Getting the Most Out of Pre-K and What’s Lost When Only Rich Kids Play Sports | 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!


What’s Lost When Only Rich Kids Play Sports via The Atlantic

Some 21 percent of children live in households with incomes below the federal poverty threshold—and many lack athletic opportunities because of it. Indeed, the fruits of America’s fixation with youth sports are largely concentrated among children with means: According to data recently released by the Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society program, household wealth is the primary driver of kids’ athletic participation.

Early sports participation matters because the advantages that come with it can serve as an inoculation against some of life’s unhappier outcomes. Compared to those who don’t play sports, students on high-school teams graduate at higher rates, perform better on tests, secure higher grades, and are more apt to aim for college.


Tackling Gaps in Access to Strong Teachers via The Education Trust

Of the many inequities in our education system, gaps in access to strong teaching have proven to be among the most stubborn. That’s not to say that there aren’t excellent teachers in our high-poverty schools — there absolutely are. But research shows an indisputable and wide-spread pattern in schools and districts across the country: Low-income children and children of color do not have the same access to strong, consistent teaching as their White and higher-income peers.

Here are five ways, drawn from promising equity-focused initiatives, state education leaders can incentivize and support leaders in districts — both traditional and charter —to remedy inequities in access to strong teachers.


Getting The Most Out Of Pre-K, ‘The Most Important’ Year In School via NPR

Suzanne Bouffard’s new book, The Most Important Year, may be just what parents of preschoolers have been waiting for: a guide to what a quality pre-K program should look like. Bouffard spent a lot of time in classrooms watching teachers do some really good things and some not-so-good things.

Successful pre-K [programs] teach children to learn to be learners, how to be curious about how things work and find answers to problems. You want to have hands-on experiences and opportunities for children to learn about things that apply to their lives. Good teachers always engage children in rich conversations and ask them open-ended questions, what they think and what they want to know.


One thing to read this week…

America Needs More Teachers of Color and a More Selective Teaching Profession via Center for American Progress

For the past three decades, two concerns have dominated the national conversation about the teaching workforce: diversity and talent. The teaching profession is not as racially diverse as it needs to be. In most states, there is a large and growing gap between the percentage of students of color and the percentage of teachers of color.

Efforts to increase teacher diversity have led to marginal increases in the percentage of teachers of color—from 12 percent to 17 percent from 1987 through 2012—but this positive statistic obscures other troubling facts, such as the decline in the percentage of African American teachers in many large urban districts and the lower retention rates for teachers of color across the country.

Simultaneously, calls for raising the bar for entry into the U.S. teaching profession have grown more numerous in recent years, in part because of the nation’s middling results compared with other educational systems around the world.


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

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