Opinion

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Assessing Change

Our ability to adapt to new situations is key to success. However, change often happens too slowly for us to recognize it, so it takes a sudden, dramatic shift in circumstances to spur a reaction. Despite worldwide efforts to modernize schools, public education systems have been notoriously resistant to change. Of course, it requires more…

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Capitalizing on America’s Languages

American flag for Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labour Day. Independence Day.We’re at an unprecedented point of opportunity for education reform in the U.S., but we need to ensure that adopted reforms rejuvenate our systems and make them more flexible to suit the diversity of learners and provide them with the breadth of skills that…

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Taking Digital Communication to Heart

As pandemic-induced school shutdowns have accelerated remote learning, the importance of personal connections between students, their teachers, aides, mentors, and peers has become a major concern—especially for marginalized students, including multilingual learners, who have found it harder to access the support they require. However, there has been a welcome effort to enable such students to…

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Building a New Deal for Educators

As we celebrate this month’s confirmation of the first U.S. education secretary, Miguel Cardona, to have learned English as a second language, maybe we can afford ourselves some optimism about the future of public education in the nation and how recent experiences may show us that the only way forward is to redouble our commitment…

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Arguing for Good Reason

The outrageous attack on the U.S. Capitol shocked the world, but the environment in which such violent sentiment was allowed to brew has been years in the making. The campaigns against mainstream media, against education, against acceptance of facts, and against reasoned compromise have created a vacuum in which polarization and extremism thrive. Our best…

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Stop Overlooking English Learners

Deborah J. Short outlines a plan to invest and engage in English Learner education In the past six months, we have heard the cry “DEFUND” in varied contexts, often as a call for social justice, always engendering public controversy. But when the action is the gradual defunding of one area of education, we hear nothing:…

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Connecting the Dots

Whatever the outcome of this month’s U.S. election and however bad the second wave of COVID-19 hits this winter, our world will continue to become more interconnected and more interdependent. Despite the closing of borders and the imposition of travel restrictions, the pandemic has proven how permeable national borders are to not only disease and…

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Educated Choices

Although education has hardly been a major issue during this campaign, apart from the school reopening question, next month’s elections will have a profound effect on public education in the U.S. and the traditionally accepted, bipartisan policy of using federal incentives to encourage states to supplement and boost the funding of schools that serve low-income,…

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End the System of School Segregation

One of the most disturbing realities of the U.S. education system is that schools remain largely segregated by race, ethnicity, and language more than 60 years after the Supreme Court declared “separate but equal” schools to be unconstitutional in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. Now is the time to use the impetus…