Why Teachers’ Words Matter and The Resegregation of Jefferson County | Last Week’s Best Articles

We’re back with Last Week’s Best Articles In Education!

Our team is always seeking the latest news in the field of education. As advocates for a quality education for ALL students, we know we have to stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on in the education spheres of our nation…from the White House to the local public school district, from new legislation to the small acts of bravery and kindness made by a single teacher, from the milestones and celebrations to the hazardous injustices affecting many of our nations students.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…because we believe you should stay up-to-date, too!


Do Conversations About Race Belong in the Classroom? via The Atlantic

In 1997, Beverly Daniel Tatum, one of the country’s foremost authorities on the psychology of racism, answered a recurring question that surfaced in her work with teachers, administrators, and parent groups: Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? The result was a critically acclaimed book of the same name that gave readers—numbering in the hundreds of thousands—a starting point to demystify conversations about race, better understand the concept of racial identity, and communicate across racial and ethnic divides.

Now Tatum has returned with a revised and updated 20th-anniversary edition of her national bestseller that publishes today. Tatum recently shared some thoughts with The Atlantic on why conversations about race remain vexing and what can happen when educators and parents avoid those conversations.


Who benefits from Head Start? Kids who attend — and their kids, too via Chalkbeat

Early childhood education benefits more than the kids who participate — it also helps their kids, even decades later.

A new study of Head Start, the large federally funded pre-kindergarten initiative that started in the 1960s, found that the children of kids who participated were substantially more likely to graduate high school and attend college, and less likely to commit crime and become a teen parent.

It’s the latest signal that a substantial investment in early childhood education, particularly when paired with well-funded K-12 schools, can have long-lasting benefits — and offers a striking extension of that research into a second generation.


The Sound of Inclusion: Why Teachers’ Words Matter via The Conversation

Good teaching relies on effective communication, whether it’s in English class, biology class or any subject in between. The words that teachers and students use, their meanings and their intentions are central to classroom interactions and dynamics. Ensuring that students, peers and teachers from diverse backgrounds understand and communicate respectfully with each other is often just as important as helping students understand the material in their textbooks. Language matters – not just for fostering mutual respect, but for making sure that every student has an equal opportunity to succeed.


One thing to read this week…

The Resegregation of Jefferson County via The New York Times Magazine

In 2013, a flier began making the rounds in Gardendale, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham. On it, a blond white girl wearing a red backpack and knee-high socks peered innocently at a question hanging above her head: “Which path will Gardendale choose?” Beside her was a list of communities in Jefferson County — Pleasant Grove, Center Point/Huffman, Adamsville/Forestdale, Hueytown — under the heading: “Places that chose NOT to form their own school system.” Below that was a list of four communities — Homewood, Hoover, Vestavia Hills, Trussville — that did form their own school systems and were “listed as some of the best places to live in the country.”

To outsiders, these names are meaningless, but local residents knew exactly what was being said. In Jefferson County, like in any other racially mixed metro area in the country, the names of towns and neighborhoods can serve as code, a way of referencing race without being explicit.


Did any of these articles particularly speak to you? We would love to know your thoughts! Let us know in the comments below:

Showing 2 comments
  • Gloria Pendergrass
    Reply

    Hello ,please help all children but the black children male need help . what can i do ? Because iam fighting for my black male child in school

  • Lorinda Perkins
    Reply

    Dear Mr. Franklin,
    My name is Lorinda Perkins. I used to be a kindergarten teacher for 13 years. Just this summer I took a new position as the Community & Family Liaison. This position was created within my school due to the lack of discipline and aceadenic success in my school. We are in a brand new building this year and in danger of closing. Our inner city children live with multi circumstances such as gang violence, substance abuse, sexual abuse, teen moms, lack of parenting, absentee fathers, domestic violence in their neighborhood & homes. I was hired to bring a sense of culture, character/leadership activities and bridge the gap between our community & school! I love these children! But I’m afraid they don’t love themselves! I’m doing my best to meet with them, start up Parent & Family engagement nights and I’ve begun 6 after school clubs. Would you consider coming to visit our school. My students need prayer and so much more. Please consider, stopping by for a student pep talk or a hug. I’m truly doing all I can and reaching out to the maximum people of faith & hope! Please…..

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