Extra Credit: Students on violence, voices on curriculum, spelling’s a sport! - SmartBrief

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Extra Credit: Students on violence, voices on curriculum, spelling’s a sport!

3 min read


education extra credit june 10 2022

Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post/ Getty Images

Photo: These green shoes were the only way doctors could identify 10-year-old Uvalde, Texas, shooting victim Maite Yuleana Rodriguez.


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Please, just read these. Our students are our future leaders — and plenty of them have more savvy and smarts than some of our current leaders. These students have been through school shootings; let’s listen closely to them about their experiences. These students from Uvalde, Texas, wrote letters to legislators. This first-grade teacher shares a video of her “active shooter intruder” backpack with tourniquets, bulletproof plates, a metal bat and other useful items. She makes sure her students know she will do everything in her power to protect them. And I dare you to get to all the way to the end of actor, gun owner and Uvalde, Texas, native Matthew McConaughey’s speech about gun control at the White House without tearing up. 

education extra credit june 10 2022
Tom Hermans/ Unsplash

A couple different curriculum questions. The bulk of the country gives each school district, and sometimes each school, the ability to choose its curriculum. Fifteen states have statewide curriculum recommendations, and some of those allow districts to override the selections. The Council of Chief State School Officers has gathered some states into its High-Quality Instructional Materials and Professional Development Network with the idea of creating top-notch, culturally responsive curriculum used across all states that meets states’ standards. It’s designed to save teachers the headache of finding their own resources and to ensure rich material that encourages critical thinking and grade-level work. Next, take a look at states like Colorado, where the State Board of Education is flouting a 2019 law requiring K-12 public-school students to learn in history classes about the life experiences of people of color and the LGBTQ community. The board has removed references to these groups from the final revision of its state social studies standards. Finally, a North Carolina journalist weighs in on the concept of “parents’ rights” versus actual constitutional rights that haven’t been upheld for some time — despite available funds. 

Child care workers were more likely to die of COVID-19 in 2020 than typical Americans, with 38 deaths for every 100,000 workers. It’s not clear what the correlation is, especially since pre-K-12 teachers died at a rate of 15 per 100,000. But some believe it may be because many child care centers remained opened, while many pre-K-12 schools closed. The study examined the deaths in 46 states of 55 million working Americans in dozens of occupations.

Spelling is a sport! This story about the Scripps National Spelling Bee appeared on USA Today’s sports page. Go, Team Education! Read about the never-before-needed spell-off to decide the winner. Congratulations, Harini Logan!

Additional interesting education takes

Cool, interactive CDC tool shows how to improve your classroom’s air quality. (CDC)

Life has been far from normal for this year’s high-school seniors. (EdSurge) 

Newspaper learns firsthand whether “ethnic studies” lessons “indoctrinate” students. (Sahan Journal, Minnesota)


Florida Gov. DeSantis’ “all-out assault” intends to make universities stay in line too. (University Business)

Applications being accepted for the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers program. (National Science Foundation)


Diane Benson Harrington is an education and leadership writer at SmartBrief. Reach out to her via email, Twitter or LinkedIn


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