Blog

Wide Ruled – Ep. 013: Minnesota is FIRE: Fighting Inequality and Racism in Education

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Since it’s grand merger in 1998, Minnesota’s statewide teachers union, Education Minnesota, has made the pursuit of equity a permanent pillar of its mission. Recently, union staff and members began an anti-racism curriculum-writing initiative. What they ended up with, however, was a far cry from what was initially intended and turned out to be much more personal than they first imagined. Now, they’re on FIRE.

 

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Wide Ruled – Ep. 012: House Bill 7069 is Not a Test

Kenny Menchu, Anna Fusco, and Liliana Ruido of the Broward Teachers Union

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At the annual TEACH conference hosted by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), we talked to Florida educators from all over the state about the recently passed Florida House Bill 7069. Educators in Florida hold that the bill is part of a long onslaught on public education in Florida: an onslaught that has insidiously crept into classrooms across the nation.

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Wide Ruled – Ep. 011: And the Two Shall Become One School

PAC Superintendent Joe Kramer

PAC Superintendent Joe Kramer

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As the student population in a given district shrinks, so does the funding stream attached to enrollment numbers, creating strain on building and staffing budgets. Superintendent of Pocahontas Area Community Schools explains how a steadily shrinking population in north central Iowa have led to numerous district reorganizations. Then Mary Esselman, former assistant superintendent of the Kansas City Missouri School District recounts what consolidation looks like in a less rural setting.

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Wide Ruled – Ep. 010: Every SpEd a GenEd

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Elaine Cook and Pam Ahlrichs of the Iowa Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency have seen great strides in the way the American education system has cared for students with disabilities. In this episode, learn about the history of special education and the unique challenges toward equitable opportunities for students with disabilities across the urban-rural divide.

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Wide Ruled – Ep. 009: What the Heck is May Term?

 

Pocahontas Area Community high school

Pocahontas Area Community high school with grain bins in view

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Since around 2005, Pocahontas Area Community school district in Pocahontas, Iowa, has been avoiding the typical end-of-year slalom by way of an innovative program called May Term. In this episode, hear teachers and students explain this alternative take on the last two weeks of school and the practical objectives it accomplishes.

 


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Wide Ruled – Ep. 008: Kansas School Redesign: A Little Crazy, a Little Nuts

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Kansas has been a hotbed for legal battles involving education for some time. After the landmark 1954 Brown v. Topeka Board of Education decision, things didn’t suddenly become all sunshine and sunflowers. Rather, a series of court cases levied by school districts against the state have argued that funding for education in Kansas has continued to be both insufficient and inequitable. Kansas Commissioner of Education explains the most recent vision for improving Kansas education and answers questions about equity and fiscal security in Kansas education, also detailing his one-of-a-kind plan to spur innovation within the public school system.

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Wide Ruled – Ep. 007: 13 Players on the Pitch

Olathe Northwest High School

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Mental health isn’t what it used to be, and that’s a really good thing. That doesn’t mean, however, that there isn’t a long road ahead yet. Olathe Northwest soccer Coach Chris Graham and one of his former players tell the story that compelled the Olathe School District to take new measures to care for the mental health of their students. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Erin Dugan joins to detail the district’s actions.

 

resources:

For those feeling depressed or thinking about suicide

Facts about teen suicide:

For schools and students dealing with loss:

Olathe Schools’ Response:

 


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Wide Ruled – Ep. 005: The Charter Conspiracy

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In this and the following episode of Wide Ruled, we’ll tiptoe into the ongoing, sometimes aggressive, oftentimes polarized, debate about charter schools. In Wide Ruled – Ep. 005, Lora McDonald, executive director of MORE2 recounts a tale of how her organization discovered and disrupted an instance of collusion between the government and a local foundation convinced that charter schools are the best way forward for Kansas City.

As you’ll hear, Lora didn’t agree.  

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Wide Ruled – Ep. 004: Alta Vista, Assemble!

Counter-narrative signs on permanent display at Alta Vista High School

description:

For a school where more than 90% of the population is Latino, the election of the 45th president of the United States could be a pretty traumatic experience. By coming together to celebrate diversity, however, Alta Vista is creating safety and stability amidst strange days.

 selected resources:

Centre for Restorative Justice and Reconciliation 

*The image at top is a mural painted at Alta Vista High School

 

 

 

 

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