Amy Halpern-Laff

Engaging young black men in school: What we can learn from art class (Encore)

Dr. Don Siler, a researcher and inservice teacher educator, himself a former high school dropout, discusses how art classrooms invite students to be themselves, to explore their lived experiences, and to work on projects that mean something to them. Student engagement in the art classroom can be leveraged across subject areas by incorporating both the arts and art-based pedagogy throughout the curriculum. Student outcomes improve when we broaden the ways in which students get information, process the information, and demonstrate their understanding of the information.

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Transcript of the episode “Math literacy: Every student’s right”

[00:00:15] Amy H-L: I’m Amy Halpern-Laff.  [00:00:16] Jon M: And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Terry Bucci, Associate Professor of Math Education at Ohio State University at Mansfield and co-director of OSU’s Mathematics Literacy Initiative, which changes the way K through 12 math is taught. This is part…

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Math literacy: Every student’s right

We speak with Dr. Terri Bucci of the Mathematics Literacy Initiative at Ohio State University, Mansfield. Beginning in kindergarten, the MLI builds on Bob Moses’s Algebra Project. Like reading and writing literacies, students need to understand the language of math to succeed in today’s world. Through shared experiences and reflections, the MLI makes math accessible and fun. This is Part One of a two-part interview.

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Transcription of the episode “Leaving students behind: The tyranny of testing”

[00:00:15] Jon M: Hi. I’m Jon Moscow.  [00:00:17] Amy H-L: I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Bob Schaeffer, Executive Director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing or FairTest. FairTest advances quality education and equal opportunity by promoting fair, open, valid, and educationally beneficial evaluations of students, teachers…

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Leaving students behind: The tyranny of testing

Bob Schaeffer, Executive Director of FairTest, talks about high-stakes standardized tests as barriers to equal opportunity. Fairer college admissions criteria are increasing admissions diversity, but well-funded supporters of high-stakes tests are still resisting replacement of the tests in elementary and secondary schools. Many schools eliminated high-stakes testing during the pandemic, and FairTest supports making high-stakes waivers or repeals permanent.

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Transcription of the episode “Identity vs branding: The power of messiness”

[00:00:15] Amy H-L: I’m Amy Halpern-Laff.  [00:00:16] Jon M: And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Garrett Broad, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University. His research investigates the roles of storytelling and communication technology in promoting networked movements for social justice. Much…

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Identity vs branding: The power of messiness

Part One of a two-part interview. We speak with Dr. Garrett Broad of Fordham University about social media and how it informs student outlooks. One of Dr. Broad’s key objectives is to help students to be comfortable with the messiness–the fluidity and complexity–of identity and to resist the pressure to be fully formed, branded. High school teachers can help students to understand the factors that shape people’s perspectives.They can encourage students to be open-minded, cultivate intellectual humility, and “show up” for social justice.

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Transcription of the episode: “No excuses” charter schools: Teaching to the script

[00:00:15] Jon M: Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. [00:00:16] Amy H-L: And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Joann Golann. Dr. Golann is assistant professor of public policy and education and assistant professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University. Her research explores how schools and families transmit cultural skills, behaviors, and habits…

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”No excuses” charter schools: Teaching to the script

We speak with Dr. Joanne Golann of Vanderbilt University, author of “Scripting the Moves: Culture and Control in a No Excuses Charter School.” Corporate-run charter networks instill obedience and conformity above all else, leaving nothing to chance (or creativity). We look at the academic and social outcomes of “no excuses” schools, and the reasons for their lavish funding.

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Transcription of the episode “The power of happiness: A Buddhist approach to secular education”

[00:00:15] Amy H-L: I’m Amy Halpern Laff.  [00:00:16] Jon M: And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guests today are Isabel Nuñez and Jason Goulah, co-editors of a new book,” Hope and Joy in Education: Engaging Daisaku Ikeda Across Curriculum and Context.” Dr. Nuñez directs the School of Education at Purdue University, Fort…

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The power of happiness: A Buddhist approach to secular education

We speak with Drs. Isabel Nuñez and Jason Goulah, editors of “Hope and Joy in Education: Engaging Daisaku Ikeda across curriculum and context.” According to Ikeda, the internationally-famous Buddhist philosopher, education should first and foremost engender happiness and instill habits of global citizenship. Drs. Nuñez and Goulah talk about implications for teachers’ classroom practice.

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Savage inequalities: How school funding intentionally privileges white, wealthy communities (Encore)

Zahava Stadler, Policy Director of EdBuild, explains how housing discrimination and state funding policies disadvantage Black and low-income districts. EdBuild has reported on funding schemes throughout the country, documenting a $23 billion annual funding gap between White districts and districts of color. Ms. Stadler describes how states could allocate education dollars more equitably, benefitting at least 70% of students.

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Transcript of the episode “Addressing teachers’ trauma; plus, antiracist teaching in a white classroom”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:17] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Shayla Ewing. Ms. Ewing is the English department chairperson and a drama teacher at Pekin Community High School in Pekin, Illinois. She was a 2020-21 Teach Plus Illinois Senior Fellow. We’ll be discussing…

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Addressing teachers’ trauma; plus, antiracist teaching in a white classroom

We speak with Shayla Ewing, English and drama teacher in Pekin, Illinois, about supporting teachers experiencing secondary and primary trauma, which the pandemic intensified. We also talk about the how and why of teaching about white privilege in an all-white classroom.

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Transcription of the episode “Authentic history: Too uncomfortable for white kids?”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Betty Collins. Ms. Collins teaches eighth grade history in Tulsa County, Oklahoma. We’re going to talk about the controversy about teaching critical race theory. The phrase critical race theory, coined by Kimberle Crenshaw,…

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Authentic history: Too uncomfortable for white kids?

We speak with Betty Collins, eighth grade teacher in Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Ms. Collins speaks about conservatives’ hostility to Critical Race Theory, which looks at the role of systemic racism in US history. We discuss a just-enacted law in Oklahoma that tries to ban teaching history that may make any students “uncomfortable” and how unions and educators are responding.

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Transcription of the episode “Holistic Education: Joy, wellness, and rigor”

Jon M: [00:00:15] I’m Jon Moscow.  Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Our guest today is Dr. Linda Nathan. Dr. Nathan is Executive Director of the Center for Artistry and Scholarship and Co-Director of Perrone-Sizer Institute. She’s an adjunct lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education and is the author of two books, “The…

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Holistic education: Joy, wellness, and rigor

We speak with Dr. Linda Nathan of the Center for Artistry and Scholarship and the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership about her experience in creating progressive schools. Dr. Nathan says all teachers, no matter their subject areas, should have expertise in teaching reading and students with moderate disabilities. The arts are central to her educational vision. Dr. Nathan talks about how to achieve predictable and collaborative authentic assessment of student work and how to deal with standardized test requirements when necessary. She also describes why “grit” is not enough for student success when students are caught in the insidious web of a racist system.

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Transcript of the episode “Creating antiracist classrooms: Listening and other essential skills”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow.  Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Steven Cohen, Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Education in the Department of Education, Tufts School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Cohen taught high school history for two decades. He’s been at Tufts…

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Creating antiracist classrooms: Listening and other essential skills

We speak with Dr. Steven Cohen of Tuft’s Department of Education about helping teachers to think critically about race and class.. He talks about the importance of listening to students over time, even watching the media they watch, to get a better understanding of their life experiences. He describes how to create fair strategies for resolving conflicts and for grading and he explains how to introduce complex subject matter in ways that students find relevant.

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Transcript of the episode “Critical analysis: not just for students”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Today we welcome Dr. Sam Abrams back to the show. Sam directs the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He  is the author of “Education and the Commercial Mindset” and…

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Transcription of the episode “Building communities of trust: transforming family-school relationships”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff.  Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Ann Ishimaru, Associate Professor in the Educational Policy, Organizations, and Leadership Program at the University of Washington College of Education. She’s the author of Just Schools: Building Equitable Collaborations with Families and Communities,…

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Building communities of trust: transforming family-school relationships

We talk with Dr. Ann Ishimaru of the University of Washington about correcting the power imbalance between schools and low-income families and families of color. We also discuss “learning loss” and why families of color are much more reluctant than white families to return to in-person learning as the pandemic eases.

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Research in schools (Part 2): Safeguarding the data

We continue our conversation with Marianna Azar, director of NYC Department of Education’s Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). This week, Ms. Azar discusses the potential privacy dangers created by collection and dissemination of research data, strategies to combat them, and the need to strengthen the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

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Transcription of the episode “Ethical outreach: a parent coordinator anchors immigrant families”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest is Herminia Saldana, known as  Ita, parent coordinator at  MS 328,a middle school in Washington Heights in Manhattan. Her comments today represent her own views, and she is  not speaking as a representative of the Department…

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Ethical outreach: a parent coordinator anchors immigrant families

We speak with Herminia (Ita) Saldana, parent coordinator at MS 328, a middle school in Washington Heights, Manhattan. Every public school in NYC has a parent coordinator. Virtually all of the MS 328 students are current English Language Learners or have tested out of ELL status. As parent coordinator, Ita encourages and facilitates parent engagement as both advocate and navigator. She also helps recent immigrant families to access all kinds of community services as they adapt to life in NYC.

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Transcription of the episode “Grief and loss: Supporting students, families, and teachers in a pandemic (encore)”

Amy H-L: [00:00:01] As of today, March 31st, 2021, over 550,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. We’re reposting our conversation with Cynthia Trapanese former grief counselor, now teacher, who explains that the adults in a school need to grapple with their own losses in order to help children and families. Amy H-L: [00:00:39] Hi. I’m…

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Grief and loss: Supporting students, families, and teachers in a pandemic (encore)

As of today, March 31st, 2021, over 550,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. We’re reposting our conversation with Cynthia Trapanese former grief counselor, now teacher, who explains that the adults in a school need to grapple with their own losses in order to help children and families.

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Transcription of the episode “Shared visions: Creating an abolitionist school culture”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Today we welcome back Grace Alli Brandstein. This is the second of a two part interview. Ms. Brandstein is a school improvement and instructional coach for the New York City Department of Education, supporting high schools in…

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Shared visions: Creating an abolitionist school culture

We continue our conversation with Grace Alli Brandstein, a school improvement and instructional coach supporting struggling high schools in the Bronx. This week, Ms. Brandstein focuses on humane, antiracist education, and explains Dr. Gholdy Muhammad’s construct of literacy as identity, skills, intellect, criticality, and joy. She also speaks about the conditions for successful adult learning, giving teachers the training they need to lead one another and the space to coalesce around a shared vision, expectations, and protocols.

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Transcription of the episode “Toward antiracism: The evolution of an undergraduate teacher ed program”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Marsha Daria, a professor in the Department of Education and Educational Psychology at Western Connecticut State University. Dr. Daria teaches undergraduate courses in social studies, curriculum, and child development. Her research interests include…

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Toward antiracism: The evolution of an undergraduate teacher ed program

We speak with Dr. Marsha Daria of Western Connecticut State University. Dr. Daria teaches undergraduate courses in the Department of Education and Educational Psychology. She explains how in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, the department reconfigured its curriculum to center social justice, equity, and self-reflection. She discusses the department’s recruitment initiatives to increase teacher candidate diversity.

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Transcript of the episode “Antiracist school leadership: Courage and commitment”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon  Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Bradley Carpenter, an associate professor of educational leadership at Baylor University. A former teacher, assistant principal, and principal, Dr. Carpenter has a passion for working with public school administrators. His research focuses on…

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Antiracist school leadership: Courage and commitment

Dr. Bradley Carpenter, associate professor of educational leadership at Baylor University, speaks about developing and supporting antiracist school principals. Very few leadership prep programs prioritize or embed antiracism principles or practices. A principal committed to centering antiracism needs to have a full equity audit of existing curriculum and practices and to lead faculty members through the emotionally laborious process of examining everyone’s own privileges…

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Transcription of the episode “Student record privacy: Danger looms from police and hackers”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Mark Lieberman, a reporter for Education Week covering technology and online learning. Recently, Mark wrote about a controversial arrangement between the school district and the sheriff’s department in Pasco County on Florida’s West Central…

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Student record privacy: Danger looms from police and hackers

We speak with Mark Lieberman, Education Week tech reporter. Pasco County FL schools give the sheriff records of students deemed “destined to a life of crime.” NYS Education Department funded facial recognition of school visitors to schools. Hackers hold district data hostage for ransom. We discuss legal and ethical privacy issues in the age of tech, including the dilemmas for teachers if a “D” leads to a police database.

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Transcription of the episode “Systemic racism in special education: Parent participation legitimizes inequities”

Jon M: [00:00:15] I’m Jon Moscow.  Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Today, we continue our conversation with Dr. LaToya Baldwin Clark, assistant professor at UCLA School of Law, where she writes about race, parenting, and educational stratification. Dr. Baldwin Clark earned a BS in economics from the Wharton School,…

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Systemic racism in special education: Parent participation legitimizes inequities

We continue our conversation with LaToya Baldwin Clark of UCLA School of Law. Dr. Baldwin Clark explains how the special education system advantages White middle class families. Poor families and families of color tend to lack cultural capital to navigate the system and advocate effectively for their children. While resources flow to White children with special needs, Black children tend to be stigmatized and placed…

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Transcription of the episode “Supporting English Learners: pandemic and post-pandemic solutions”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Julie Sugarman. Dr. Sugarman is Senior Policy Analyst for pre-K through 12 Education at the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, where she focuses on issues related to immigrant and…

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Supporting English Learners: pandemic and post-pandemic solutions

We speak with Dr. Julie Sugarman of the Migration Policy Institute about meeting the needs of English Learners. We discuss the meaning and implications of ELs “falling behind” during virtual instruction and difficulties administering upcoming English language proficiency tests. Dr. Sugarman talks about a model for incorporating ELs into planning. She also talks about what is lost (and gained) through technology, given the importance of personal relationships to teaching and learning.

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Dodging responsibility for our children: Reducing learning to test scores

We speak with Samuel E. Abrams of Teachers College, Columbia University. The root problems in K12 education — including poverty-related stress and underpaid and underprepared teachers — are pervasive and expensive to fix. So instead, the U.S. has  adopted a “commercial mindset,” measuring success through standardized test scores and increasingly outsourcing school management to for-profit and nonprofit corporations. Dr. Abrams explains what we can…

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Transcript of the episode “Dodging responsibility for our children: Reducing learning to test scores”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m  Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Samuel E. Abrams, Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Abrams is the author of “Education and the Commercial Mindset” and is…

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Transcription of the episode “Abolitionist education: Creating liberatory spaces (Part Two)”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy-Halpern-Laff Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. This is the second of a two-part interview with Dr. Edwin Mayorga, Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and the Program in Latin American and Latino Studies at Swarthmore College. Dr. Mayorga is founder and co-researcher of…

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Abolitionist education: Creating liberatory spaces (Part Two)

We continue our conversation with Dr. Edwin Mayorga of Swarthmore College. We discuss the corporatization of schools that reduces students to their test scores. Dr. Mayorga encourages educators to center joy and healing. Schools should be liberatory rather than places that are too often focused on punishment and surveillance. Schools, as “localized nodes of political power,” should adopt democratic processes that cultivate voice, participation, and collaboration. As an organizer, he encourages coalitions of people resisting different aspects of racial capitalism, including those fighting destruction of the planet and exploitation of other species.

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BIPOC and undocumented: A trauma-filled intersection

Dr. Christiana Best, who spent thirty years in the New York City child welfare system before becoming a full-time academic, discusses her personal experience of being left behind in Granada while her mother settled in the US. Dr. Best, now an assistant professor of social work at St. Joseph’s, delves into the difficulties of providing holistic support to immigrant children and families, who are (justifiably) hesitant to trust government agencies.

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Transcription of the episode “Empowering school counselors to support struggling students”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff Jon M: [00:00:17] I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Mandy Savitz- Romer. Dr. Savitz-Romer is Nancy Pforzheimer Aronson Senior Lecturer of Human Development and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education and director of the School of Education’s Prevention, Science and Practice master’s…

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Empowering school counselors to support struggling students

Dr. Mandy Savitz-Romer of Harvard Graduate School of Education sees counselors as schools’ academic conscience, the hub for providing holistic support to students. To be effective, they need a seat at the leadership table. Respondents in Savitz-Romer’s 1000-counselor survey described obstacles and successes in serving students during the pandemic.

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Transcription of the episode “Students leading change: Inclusiveness at an elite school”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guests today, Stacey Cervellin Thorp, Maima Moffett-Warden, and Abigail Rivera, are from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City, a public high school with very competitive admission standards. …

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Students leading change: Inclusiveness at an elite school

Stacey Cervellino Thorp and Naima Moffett-Warden teach drama at Manhattan’s famed LaGuardia High School, and Abigail Rivera is a senior in the drama studio. Although all LaGuardia students are extraordinarily talented, their families, neighborhoods, and middle schools have vastly different resources. Students and faculty, led by students of color, have won changes and are demanding more steps to make the school more accessible and the curriculum more culturally responsive.

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Transcript of the episode “Education denied: What should reparations look like?”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:17] And  I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Daarel Burnette II, staff writer at Education Week, where he covers school funding and finance. Previously, Mr. Burnette served as a bureau chief at Chalkbeat Tennessee, a start up news organization based in…

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Education denied: What should reparations look like?

Daarel Burnette II of Education Week delves into the history of Black communities demanding education and school boards conspiring to deprive them of opportunities and resources. We zoom in on Virginia’s reparations to Black citizens, now in their 60’s, who were excluded from schools when Prince Edward County shut its schools to avoid integration. Mr. Burnette, a “military brat,” theorizes about why children of Black military families do so much better academically than their civilian peers.

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Practicing ethics: Case studies

We speak with Meira Levinson, Professor of Education at Harvard, about her website justiceinschools.org and books of “hard cases,” designed to help educators and youth workers think about the ethical implications of their decisions. Often, there are no perfect solutions, and  these decisions can have far-reaching consequences in children’s lives. A former teacher herself, Meira would like teachers to be able to consult with specially trained school ethicists.

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Transcription of the episode “Practicing ethics: Case studies”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi, I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:17] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Meira Levinson. Dr. Levinson is Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her most recent book is “Democratic Discourse: Cases and Commentaries in Educational Ethics” with Jacob Fay. She’s the…

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Transcription of the episode “Antiracism: Lessons for the classroom and faculty lounge”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Mica Pollock. Dr. Pollock is Professor of Educational Studies and Director of the Center for Research on Educational Equity Assessment and Teaching Excellence, CREATE,  at the University of California, San Diego. Her most…

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Antiracism: Lessons for the classroom and faculty lounge

We speak with Mica Pollock about US vs Hate and Schooltalk. Student anti-racism messaging in any medium can catalyze youth activism. Comments embedded in teachers’ everyday communication can impact students’ lifetime trajectories.

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Transcription of the episode “Busting out of the classroom: Connecting local history to everyday life”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:17] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guests today are David Edelman and Raul Baez. David is a social studies teacher and instructional coach at Union Square Academy for Health Sciences in New York City. His website is cagebustingclassrooms.com. Raul is a rising…

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Busting out of the classroom: Connecting local history to everyday life

Social studies teacher David Edelman and student Raúl Baez speak about their class’s “Virtual Walking Tour of Slavery in New York City” and other projects in which students become teachers. David’s goal is to instill curiosity and encourage students to connect history to their lived experiences. He shares suggestions for virtual teaching and teacher collaboration.

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Transcription of the episode “Audit culture: The dehumanization of education

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] Hi, I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is William Stroud. He was the founding principal in two New York City public schools, the Urban Peace Academy in East Harlem and the Baccalaureate School for Global Education in Queens. He Is currently…

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Audit culture: The dehumanization of education

World renowned educational consultant Bill Stroud talks about schooling within our capitalist culture and the impact that on-line learning will have on teachers’ autonomy and teacher-student relationships. He discusses similarities and differences among classrooms in different countries, the potential impact of the Movement for Black Lives on schools, and what envisioning a different system of schools would look like.

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Transcription of the episode “Supporting student civic activism: Social studies on steroids”

Jon M: [00:00:00] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:15] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. We have an exciting two part episode, which we’ll start today and continue next week. Our guests are Dr. Alan Singer, a former New York City high school teacher and now  teacher educator at Hofstra University, Dr….

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Supporting student civic activism: Social studies on steroids – Part 1

Dr. Alan Singer, Dr. Pablo Muriel, and Gates Millennium Scholar Dennis Belen-Morales, three generations of teachers, describe how they center student activism in their project-based social studies and history classes while giving students the tools to pass the NYS Regents exams. Dr. Singer was Dr. Muriel’s high school teacher, and Dr. Muriel was Mr. Belen-Morales’ teacher in turn. Now all three are at Hofstra University. Part 1 of a two-part series that contains lots of specific strategies for teachers and passion for civics education.

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Transcript of the episode “(UPDATE) Civics education: A Constitutional right?”

Jon M: 00:00 Last September,we spoke with Dr. Mark Santow , who was then suing the state of Rhode Island in federal court for failing to provide an adequate education, including civics, for certain Rhode Island students, especially Black and Brown students and low income students. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and the…

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*UPDATE* Civics education: A Constitutional right?

Last year we interviewed Mark Santow, one of the plaintiffs suing the State of Rhode Island under the 14th Amendment for failing to provide some students civics curricula and other components of an adequate education. After we revisit our interview, Dr. Santow updates us on the suit and reflects on the lawsuit’s particular relevance at a time of pandemic and the Mobilization for Black Lives.

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Transcription of the episode “Savage inequalities: How school funding intentionally privileges white, wealthy communities “

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi, I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:17] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff.  Welcome to Ethical Schools. Today we’ll continue to look at how inequities in our school systems impact Black lives and lives of Indigenous and other People of Color and low income whites, and what can be done  it. Today we’ll discuss…

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Savage inequalities: How school funding intentionally privileges white, wealthy communities

Zahava Stadler, Policy Director of EdBuild, explains how housing discrimination and state funding policies disadvantage Black and low-income districts. EdBuild has reported on funding schemes throughout the country, documenting a $23 billion annual funding gap between White districts and districts of color. Ms. Stadler describes how states could allocate education dollars more equitably, benefitting at least 70% of students.

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Transcription of the episode “Students demand equity and inclusion: call for admissions, curriculum, counseling changes”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi, I’m Jon Moscow.  Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff, Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guests today are Yarmis Cruz, Eli Crenshaw-Smith, and Tony Paperno, students at Beacon High School, a public high school in Manhattan. Yarmis is a senior and will be attending Northwestern University next year. Eli grew up…

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Students demand equity and inclusion: call for admissions, curriculum, counseling changes

Manhattan’s Beacon High School students are fighting for racial equity in NYC’s highly segregated school system. Three student activists talk about their experiences in the elite public school, the student-led demonstrations and teach ins, and the Beacon Union of Unions’ comprehensive list of demands.

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Transcription of the episode “Challenging hierarchies: The role of the social justice teacher educator”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] Hi, I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Sherry Deckman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle and High School Education at Lehman College. CUNY. Dr.   Deckman researches how teachers are formally prepared to work with students of diverse…

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Challenging hierarchies: The role of the social justice teacher educator

Dr. Sherry Deckman speaks about creating classroom environments that challenge cultural and social hierarchies. Teachers need to be aware of the lenses through which they view the world and their students, especially lenses that center Whiteness. She discusses everyday anti-racism for educators and creating humanizing spaces for all students, as well as the isolation that teacher educators of color often feel.

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Transcription of the episode “Therapeutic crisis intervention: a consultant’s role in creating an ethical school culture”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Our guest today is Misha Thomas of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research of the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University. Misha has been a trainer for Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Schools since 1995. He holds a masters in divinity…

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Therapeutic crisis intervention: a consultant’s role in creating an ethical school culture

Misha Thomas, longtime consultant with Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Schools, discusses how schools can develop trauma-informed systems for resolving behavioral conflicts and crises. He explains that schools should prioritize a culture of trust and authenticity, and establish school wide expectations that crises will be explored in context of students’ lived experiences. As an outside consultant, Misha freely shares with clients his observations on systemic issues.

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Student stories: SEL through writing and sharing lived experiences

Keith Hefner and Betsy Cohen of Youth Communication discuss their 40-year-old organization. Professional editors help students develop personal stories, which are shared with their peers. Writers experience self-reflection, readers develop empathy and gain strength from knowing others’ experiences, and teachers acquire better understanding of their students. Youth Communication also offers curricula and materials for teachers to implement.

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Transcription of the episode “Student stories: SEL through writing and sharing lived experiences”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:17] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Our guests today are Keith Hafner and Betsy Cohen of Youth Communication. Keith founded Youth Communication, a program to help teens express their lived experiences through writing, in 1980. He served as executive director for 40 years and is now senior…

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Transcription of the episode “Culturally responsive practice and SEL: Effective professional development and programs”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff.  Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow.  Our guest today is Dr Heather C. Hill, Jerome T. Murphy Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of  Education and Visiting Faculty Member at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University. Welcome, Heather.  Heather H: [00:00:31] Great to be here. Thanks, Jon and Amy,…

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Culturally responsive practice and SEL: Effective professional development and programs

Dr. Heather C. Hill of Harvard Graduate School of Education looks at the research on culturally responsive education and SEL programs. She examines components of successful professional development programs, and how they apply to SEL and CRE. Well-designed curricula give teachers a framework on which to build and perhaps self-reflect. Daily classroom practices that build trust and engagement are important. Even if the professional development is high quality and teachers embrace the strategies, principal leadership and support is critical for learned practices to continue over time.

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High school sports: Ethical challenges and considerations

Master basketball coach Mark Jerome speaks candidly about social emotional complexities in sports culture and how his own ethical sensitivities have evolved over his decades of playing, coaching, and parenting. Mark describes enormous inequities in schools’ sports resources and discusses bullying and abusive parental behavior, as well as what he loves about basketball.

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Transcription of the episode “High school sports: Ethical challenges and considerations”

Amy H-L: [00:00:16] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff Jon M: [00:00:18] And I’m Jon Moscow. Our guest today is Mark Jerome, basketball coach at Beacon High School in New York City. Mark was executive director of the Riverside Church basketball program and is currently president of Live City Basketball and Global Professional Sports. He’s also the father of Ty…

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Text guided literacy: Literature as experience in English class

Dr. Anthony Johnston, associate professor of education at University of St. Joseph, explains text guided literacy as a framework for teaching literature. A former English teacher, Dr. Johnston resists the current emphasis on close reading. Text guided literacy encourages readers to extrapolate from the text, to take the perspective of a fictional or historical character, and to make connections between the text and their own lives. As well, empathy is a catalyst for ethical actions.

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Transcription of the episode “Text guided literacy: Literature as experience in English class”

Amy H: [00:00:16] Hi, I’m Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:17] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Anthony Johnston. Dr. Johnston is Associate Professor of Education and Program Director for Secondary Education at the University of St. Joseph. He’s the coauthor of “Identity Focused ELA Teaching: A Curriculum Framework for Diverse Learners…

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Teaching as research: Auto-ethnography of a pioneering bilingual teacher educator

Dr. Carmen Mercado, CUNY professor emeritus, talks with us about the importance of self-study, sharing diverse perspectives in class, and reflective writing in her own development and that of her students. She shares her experiences as one of the first bilingual classroom teachers and teacher educators in NYC. Carmen’s book, “Navigating teacher education in complex and uncertain times: connecting communities of practice in a borderless world,” was published in 2019.

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Transcription of the episode “Teaching as research: Auto-ethnography of a pioneering bilingual teacher educator”

Amy H: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow.  Welcome to Ethical Schools. Amy H: [00:00:19] Our guest today is Dr. Carmen Mercado, a pioneer among Puerto Rican and bilingual educators in New York City. Carmen is a literacy educator whose formal preparation began in a small experimental dual language school in the Bronx…

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The “Name Game”: racialization in a suburban high school

Drs. Tony de Jesus, Anthony Johnston, and Don Siler of University of St. Joseph recount their intervention in a multiracial high school in crisis. White students had instigated a “game” of addressing Black students as the n-word. We discuss the impact of racialization in the Trump era on white students, students of color, and the school community as well as actual and potential responses by schools.

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Transcription of the episode “The ‘Name Game’: racialization in a suburban high school”

Amy H-L: 00:15 I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: 00:16 And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Amy H-L: 00:19 Our guests today, faculty members at the University of St Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut, were called upon to intervene at a suburban high school when fights broke out between white and black students. Dr. Anthony…

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The Algebra Project: Bob Moses on math literacy as a civil right – Part 2

The Algebra Project founder and president–and lead organizer of the famous 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer voting rights campaign–talks about math literacy as an organizing tool to guarantee quality public school education for all children. Bob Moses describes the Algebra Project’s strategies to connect math to students’ life experiences and everyday language. The interview is divided into two episodes.

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Transcription of the episode “Black and Latinx students, institutional racism, and the carceral continuum”

Jon M: 00:10 Hi, I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: 00:16 And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Carla Shedd, associate professor of sociology and urban education at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Carla is the author of “Unequal City: Race, Schools and Perceptions of Injustice,” which was recently included in…

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Black and Latinx students, institutional racism, and the carceral continuum

Dr. Carla Shedd, associate professor of sociology and urban education at The Graduate Center, CUNY, studies the interactions with institutions of low-income Black and Latinx students and how institutional racism impacts children from even before birth. Children who attend integrated schools have sharper awareness of inequities than their counterparts in segregated schools and communities. The “carceral continuum” is more comprehensive than the “school to prison pipeline” and comprises all encounters with institutions. Carla also talks about professionals’ ethical responsibilities and responses and how to create safe spaces.

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Transcription of the episode “The Algebra Project: Math Literacy and Empowerment”

Jon M: 00:15 Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: 00:16 And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools, where we discuss strategies for creating inclusive and equitable schools and youth programs that help students to develop commitment and capacity to build ethical institutions. Jon M: 00:32 Our guest today is Kate Belin. Kate is in…

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The Algebra Project: Math Literacy and Empowerment

Kate Belin teaches math at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School, a progressive public school in the Bronx, where she implements the Algebra Project, an initiative that connects math to students’ lived experiences. We talk about the synergy between the Algebra Project and Fannie Lou, both of which have their roots in the history of the civil rights movement.

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Transcription of the episode “Advice for Secondary School Teachers” (encore)

Jon M: 00:00 I’m Jon Moscow. This is a reposting of an interview with Lev Moscow who has taught history and economics at The Beacon School in New York City for 14 years. Lev offers advice for secondary school teachers on topics such as advisory, including non-European perspectives in the history curriculum, and getting students…

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Advice for Secondary School Teachers

This is an encore. We interview Lev Moscow who, for the last 14 years, has taught history and economics at The Beacon School in New York City. Lev reflects that advisory, done well, can serve as a venue for students to explore questions of ethics, purpose and happiness. He talks about balancing the history curriculum to include non-European perspectives. Getting students to read more than a few sentences is perhaps today’s teachers’ greatest challenge and Lev explains his approach.

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Gender Inclusivity: Where Science and Ethics Intersect

We speak with high school science teachers and trans men, Sam Long and Lewis Maday-Travis, who have developed resources and trainings to help biology teachers develop gender-inclusive curricula. Science tells us that sexual and gender diversity is both normal and positive.

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Post-traumatic growth and resilience: Creating safe environments for Central American immigrant children

This is an encore. Our conversation with Stephanie Carnes about Central American immigrant youth was one of our most popular. Enjoy it with our wishes for a safe and happy holiday.

Stephanie Carnes is a trauma-focused bilingual school social worker in a large public high school in New York’s Hudson Valley. Stephanie worked as the lead clinician in a federally-funded shelter program for unaccompanied children from Central America and as a consultant she challenges the districts and agencies with whom she works to re-envision the meaning of an inclusive community. We talk about the necessity to normalize mental health care, how to create safe environments for immigrant children in American schools, and the power of their resilience.

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Reframing masculinity: Stopping violence against women and girls

Quentin Walcott (“Q”), a leading NYC and international anti-violence educator and activist, creates programs that help transform men and boys — even batterers — into activists against violence. He focuses on the intersections of violence — race, class, and gender — and its impact on marginalized communities. Q is Co-Executive Director of CONNECT, a nonprofit that approaches domestic violence systemically and holistically, including in school- and after-school programs. CONNECT helps males reassess their perceptions of masculinity and fatherhood. While perpetrators need to be held accountable, so do institutions and public leaders.

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Transcription of the episode “Paula Rogovin: Creating a social justice early childhood classroom”

Jon M: 00:15 Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: 00:17 And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools where we discuss strategies for creating inclusive and equitable schools and youth programs that help students to develop both commitment and capacity to build ethical institutions. Jon M: 00:32 Our guest today is veteran teacher, author, and…

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Paula Rogovin: Creating a social justice early childhood classroom

We speak with Paula Rogovin, who taught kindergarten and first grade in NYC public schools for 44 years. Paula empowered the youngest students to become researchers and activists. She encourages students to ask questions (“anything goes”) and research is interdisciplinary, comprising literature, social studies, art, music, and science. Cultural relevance evolves organically from the research. When students discover injustices, Paula encourages them to channel their anger to become agents of change. Paula’s advice for new teachers, “Teach what you are required to teach, and stretch it.”

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Kiersten Greene on technology in schools: “Are we doing our homework?”

We speak with Dr. Kiersten Greene, Associate Professor of Literacy Education at SUNY New Paltz, about classroom internet use. Electronic tech’s transformational possibilities can go unfulfilled as schools buy and use tools and materials without evaluating whether they are effective or meet teachers’ needs. Huge funding sources like New York’s Smart Schools bond issue fund…

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Jesse Hagopian on bringing Black Lives Matter into schools

We speak with Jesse Hagopian, an editor for ReThinking Schools and a long-time teacher in the Seattle Public Schools. He is a co-editor of the book Teaching for Black Lives. Jesse discusses the groundbreaking annual National Week of Action in February that makes four demands of schools: replace zero tolerance discipline with restorative justice, implement…

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Melissa Rivers on Community-Based Education in Rural Alaska

We speak with Melissa Rivers, Principal of the Scammon Bay School in Alaska’s Lower Yukon, a mile from the Bering Sea. The isolated, tight-knit Yupik Eskimo community is subsistence-based, harvesting moose and salmon. Students are artistic and learn by making things, but also must prepare for standardized tests designed for very different environments. For the past several years, Scammon Bay has participated in a cross-cultural exchange program run by the Alaska Humanities Forum to promote understanding among Alaska’s urban and rural communities.

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Ethical College and Career Decisions

John Dewey, arguably America’s greatest 20th century philosopher and educator, stressed the importance of teaching habits of rigorous ethical inquiry in the classroom and in the larger society. He argued that students should learn to consider the impacts of their individual and collective social, economic, and political choices. Fortunately, many schools and youth programs encourage…

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Leo Ackley on teaching in Finland’s consistently superior schools

Amy interviews Leo Ackley, who emigrated to Finland in the 1972. He taught art, history of architecture, design, and engineering in Finnish schools for 37 years. We discuss the Finnish system. Teachers have autonomy to develop their own curricula. Finnish administrators are answerable to teachers rather than the other way around. Homework is rare and…

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Transcription of the episode “Anna Allanbrook on Brooklyn New School: Centering children, marginalizing tests”

Amy H-L: 00:15 Hi, I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: 00:17 And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools, where we discuss strategies for creating inclusive and equitable schools and youth programs that help students to develop both commitment and capacity to build ethical institutions. Amy H-L: 00:30 Our guest today is Anna Allanbrook. Anna has…

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Anna Allanbrook on Brooklyn New School: Centering children, marginalizing tests

We speak with Anna Allanbrook, longtime principal of Brooklyn New School (BNS). Learning at BNS is inquiry-based and cross-disciplinary. As well, BNS is known as the “opt-out school” because 95% of families opt out of standardized testing. The school offers no test preparation.

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Norman Fruchter on the pioneering alternative high school he and colleagues built in Newark in the 1970s

We speak with Norm Fruchter, long-time educational activist and thought leader, about Independence School, an experimental high school where the ideal was that someone walking into a classroom couldn’t tell the teacher from the students. We discuss lessons learned – and perhaps forgotten – about supporting students whose original schools failed them. Among the school’s…

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Transcription of the episode “David C. Bloomfield on why we need a revolution in attitude to see education as a social good rather than an individual property right”

Jon M: 00:15 I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: 00:17 And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools, where we discuss strategies for creating inclusive and equitable schools and youth programs that help student to develop both commitment and capacity to build ethical institutions. Jon M: 00:32 Our guest today is Dr. David C. Bloomfield, Professor…

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David C. Bloomfield on why we need a revolution in attitude to see education as a social good rather than an individual property right

We speak with Dr. David C. Bloomfield, Professor of Education Leadership. Law & Policy at Brooklyn College. David Bloomfield condemns the social Darwinism and “hoarding” mentality of our education systems. He explains how school resource allocation exacerbates segregation and inequality, a process deliberately abetted by the proliferation of school districts around the country. Education policy and financing reinforce an us against them view of schools. Until we start thinking of the nation’s children as our collective responsibility, we will continue to seek todeprive “other people’s” children in order to benefit “ours,” thereby impoverishing all of us.

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Scarlett Lewis on the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement: A Sandy Hook parent’s SEL program

“Nurturing, Healing Love” was the message that Scarlett Lewis found on her kitchen chalkboard shortly before her son, Jesse, was murdered in his first-grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In order to become part of the solution to the violence, Scarlett founded The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement with a mission to ensure that…

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Transcription of the episode “Kids learn through relationships: A conversation with Pedro Noguera about building a culture conducive to teaching and learning”

Amy H-L: 00:10 I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: 00:17 And I’m Jon Moscow. This is Ethical Schools podcast where we talk about how to create equitable and inclusive learning environments that support students in becoming capable of and committed to creating a more ethical world. Amy H-L: 00:30 Our guest today is Dr. Pedro Noguera….

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Kids learn through relationships: A conversation with Pedro Noguera about building a culture conducive to teaching and learning

We talk with Dr. Pedro Noguera about public school models that work for students, parents and teachers, and how to build a social movement for a progressive education agenda. He talks about the social dimensions to learning and the mismatch between students’ needs and teachers’ skills. He argues that an obstacle to making change in schools is that we deal with education as individuals rather than collectively. Pedro Noguera is a Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and Faculty Director for the Center for the Transformation of Schools at UCLA. He is a critically acclaimed scholar, a dynamic speaker and a committed activist. His work focuses on a broad range of issues related to education, social justice and public policy. He is the author of several best-selling books and is a highly sought-after public speaker and international consultant.

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Transcription of the episode “Stephanie Carnes on post-traumatic growth and resilience: Cultural competence and creating safe environments for Central American immigrant children in today’s U.S.”

Amy H-L: 00:15 I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: 00:17 And I’m Jon Moscow. This is Ethical Schools podcast, where we talk about how to create equitable and inclusive learning environments that support students becoming capable of and committed to creating a more ethical world. Amy H-L: 00:29 Our guest today is Stephanie Carnes. Stephanie is a bilingual clinical social worker in…

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Stephanie Carnes on post-traumatic growth and resilience: Cultural competence and creating safe environments for Central American immigrant children in today’s U.S.

We talk with Stephanie Carnes, a trauma-focused bilingual school social worker in a large public high school in New York’s Hudson Valley. Stephanie worked as the lead clinician in a federally-funded shelter program for unaccompanied children from Central America and as a consultant she challenges the districts and agencies with whom she works to re-envision the meaning of an inclusive community. We talk about the necessity to normalize mental health care, how to create safe environments for immigrant children in American schools, and the power of their resilience.

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Transcription of the episode “Zoe Weil on humane education: The world becomes what we teach”

Jon M: 00:15 I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: 00:16 And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. This is the Ethical Schools podcast where we talk about how to create ethical classrooms and schools that graduate students who are motivated and prepared to create a more ethical world. Jon M: 00:34 Zoe Weil is the Co-founder and President of…

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Zoe Weil on humane education: The world becomes what we teach

We talk with Zoe Weil, the co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education. She talks about providing young people with the knowledge, tools, and motivation to address our pressing challenges in order to transform unsustainable and unjust systems into ones that are humane, healthy, and peaceful.

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Shirley Edwards on EBC High School: Building an educational community in Bushwick

We talk with Shirley Edwards about EBC High School for Public Service and the creation of an intentional educational community of students, teachers, parents, and East Brooklyn Congregations. Shirley Edwards was the founding principal. She came with a background as a teacher and a parent coordinator, and responded to parents’ desperation for a high school that would lead their children to success.

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Shirley Edwards on EBC High School: Building an educational community in Bushwick (Transcription of the episode)

Jon M: 00:04 Hi, I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: 00:21 And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: 00:23 We’re the co-directors of Ethics In Education Network and this is our podcast, Ethical Schools. Amy H-L: 00:29 And when we talk about ethical schools, we’re not just talking about a traditional school environment. We’re talking about any environment in which teaching and learning occurs. It…

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Ethical Dining at School

Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself. – John Dewey John Dewey (1859-1952) was arguably the most consequential educational thinker of the twentieth century. According to Dewey, education should consist of meaningful activity in learning and participation in classroom democracy. Curriculum should be relevant to students’ lives as well as prepare them…

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Guidelines for submissions

Note from the editors to our readers and colleagues: We accept articles for our newsletter on any topic related to secular (preferably Deweyan) educational ethics. As you might expect, we have to pass on some articles, but we will let you know whether and when your article will run in the newsletter. Please keep in…

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