Education Headline Roundup
After a break in formatting for our 100th episode, we’re back and bringing you the education headlines that are grabbing our attention this week. Our stories:
First, an update to our ongoing discussion of America’s literacy crisis and the science of reading, from the AP: Georgia leaders propose $11.3M to improve reading as some lawmakers seek a more aggressive approach | AP News
The Georgia Department of Education has proposed a $11.3 million budget to fund literacy initiatives, including literacy coaches and a screening test to identify students with dyslexia. Some lawmakers say the department is not doing enough to comply with a literacy law passed in 2023 and would like to see a more aggressive approach, as Georgia has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the country. Georgia joins Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, and more than a dozen other states that included literacy initiatives in their 2024 legislative sessions. For more of our coverage on the science of reading and the three-cueing approach, see Episode 96 (Piaget) of our show, and check out APM’s Sold a Story podcast for in-depth analysis.
More book bannings in a story out of Maryland: New Carroll County school policy restricts ‘sexually explicit’ books – The Baltimore Banner
A new policy at Carroll County Public Schools restricts “sexually explicit” library books and textbook materials. The policy was passed after months of campaigning by the conservative parent group Moms for Liberty, who challenged dozens of books they claim are inappropriate. The new policy defines “sexually explicit” content as “unambiguously describing, depicting, showing, or writing about sex or sex acts in a detailed or graphic manner.” The policy does not apply to materials used in the health curriculum.
And finally, a listener brought to our attention a developing story in Ohio: Student Interactions with Peace Officers Model Curriculum | Ohio Department of Education and Workforce
Sections of the Ohio Revised Code that went into effect this past October after the Ohio Department of Education was restructured require all public schools to teach students in grades 9-12 about their interactions with peace officers. The Ohio Department of Education & Workforce (formerly ODE) is developing a draft model curriculum in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
From ODEW’s website: “The model curriculum provides instruction on proper interactions with peace officers during traffic stops and other in-person encounters. Ohio law identifies four content requirements for this model curriculum: Information on which individuals are peace officers and their duties and responsibilities; Questioning and detention laws, including any that require proof of identity and consequences for failure to comply with the laws; A person’s rights during an interaction with a peace officer; Proper interactions for interacting with peace officers.” Listen to the full episode for our discussion about this model curriculum under development (we have lots of questions). If you are a teacher who wants to get in touch with ODEW concerning this model curriculum, contact ODEW here: LearningandInstructionalStrategies@education.ohio.gov
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Our episode topic this week: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a literacy program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five (regardless of family income). From humble Appalachian roots to global superstardom, Dolly Parton’s journey sparkles with rags-to-riches grit and musical magic. But beyond the glitter of rhinestones and chart-topping hits lies a deeper passion – literacy. Inspired by what Parton considers to be her father’s unfulfilled dreams due to his inability to read, Dolly created the Imagination Library, gifting millions of books to children worldwide. Learn about this program and its lasting impact on literacy around the world.
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