Youth Today: Why does public education require public schools?

“Public education is the most important investment America makes in its future, a tangible expression of our values and aspirations for society. Schools profoundly influence how students understand themselves, the roles and responsibilities they are expected to fulfill, and the country they will collectively create. A vision for public education is an essential touchstone for aligning strategies and actions to purpose and mission.”

Youth Today: Why is a book about love the latest casualty in the book ban culture wars?

How could a book called “Love in the Library” — literally a book about two people with a love for reading discovering love — be the latest casualty (or near casualty) in the war of words over what is readable?

Recently, NPR posted a story entitled “Scholastic wanted to license her children’s book — if she cut out the part about ‘racism’”. The story is about how author Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s Japanese American grandparents met in a library in an internment camp during World War II and discovered “improbable joy” amidst terrible injustice. Requesting an edit to the author’s note, Scholastic’s email referenced a “politically sensitive” moment for its market and a worry that the note’s reference to “the deeply American tradition of racism” “goes beyond what some teachers are willing to cover with the kids in their elementary classrooms.”

Youth Today: South Dakota Afterschool Program Shows the Power of Authentically Responding to Community Needs

Brian Rinker’s recent story on the huge unmet demand for afterschool programs among Native American families was sobering, but not surprising. Native American families, despite their incredible strengths, sit at the unfortunate intersection of three systemic predictors of limited opportunities and poor outcomes: race, socioeconomic status and geography. All of these factors contribute to the fact that 45% of Native American families whose children were not in an afterschool program said they would have enrolled them if one had been available.

Youth Today: The Power of Us Comes From Fully Being Us and Fully Seeing Them

The Power of Us Survey by the American Institutes for Research is slated to close at the end of March. This rigorously-designed national youth workforce survey will give us the quality of data needed to better understand the depth and breadth of staff shortages and diversification challenges across a wide range of youth serving fields.   Equally […]

Youth Today: Adults Need Calming Rooms, Too

Each month, when I sit down to write my Remix Column, I scan the last month of Youth Today news stories. I was pleased when the story at the top of the page was Zen Dens, Peace Rooms, Chill-Out Spaces. Brian Rinker’s story carefully documents how schools and out-of-school time programs are creating staffed, voluntary sanctuaries where any student can decide to go to cool down or recalibrate before returning to class.

Youth Today: The Value of Unbounded Resources and Relationships

It’s hard to find an educator — whether based in a school or a community — who doesn’t agree that resources and relationships are critical to youth success. Research clearly shows that more is better—– both in terms of number and diversity — so long as the inputs are positive. But who defines positive? UNBOUNDED […]