Teaching Tolerance magazine examines school equity
School policies and practices that can stigmatize and harm disadvantaged students – whether in the classroom or the lunchroom – are examined in the new issue of Teaching Tolerance magazine.
School policies and practices that can stigmatize and harm disadvantaged students – whether in the classroom or the lunchroom – are examined in the new issue of Teaching Tolerance magazine, released today by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The cover story of the Fall 2014 issue, “Lunch Lines,” explores cafeteria practices that stigmatize low-income students receiving free or reduced-price lunch. The article highlights the results of a groundbreaking study in San Francisco that drew national attention to the practice of having separate lunch lines for students who pay and those who get subsidized lunches.
“We rarely intend to hurt our students and families living in poverty,” said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. “But too many school policies have exactly that impact, and they make it harder to ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to learn, to graduate and to succeed.”
As the cover story demonstrates, thoughtful policies and practices can help ensure students get the help they need. After a pilot study made lunch line policies in three San Francisco schools more equitable, participation in the National School Lunch Program increased by 58 percent at those schools.
This issue also examines equity questions raised by “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies in schools. As more schools adopt policies that encourage students to bring computers, tablets and other devices to class, many educators are concerned some students will be left out or fall behind.
The impact of online courses on at-risk students, including English language learners, is investigated in “404 Error: Teacher Not Found.” As schools turn to these courses as an inexpensive option for keeping struggling students on the path to graduation, critics worry that at-risk students may be shortchanged by easier online courses.
The magazine also looks at the growing number of social justice-minded librarians fostering inclusive school environments by promoting materials that represent diverse identities and experiences. Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, also shares her thoughts on the upcoming teacher’s guide Teaching Tolerance is producing to support the use of her book in classrooms.
Teaching Tolerance magazine, published three times a year, is the nation’s leading journal serving educators on diversity issues. It is distributed free of charge to more than 410,000 educators nationwide. Readers can subscribe to an iPad version, with extra digital content.