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SmartBrief’s Education Extra Credit

From citizen-ready students to the STEM teacher shortage to education in prison, this week's Education Extra Credit rounds up fascinating, curious or fun bits of news.

3 min read


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SmartBrief’s weekly roundup of notable education stories that didn’t fit our newsletters’ parameters. 

Do we want students to be job-ready or citizen-ready? This opinion piece points to the latter, noting that a growing embrace of “I” instead of “we” isn’t working out well for the US. It’s a thought-provoking, (mostly) nonpartisan dive into how America is getting in its own way during this pandemic-provided opportunity to remake our education system

“Why would you waste your talents on teaching?” This is not what college students need to hear when our K-12 schools so desperately need STEM teachers

Why extending education’s reach into prisons is vital. Many states are recognizing the benefits — such as reducing recidivism and making the incarcerated job-ready — of offering education opportunities to youth and adult prisoners, and colleges are helping too. (SmartBrief recently wrote about one formerly jailed man’s efforts to employ people released from prison, as well as a program in a Georgia school district that tries to help high-school students graduate and keep them out of jail.) Offering a token education in prison isn’t enough, though.  

They did what?! I’m noticing a growing number of stories about teacher dress codes. (Apparently book bans, subject-matter censorship and public online lesson plans aren’t enough.)

This story breaks my heart. A Florida teacher has been to the hospital three times after three different outbursts from the same student who has special needs. Violence in school is nothing new, but it’s a growing problem, and solutions are hard. One private school company has found success with best practices, and the International Child And Youth Care Network offers tips. Others say it will require more staff trained to handle situations. If you’ve been hurt by a student — or can share tips for handling such problems — drop me a line.

More education extras:

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


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