Better Together: Why Charter School Champions and Parent Advocates

| May 27, 2019

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This report is based on research made possible through the generous support of the Walton Family Foundation. The authors thank the many individuals who contributed their insights to its development, including: Advocates for Justice and Education, Education Forward DC, Innovate Public Schools, Learning Rights Law Center, National Center for Learning Disabilities, National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, Special Education Collaborative at the New York City Charter School Center.

Spotlight

Kansas State University

Kansas State University, often referred to as K-State, is an institution of higher learning located in Manhattan, Kansas, in the United States. A branch campus, including the College of Technology and Aviation, is located in Salina, Kansas. A third campus, K-State Olathe, officially opened on April 26, 2011 and will be the academic research presence within the Kansas Bioscience Park. Kansas State has nearly 24,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

OTHER ARTICLES

How Machine Learning, A.I. Might Change Education

Article | March 11, 2020

Artificial intelligence (A.I) technologies such as computer vision and machine learning are providing new ways to revolutionize learning and skills training at universities. From doctorate degrees in machine learning (ML) to bots that aid the work of teachers, there’s accelerating interest at the college level in A.I. and ML. Research firm TechNavio projects that the A.I. market in education will grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of close to 48 percent from 2018 to 2022 (the study also noted the role of chatbots in enhancing learning—hopefully that technology pans out better for education than it did for most of the business world).

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Product Spotlight: Fortigate Fortinet 60E Gives Schools High-Level Security

Article | March 11, 2020

Common security concerns for K–12 districts, particularly the frequent targeting for cyberattacks, are generally not balanced by increased budgets for defensive technology or talent. And although smaller facilities have become front-line targets, many regional and satellite schools must make do with shared IT resources and personnel. The Fortinet FortiGate 60E security appliance is a good choice for providing cybersecurity protection to smaller schools and regional offices without the need for intense operating expenses or dedicated IT experts. It’s a tiny — smaller than 1U — appliance designed for installation at the gateway to a remote or small facility.

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Why e-learning is key to building disaster-proof education

Article | March 11, 2020

We’re only three months into 2020, yet the world has already witnessed enough challenging times to last for the entire year: the massive bushfires in Australia, the volcano eruption and the earthquake in the Philippines, the floods in Jakarta, the powerful storms in the US and Western Europe and, of course, the coronavirus pandemic. I live and teach in the Philippines, a country that is also affected by typhoons about 20 times a year, by monsoon rains that cause flooding and also by man-made disasters such as armed conflicts in some regions. I may be exposed to more disasters than the average educator, but believe me when I say, there are no winners in these situations. Every aspect of life can be — and usually is — negatively impacted by natural disasters. Education makes no exception.

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CONTINUING EDUCATION

5 Ways to Help Women Achieve Educational Success

Article | March 11, 2020

While the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our economy, women continue to be disproportionately impacted. Now is the time to look at the long game. What changes can society make in order to insure that when the next big crisis happens, women don’t bear the brunt of it. Education, of course, has always been on the front line of changing societal disparities. However, much of the time we don’t look at the root causes of why young women underperform in certain areas. Below are five ways we can position women for educational success, from girlhood to the moment they walk into their first job. If you are a teacher, give this list to the parents you work with. Help them set the tone now so our girls grow up ready to take on the world. DON’T TELL ME I’M PRETTY Little girls, from the time they are young, are praised for how beautiful they are.  We talk to girls about how they look and boys about what they do. This escalates when little girls hit puberty. This is when girls start deriving their social capital from their looks and their grades start to tank. Fight this trend by praising young women for what they do. Don’t say, “You’re so beautiful!” Instead say, “I love how curious you are about the solar system! You’re such an interesting person to talk to!”   DON’T TELL ME I’M SMART This sounds a little bit strange, but often little boys are praised for their hard work and girls are praised for their inherent intelligence. The problem with this is that when a little girl doesn’t do well she thinks it has to do with how smart she is rather than her work ethic. Her failures become a referendum on her intelligence.  Say, “Wow, you really worked hard” rather than, “Wow, you’re so smart!” You can always work harder, but you can’t change the brains you were born with!    DON’T BE TOO NICE TO ME When young women struggle in the sciences or STEM, often parents try to protect their feelings.  This can take the form of telling young women who are struggling that perhaps their major is just too hard --maybe they should do something that makes their life a little easier. Boys get the message not to give up - girls get the message to take the path of least resistance. Don’t coddle your girls. Hold them to the same tough standard you have with your boys.   DON’T SEE ME ONLY AS A GIRL OR A WOMAN Understand that if you are trying to support women you cannot do that in a White Woman vacuum. If a young woman you know is struggling, look at the other issues that might be intersecting. Does she have a disability? Is she a woman of color? Is she the first generation to go to college in her family? Audre Lorde famously said “there is no such thing as a single issue struggle because we do not live single issue lives.“ Make sure you are not treating every woman as if she is the same simply because of her gender. There could be all kinds of intersections that are also impacting her situation.   DO VALUE MY VOICE If you are an educator, pay attention to who you are listening to. Note how you value different voices. The patterns that impact girls and young women follow them throughout their education and into adulthood. Pay attention to who you’re calling on in class. Whose voice gets more weight? Watch for classroom dynamics that make certain people feel they have the right to speak and others feel they must remain silent. Be sure to encourage every student from kindergarten to PhD candidates to speak up and then make sure you’re listening. It’s wonderful how much weight we give to the voices of men and boys. Women should be afforded the same courtesy. Women’s success doesn’t just come from hiring women or making sure we are paid the same for doing the same work. It comes from making sure every woman, from the time she is a little girl, is given the message that she has worth, and that if she works hard enough, she can achieve her dreams. Let’s not tell our girls that they are pretty flowers who might crumble when life knocks them down. Let’s give them the message that life can be hard, but they can work harder, and if they do, success will be theirs. Eliza VanCort is an in-demand consultant, speaker, and writer on communications, career and workplace issues, and women’s empowerment. The founder of The Actor’s Workshop of Ithaca, she is also a Cook House Fellow at Cornell University, an advisory board member of the Performing Arts for Social Change, a Diversity Crew partner, and a member of Govern For America’s League of Innovators. Her first book, A Woman’s Guide to Claiming Space: Stand Tall. Raise Your Voice. Be Heard., publishes May 11, 2021.

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Spotlight

Kansas State University

Kansas State University, often referred to as K-State, is an institution of higher learning located in Manhattan, Kansas, in the United States. A branch campus, including the College of Technology and Aviation, is located in Salina, Kansas. A third campus, K-State Olathe, officially opened on April 26, 2011 and will be the academic research presence within the Kansas Bioscience Park. Kansas State has nearly 24,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

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