look for some articles related to current issues facing education. Several contemporary issues will be covered in this course, but as you work through the readings for this week that look back on the history of education in the U.S., including the importance of it and the difference in the way the U.S educational system functions when compared to Europe, consider what might be the most pressing issue facing education in the U.S. What will have to be addressed in the next five (5) years?
In the discussion, identify the issue you believe to be the most pressing and explain why you believe it to be the most pressing. Be sure to provide a rationale and support for your explanation with academic sources.
Watch the video, The Condition of Education 2019. Looking back at last week’s discussion, in which you identified the most pressing issue facing U.S. education, has this issue been highlighted in the annual report? Do you see evidence of its importance?
Next, consider whether this issue has an impact on your current or desired role in education. If it does not have an impact on your role, explain your current or desired role and why it is not affected by this issue. If it does impact your role, explain how it affects you specifically. Finally, do you think this issue exists in other countries, particularly developing countries? Why or why not?
look for content from the last three (3) years that addresses contemporary education in your selected country. Identify both your chosen country and the issue identified, then explain the issue. Be sure to support your explanation with the sources you identified.
Then consider whether this is an issue in U.S. education as well. Why or why not? Could it be an issue in the future? Has it been an issue in the past? What major differences in the two (2) countries might account for differences you observe in the issues that you identify when compared to what is seen in the U.S.?
Review the case study below titled “Terms of Endearment”, in which teacher Virginia Lawson is confronted with issues of racially insensitive name-calling in her classroom and struggles with handling the situation appropriately. As you read, imagine you are asked by the Principal at Greenstown High School to serve as a champion for issues of diversity and inclusion at your school. You have identified issues with diversity, cultural competence, and inclusivity among the students and staff.
Ms. Lawson was glad to be teaching math at Greenstown High School, a racially and economically diverse school. She previously had worked at predominantly white schools with very few students receiving free or reduced-price lunches. After losing her job due to budget cuts, and after taking a course on diversity while earning her Masters of Arts in Teaching degree, she accepted a job teaching in a more diverse environment. She arrived at Greenstown feeling eager and prepared to take on a more culturally diverse student body.
Several weeks into her first year at Greenstown, Ms. Lawson was happy about how well she had adjusted to her new environment. She had taken several measures early in the school year to demonstrate her commitment to racial equity, and it seemed as though students were responding positively. She was especially pleased when she saw students of color reading the Diversity in Mathematics posters she hung around the room, highlighting historically important mathematicians of color from around the world.
The students complained a little — predictably, she thought — in all of her classes on the second day of school when, responding to the racially segregated seating patterns she noticed on the first day of class, she re-assigned seats. She never mentioned her reason for assigning seats, though, and students were accustomed to seat assignments from some of their other classes, so that tension passed quickly. All in all, things were progressing smoothly.
One afternoon around mid-October, as she gathered her materials for her fifth-period class and students made their way into her classroom, Ms. Lawson overheard one of her students use the n-word. Understanding how inflammatory the n-word can be, her immediate reaction was concern that there would be a fight in her classroom. When she looked up from her desk and peered toward the back of her classroom, where she was sure the word came from, she was surprised to see Reggie, an African American student, Adolfo, a Latino student, and Anthony, a white student, all laughing together.
“Who said that”? Ms. Lawson asked as she stood and walked toward the back of the room.
“Said what?” Adolfo asked, still laughing.
“You all know exactly what I mean. The n-word,” Ms. Lawson replied. Nobody responded, but Adolfo and Reggie both glanced at Anthony.
“Anthony?” Ms. Lawson prodded.
“I didn’t say the n-word, I said n-i-g-g-a, nigga,” he explained. Ms. Lawson was unsettled by how confident Anthony sounded, as though he really did not believe he had done anything wrong. “I always call Reggie that,” he continued. “He’s cool with it. It’s a term of endearment.”
Keisha, an African American young woman who had overheard their conversation, interjected, “That’s no term of endearment, you idiot. It’s racist. And you’re lucky you’re not getting a beatdown right now for saying it.”
“Enough of that,” Ms. Lawson said, glaring at Keisha. “There won’t be any threats of violence in this classroom. Sit down and let me take care of this.”
Unsure what to say next, Ms. Lawson turned toward Reggie. He no longer was laughing and, she thought, was beginning to look uncomfortable.
“Is that true, Reggie, that he calls you that all the time and you’re fine with it?” she asked.
“It’s no big deal,” Anthony explained. “Right, Reg?” he asked playfully, nudging Reggie with his elbow.
“Reggie can speak for himself,” Ms. Lawson said, then looked back at Reggie, who was looking even more uncomfortable. Just then, the start-of-class bell rang and Ms. Lawson looked up to see everybody in the room staring at her and Reggie. Feeling that, whatever he really felt about Anthony’s use of the n-word, Reggie was even more uneasy with the spotlight she was shining on him in that moment, she decided to drop the issue and commence with teaching class.
As she walked back toward her desk, she said with a half-defeated sigh, “Please remember, everyone, that one of our community norms is respect. I don’t care you how pronounce it or what you mean by it, there is no room in this classroom for that kind of language.” She knew, even as she was making that statement, that she had not handled the situation well. She also knew she needed to figure out a way to respond more thoughtfully in case it happened again.
Training Policy Document and Presentation Assignment
You will need to create a training presentation in which you share various aspects of diversity and inclusion and their importance to the school in a one (1) page policy document to be shared with the trainees.
Be sure the presentation includes:
- An explanation of diversity and inclusion, including their various components/aspects.
- Examples of what inclusion might look like throughout the school and within individual classrooms with teachers, staff, and students.
- Strategies for fostering diversity and inclusion within the school environment and classroom setting.
- Tips for how to deal with situations similar to what is presented in the case study.
- New policy information for the school (what is outlined in the one  page policy document; refer to the presentation requirements).
You may use Prezi or PowerPoint to design this presentation. Be sure the presentation meets these requirements:
- Includes ten to twelve (10-12) slides
- A title slide that includes your name, the professor’s name, course title, and date. Note: This slide is not included in the ten to twelve (10-12) slide requirement.
- Reference slide(s) that include at least four (4) peer-reviewed academic resources.
1) of the contributors to the education gap in the U.S. Explain how it came about and how it contributes to the education gap. Then offer at least two (2) potential ways to decrease the effects of this contributor to the education gap. Be sure to support your response with academic resources.
Identify a piece of education legislation that was recently passed at the local, state, or federal level (within the last two  years). Review the details of the legislation. Determine how your legislator/representative voted on the issue. Write a letter to the legislator, thanking him/her for voting as he/she did, and explaining why you agree with his/her position or voicing your displeasure with how he/she voted. Explain your reason(s) for disagreeing and outline your position in the letter. Be sure to provide a rationale to back up your position. Post the letter to the discussion forum.