Tagged: the highlighter

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The Highlighter Podcast #6:

Academic Data and Assessment Manager Angelina Garcia

favicon In tonight’s episode of the podcast, I got to chat with Academic Data and Assessment Manager Angelina Garcia. Angelina is fantastic: She knows data, she has a passion for education, and she understands teachers — working side by side with them in order to support young people in their learning.

Angelina and I talked about a number of things, including why she’s a loyal subscriber to The Highlighter, why educators should care deeply about data, and why she bristled at the bar graph in last week’s article, “Homeless Students Drawn to Seattle Schools by Sports Are Often Cast Aside When the Season Is Over.” (Just so you know, we also talked about the article!)

Please take a listen below and enjoy. Also, if you like the podcast, please feel free to subscribe!

Apple Podcasts: j.mp/hipod
Google: j.mp/hipodgoogle
Pocket Casts: j.mp/hipodpc
Anchor Station: j.mp/hipodanchor
RSS Feed: j.mp/hipodrss

Thank you, and see you next Sunday night at 9:10 pm for the next episode of the podcast!

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The Highlighter digest is now also a podcast!

favicon Many of you like and subscribe to The Highlighter, the weekly email digest that includes my favorite articles on race, education, and culture.

If you don’t know what The Highlighter is, you’re missing out! Please check it out and subscribe here!

But that’s not the point of today’s post. Today I’d like to introduce a new feature, The Highlighter podcast. It’s pretty exciting.

Here’s today’s episode. Take a listen! (It’s about 4 minutes long.)

It’ll be fun to figure out where the podcast goes from here. My first thoughts are to interview loyal subscribers to the digest and to talk about articles they like. But you never know. Maybe if things get big, I’ll reach out to authors (sort of like the Longform podcast, which is excellent) and chat with them.

Let me know what you think! favicon

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Introducing The Highlighter!

favicon I like to read a lot: books, articles, and everything in between. Since 2012, I’ve published some of my favorite articles on education on Iserotope and talked about them. Then I began bundling the articles into a collection, Iserotope Extras, that readers could access anytime. (This led to this screencast, which demonstrated my extreme enthusiasm about the new feature.)

A few years later, in 2015, Iserotope Extras migrated to a weekly email digest, published every Thursday morning. In addition, the scope of Extras broadened to include articles on race, education, and culture.

The digest has been growing since then. The first issue had just two subscribers, and 80 issues later, there are 115 readers (slow and steady, similar to the Kindle Classroom Project). The digest is alive and well.

I’m therefore happy to announce that Iserotope Extras is now The Highlighter. Take a look at the new nameplate!

Every week, I highlight 4-6 articles that I think you’ll love. Coming soon, you’ll be able to see my highlights to these highlighted articles. (Here’s a sample.) The long-term idea is not only to share high-quality writing but also to invite you to read these articles with me, as part of an “article club,” or a nonfiction reading community.

If you’re not yet a subscriber, check out last week’s issue, or take a look at the archives. You can sign up at either place! If you are already a subscriber, thank you, and please leave your comments here! favicon

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Please read: “Our School,” by Lauren Markham

favicon “Our School” is the best article on education that I’ve read in a very long time. Lauren Markham reports on the new curriculum in Alaska’s North Slope Borough School district, home of the Iñupiat people. It is a story of how a community can rebuild its educational system in order to decolonize, resuscitate, and heal.

If you are an educator, or if you care about education, there are many connections here. It will push you to think again about the big questions, like: What is education for? and Why do I teach? This article will be well worth your time.

Excerpt
“THE ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL education system in the United States fails people on the margins of society—whether it is impoverished communities in Appalachia, immigrants in Baltimore, African Americans in Chicago, or First Nations from New Mexico to Alaska. Free and universal education pretends to be our democracy’s great equalizer—but the system was made by and for a certain subset of people decidedly not on the margins. It can perpetuate inequality while intending, or pretending, to do away with it.”

You can read the article here: http://j.mp/2k6Dt4d. There’s also a chance that it’ll be included in Iserotope Extras, a weekly email digest that includes my favorite articles about race, education, and culture. Feel free to subscribe! favicon

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Please listen: “How The Systemic Segregation Of Schools Is Maintained By Individual Choices,” featuring Nikole Hannah-Jones

favicon Nikole Hannah-Jones is my favorite journalist and my second-favorite famous person (after Bryan Stevenson). Here she is being interviewed by Terry Gross for Fresh Air (~45 mins) about school segregation and her article, “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City” (from Extras #46). Ms. Hannah-Jones argues that segregation will continue to exist in our country “as long as individual parents continue to make choices that only benefit their own children.” (Want more NHJ? Check out Extras #47, Extras #65, and Extras #4 — her gut-wrenching This American Life piece from July 2015.)

Excerpt
“One of the things I’ve done in my work is show the hypocrisy of progressive people who say they believe in equality, but when it comes to their individual choices about where they’re going to live and where they’re going to send their children, they make very different decisions.”

You can read the article here: http://j.mp/2jejEqu. There’s also a chance that it’ll be included in Iserotope Extras, a weekly email digest that includes my favorite articles about race, education, and culture. Feel free to subscribe! favicon

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Please read: “The Making of an American Terrorist,” by Amanda Robb

favicon This isn’t easy reading, but it’s important. In “The Making of an American Terrorist,” New Republic writer Amanda Robb interviews and reports on Robert Dear, who shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic and killed three people in November 2015.

Dear is white, poor, middle-aged, Christian, and mentally ill. He lived in an RV in a rural part of Colorado. He watched a lot of right-wing TV and read a lot of right-wing websites. What makes this article so scary is that there are a lot of Robert Dears in America.

Excerpt
It would be easy to dismiss Dear as an unstable man who was driven by his mental illness rather than an organized ideology. After his arrest, psychiatrists diagnosed him with a “delusional disorder, persecutory type.” But Dear’s tendency toward violence was shaped and steered by outside forces every bit as much as the foreign terrorists we have come to fear.

Here’s the article: http://j.mp/2hlqARG (via Pocket). You can also find this article in this week’s Iserotope Extras, a weekly email digest that includes my favorite articles about race, education, and culture. Feel free to subscribe! favicon

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Please read: “The Need to Read,” by Will Schwalbe

favicon My friend Lynn emailed me “The Need to Read,” by Will Schwalbe, in last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal. It is definitely worth reading.

the-need-to-read

Excerpts

Reading is the best way I know to learn how to examine your life. By comparing what you’ve done to what others have done, and your thoughts and theories and feelings to those of others, you learn about yourself and the world around you. Perhaps that is why reading is one of the few things you do alone that can make you feel less alone. It is a solitary activity that connects you to others.

I’m reminded that reading isn’t just a respite from the relentlessness of technology. It isn’t just how I reset and recharge. It isn’t just how I escape. It’s how I engage. And reading should spur further engagement.

And here’s my favorite:

Books remain one of the strongest bulwarks we have against tyranny—but only as long as people are free to read all different kinds of books, and only as long as they actually do so. The right to read whatever you want whenever you want is one of the fundamental rights that helps preserve all the other rights. It’s a right we need to guard with unwavering diligence. But it’s also a right we can guard with pleasure. Reading isn’t just a strike against narrowness, mind control and domination: It’s one of the world’s great joys.

Source: http://j.mp/2gtt9kI (via Pocket). You can also find this article at Iserotope Extras, a weekly email digest that includes my favorite articles about race, education, and culture. Feel free to subscribe! favicon

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Iserotope Extras: “The Desegregation and Resegregation of Charlotte’s Schools”

favicon Author Clint Smith of the New Yorker makes a controversial claim: that the recent police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte is connected to the community’s decision in 1999 to resegregate its schools. This article is worth your time.

charlotte
Excerpt
“The school system in Charlotte did not resegregate by accident, just as police in Charlotte did not perceive Keith Lamont Scott as a danger by accident. The country we live in is one that we have built to be this way. The cities we live in were built this way. They were court-ordered. They were signed into law. We made these choices, and now we see the consequences.”

Source: http://j.mp/2dO5cUc (via Pocket). You can also find this article at Iserotope Extras, a weekly email digest that includes my favorite articles about teaching, reading, and technology. Feel free to subscribe! favicon

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Recommended Reading: “In San Jose, Poor Find Doors to Library Closed”

favicon Most of the white, college-educated, middle-class, similarly-aged people I know have warm memories of their local public library when they were kids. These memories usually involve walking or biking to the library, checking out tons of books, and getting an ice cream cone on the way home. For many Americans, the public library is a personal sanctuary, a haven for knowledge, and a treasure of our democracy.

Not everyone, however, shares those sentiments. When I taught in San Francisco, my students told me over and over again that they had a more complicated relationship with their local public library. It didn’t feel comfortable or welcoming. I asked them why they felt that way, and the No. 1 answer was, They were afraid of library fines.

In a recent New York Times piece, reporter Carol Pogash assails the San Jose Public Library’s policies regarding late fees, lost materials, and checkout privileges. The library faces $6.8 million in unpaid fines. Its late fee is 50 cents per day per item. It prohibits checking out additional materials if people owe more than $10. And it uses a collection agency to recoup debts in excess of $50.

In “In San Jose, Poor Find Doors to Library Closed,” Ms. Pogash does not pull punches. She interviews young people who say their moms don’t allow them to check out books. One mom tells her daughter, “Don’t take books out. It’s so expensive.”

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The article goes on to explore how the San Jose Public Library is not alone in its aggressive policies. For example, Texas allows its libraries to take delinquent patrons to court. Though I understand that libraries face tough challenges, particularly when a majority of people do not return books on time, current practice does not seem to be the right way to go.

Obviously, I do have bias because of my interest in the Kindle Classroom Project. Just to be clear, I love public libraries, especially the San Francisco Public Library and the Oakland Public Library. Libraries need to exist, and they do good things. Still, one thing I’ve learned since founding the KCP is how important it is to decrease barriers to reading. (Books are best in young people’s hands.) Rather than keeping track of tons of books each year, students check out and return just two items: their Kindle and their charger. Simple as cake. (Loss and breakage to Kindles is just 3.1%.)

Excerpt
“SAN JOSE, Calif. — When Damaris Triana, then 8, lost several “Little Critter” books that she had borrowed for her sister, the library here fined her $101 — including $40 in processing fees — a bill that was eventually turned over to an agency to collect from her parents.”

Source: http://j.mp/1qkXjdO (via Pocket). You can also find this article in next week’s Iserotope Extras, a weekly email newsletter that includes my favorite articles about teaching, reading, and technology. Feel free to subscribe! favicon

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Recommended Reading: “I’m Gonna Rise Above What I Was Doing”

favicon If you teach students who will be the first in their families to go to college, or if you teach urban students, this photographic interview, “I’m Gonna Rise Above What I Was Doing,” is important to read.

Excerpt
“Chicago taught Tavaris Sanders how to survive among gang members. Is there room for him to thrive at a liberal-arts college? Jonah Markowitz photographed Mr. Sanders throughout his freshman year at Connecticut College. Now a sophomore, he spoke about the photos with Mr. Markowitz.”

Tavaris — who earned a 4.2 GPA in his Chicago high school — experiences intense challenges, both academic and social, in his first year of college. The photograph of him checking his phone in the cafeteria is particularly startling. So is his resilience.

Source: http://j.mp/1MugLev (via Pocket). The Chronicle of Higher Education. You may also find this article in this Thursday’s edition of Iserotope Extras, a curated newsletter of my favorite articles about teaching, reading, and technology. favicon