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Wide Ruled – Ep. 017: What English Words Can’t Describe

Students are invited to tell their story when they enter Ms. Mora’s classroom.

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Like so many students in middle school, Diane Mora was reduced down to the numbered calculations produced by a standard assessment. She was prescribed a certain amount of limited potential, then shuffled through the education system accordingly. Not only did she go on, however, to break through the expectations set for her, but now she also raises her voice against how standardized testing disproportionately affects ESL students.

 

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Wide Ruled – Ep. 016: Thinking Through Art

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The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is working with seven different schools and over 1,000 different students to teach Visual Thinking Strategies in the Thinking Through Art program. And though at surface level it would seem that the program only helps kids to understand and think about visual art, in fact students experience a variety of learning outcomes, some of which are crucial for today’s technology and political landscape. What’s more, the proven ability of Visual Thinking Strategies curriculum to instill a variety of learning outcomes reminds us of something about the human brain vital to remember in a time when vocational training is back en vogue.

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Wide Ruled – Ep. 015: Literacy’s Leading Men

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Ricardo Carter and Trevon Kirkpatrick were not the typical rising stars in high school. Mentor Mr. Ricardo Neal, however, knew they were capable of greatness. After graduation, the journey would take them not to college, but back to school nonetheless. In episode 15 of Wide Ruled, hear the story of Ricardo and Treyvon’s journey which is elevating them as leaders and addressing a deep-seated need in our schools.

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Wide Ruled – Ep. 014: You’ve Got the Power

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Detroit’s decline has been frequent subject of scrutiny, mockery, and curiosity for some time. While this episode was initially intended to document the history of Detroit’s schools, after talking to Marquitta Fields, it became clear that there was a more important story to tell in this moment. Through her story, explore the impact of teacher expectations and context as perspective-shaper.

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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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