Cultural Writing Tips And Techniques For Diverse Storytelling

The world is a melting pot of diverse cultures, each with its own unique customs, traditions, and beliefs. From the vibrant celebrations of festivals to the quiet rituals of daily life, there is a rich tapestry of stories waiting to be explored and shared. As writers, we have the power to not only capture these cultural nuances but also to foster understanding and appreciation for them through our words. In this article, we will delve into the art of writing about culture, discussing techniques, tips, and ideas for creating culturally-sensitive content.

Writing about culture is an art form that requires both skill and sensitivity. It is a way to explore and celebrate the diversity and richness of humanity, as well as to bridge gaps and promote understanding between different communities. Whether you are a journalist, a blogger, a novelist or simply someone who loves to write, exploring cultural writing can open up new worlds and opportunities for creativity.

Crafting Content on Culture

Cultural writing can take many forms, from informative articles and essays to captivating storytelling. The key to crafting successful content on culture is to have a deep understanding and appreciation of the subject matter. This means not only researching and gathering information, but also immersing yourself in the culture itself – whether that be through traveling, interacting with individuals from different backgrounds, or simply trying new foods and experiencing different traditions.
When writing about culture, it is important to avoid stereotypes and generalizations, as these can be harmful and perpetuate misconceptions. Instead, strive to present a nuanced and multifaceted portrayal of the culture, acknowledging both its strengths and flaws.

The Art of Writing about Culture

Cultural writing requires a unique set of skills, including the ability to effectively convey complex concepts and emotions, as well as a keen eye for detail and nuance. Here are some tips for mastering the art of writing about culture:

Research Thoroughly

The first step to writing about culture is to research thoroughly. This includes not only factual information, but also understanding the context and historical background of the culture you are exploring. This will help you to provide a more comprehensive and accurate depiction of the culture.

Be Sensitive and Respectful

Cultural writing must always be approached with sensitivity and respect. Keep in mind that every culture is unique and has its own values, beliefs, and customs. Avoid making assumptions or judgments, and always be mindful of the impact your words may have on those who belong to the culture you are writing about.

Be Authentic

Authenticity is key to effective cultural writing. This means being true to yourself and your own voice, while also being open to new perspectives and experiences. Avoid trying to imitate someone else’s style or perspective, as this can come across as insincere or disrespectful.

Ideas for Cultural Writing

There are countless topics and angles to explore when it comes to cultural writing. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Cultural Traditions: Write about the customs, rituals, and traditions of a specific culture, and how they shape the daily lives of its people.
  • Cultural Celebrations: Explore and write about different festivals and celebrations from around the world, and the significance behind them.
  • Cultural Cuisine: Dive into the diverse and delicious world of food from different cultures, and how it reflects their history and identity.
  • Language and Communication: Delve into the unique languages and dialects of different cultures, and how they shape communication and understanding.
  • Cultural Arts and Entertainment: Write about the arts, music, and entertainment of a particular culture, and how they represent and express their beliefs and values.

Tips for Culturally Sensitive Writing

When writing about culture, it is important to be mindful of potential cultural sensitivities. Here are some tips to help you navigate this:

Use Appropriate Terminology

When writing about a specific culture, use proper terminology and avoid using offensive or outdated terms. For example, instead of using the term “primitive” to describe a tribal community, opt for more respectful and accurate terms such as “traditional” or “indigenous.”

Avoid Stereotypes

Stereotypes can be harmful and perpetuate misconceptions about a culture. Avoid using stereotypes in your writing, and strive to present a well-rounded and authentic portrayal.

Acknowledge Differences and Similarities

When exploring cultural differences, it is important to also acknowledge similarities. This helps to promote understanding and break down barriers between different communities.

Cultural Storytelling Techniques

Cultural storytelling is a powerful way to share and explore different cultures. Here are some techniques to enhance your cultural storytelling:

Use Vivid Descriptions

The key to effective storytelling is to bring the reader into the world you are creating. Use vivid descriptions of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes to transport readers to a different culture.

Incorporate Local Myths and Legends

Every culture has its own myths and legends, which often reflect their beliefs and values. Incorporating these into your storytelling can add depth and authenticity to your writing.

Show, Don’t Tell

Instead of simply telling the reader about a culture, show them through characters and dialogue. This will help readers to better understand and connect with the culture you are exploring.

Uncovering the Richness of Culture through Writing

Writing about culture not only allows us to learn about and appreciate different communities, but it also helps us to uncover the richness and diversity of our world. Through writing, we can open ourselves to new perspectives and experiences, and foster greater understanding and empathy towards those who may have different backgrounds from our own.

Mastering Cultural Description in Writing

Describing culture in writing requires a delicate balance of detail and restraint. Here are some tips to master cultural description in your writing:

Use All Five Senses

When describing a culture, incorporate all five senses – sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. This will help to create a more immersive and vivid experience for the reader.

Include Emotions

Emotions play a crucial role in shaping our perceptions and experiences of a culture. Use emotional descriptions to further immerse readers in the cultural landscape.

Be Mindful of Cultural Context

When describing a particular culture, be mindful of the cultural context. For example, certain gestures or expressions may have different meanings in different cultures, so it is important to research and understand these subtleties.

Writing about Diversity and Culture

Diversity and culture go hand in hand. Writing about diversity and different cultures is a powerful way to celebrate and embrace the unique identities and perspectives that make up our world. Here are some tips for effective writing about diversity and culture:

Embrace Multiple Perspectives

Incorporate diverse perspectives in your writing to provide a more well-rounded and inclusive portrayal of a culture.

Be Open to Feedback

If you are writing about a culture that is not your own, it is important to be open to feedback from individuals who belong to that culture. This will help to ensure that your writing is accurate and respectful.

Challenge Stereotypes

One way to promote diversity and cultural understanding through writing is by challenging stereotypes and misconceptions. Use your writing to educate and break down barriers between different communities.

Effective Ways to Write about Different Cultures

Writing about different cultures can be a rewarding and enlightening experience. Here are some effective ways to write about different cultures:

Experience the Culture Firsthand

Immerse yourself in the culture you are writing about. Travel, try new foods, and engage with individuals from that culture to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation.

Narrate Personal Experiences

Using personal experiences can bring a sense of authenticity and emotion to your writing. Share your observations and interactions with a particular culture to provide a more intimate perspective.

Collaborate with Others

Partnering with writers or individuals from the culture you are writing about can provide valuable insights and perspectives. Collaborating with others can help to ensure accuracy and sensitively convey cultural nuances.

How to Write about Culture

In conclusion, writing about culture requires both skill and sensitivity. By thoroughly researching and understanding the culture you are exploring, being mindful of potential sensitivities, and using effective storytelling techniques, you can craft compelling and culturally sensitive content. So go forth and uncover the richness and diversity of our world through the art of cultural writing.

For more tips on cultural writing and how to effectively convey diverse perspectives, check out this article on how to write about culture. Happy writing!

In conclusion, cultural writing is a powerful tool for exploring and understanding different societies, traditions, and ways of life. It allows us to delve into the richness and diversity of cultures, opening our minds to new perspectives and experiences. Crafting content on culture requires sensitivity, respect, and an eye for detail. Through effective storytelling techniques and masterful use of description, we can bring these unique and vibrant cultures to life on the page. As writers, it is our responsibility to approach cultural writing with care and thoughtfulness, avoiding stereotypes and promoting understanding. By embracing the art of writing about culture, we can not only share the beauty of different traditions, but also promote empathy and bridge cultural divides. So let us continue to explore and celebrate the world through our words, and unlock the endless possibilities that lie within cultural writing.

How To Write A Commentary Essay

A commentary essay is a type of argumentative essay that provides an analysis of and commentary on a text. It is typically assigned to students in high school and college English courses.

The goal of a commentary essay is to provide an interpretation of a text that is both insightful and supported by evidence. In order to write a successful commentary essay, you’ll need to do the following:

1. Read and understand the text you’re commenting on.

2. Identify the main points or arguments the author is making.

3. Offer your own analysis and interpretation of those points or arguments.

4. Support your analysis with evidence from the text.

5. Explain the implications of the author’s arguments.

6. Offer your own conclusion about the text.

Understanding the Purpose and Structure of a Commentary Essay

A commentary essay is a type of essay that provides an analysis and interpretation of a text. It is important to understand the purpose and structure of a commentary essay in order to write a successful paper.

The purpose of a commentary essay is to provide an analysis and interpretation of a text. In order to write a successful commentary essay, it is important to understand the text that you are writing about. You should also have a clear thesis statement that explains your interpretation of the text.

The structure of a commentary essay is similar to that of other academic essays. It typically consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The body paragraphs should provide an analysis of the text and support your thesis statement. The conclusion should summarize your argument and leave the reader with a clear understanding of your position.

Analyzing the Text or Topic for Commentary

Learn to craft an impeccable informative essay. Elevate your writing skills with easy tips at How to Structure an Informative Essay.

A commentary essay is a type of essay that provides an analysis of a text or topic. In a commentary essay, you will provide your own thoughts and insights on the text or topic, as well as explaining how and why you came to those conclusions.

When writing a commentary essay, it is important to first read and understand the text or topic that you will be commenting on. Once you have a good understanding of the text or topic, you can begin to develop your own thoughts and insights. Be sure to support your points with evidence from the text or topic.

In addition, it is important to be clear and concise in your writing. Make sure your points are easy to follow, and do not include any irrelevant information.

When writing a commentary essay, it is important to keep in mind the following:

-Read and understand the text or topic
-Develop your own thoughts and insights
-Support your points with evidence
-Be clear and concise

Developing a Clear and Focused Thesis Statement

A commentary essay is a type of essay that provides analysis and interpretation of a text. It is important to develop a clear and focused thesis statement in order to structure and organize your ideas.

Your thesis statement should express your position on the text and should be arguable. It should also be clear and concise. You should be able to state your thesis in one sentence.

In order to develop a strong thesis statement, you should first read and analyze the text. You should make sure that you understand the author’s argument and what they are trying to say. Once you have a clear understanding of the text, you can then develop your thesis statement.

Your thesis statement should be specific and should not simply restate the author’s argument. It should express your own position on the text.

It is also important to be clear and concise when writing your essay. You should avoid using flowery language and should stick to the facts. Make sure that your arguments are well-supported by evidence from the text.

If you are having trouble developing a thesis statement, you can ask yourself the following questions:

-What is the main argument of the text?
-What are my own thoughts on the text?
-What am I trying to say about the text?
-What is my position on the text?

Providing In-Depth Analysis and Interpretation

When you are asked to write a commentary essay, you are being asked to provide in-depth analysis and interpretation of a text. A commentary essay is not a summary of a text. It is a careful analysis of the text, its structure, and its meaning.

In order to write a commentary essay, you must first read the text carefully. Make sure you understand the text’s structure and meaning. Then, you must analyze the text, discussing its structure, meaning, and how it affects you.

Your essay should be well-organized and well-written. Make sure your points are clear and concise. Be sure to support your points with evidence from the text.

A good commentary essay will leave the reader with a deeper understanding of the text.

Incorporating Evidence and Examples Effectively

A commentary essay is a type of argumentative essay that focuses on providing an analysis of and commentary on a text or text excerpt. As with any argumentative essay, the goal of a commentary essay is to persuade the reader to agree with your point of view. To do this, you’ll need to provide clear and compelling evidence as well as insightful examples.

In order to write a commentary essay effectively, you’ll need to do the following:

1. Read and analyze the text carefully.

2. Identify the main argument or point of view that the author is trying to argue.

3. Craft a thesis statement that provides your own interpretation of the text and states your position on the argument.

4. Support your thesis statement with evidence and examples from the text.

5. Conclude your essay by summarizing your argument and highlighting the main points you’ve made.

Maintaining a Consistent Tone and Voice

When writing a commentary essay, it is important to maintain a consistent tone and voice throughout the entire piece. This can be difficult to do, especially if you are trying to argue a point or express your opinion on a topic. However, if you can remain consistent, your essay will be more effective and easier to read.

One way to maintain a consistent tone and voice is to choose a specific point of view and stick to it. For example, if you are writing a commentary essay about a book, you may choose to write from the perspective of the author, the characters, or a specific reader. Whichever perspective you choose, be sure to stay in character throughout the essay.

Another way to maintain a consistent tone and voice is to use the same tone throughout the essay. This can be a challenge, but it is important to be consistent if you want your essay to be effective. Try to avoid using sarcasm, irony, or humor if they are not appropriate for the topic.

Finally, be sure to use the same vocabulary throughout the essay. This will help to maintain a consistent tone and voice.

Editing and Polishing for Clarity and Impact

When you are writing a commentary essay, it is important to be clear and concise. You want your essay to have an impact on your readers, and the best way to achieve that is to make sure your writing is easy to read. Here are a few tips for editing and polishing your essay for clarity and impact:

1. Make sure your sentences are clear and concise.

2. Use strong verbs and adjectives to convey your ideas.

3. Avoid using too many words to say the same thing.

4. Eliminate filler words and phrases.

5. Check for grammar and spelling mistakes.

6. Polish your essay until it shines.

Uvalde Teachers Eva Mireles & Irma Garcia’s Classroom Was Filled With ‘Love’

Uvalde Teachers Eva Mireles & Irma Garcia’s Classroom Was Filled With ‘Love’

For the past five years, Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia worked together as co-teachers at Robb Elementary school. They were responsible for a fourth-grade classroom that was filled with joy, learning, and laughter.

Eva Mireles was known for her exceptional dedication to her students. A mother of one of her former students expressed how Eva went above and beyond for her daughter, always going the extra mile.

Meanwhile, just two years ago, Irma Garcia was recognized as the teacher of the year at the school. Her passion for teaching and commitment to her students was evident to everyone.

These two beloved educators from the small town of Uvalde, Texas tragically lost their lives while protecting their fourth-grade students from a gunman who attacked the school just a few days before summer vacation.

Despite the heartbreaking loss, Mireles and Garcia had expressed their excitement for the upcoming school year in letters they wrote to their incoming students the previous fall. They believed they had a wonderful year ahead and were eager to share their knowledge and experiences with their students.

Natalie Arias, a blended learning specialist in the school district, described these teachers as two of the finest educators Uvalde has ever seen. Their classroom was a place of happiness, personal growth, collaboration, and, above all else, love.

Beyond their roles as teachers, Mireles and Garcia had rich and fulfilling lives as mothers, wives, friends, and aunts. Mireles, who was 44 years old, enjoyed outdoor activities such as hiking and crossfit, often spending quality time with her family and dogs. Her husband, Ruben Ruiz, a police officer in the district, is currently involved in the investigation of the school shooting.

Garcia, who was 46 years old, loved barbecuing and traveling with her husband of 24 years. They were proud parents to four children.

Mireles’s daughter, Adalynn, fondly remembered her mother’s dedication and hard work. Despite being a teacher all day, Eva would still find the energy to be the most hardworking crossfitter in the afternoons.

The loss of Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia is deeply felt by the community of Uvalde, Texas. Their legacy as exceptional teachers and caring individuals will forever live on in the hearts of those who knew them.

Afterwards, Adalynn shared an image on social media of her adventurous mother, who had a passion for hiking, standing proudly at the summit of a challenging climb.

Garcia’s Facebook profile serves as a collection of cherished family memories and moments of maternal pride. It showcases her son’s achievement of making the Dean’s List, her daughter’s quinceañera, and photographs from a memorable family fishing trip accompanied by a caption expressing gratitude for her incredible husband and children.

Furthermore, her posts demonstrate that she dedicated a significant amount of time contemplating her other children – her students at Robb Elementary. In May 2020, Garcia shared a post stating, "…I have gained numerous new methods to motivate and challenge my future students to become independent learners."

However, two years later, her loved ones are currently grieving her loss. A devastated nephew expressed, "She selflessly sacrificed herself to protect the children in her classroom. I earnestly ask for your prayers for my family and all of her loved ones."

"My aunt did not survive. She bravely gave her life to shield the children under her care. I implore you to keep my entire family, as well as hers, in your prayers. Her name is Irma Garcia, and she died as a hero. She was adored by many and will be deeply missed." Joey.mtz tweeted alongside a heartfelt message and a photo of his aunt.

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Student Survey: Depression, Stress And Anxiety Leading Barriers To Learning As Access To Trusted Adults Drops

Student Survey: Depression, Stress and Anxiety Leading Barriers to Learning as Access to Trusted Adults Drops

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In the 2020-21 academic year, close to half of American students facing learning barriers reported experiencing higher levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. Conversely, students mentioned a decrease in access to a trusted adult with whom they could discuss their stress, according to a recent national survey.

The national nonprofit organization YouthTruth conducted their third and final survey of young people during the pandemic. The survey found that 49 percent of students expressed concerns about the negative impact of their increasing mental and emotional issues, while only 39 percent claimed to have an adult at school to whom they could turn for support. This gap in access to social and emotional assistance has widened compared to the data from the previous fall 2020 survey, conducted at the start of the students’ first full school year amidst the pandemic.

Jen Wilka, the Executive Director of YouthTruth, highlighted that at the beginning of emergency distance learning in spring 2020, there was actually a peak in adult connections. These interactions and the energy they bring, which students consider essential for learning, have diminished over the past year and a half. This is evident in the decreasing number of young people who claim to have a supportive adult in their school environment.

Wilka stated, "Students felt a significant effort from their teachers to reach beyond the virtual walls and understand their realities. However, this effort has now declined and returned to a more normal level, perhaps slightly higher than before. We observed a peak in spring 2020."

One positive aspect of student-adult relationships in schools that has shown improvement over time is the level of respect. Approximately 70 percent of students now believe that adults treat youth with respect, which is a significant increase compared to the 57 percent recorded before the pandemic.

YouthTruth gathered data from 206,950 students in grades three through twelve from 19 states and 585 schools in urban, suburban, and rural areas. The organization collected open-ended and multiple-choice responses through anonymous 15-minute surveys conducted from January to May 2021.

Previous surveys conducted by YouthTruth during the pandemic took place in May through June 2020 (20,000 students) and October through December 2020 (85,170 students). Mental health concerns have consistently been identified as a barrier to learning, and the pandemic continues to impact the post-graduation plans of high school seniors. Students have voiced the importance of establishing meaningful relationships with their teachers, and their sense of belonging within their school community was at its highest point in the fall of 2020.

Of the recent survey participants, 21 percent attend high-poverty schools, which aligns with the national average of 25 percent. Additionally, the racial identities of the students surveyed mirror the national averages.

Since the fall of 2020, depression, stress, and anxiety have increasingly become obstacles to learning for students of all gender identities. However, female and non-binary students experience significantly higher rates of these challenges, with 60 percent and 83 percent respectively.

Student responses and qualitative analysis showed that students feel overwhelmed by excessive and irrelevant assignments that do not reflect their daily lives or future aspirations.

One high school upperclassman shared, "School prevents me from being content with who I am. The education system needs radical change, and it is long overdue. I can no longer find the motivation to get out of bed. I now dislike school even more than before. The stress from distance learning has had a significant toll on my mental well-being… However, I still have an English assignment and 11 other assignments due at 11:59 pm tonight because grades are deemed more important than my well-being and finding healthy coping mechanisms."

Education leaders across the country are actively seeking ways to address the growing concerns regarding students’ emotional and social well-being. Many states plan to allocate funds from the American Rescue Plan to enhance access to mental health services.

In the North Clackamas School District, which serves the Portland, Oregon area, social and mental health services were already in place before COVID-19. However, the district observed an increased need for emotional support during the pandemic. To meet these changing needs and ensure that students had access to adults and connection, the district collaborated with service providers and nonprofit organizations to offer telehealth services, devices, and internet hotspots to students and their families throughout the district.

Educators Are Preparing for the "Second Pandemic" by Prioritizing Mental Health First Aid

In order to overcome barriers to learning and enhance student engagement, young people have expressed their desire for more real-world topics to be included in their education. This includes subjects such as applying for higher education, seeking financial aid and job opportunities, and learning about personal finance.

Results from a recent survey indicate that fewer high school seniors plan to attend four-year institutions this fall compared to previous years. This decline in enrollment rates is the largest in a single year since 2011. While there has been a slight increase in enrollment at two-year colleges compared to fall 2020, it has not yet reached pre-pandemic levels.

Qualitative data from the survey has revealed some of the barriers that high school students face when trying to access higher education. Students have identified the importance of social capital, such as support from teachers or siblings, as a key factor in college access. They have also expressed confusion regarding the application process, which is typically not taught in depth during school hours. Additionally, students have mentioned that they feel they receive information and guidance too late in the process. One student explained that many students are hesitant to attend a four-year college due to the fear of incurring debt.

Sonya Heisters, the deputy director of YouthTruth, states that students are searching for meaning in their education, presenting an opportunity for educators to connect learning with real-life experiences to address students’ needs.

Other notable findings include:

– Perceptions of learning and belonging among secondary school students have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

– Many Spanish-speaking students encountered language barriers while learning in virtual and hybrid environments. Additionally, 21 percent of Hispanic/Latino students reported a lack of teacher support as an obstacle to their learning compared to 14 percent of other students.

– Recommendations from 5,000 Black/African-American students include the need for inclusive curricula, anti-racist policies, and fair treatment.

– Many students enjoyed the transition to paper-free learning and hope to continue accessing online materials even when returning to in-person schooling.

– Black/African-American and Hispanic/Latino students reported feeling unsafe in school at higher rates compared to their non-Black, non-Hispanic peers (11 percent and 16 percent respectively, compared to 9 percent).

– While 65 percent of students feel that their teachers provide extra help when needed, this is more commonly reported among students who receive high academic grades.

It is important to note that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provides financial support to YouthTruth and .

Monthly QuotED: 5 Notable Quotes That Made Education Headlines In November, From DACA To Homeless Students — And The Role Of Real Estate Agents In School Segregation

Monthly QuotED: 5 Notable Quotes That Made Education Headlines in November, From DACA to Homeless Students — and the Role of Real Estate Agents in School Segregation

QuotED presents a compilation of the most significant quotes from the noteworthy education news articles in the United States. These quotes are extracted from our EduClips, a weekly feature that highlights the morning headlines from the country’s 15 largest school districts. To catch up on previous EduClips editions, please refer to our archive.

"Should the government say anything else?" – Justice Neil Gorsuch posed this question, expressing uncertainty about whether the Trump administration needed to provide further justifications for its decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program safeguards approximately 700,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as young children. Gorsuch and other conservative members of the court seemed to align with Trump’s desire to end the program during the oral arguments. (Source: )

"While we acknowledge the persistent political opposition faced by our federal education funding goals, supporting well-regulated public charter schools could serve as an impactful supplement. Merely promising better schools in the future does not alleviate the challenges faced by children in underperforming schools today." – Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker emphasized the importance of backing well-regulated public charter schools due to the anticipated political obstacles in achieving federal education funding goals. He believes that solely relying on future promises of improved schools does not adequately address the needs of children who are currently attending failing schools. (Source: The New York Times)

"No child should have to endure life in a shelter." – Sherine, a resident of one of New York City’s homeless shelters, expressed her concern about children growing up in such conditions. Her eight-year-old son, Darnell, is one of the 114,085 homeless students in the city. (Source: The New York Times)

"Their judgment on us was dehumanizing, as if we were exhibits in a zoo." – Antoinette Harrell reflected on the challenging early days of integration in Louisiana’s Tangipahoa Parish. After 54 years, both parties involved in a desegregation lawsuit against the parish school system aim to reach a settlement. (Source: )

"When did real estate agents become authorities on schools?" – Fred Freiberg, the executive director of the Fair Housing Justice Center, posed this question after serving as a consultant on Newsday’s extensive three-year investigation. The investigation revealed widespread evidence of unequal treatment by real estate agents on Long Island. (Source: Newsday)

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New Analysis Of Personalized Learning Programs Shows Reading Gains For Chicago Students

New Analysis of Personalized Learning Programs Shows Reading Gains for Chicago Students

A recent analysis has shown that personalized learning programs in Chicago are having a significant impact on reading scores for students. The analysis found that these programs are boosting reading scores by an amount equivalent to 13 percentile points of growth.

The schools involved in the study, which included private, charter, and traditional public schools, are part of a Chicago cohort that has been working with LEAP Innovations. LEAP is a national organization focused on personalized learning and it has been pairing schools with education technology and coaches to help teachers individualize their instruction and redesign their classrooms.

This improvement in reading scores is not only beneficial for students, but also for LEAP’s work. This is the second cohort that LEAP has studied since its partnership with Chicago schools began in 2014. The first cohort showed a literacy growth equivalent to 6 percentile points, which is only half of what the 2015-16 cohort achieved.

Phyllis Lockett, the founder and CEO of LEAP Innovations, believes that this growth in scores can be attributed to the organization’s efforts to improve professional development for educators. LEAP works closely with schools to make their instruction more personalized, offering guidance on various aspects of teaching such as scheduling, using student data, and implementing best practices for student-driven learning.

However, LEAP still faces challenges when it comes to improving math scores. The personalized math instruction that was introduced to Chicago students did not lead to any improvement compared to their peers who did not use this technology. To address this, LEAP plans to collaborate with experts to develop effective math instruction strategies for teachers.

Juan Gutierrez, the principal of Patrick Henry Elementary, one of the schools involved in the study, has seen firsthand the positive impact of personalized learning technologies. Under this system, students have transitioned from being passive learners to active participants in their learning, making choices and taking on more responsibilities.

LEAP used data from the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress, the accountability test used in Chicago for grades 3-8, for this analysis. By using a quasi-experimental design called propensity score matching, the analysis compared students who used personalized learning tools with those who did not, taking into account factors such as race, poverty, and prior test scores.

In conclusion, personalized learning programs in Chicago are showing promising results in boosting reading scores for students. LEAP’s work with schools to individualize instruction and harness the potential of education technology has contributed to this improvement. However, more work needs to be done to improve math scores and LEAP plans to collaborate with experts to address this challenge.

Senate Blocks Teacher Preparation Rules, Ending ESSA Accountability Rules On Deck

Senate Blocks Teacher Preparation Rules, Ending ESSA Accountability Rules on Deck

Two important education rules established during the Obama administration are currently in the process of being repealed. The first rule, concerning teacher preparation programs, has been blocked by a vote of 59 to 40 in the Senate, with eight Democrats joining the Republican majority. The second rule, which focuses on how states evaluate and improve schools through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), is currently being debated and is likely to be blocked as well. The House of Representatives has already passed both bills, and President Trump is expected to sign them into law. Critics argue that eliminating these rules will lead to a loss of accountability for teacher training programs and K-12 schools in ensuring the success of their students. However, proponents argue that the rules are an example of federal overreach.

Education has always been a contentious issue, but there was a sense of compromise in Congress following the passage of ESSA in late 2015. However, this year has seen a breakdown of that compromise, with intense partisan division over the confirmation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the use of the Congressional Review Act to overturn Obama-era education policies.

Senator Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the author of ESSA, initially expressed willingness to find common ground on accountability regulations. However, he has now sponsored a resolution to overturn these rules. Alexander argues that the Obama regulations violate the law and encroach upon the power of Congress. Democrats and civil rights groups, on the other hand, believe that the rules are necessary to ensure equal education opportunities for historically underserved students.

Regarding the teacher preparation rules, there has never been consensus on federal oversight of these programs. The accountability measure proposed by the Obama administration evaluates teacher-training programs based on the outcomes of their graduates. Programs that fail to meet certain standards would become ineligible for federal grants. Some Democrats, including those up for re-election in conservative states in 2018, have voted to freeze these rules. Republicans argue that the rules represent an absurd attempt to control teacher training programs from Washington, D.C.

The individual expressed their belief that despite their familiarity with various programs, they do not possess the necessary expertise to make detailed judgments about them from a far distance. This statement was made on Tuesday.

In the meantime, Murray defended the regulation by highlighting its importance in providing aspiring teachers with essential information regarding the performance of teacher preparation programs.

Murray explained that if the rules were blocked, it would grant Secretary DeVos more power, and many individuals lack trust in her ability to utilize that power in the best interest of higher education students.

The Congressional Review Act prevents agencies from implementing similar rules until Congress passes a law permitting them to do so. Unlike the ESSA rules, which will face obstacles for the foreseeable future, there is an opportunity to rewrite the teacher prep rules in the near future through a revision of the Higher Education Act.

Kate Walsh, the president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, urged senators not to overturn the rules. However, if they were to do so, she encouraged them to promptly reconsider a reauthorization of higher education.

She emphasized the need for a strong and bipartisan Higher Education Act reauthorization that incorporates the transparency requirements outlined in the teacher preparation regulations. This includes reporting important data at the program level and conducting surveys of new teachers and their principals at the state level. She stated that our nation’s students and schools deserve nothing less.

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Open Letter: What The NAACP Should Know About Florida’s Charter Schools Ahead Of Tonight’s Orlando Hearing

Open Letter: What the NAACP Should Know About Florida’s Charter Schools Ahead of Tonight’s Orlando Hearing

Oliver Brown, a welder, an assistant church pastor, and the primary plaintiff in the groundbreaking civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education, desired for his daughter Linda to have the opportunity to choose her public school. In 1951, he couldn’t comprehend why his daughter had to walk six blocks to the bus stop in order to attend her racially segregated school, when there was a perfectly good school just seven blocks away.

The NAACP is coming together in Orlando on Friday night as part of a nationwide tour to discuss the condition of public education and the effect of charter public schools on students of color. We don’t need to search far to see the impact of President Obama’s legacy in this matter. As a candidate in 2008, he made a promise to double the Federal Charter School Grant Program, and he followed through on that commitment. The Race to the Top grant program, which was the cornerstone of Obama’s education reform agenda, included the development of charter schools. In 2009, Arne Duncan, Obama’s Secretary of Education, stated, "States that do not have public charter laws or impose artificial limits on charter school growth will put their Race to the Top fund applications at risk."

These policies have directly contributed to our nation achieving a record high graduation rate of 83 percent, with improvement across all racial and ethnic groups. Presently, the graduation rate for African Americans stands at 75 percent, which is still lower than our white counterparts, but it signifies our community making significant strides in closing the achievement gap. In fact, since 2011, we have surpassed the national rate of improvement by consistently achieving yearly gains of 1.3 percent.

During the NAACP’s 107th Annual Convention this fall, a significant division emerged within the civil rights and education communities when the organization decided to call for a moratorium on new charter schools as part of its national agenda. The moratorium was passed, despite strong objections from numerous civil rights leaders, including Dr. Howard Fuller, the founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and Cheryl Brown Henderson, the daughter of Oliver Brown, who fought for educational equality in the courts. Thousands of parents petitioned the NAACP to reconsider the moratorium and not take away their ability to choose the best public school option for their child. In a show of protest, a school bus filled with concerned parents and grandparents traveled from Memphis, Tennessee, to the NAACP’s board meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, to personally request the NAACP to reconsider the moratorium.

Eventually, the moratorium was adopted in a private meeting, with the NAACP stating that it is "calling for a pause in the expansion of charter schools until they adhere to the same standards of transparency and accountability as public schools." However, the NAACP should be aware that our state, Florida, already operates under these regulations. Charter schools in Florida are subject to the same Sunshine Laws of Open Government as the City of Orlando and Orange County. In addition, Florida’s charter schools are held to higher levels of accountability compared to neighborhood public schools. If a charter school receives two consecutive "F" grades, it is required to shut down.

Imagine if traditional schools were subjected to this level of scrutiny and pressure. Charter schools in the Sunshine State have been providing education to students for 20 years with these strict regulations in place. According to the Florida Department of Education, 46 percent of the state’s charters have received an "A" grade, as opposed to only 34 percent of district public schools. Furthermore, African-American students attending charter schools in Florida have outperformed their district peers by 11 percent in math and reading proficiency tests.

We hope that the NAACP hearing taking place in Orlando today will allow for a genuine discussion regarding accountability rules, school standards, and student test scores. However, it is difficult to engage in constructive dialogue about Florida’s charter schools when charter school leaders are excluded from the conversation. Unfortunately, tonight’s speakers list predominantly consists of high-profile critics of charter schools, including the head of the largest teachers union in the country, who sensationally claims that charter schools are detrimental to public education, and the NAACP’s main lobbyist, who continually promotes discredited claims about charter schools to support their own arguments.

The fact remains that African-American children in America’s charter schools acquire the equivalent of 36 additional days of reading skills and 26 additional days of math knowledge compared to African-American students in district schools. Moreover, for African-American students from low-income households, the benefits of attending a charter school are even more remarkable. These students gain an additional 44 days of reading skills and an impressive 59 days of math knowledge compared to similar children in district schools.

It is vital that the NAACP receives input from authentic Florida residents who have firsthand experience with charter schools in their daily lives. I will be present at today’s meeting because I hold great respect for the NAACP members and their commendable efforts in fighting for civil rights. Moreover, I am optimistic that I can align myself with them on matters of education.

However, the education of Florida’s children carries such immense significance that I cannot remain idle and choose to stay home.

Christopher Norwood, the creator and leader of the Florida Association of Independent Public Schools, as well as the chairperson of the City of Miami Education Advisory Board.

EDlection2018: Arizona Superintendent Race Between Charter Advocate And Public School Educator Remains Too Close To Call

EDlection2018: Arizona Superintendent Race Between Charter Advocate and Public School Educator Remains Too Close to Call

EDlection2018: This is just one of many races we have examined for the upcoming midterms in 2018 that could potentially impact education policies at the state and federal level. Stay updated with the latest news by signing up for Newsletter.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, the race for Arizona superintendent remained undecided with a close competition between a charter school advocate and a public school educator.

Republican candidate Frank Riggs currently holds a lead of less than 1 percent over Kathy Hoffman, a former preschool teacher and speech pathologist. Riggs is ahead by fewer than 7,000 votes, according to the election results reported by ABC15 Arizona.

The Arizona Republic reported that there are still around 650,000 votes to be counted statewide as of Wednesday, which could potentially affect major races like the superintendent race.

Hoffman expressed her gratitude to her supporters in a tweet on Wednesday, stating that there are still votes to be counted and that she wants every voice in favor of public education to be heard.

Amidst the uncertainty, Hoffman remains optimistic and thanked everyone who contributed to Team Hoffman through door knocking and making calls. She assured her commitment until every ballot is counted.

The superintendent of public instruction in Arizona holds the responsibility of overseeing all public and charter schools in the state and is also a member of the Arizona Board of Education. This position serves as a significant platform for shaping education policies.

During his campaign, Riggs emphasized his strong connections to the charter school sector. As a former congressman in California, he played a key role in the establishment of the Charter School Expansion Act in 1998, which allocated federal grants to newly formed charter schools. Riggs is also the founding board president of Arizona Connections Academy, an online K-12 charter school operating statewide.

However, Riggs does not intend to neglect the critical oversight of charter schools. In an interview with the Phoenix New Times, he emphasized the need to police the sector and hold accountable those who act inappropriately, as failure to do so would result in increased regulation.

Riggs also highlighted the importance of charter schools in Arizona, stating that they contribute to the diverse educational landscape and provide parents with a broader range of choices. He expressed his commitment to support both district schools and charter schools if elected as the superintendent of public instruction.

In addition to charter reform, Riggs’ education platform includes the establishment of parent advisory boards and the expansion of civic education.

On the other hand, Hoffman, like many other educators in this election cycle, capitalized on the momentum created by the #RedForEd movement, which led to a weeklong teacher strike in Arizona in late April. Riggs opposed the strike while Hoffman actively participated in it.

Hoffman’s platform focuses on supporting bilingual education programs, opposing the arming of teachers, and advocating for paid maternity and paternity leave for educators.

Out of the 12 teacher candidates interviewed by before Election Day, at least half of them have lost their races.

The winner of this race will replace Republican Diane Douglas, whom Riggs defeated in the primaries.

After A Bruising Election, 4 Ways The ‘Flipped’ Denver School Board Can Put Student Success Before Adult Ego

After a Bruising Election, 4 Ways the ‘Flipped’ Denver School Board Can Put Student Success Before Adult Ego

Denver, Colorado

The election cycle in the Denver metro area has been filled with tension, particularly in the races for the Denver Public Schools Board of Education. Two district seats and one at-large seat were up for grabs, sparking debates among education advocates in Denver. These debates often centered around divisive issues such as traditional vs. charter schools, SFER vs. DCTA, Stand for Children, Flip the Board, and conflicts between unions and the district. Unfortunately, these debates often created divisions among neighbors, while little was done to address the educational challenges faced by students who continue to suffer from subpar academic standards.

One candidate spent over $300,000 of their own money to compete for one of the seats, while Independent Expenditure Committees also contributed significant amounts of money. This influx of money resulted in a slew of negative campaign tactics, including fact stretching, name-calling, and the circulation of racially charged and inflammatory materials. Unfortunately, these tactics did not just affect the Denver races but also spilled over into a neighboring race in Aurora. This election cycle witnessed some of the most contentious races for volunteer positions. To put it into perspective, over $1.3 million was raised for the Denver school board race during the last reporting period. One cannot help but wonder how many school psychologists could have been supported with that sum.

This election cycle was truly remarkable, but what does it all mean? Now that all the votes have been counted and the board will undergo a significant change in composition, what lies ahead? Can this "flip" guarantee an end to educational mediocrity and the violence it inflicts on students in Denver? Only time will tell, but I urge the new board to consider the following:

– The new board must prioritize innovation. Regardless of how the current situation is portrayed, it is essential not to become complacent and to keep striving for better outcomes. Black children in the district continue to be failed across all types of schools, necessitating an injection of innovation throughout the district. Smart governance can create opportunities for collaboration to address the comprehensive needs of children and communities. Embracing the idea of doing things differently and not settling for ineffective practices is crucial. There is no time to slow down or ignore the need for substantial progress. The future of children hangs in the balance.

– The new board must prioritize the well-being of children. Over the past 25 years, education politics in Denver have often overshadowed the needs of children. There has been an abundance of adult grievances, power plays, and political rhetoric, all while children’s educational outcomes have remained disappointing. While there have been slight improvements in proficiency levels and graduation rates, many children still struggle and are unprepared for higher education. It is time to shift the focus from adult concerns to children’s well-being. Every policy, practice, and position developed by the board should be assessed for its impact on all children and their benefits.

– The new board must collaborate with Superintendent Susana Cordova. The worst outcome for children would be if this turns into a clash of egos among adults. The board has a duty to set the vision, goals, and policy boundaries for the district, but they also need to trust and support the superintendent, who is responsible for daily execution and realizing the vision. It is essential to avoid a tug-of-war scenario where board members interfere with day-to-day operations and blur their roles. If the superintendent fails to lead the district towards its goals and vision, the board should exercise governance, review goals, reset expectations, and, if necessary, make changes. Our communities do not need individuals using the boardroom as a platform for personal agendas that further marginalize them.

By prioritizing innovation, the welfare of children, and a collaborative approach with Superintendent Cordova, the new board has an opportunity to effect meaningful change and address the educational challenges faced by Denver’s students. It is time to shift the focus away from petty squabbles and self-interest and towards the betterment of our education system for the benefit of all children.

What is our next move, Denver? Let us come together and strive for the betterment of our children’s future!

In a Denver town hall meeting, leaders stress the importance of the black community uniting to bring about educational reform from the grassroots level.

Pastor Vernon Jones Jr., who has previously worked as a school leader in Denver Public Schools, is now the director of operations and strategy for FaithBridge. This non-profit organization aims to engage the faith community in ensuring that every child, in every community, has access to high-quality education. Pastor Jones and his wife are parents to five children, two of whom are currently attending college while the other three are enrolled in Denver Public Schools.

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