Habla Educationese?

By Feliza Ortiz-Licon, Ed.D., Senior Director of K–16 Education, NCLR

Dia de los Ninos 3Every U.S. educator is bilingual.

Some of them are fortunate enough to speak English and a foreign language, but at a minimum they all speak “Educationese,” the term commonly associated with the broad field of education.  Between buzz phrases like “cradle through college,” “college and career readiness,” and all the “gaps” (achievement gap, opportunity gap, gender gap) and an assortment of ever-evolving acronyms such as EL (English learner), SpEd (special education), NCLB (No Child Left Behind), and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), the conversations tend to be limited to a narrow pool of educators.

Despite speaking a common language, educators still have a hard time communicating across the K–16 educational pipeline.  The experiences and challenges that shape each transitional point along the pipeline have created an incoherent understanding of the needs of students along their educational journey.  Continue reading

Teaching and Learning — A Principal’s Perspective

By John De La Cruz, Principal, George I. Sanchez Charter School
(This was first posted to the Latino School Leaders Blog, an NCLR Project)

George I. Sanchez students

I don’t know if there has ever been a time when public schools only had to concern themselves with teaching and learning academic content but I can say with certainty that now is definitely not that time. At my inner city charter school everyday brings new challenges that have nothing to do with academic content.

If you were a principal at my school, a typical day on for you might look something like this: You start the morning dealing with some high school students who were brought in reeking of the marijuana they smoked on their way to school that morning. Shortly thereafter you deal with some middle-school students who were bullying each other because of something that was posted to Facebook. Just as that is resolved, you are made aware that the young lady from yesterday’s bullying incident is having a crisis and has indicated to staff that she is contemplating suicide. While addressing this issue, it is brought to your attention that a pregnant girl in 10th grade is possibly experiencing contractions and needs medical attention. Efforts to reach any of the parents or family members of any the students involved in these incidents have not been met with success. Phone numbers that were provided to the school are no longer active or are answered by the wrong party. Therefore, the responsibility of what to do with those students falls squarely on your shoulders.

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