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What Putting Teachers in Charge of Personalized Learning Can Look Like

KQED News Mind/Shift – Lauren Pappano

“The idea was never to disregard the individual student. Yet, over the past 25 years the official quest for educational progress has tightly molded itself around measurable content standards and achievement goals, making testing the single most powerful legacy of education reform in America.” (more)

Nature as teacher: Tinkergarten classes let young children explore and learn

The Globe – Melinda Lavine

“It was a regular session of Tinkergarten, local classes that teach children ages 18 month to 8 years how to explore, problem-solve and more through nature play. That means engaging with mud, painting with sticks, looking at bugs with magnifying glasses — all in an effort to improve fine motor, sensory skills and more. Children benefit the most from this type of learning. “What you experience first-hand, you will incorporate in your life in a much deeper way, and that’s what Tinkergarten is. It’s hands-on, and it uses all of the senses,” Quetico said.” (more)

Commentary: Minnesota’s New Commonsense Approach to School Discipline Policy Should Be a Model for Other States

The 74 Million – Lauren Morando Rhim

“The Minnesota Department of Human Rights recently announced collaborative agreements with five school districts and five charter schools to address practices that lead to disproportionate discipline of students of color and students with disabilities. The objective is to address “implicit bias that influences perceptions of student behavior.” Two districts in which the department was unable to develop agreements are most likely headed to court due to practices alleged to have resulted in educational discrimination.” (more)

Analysis: Minnesota Cheers a Booming Graduation Rate — Even as Fewer of Those Grads Can Read or Do Math at a High School Level

The 74 Million – Beth Hawkins

“Some years ago, I was visiting with an inmate in a state prison, a young black man. We’d finished combing through his case, which was a study in sundry miscarriages of justice, and were making small talk. “You know what gets me about this place?” he said, gesturing at the other convicts in the concrete block visiting room. “All these guys graduated from high school.” Covering courts, I didn’t get his point back then. But I thought about him the other day upon reading an analysis published by MinnPost, a nonprofit Minnesota news site where I used to work, showing that graduation rates in the state are rising even though other measures of academic achievement are not. The problem is particularly acute in Minneapolis and St. Paul.” (more)

Social-Emotional Learning: States Collaborate to Craft Standards, Policies

Education Week – Evie Blad

“Eight states will work collaboratively to create and implement plans to encourage social-emotional learning in their schools, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning announced this month. The organization, which is also known as CASEL, will assist the states through consultation with its own staff and a panel of experts. The participating states are California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington. And an 11 additional states that originally applied to join the collaborative will have access to the materials it develops. Each participating state has a unique plan, and many of those plans include creating developmentally sensitive standards that show how social and emotional skills are demonstrated at each grade level, developing materials to infuse traditional classroom concepts with social-emotional learning concepts, building strategies for state-level support, and implementing professional-development plans for schools about the subject.”(more)

‘Why are people mad at each other?’ Explaining another shocking week of violence to your kids

The Los Angeles Times – Sonali Kohli

“A 13-year-old in California shook her head at the TV. A 5-year-old in Pittsburgh asked her father why people are so angry. As America coped with one tragic moment after another this week, with the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile followed by the shooting of a dozen police officers in Dallas, the country’s parents had an added task: explaining each act of violence to their children. “If [children] see a bunch of this on television, they can become the indirect victims of trauma,” said Suzanne Silverstein, director of the Cedars-Sinai Psychological Trauma Center. African American children might be afraid for their own lives or for their friends and families when they see black men being shot. Children of law enforcement officers might be even more afraid for their parents after learning what happened in Dallas.”(more)