Weekly News Roundup: Teachers go to school on racial bias

Our team is always seeking the latest news in the field of education. As advocates for a high-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 nation’s students.

Here are the stories that we are focused on this week.

Big Stories that Drove the Week

Why We’re Struggling to Keep Teachers in Our Most Vulnerable Schools via Education Post

New teachers, most of them White and unprepared, go to the schools with job openings, the overwhelming majority of which serve Black and Brown communities within one of America’s most deeply impoverished cities. Teachers struggle, kids don’t learn, teachers quit and the cycle begins anew.

But why aren’t these teachers prepared to teach? Why aren’t they prepared to connect with their students and their communities? According to teachers, it’s pretty clear. They weren’t taught how.

Florida to Let Teachers Carry Guns. Will Black Students Pay the Price? via The New York Times

The outcome of the vote in the Florida State House this week was a foregone conclusion: A proposal to allow teachers to carry firearms in school would easily win approval.

But that did not mean the debate would not be long and emotional, as Democrats implored Republicans in the majority to consider the possible risks — one of them being teachers with guns who might represent yet another source of risk for black and Latino students.

Looking to reach children statewide, Indiana expands its pre-K voucher program via Chalkbeat

For the first time, children from low-income families across Indiana could have the opportunity to go to prekindergarten for free.

The state will open up its pre-K voucher program, On My Way Pre-K, to eligible families statewide — a key expansion of what had been a limited pilot program only available in 20 counties, including most of Indiana’s larger cities.

Families in rural communities and small towns in particular will benefit from the expansion, since many of them could not previously apply for the vouchers.

One thing to read this weekend

Teachers go to school on racial bias via The Hechinger Report

“In our meetings we talk about real stuff that happens around race because it happens all the time in the classroom,” says math teacher Kendal Schwarz. “Teachers want and need a space to talk about this. It feels useful. You feel the practicality of it.” This kind of dialogue, she said, was largely absent from her graduate school teacher-training program, where issues of race and bias were rarely mentioned.

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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