Category Archives: Education

Education & Equity – ADR Advisors

Hear from our distinguished ADR advisors on what to expect and what is needed in education today. Their experience in education, diversity, and social justice makes their perspectives invaluable.

Elwood Watson

1.The current political, social and cultural climate calls for — in fact, demands —
the inclusion of ethnic, studies programs across disciplines and departments from k-12 as well as throughout higher education. Th

e same holds true for social justice and equity initiatives. Fierce resistance from right-wing politicians, state legislatures and a few other conservative segments of society notwithstanding, such issues, without question, more important now than ever.”

~ Dr. Elwood Watson: Professor of History and African American Studies at East Tennessee State U. His specialties include Post World War II U.S. History, African American History, Gender Studies, and Popular Culture.
Dr. Gail Hayes
ADR Advisor Dr. Gail Hayes

2. “It is our responsibility to teach in a way that reaches every child, regardless of background.” This quote by Clarice Clash of Tucson should resonate with us all. Ms Clash said this in response to one her team members telling her that “students aren’t arriving with necessary prerequisites to teach grade-level ELA standards.” I agree with Ms Clash and believe that the education system must now find a way to shift to meet the needs of all students.
After speaking with several educators from different regions in our nation, I discovered that many are planning to start private institutions where they can better focus more on the needs of not only the students, but also the family. This is challenging but they strongly believe that it can be done, and they are committed to this end.”
~ Dr. Gail Hayes: Thought Leader and Race Relations Consultant who is a Bridge between races, genders, generations, and political parties because of her ability to paint pictures with words that promote understanding.

Advisory Board - Marc Brenman
ADR Advisor Marc Brenman

3. “The most disadvantaged students under the pandemic regime of out of class learning are those with disabilities and those who are limited English proficient. Much has been made of the digital divide and the number and percent of students who don’t have access to broadband and good high speed Internet connections. While it is appropriate to focus attention on IT issues and the digital divide during the public school closures, there are measures that can be taken to deliver education in addition to using the Internet for laptops and desktops. These include maximizing education over mobile devices and gamification, especially since that’s how a great many young people today receive and transmit information and spend time, and since almost all households today have cellphones; using good old educational TV, since almost all households in the US have TVs; using traditional homeschooling methods; using old-fashioned lessons by mail; and using radio, as used to be done in rural America and in Australia. Some solutions are ready-made and available off the shelf, such as mobile device maximized foreign language education applications. The current crisis provides an opportunity to rethink some old-fashioned aspects of education, and substitute gamification. This is the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity. It encourages users to engage in desired behaviors by showing a path to mastery and by taking advantage of the psychological predisposition to engage in play games.

A problem that hasn’t been solved, and which technology isn’t going to solve, is the fact that about a third of K-12 students aren’t even bothering to log on to their school sites to participate in distance learning. This figure far exceeds the gap caused by the digital divide. There will probably be bad long-term consequences for student achievement due to the lack of imagination by educators. A bigger, different question is what are people learning under the pandemic. Some demonstrators are learning the virtues of mob rule as a form of civic participation. Overall, we should all be learning that life is contingent and that nature bats last. Students of public administration may be learning that lack of national leadership is extremely harmful. Business students may be learning that everything they learned in Econ 101 can be tossed into a cocked hat.”
~ Marc Brenman: Served as Executive Director of Washington State Human Rights Commission and held positions with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education.

Beth Lynne
ADR Advisor Dr. Beth Lynne

4. “Across the nation, governors, state education commissioners, school boards, and, reluctantly, teachers and parents are discussing and planning how to open schools.

I think, regardless of method of delivery, I know how schools will open.
With rage. And fear.

There has always been some amount of frustration in the schools — not understanding concepts, unhappy home life, school bullying, mean teacher, mean students, poor teaching, poor teaching/learning conditions — on the part of both teachers and students. And there have been tragedies in some schools, such as school shootings. But now, rage and fear are escalating. That puts children at risk. More angry people = more incidents/tragedies in schools.

Children, even teenagers, copy and/or reflect the adult-in-the-room’s behavior. If the adult shows anger, students react to it, either by being angry or tensing up in fear. This is true at home and at school.

As I scroll through social media posts, I flinch. People started out angry over not being able to buy toilet paper, then they became angry over people hoarding toilet paper. This escalated to not being able to go out of the house, then anger and fear over those who were going out to do their business. Then, for the last couple of months, it’s been masks and social distancing (and other things that need their own article), all overarched by politics, which really have no place in deciding what is safest (because the first tenet of opening schools is to keep children safe; an eight-year-old doesn’t know from politics, but they know what fear is). And it’s not a civil conversation either. It’s “People should wear masks in public” and then there is an explosion. “You are stupid, (insert derogatory name here).” “No, you’re (spelled “your”) stupid, (you something-about-political-belief).” The weepy announcement about unfollowing/blocking all those who do not share the same beliefs follows, and there we are, setting an example for students who are gearing up to go to their diverse schools.

In person, people are going into Wal-Mart without masks and arguing about it — pulling guns on each other. People spit on each other in stores and huff on the produce, just to monger fear. Until we adults can get a handle on our behavior, schools need to stay closed. Not because of a virus, but because of the total absence of civility in our behavior toward each other.”
~ Dr. Beth Lynne: Held positions as an elementary teacher, middle school science and math teacher, special education teacher, high school English teacher, and vice principal.

Education in the Pandemic – by Katie Schwartz

One School’s Experience

Imagine  that literally overnight, everyone in your profession all over the world was told that your work would have to be done very differently, totally online, starting the next day. No-one had preparation, many of the recipients of your work did not have devices, and many were traumatized by the change.  In addition, many of the professionals, who were to be working from home, also were trying to deal with their family’s needs.

Welcome to the world of education today, where teachers, support personnel and administrators are creatively trying in new ways to meet the needs of so many.

Continue reading Education in the Pandemic – by Katie Schwartz

Educating Tomorrow’s Spenders – by Dr. Beth Lynne

Advisor Beth Lynne
Beth Lynne

College loans, credit cards, mortgages—they all add up to a lack of disposable income, and worse yet, with the possible social security shortfall predicted by the year 2034, no extra funds to put away for retirement, so today’s high school students run the risk of not having enough money to live on through their golden years. Even worse, they may find it difficult to support themselves and their eventual families. It is difficult to predict what will happen to our economy, but if today’s high school graduates learn to arm themselves financially, they can live a comfortable life with a soft monetary cushion.

Continue reading Educating Tomorrow’s Spenders – by Dr. Beth Lynne

Education and Moral Values – by Sridhar Rangaswamy

Education helps in enlightening our minds and intellect and makes us think differently. Education together with sound moral values and righteous behavior can lead the muse of an excellent superstructure. Education may be a steppingstone to success. It helps us connect and form a bond with individuals from different walks of life.

I come from a rustic that places emphasis and prominence on education and helping others to grow and develop to their full potential. I try and be unique and distinctive and step into the domain and realm of unknown, a path few embark upon. The Tech field, where I work every now and then, can be very dry, dull, and boring. So I dabble in fun things and comedy to boost and invigorate the environment, making the concept of learning and teaching more enjoyable and pleasurable.

Continue reading Education and Moral Values – by Sridhar Rangaswamy

Parents and Teachers as Possible Partners – by Dr. Beth Lynne

Advisor Beth Lynne
Dr. Beth Lynne

I worked as an educator for twenty-five years in NJ until I retired a couple years ago. The entire district in was a low socio-economic community. One of the major complaints teachers made was that parents didn’t care about their kids. Once I became a school disciplinarian, I found that parents felt the same about teachers—they were just there for the paycheck. Imagine that! If one would believe both parents and teachers, then who did care about the kids and why was there this disconnect between parents and teachers?

One thing I could piece together was that the parents were fierce about their children. If their kid didn’t have the correct gear or the child’s cell phone was taken or someone was picking on their child, they were at the school demanding action. So it was not accurate that they didn’t care. They cared; it was just that education was not their number one concern. It was the perceived role of the school in the health, welfare, and rights of their child that was paramount.

Continue reading Parents and Teachers as Possible Partners – by Dr. Beth Lynne

Un-Bias Guide for Educators

DEBORAH LEVINEThe Un-Bias Guide for Educators is based on the Matrix Model Management System which embeds the storytelling principles of cultural anthropology in diversity training. The Un-Bias Guide for Educators is a combination text / workbook customized for high school students, teachers, and administrators. The Un-Bias Guide is an innovative tools for maximizing awareness, boosting sensitivity, and developing competence at a time of intensified biases, both conscious and unconscious. The Un-Bias methodology is interactive on both an individual and group level.

CLICK on the video for details from award-winning author Deborah Levine…

WHAT IS THE UN-BIAS CHALLENGE?

“Today, high school students, more than ever before, seem to have their ‘cyber’ finger on the pulse of society. Unfortunately, the assumed superior foundation uses brick n’ mortar from all resources regardless to it’s accuracy, reliability and accountability. Ultimately, the onslaught will destroy credibility. Who does one trust? How can one vet the truth? Are we desensitized from feeling? How do we act and react when given a true or false? At such a formative and productive age to grow, can you determine and assess? Are you aware? What do you believe? Do you have the ability to communicate and ask what you want to know? Only by having factual knowledge can you process and move forward. The steps taken are a distinction from opinion. An opinion is not a fact. An implication is not an application. What you think at one phase in your life is not what you know in another. Your success depends on your skills.”
~ Honorable Samuel Verniero PhD: Appellate Board Member at Selective Service System

Continue reading Un-Bias Guide for Educators

Cheer Not Sneer: Black Gen Z Success – by Elwood Watson

Anyone familiar with the rituals of college life knows that we are in the midst of college acceptance and rejection season. Recently, Lamar High School student Micheal Brown of Houston, Texas made national headlines when he gained acceptance to all 20 colleges and universities he applied to, including four Ivy League institutions: Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania. Stanford, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins and 13 other top-notch colleges and universities said “welcome,” as well.

The story doesn’t stop there. Each institution awarded him a full scholarship – a remarkable accomplishment, indeed! Videos of the young Brown yelling ecstatically as he was surrounded by equally ecstatic friends upon learning the wonderful news made headlines across the globe.

Continue reading Cheer Not Sneer: Black Gen Z Success – by Elwood Watson

Making Dago and the World A Better Place, One Child at a Time – by Brett Weiss

DAGO, KENYA

In 2009, I spent about two weeks in the tiny village of Dago, Kenya and came away determined to do what I could to improve the lives of these hard-working, incredibly kind but extremely poor people. I decided I wanted to make the world a better place, one child at a time. Most of us think about how we can make the world a better place but we all struggle with just how to do it. The challenge is daunting.

Dago is a village in southwestern Kenya of 3,000 people where the average family income is less than $2 per day. They live in tiny mud huts with no plumbing. There has been no electricity but this year the school, orphanage and a few homes have obtained limited electricity.  AIDS is a major problem and most people will have little to no medical care in their life. Average life expectancy is early forties. Most clothes are hand-me-downs from charities and food insecurity is a major problem. The average person has only four years of education and few have ever gone to high school because the government does not pay any of the costs of high school.

Continue reading Making Dago and the World A Better Place, One Child at a Time – by Brett Weiss

The First 1,000 Days Shape a Lifetime – by Robin M. Cayce, Ed.D.

Every child deserves the opportunity to have a healthy and successful life – and the first 1,000 days are the most crucial. Across the state of Tennessee, 13 innovation grants funded by Governor and Mrs. Haslam were chosen as a part of the statewide “Building Strong Brains Initiative” to promote public awareness about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs are caused by traumatic experiences and severe neglect or toxic stress, which can damage the connections being built in a child’s brain in the earliest years of life.

Continue reading The First 1,000 Days Shape a Lifetime – by Robin M. Cayce, Ed.D.

Volkswagen, E week, and Engineering the Future – by Deborah Levine

Engineers from regional corporations, agencies, universities, schools, and professional associations, came together to kick off Engineers Week 2017 at The Chattanoogan conference center. E-Week is designed to help the world understand what engineering is and how it impacts us at multiple levels: from cars to bridges, electric blankets to electrical grids, or farms to supermarkets. Whether chemical, electrical, mechanical, or civil, engineers shape our lives.

Continue reading Volkswagen, E week, and Engineering the Future – by Deborah Levine