maverick

The videos appear to show a heated exchange, but when the protest turned confrontational on Saturday, matric students Malaika Maoh Eyoh and Palesa Sedibe*, both 17 years old, felt tired. They were in their fifth year at the school and had seen black students, even teachers, teased and humiliated, broken as they were forced to sacrifice their cultures and identities. “We just felt tired,” said Eyoh. Sedibe never wanted to go to the school. Her friends had gone elsewhere and Pretoria Girls strictly enforced “petty rules” – no hugging in the hallway, no drinking while walking. It was okay, she said at Hatfield Plaza on Monday, wearing black jeans, a black T-shirt and a doek, until last year when staff kept raising issues with students who have afros. Eyoh remembered how in Grade 9 she cut her relaxed hair and grew a small afro. A teacher said her hair was distracting other students from learning.


See also



August 26, 2016

Black Matters

The fight for justice is not a fight for only ‘grown-ups’, and this is proven greatly by Miss Berneisha Hooker. As a high school student in a mostly Black school, Berneisha began advocating for Black rights. Her first major work was in organizing the painting of various big Black and Hispanic historical names on the walls inside the school. She did this in order to make students remember that as Black people, we can all be responsible for the change we want to see. Her play, the Evolution of Race, also talks about social issues related to Black people wanting to acquire an education.

August 19, 2016

Shavali Tukdeo,

This year marks 50th

 anniversary of Kothari commission report on education. In its after-life of half-a-century, the report continues to occupy an important place in discussions on education in India irrespective of the distinct ideological positions that may go on to frame these discussions. While some of the recommendations get echoed by a wide range of bodies including policy and planning groups, civic initiatives and organisations of radical persuasions, certain other issues raised by the report have been relegated to the back allies of our collective memory.

August 12, 2016

Rusul Alrubail, Teaching Tolerance

“We live in a time of crisis,” warned Dr. Ruha Benjamin in the beginning of her opening keynote at the 2016 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. Benjamin, an assistant professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University and author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier, is the first black woman to keynote this conference. And the space and timing were ripe for her message: We live in an era when people who are different are treated unfairly, when people of color have to defend their mere existence. Yet, we can all do something about it.

August 5, 2016

Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week

A coalition of groups that includes the Black Lives Matter network has released an education policy platform calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring the country to provide a "fully funded education" in order to ensure adequate and appropriate educational resources.      


July 29, 2016

Shannon Young, PRI
What started off as a seasonal protest in southern Mexico against an educational change is turning into a movement. On June 19, about 800 state and federal police were deployed to break up a highway blockade in Nochixtlán, a commercial and transportation hub in the indigenous Mixteca region. Eight people — protesters and townspeople — were killed in the police operation. One month later, no one has been held accountable. The government initially denied police were armed, then rejected the authenticity of video and photographic evidence, but later claimed police were ambushed and opened fire in self-defense. Uniformed police were the only people photographed aiming firearms in Nochixtlán, about 90 minutes north of the city of Oaxaca. Another person was killed by gunfire during a police operation at a traffic circle near Oaxaca City. The protests are over a federal education "reform" bill that ties job security to evaluations and introduces a regime of standardized tests. A dissident union of education workers says it also undermines collective bargaining. And teachers in the bilingual indigenous system object to the reform's favoring of English in secondary language instruction while not assigning curricular value to native Mexican tongues.


July 22, 2016

Bettina Chang, Chicago Magazine
Eva Lewis is someone you should know. She and three other black teenage girls were the driving force behind Monday’s massive sit-in protest in Millennium Park and subsequent march to protest gun violence and police brutality in Chicago. The event to “break the divide between communities, and bring youth from all areas of Chicago in solidarity with Black Lives Matter,” drew more than 1,000 people and the attention of local and national media—not bad for a group of 16- and 17-year-olds who organized the whole thing on social media. The silent sit-in was followed by poetry and other performances, and the group gained steam as it left the park and closed down the streets, marching toward Federal Plaza to meet up with another, unaffiliated group of protesters.


July 15, 2016

Michelle Alexander, Medium

I have struggled to find words to express what I thought and felt as I watched the videos of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile being killed by the police. Last night, I wanted to say something that hasn’t been said a hundred times before. It finally dawned on me that there is nothing to say that hasn’t been said before. As I was preparing to write about the oldness of all of this, and share some wisdom passed down from struggles of earlier eras, I heard on the news that 11 officers had been shot in Dallas, several killed from sniper fire. My fingers froze on the keys. I could not bring myself to recycle old truths. Something more is required. But what?



July 8, 2016

U.S. Department of Education

State and local spending on prisons and jails has increased at triple the rate of funding for public education for preschool through grade P-12 education in the last three decades, a new analysis by the U.S. Department of Education found. Released today, the report, Trends in State and Local Expenditures on Corrections and Education, notes that even when population changes are factored in, 23 states increased per capita spending on corrections at more than double the rate of increases in per-pupil P-12 spending. Seven states—Idaho, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia—increased their corrections budgets more than five times as fast as they did their allocations for P-12 public education. The report also paints a particularly stark picture of higher education spending across the country at a time when postsecondary education matters more than ever. Since 1990, state and local spending on higher education has been largely flat while spending on corrections has increased 89 percent.



July 1, 2016

Martin K. N. Kollie, Youth Activist, GNN Liberia
Dear Malia and Sasha: With esteemed hospitality and a great degree of compliments, we want to heartily welcome you and your mom along with her entourage to Africa’s oldest nation and the World’s second black Republic. Liberians, especially teenage girls are glad to have you (Malia and Sasha) visiting a rich, but yet poor country like Liberia.  Receiving such a high-power delegation led by the First Lady of the United States of America, Mrs. Michelle Obama is historic and worthwhile.

June 24, 2016

David Bacon, The Nation
On Sunday night, June 12, as Ruben Nuñez, head of Oaxaca’s teachers union, was leaving a meeting in Mexico City, his car was overtaken and stopped by several large king-cab pickup trucks. Heavily armed men in civilian clothes exited and pulled him, another teacher, and a taxi driver from their cab, and then drove them at high speed to the airport. Nuñez was immediately flown over a thousand miles north to Hermosillo, Sonora, and dumped into a high-security federal lockup.  Just hours earlier, unidentified armed agents did the same thing in Oaxaca itself, taking prisoner Francisco Villalobos, the union’s second-highest officer, and flying him to the Hermosillo prison as well. Villalobos was charged with having stolen textbooks a year ago. Nuñez’s charges are still unknown.

June 17, 2016

Los Angeles Times

High school is coming to an end for students throughout Los Angeles this month, and no graduation is complete without a student speech. This year’s young orators thanked the people who told them they would fail, spoke in rhymes, came out to their classmates and “broke up” with their schools. Here are excerpts from some of their speeches.


June 10, 2016

Shannon Van Sant, Voice of America.

Recent protests in China's Jiangsu and Hubei Provinces by parents of students in the local schools have led to questions and criticism of China's education system, and the measures the Chinese government is taking to make it more equitable.  The demonstrations erupted after China’s government announced it would implement a quota system where nearly 80,000 places at universities in Jiangsu and Hubei provinces would go to students from poorer regions in China.


June 3, 2016

Danny McDonald, The Boston Globe

One Harvard graduate’s poetic and poignant graduation speech that tackled race and education has gone viral. Donovan Livingston, a 2016 graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, performed spoken-word poetry, telling the crowd at a graduation ceremony on Wednesday, “For some, the only difference between a classroom and a plantation is time. How many times must we be made to feel like quotas?” His poem referenced how slaves could be punished to death if they were caught trying to educate themselves. He said that divisiveness in American education continues to this day, and that he represented “a movement, an amalgam of memories America would care to forget.”


May 27, 2016

Omid Safi, On Being
Graduates, family members, loved ones, faculty and staff. It’s wonderful to be back home. This place is and forever will be home to us.  When I had a chance to come back home and share some thoughts with you, I wanted this as a chance to give something back to you beautiful people sitting here. The first thing is, I wanted you to have a tool in your toolbox, I wanted you to have a weapon to fend off that nastiest question of all:“What are you gonna do after graduation?”

May 20, 2016

Allison Pohle,

The last time thousands of Boston Public Schools students walked out of their classrooms to protest proposed budget cuts, some officials said the students left class based on “misinformation.” When student activists once again walk out of their classes Tuesday, they hope there will be no miscommunication.

Jeremy C. Fox, Boston Globe

Hundreds of Boston students walked out of class Tuesday to protest cuts to the school budget, then thronged City Hall Plaza and an emotional City Council hearing to call for full funding of education. The rally, the second in recent months, capped a school year in which students were emboldened to speak up.


May 13, 2016

The Plessy and Ferguson Foundation

The 1890 Separate Car Law of Louisiana mandated separate accommodations for Black and White railroad passengers. It was a product of segregation laws that were being enacted across the South during the post-Reconstruction era.  Homer Adolph Plessy and other members of a New Orleans multi-racial group called the Citizens’ Committee challenged those laws and launched the final post-Reconstruction Civil Rights Movement of the 19th Century, built around a strategy of civil disobedience and peaceful protest. 

We are approaching the 120th anniversary of the Plessy v. Ferguson case on May 18, 2016. To date, he has never been officially acknowledged for his sacrifice on the altar of freedom. Those Americans who know the history of our struggle, however, look upon Plessy as a figure of immense historical importance. It is time now for us to stand up and insist on the acknowledgement of his rightful place in the history of American Civil Rights.

May 6, 2016

Liz Dwyer, takepart

“Stand up if you live two blocks from a liquor store or fast-food restaurant.” That was the instruction given by a young, twentysomething facilitator to a room of roughly 25 black and Latino high school students from underserved neighborhoods in the greater Los Angeles area. They were just some of the nearly 200 teens of color who attended “Rise Up for Humanity–Justice for the Forgotten,” a conference hosted last Friday by the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission.


Sean Coughlan, BBC

More than 40,000 parents have signed a petition calling for a boycott of primary school tests, which are due to be taken later this month. Parents supporting the Let Our Kids Be Kids campaign have complained of a damaging culture of over-testing. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan says taking pupils out of school "even for a day is harmful to their education".


April 29, 2016

Casey Quinlan, Think Progress

Keron Blair will look you directly in the eye the whole time he’s talking to you, making sure you absorb every single word he’s saying. His personality seemed a bit reserved when he sat down with me at a Starbucks to discuss Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, the coalition he is director of, which been responsible for organizing and supporting school protests across the country. But when you listen to his speeches, you hear a minister’s voice. “Public education…could die on our watch,” Blair said at a recent event for the Milwaukee Teachers Association. “The reality is what drew me to this fight is the shared acknowledgement that we are in fact at war, and what I’ve learned about wartime is that you cannot operate with the same kind of rules. You’ve got to make some wartime adjustments.” AROS’ ongoing protests have conveyed exactly that level of urgency.


April 22, 2016

Leah Donnella, NPR

It has been a year since Freddie Gray died from injuries sustained as Baltimore police transported him to a station. The 25-year-old was arrested after running from police; officers later found a small knife in Gray's possession. Cellphone video of the arrest showed Gray being dragged, moaning in pain, to the police van while at least one onlooker shouted that Gray needed medical care. Gray was not secured in the back of the van, which led to 80 percent of his spine being severed. The Baltimore Sun

 has a comprehensive timeline of the investigation into his death and the status of legal cases against the officers involved. This week, journalists, commentators and community members are reflecting on what Gray's death has meant for the city and what it might mean going forward.


Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun

A youth-led activists group in Baltimore City has planned a districtwide student walkout on Friday to protest standardized testing, which they call a mechanism of institutional racism.


April 15, 2016

T. Rees Shapiro, The Washington Post
More than 80 years ago, Indian political leader Mahatma Gandhi led the so-called “Salt March” to the shores of the Arabian Sea as part of a non-violent demonstration against taxes on salt under British rule. In the same spirit of protest, a group of Americans of Indian descent are advocating against a series of proposed revisions to California school history textbooks, changes that they believe diminish the role Hindus played in the world’s earliest civilizations. The Hindu American Foundation has started a campaign to keep recognition of Hindus in the new textbooks, which are slated for publication later this year.


Casey Quinlan, ThinkProgress
With standardized testing season in full force, the so-called “opt-out movement” remains strong. Parents who think testing is having a deleterious effect on their children’s education are once again opting their kids out of tests. But this year, activists are taking one of their biggest critiques head on — that the “opt-out movement” is too white and upper middle class.


April 8, 2016

Casey Quinlan, ThinkProgress

On Friday, the Chicago Teachers Union staged a strike. Union members picketed schools, held rallies at City Hall, the Cook County Jail and Chicago State University, and protested for higher wages for fast food workers. The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, who has been closely involved in Chicago labor politics, joined in on some of the events.


Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times

“He could be a burr in your saddle," says former L.A. Unified Supt. Roy Romer. "But generally he was there when I needed him to help get the job done." "I don't always agree with Scott, and sometimes I vigorously disagree with him," says school board President Steve Zimmer. "But I always want to know what he's thinking, and if I've done something wrong in his eyes, I'm interested in that criticism." Both men are talking about Scott Folsom.

April 1, 2016

Jonathon Cook, Global Research

Families threaten to pull children from Jaffa’s first mixed Arab-Jewish school, accusing Tel Aviv officials of breaking promises.


Elsa Vulliami, The Independent

Teachers will descend on Westminster to march in protest against the Government's plans to force all state schools to become academies.

March 24, 2016

Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun

Some City College high school students with a growing profile in local activism circles have begun their latest protest — this time breaking from the school's dress code for a week and instead wearing clothing that has historical, cultural or political significance. The students, members of a group called City Bloc, announced their plans on social media last week, outlining their reasoning for the protest in a letter to school administrators. Among their goals is to start a dialogue at the school that reflects the national debate around racial and social justice issues.

March 18, 2016

Veronica Rocha, Los Angeles Times

After numerous hate-related symbols and messages were found spray-painted on Palisades Charter High School over the weekend, roughly 300 students and community activists gathered Monday morning to protest the vandalism. 


After thousands of Boston public school students marched to protest school budget cuts last week, city officials and Boston media suggested the students are simply misinformed and don’t understand what they’re doing.


Democracy Now! Guests: Amalia Pallares and Yasmeen Elagha, University of Illinois at Chicago


March 11, 2016

Robin D. G. Kelley, Boston Review

In the fall of 2015, college campuses were engulfed by fires ignited in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. This is not to say that college students had until then been quiet in the face of police violence against black Americans. Throughout the previous year, it had often been college students who hit the streets, blocked traffic, occupied the halls of justice and malls of America, disrupted political campaign rallies, and risked arrest to protest the torture and suffocation of Eric Garner, the abuse and death of Sandra Bland, the executions of Tamir Rice, Ezell Ford, Tanisha Anderson, Walter Scott, Tony Robinson, Freddie Gray, ad infinitum.


Peter Balonon-Rosen, WBUR

Hundreds of students across Boston walked out of their classes on Monday to protest proposed districtwide budget cuts. Boston Public Schools is facing an up to $50 million budget shortfall for the 2016-2017 school year. As a result, individual schools across the district are bracing to lose teaching positions, extracurricular activities, librarians, language programs and music and arts classes.

March 4, 2016

Alia Wong and Adrienne Green, The Atlantic

The country’s college campuses have seen a surge in student activism amid escalating tensions over their hostile racial climates. Student groups nationwide—many of them in conjunction with national initiatives such as the Black Liberation Collective and Black Lives Matter movement—have issued sets of demands aimed at improving the campus climate, enhancing student and faculty diversity, and ensuring better support for people of color in higher education. Common demands include the development of curricula focused on teaching cultural competency, the creation of cultural centers, and leadership changes.

This cheat sheet and timeline provide a working overview of how things look right now and include highlights from some of the most high-profile campus protests.


February 26, 2016

Kale Williams and Hamed Aleaziz, SF Gate

A group of roughly two dozen students walked out of Lowell High School in San Francisco Tuesday morning in response to an offensive sign posted on a window at the school’s library this month.


Agence France Presse, Capital News

Violent demonstrations and arson attacks that burnt down campus buildings forced at least three South African universities to shut their doors on Thursday in a new wave of student protests.


Victoria M. Massie, Vox

As the Oscars draw closer, the Hollywood Reporter took a look at the legacy of Hattie McDaniel, best known as the first African American to win an Academy Award in 1940 for her role in Gone With the Wind. It turns out, though, that her impact reaches far beyond cinema. McDaniel played a pivotal role in desegregating housing in Los Angeles.

February 19, 2016

Mikhail Zinshteyn, FiveThirtyEight

new survey that captures the attitudes of 2015 college freshmen shows unprecedented levels of interest in both political engagement and student activism, underscoring the youth vote’s potential to reshape the electoral landscape. The survey also finds that more of these students identify as liberals, seek to become community leaders and want to influence the political structure.


The Associated Press, The New York Times

Students, journalists and teachers protested inside a university campus in the Indian capital Tuesday, demanding the release of an arrested student leader and denouncing violence by Hindu nationalists.


February 12, 2016

Janelle Harris, The Root

It started as a collective expression of pride. A group of young women at the School for Creative Studies in Durham, N.C., decided to wear head wraps—also called geles—to align with and honor their culture at the start of Black History Month. Instead, they say, administrators warned that they were in violation of the dress code and threatened them with suspension.

Ernesto Londoño, The New York Times

During the 2012 presidential race, Erika Andiola, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, chased Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, across the country, challenging his suggestion that America should become so inhospitable to people like her that she would self­-deport. She was taunted, booed, assaulted and escorted out of campaign rallies. But she kept coming back. “When I was a bit younger, the passion got to me and I did a lot of things without thinking,” Ms. Andiola said. “Little by little, we became more strategic.” Four years later, she and other young Latino activists known as Dreamers are on the front lines of presidential politics, having become campaign strategists and volunteers in the unexpectedly competitive Democratic race.


February 5, 2016

Jess Bidgood, The New York Times

Two black students, employing YouTube videos and a hashtag, started a campaign to expose what they see as a hostile school climate—one in which, they said, racial insensitivity is too common and hate speech is not effectively punished.


Abby Ellin, The New York Times

Young African-Americans and their allies are demanding change, leading people of all backgrounds to talk about issues that have lain dormant for decades. What do they want? Inclusion and representation—now. Here, seven students talk about the problems, the protests and themselves.

January 29, 2016

Abigail Savitch-Lew, Yes! Magazine

Last year, New York City began turning schools in poor neighborhoods into community schools—combining rigorous instruction and extracurricular enrichment with a broad social support system.


January 22, 2016

Katherine Crawford-Garrett, Michelle Perez, Rebecca M. Sánchez, Amanda Short, Kersti Tyson, Rethinking Schools

Two elementary school teachers in Albuquerque resist the proliferation of harmful standardized tests. They see it as a professional responsibility.


January 15, 2016


To remember Dr. King this year, we reprint a 2013 interview about King’s legacy for education in Los Angeles.

January 8, 2016

Claudio Sanchez, NPR

Claudio Sanchez is the senior member of the NPR Ed team, with more than 25 years on the education beat. We asked him for his list of the top stories he'll be watching in 2016.


John Fensterwald, EdSource

A safe New Year prediction: EdSource writers won’t sit around Monday mornings wondering if there’s anything to write about. Especially because it is an election year, 2016 will be interesting and intense. Here are nine big issues to follow in 2016, with my predictions about whether anything will change during the year. 



December 11, 2015

Kristine Kim, EdWeek

Teachers in San Bernardino, Calif., sought to make classrooms as normal as possible for students this week after 14 people were killed and 21 injured in the mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center on December 2. The district's Director of Communications, Linda Bardere, said councilors started preparing talking points for teachers as early Wednesday, the day of the shooting, in case students returned on to school traumatized.

Amy Vatne Bintliff, Teaching Tolerance

In preparation for reading Farhana Zia’s The Garden of My Imaan, a lovely young adult novel about an American Muslim girl named Aliya, my students and I wrote down what we knew about Muslims. I teach in a public middle school where the majority of students are white and Christian, so I expected a steep learning curve. I encouraged all the students to write down their thoughts and ideas and to be open and honest about their thinking. Sometimes I would chime in and contradict incorrect ideas, but mostly I would just record student thoughts on the whiteboard as they recorded their thoughts on our worksheet.


December 4, 2015

Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Slate

This past week an unknown perpetrator vandalized the portraits of Harvard Law School’s black faculty members, mine included. Many students, colleagues, and friends responded to the defacement by expressing gratitude for the contributions that my colleagues and I make to the law school. I cherished these reactions for what they conveyed about my relationships with students, friends, and colleagues.


Adam Liptak, The New York Times

As student protests over racial injustice are exploding at campuses across the nation, the Supreme Court is preparing to hear a major case that could put an end to racial preferences in college admissions.


November 20, 2015

Lauren Camera, US News & World Report

The House and Senate are poised to consider an overhaul of No Child Left Behind in the coming weeks, setting up the possibility of delivering a new law to the president's desk before the New Year.

November 13, 2015

John Eligon and Richard Perez-Pena, The New York Times

Months of student and faculty protests over racial tensions and other issues that all but paralyzed the University of Missouri campus culminated Monday in an extraordinary coup for the demonstrators, as the president of the university system resigned and the chancellor of the flagship campus here said he would step down to a less prominent role at the end of the year.


Democracy Now! Guest: Lex Barlowe, African American studies major at Yale University and the president of the Black Student Alliance

The protests at the University of Missouri come as a similar dynamic plays out at one of the nation’s top Ivy League schools. On Monday, more than 1,000 students at Yale University in Connecticut held a march over racism on campus. The "March of Resilience" comes after several incidents where students of color said they faced discrimination.


November 6, 2015


Some South African students are continuing university fee protests, despite the president agreeing to freeze increases. Three universities remain closed, with students demanding free quality education for all.


Sean Coughlan, BBC

There were brief scuffles in London during a student protest march calling for the abolition of tuition fees and the retention of maintenance grants.


Julie Bosman and Motoko Rich, The New York Times

Asked to call a transgender boy by a male name he has chosen for himself, teachers and administrators around the country have leaned toward a simple response: Sure.

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