GSE News Headlines

Stay connected to what GSE faculty and students are saying and writing about in the news.*

August 5, 2021


INTERIM DEAN CHRISTOPHER EDLEY, JR. joins a panel of experts, advocates and school district leaders to share how they think about and define resource equity in education."Equity refers to subgroup disparities in both outcomes on the one had, and opportunities or inputs on the other. It's a question of measuring the right things, looking at the subgroup differences and asking the question, what's driving those differences, and how can we do better?" Edley says. "It (equity) doesn't require identifying somebody who is the villain in creating inequity. It simply requires identifying the disparities that we believe are unacceptable and deciding that something must be done." Listen to the entire discussion, Budgeting for Educational Equity, Episode 1 – Introduction: Getting Our Resource Equity Bearings (00:21:47).


PROFESSOR JANELLE SCOTT contributes to a discussion on what life might be like for kids as schools ramp up for in-person learning. She notes that challenges facing education can't be understood separate from issues of housing security, healthcare, and food security. "My hope is that we come to see education as part of a broader ecology in which children and young people grow up in and how we can support and sustain young people throughout their educational trajectory," she tells Lynda Lopez from WCBS News Radio 880. Listen to the full show, Connect the Dots: Kids, COVID and the new normal (00:22:56).


PROFESSOR JANELLE SCOTT joins On Point to talk about the myriad of challenges of returning to in-person classes. There are still many questions about the health and safety of students, along with the social and emotional trauma students and teachers have experienced during the pandemic. Still, there are reasons to be hopeful, Scott says. "Schools, when they work well, are places where students are able to make sense of their world, in community. What I'm optimistic about that schools can provide, especially with the infusion of federal money, is the connection to community. ... We have ideas about how to deliver rigorous, culturally relevant curricula that can meet all students where they are and help them how to learn and live and play together in a multi-racial and democratic society. Our public schools are just this ideal space to rebuild better," she says. Listen to the full show, Inside The Push To Get Students Back To School (00:47:34).


The co-founders of Voces Y Manos (Voices and Hands), Yenifer Valey Gomez and GSE doctoral student MICHAEL BAKAL write in an op/ed in The San Francisco Chronicle that the United States, and Vice President Kamala Harris in particular, must do more than tell Guatemalans "don't come" to the United States. "Harris has a historic opportunity to support a new model of what government can look like in Central America — one that ensures citizens have access to jobs, clean water, education and health care," they write. Read the full op/ed, "Opinion: Telling Guatemalans, 'Don't come' won't work. Here's what Kamala Harris should do instead."


DEAN PRUDENCE L. CARTER discusses critical race theory on The Takeaway. Getting critical race theory out of schools has become a conservative rallying cry this year, despite the limited understanding that many on the right seem to have about the concept itself. But with laws banning it popping up in states nationwide, the strategy appears to be working. So at this disconcerting moment, what should American schoolchildren learn about race and history? And how should they feel about the United States of America as a whole? Read or listen (00:19:54) to the interview, "The Battle Over Critical Race Theory."


PROFESSOR BRUCE FULLER writes in a Chicago Tribune op/ed that President Joe Biden has an opportunity to make a long-term impact on educational equity with intentional funding of pre-K. "Biden is right to advance new federal dollars to equalize access to quality pre-K. Otherwise, public schools will fruitlessly paper over learning disparities that already surface in kindergarten. But Biden should incentivize local experiments, like Boston’s, first lifting poor youngsters, then integrating preschoolers across racial lines, nurturing a more inclusive and colorful circle time,” he writes. Read the full Chicago Tribune op/ed "To integrate schools, Biden should start with Pre-K Chicago Tribune.”


DEAN PRUDENCE L. CARTER joins On Point to discuss what standardized testing, if any, should look like during a worldwide health crisis. “I'm not suggesting that we don't test. I'm not an anti-tester. What I worry about is the extent to which we use tests for high stakes. We know that communities are already suffering. ... What does (the test) tell us? Bad data is not necessarily useful data,” she said. Listen to the full discussion with WBUR's On Point story "A Different Kind of COVID Test: Standardized Assessments During The Pandemic" (00:54:34).


PROFESSOR TRAVIS J. BRISTOL tells EdWeek that preservice teacher education programs need to do a better job at ensuring their programs are aligned with what is required for a state credential. “We’re placing an undue burden on candidates of color when the preparation programs aren’t giving students the necessary skills to pass this exam, and so these teacher candidates of color are now having to do extra work,” he said. Read the full EdWeek story "Most States Fail to Measure Teachers’ Knowledge of the ‘Science of Reading,’ Report Says.”


PROFESSOR BRUCE FULLER writes in an op/ed for Brown Center Chalkboard of the Brookings Institution that some teachers are taking note of the innovations from remote teaching and will likely use them when classes resume in-person. "It’s clear that many of them feel exhausted after long staring into that flickering grid of bedraggled faces. But we also discovered an uninvited yet living laboratory for creative teachers. Their pedagogical inventions­–deploying digital tools that spur lively conversation or offer personalized feedback in real time–have bubbled up from below, rather than mandated by district bureaucrats from above," Fuller writes. Read the full op/ed, "With digital savvy, teachers can enliven America’s classrooms.”


PROFESSOR TRAVIS J. BRISTOL discusses the importance of schools having BIPOC teachers with XQ Schools. "We have a very narrow definition of what it means to be a good teacher in our country and in many of our schools,” explained Bristol. “Part of broadening that definition means encapsulating someone who truly cares about their students because you can’t help students master the content if they don’t feel that you care for them. Read the full interview with XQ Schools "Why Representation Matters to BIPOC Teachers and Their Students.”


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2020 headlines


PROFESSOR JANELLE T. SCOTT tells The Los Angeles Times that it may be time for schools to re-think what grades measure. "Grading students right now is essentially grading their home resources, which includes not only the physical structure and availability of a space to ‘do’ school, but also adults who can support and supplement remote offerings," she said. Read the full Los Angeles Times story "Ds and Fs Surge, Attendance Slips Among L.A.'s Poorest Students Amid Distance Learning.”

PROFESSOR ZEUS LEONARDO in conversation with The Anti-Racist Project notes that although privilege may be a developmentally appropriate point of entry into discussing race and racism, white people will need to advance beyond confessing their own white privilege; and now is a good time to examine racist structures that are "robust, concrete and can sustain themselves despite critical self-reflection by white educators." Listen to the full interview.

DEAN PRUDENCE L. CARTER remarks on parents paying private tutors as schooling goes online. "We are going to have an exacerbation of massive inequality," she tells The Los Angeles Times. "And many children from economically vulnerable backgrounds who need access to tutors will very likely not get that support." Read the full Los Angeles Times story "Parents Are Paying Up To $100 an Hour for Tutors, Driving Demand and Worsening Inequities.”

PROFESSOR DEREK VAN RHEENEN tells ESPN that as a student, Jaylen Brown wasted no time at Berkeley and delved right in to his educational pursuits. "Jaylen wanted to be thrown to the wolves, intellectually, and to really fight to find his intellectual identity in his first term." Read the full ESPN story "The Celtics' Jaylen Brown is a player for this moment.”

PROFESSOR JANELLE T. SCOTT is interviewed by California magazine about inequities in K-12 distance learning; learning pods; and what parents need to think about to keep learning equitable. "I think any kind of institutional intervention where someone can be thinking about all of the goals people have right now is good. So, equity’s a goal, quality is a goal, safety is a goal. Any kind of hub that can hold all those goals constant, and weigh the costs and benefits in a way that parents can’t, could be really helpful right now. Parents are focused on their kid," she said. Read the full California magazine story "Will Distance Learning Make Education Inequality Worse?"

PROFESSOR FRANK C. WORRELL tells The San Francisco Chronicle that with the pandemic and wildfires in California, the anxiety is real. “As parents and teachers, we have got to be calm and communicate to kids that things are bad right now, but they will work out,” he said. “It sounds corny, but this is a time where you need in some sense to be touchy-feely.” Read the full San Francisco Chronicle story "‘Trauma on top of trauma’: Bay Area students under stress from pandemic face wildfire risks.”

PROFESSOR TRAVIS J. BRISTOL tells Prism that teachers of color are often looked to as the ones who also provide defacto mental health support to students of color. “Teachers are taught in their teacher preparation programs to deliver content, so missing from those schools are services around mental health,” he said. “Those Black teachers are expected to be the teacher and social worker and guidance counselor when they've only been trained around a certain set of skills. Those teachers lack the capacity to handle all of that because that's not how teacher preparation programs were organized.” Read the full Prism story "Black and brown school districts are struggling to retain teachers.”

PROFESSOR FRANK C. WORRELL remarks on a survey by The New York Times that found parents, irrespective of income or employment status, are concerned about their children's academic progress this year. “For many poor families and immigrant families, education really is the way out of poverty. Even parents who didn’t have college degrees are recognizing the importance of college in this economy, and wanting that for their kids,” he said. Read the full New York Times story "‘I’m Only One Human Being’: Parents Brace for a Go-It-Alone School Year.”

DEAN PRUDENCE L. CARTER shares her thoughts with The New York Times about what's happening with parents and learning pods. “There is a natural human tendency to want to blame it on someone else when this is truly a systemic problem. Parents are trying to do the best they can to survive and take care of their own personal situation because we really don’t have a government or leadership right now that’s trying to coordinate this across the nation,” she says. Read the full New York Times story "Why Parents, With ‘No Good Choice’ This School Year, Are Blaming One Another.”

PROFESSOR BRUCE FULLER tells the Los Angeles Times that LAUSD's tentative agreement with teachers is missing a crucial piece. "I see no specificity for how educators will connect with kids in working-class families who fail to log on with teachers,” he says. Read the full Los Angeles Times story "LAUSD, teachers reach tentative deal on remote learning.”

DEAN PRUDENCE L. CARTER tells NPR that learning pods put a spotlight on educational inequities. "I'm thinking a lot about how to minimize the impact of privilege, particularly class privilege, on children's learning," she says. Read the full NPR story "'Pandemic Pods' Raise Concerns About Equity.”

PROFESSOR JANELLE T. SCOTT tells EdSource that learning pods may not be so straightforward. "The idea (of learning pods) is fraught with complications that will be realized as people start to enact these micro-communities. I think the quality of instruction is a big one," she says. Read the full EdSource story "Parents worried about the fall plan 'learning pods' and micro-schools.”

PROFESSOR JANELLE T. SCOTT is a guest on KQED's Forum and shares her thoughts on the challenges and inequities with learning pods. "If parents are committed to forming these (learning) pods, I also think they have to keep a dual eye on how they can support the (school) district's ability to serve all students in equitable ways. I think that's our moral and ethical challenge as citizens," she says. Listen to the recorded Forum broadcast "Parents Turning to Tutors, “Pandemic Pods” to Help with Remote Learning.”

PROFESSOR ZACHARY PARDOS shares distance learning resources with KTVU-2 News. He encourages teachers to build community in online classes by arriving early to class and chatting with students. "I allow students to propose a question of the day and that's how we start the day," he says. Watch the full KTVU-2 News story "Experts look to make distance learning more effective.”

PROFESSOR JANELLE T. SCOTT notes the harsh reality of educational inequities in a story by Salon. "Districts with more resources are likely going to be able to avail themselves of higher quality instruction, and higher-income families are going to be much better positioned to support [remote] learning than less-resourced families who don't have the privilege of staying at home," she said. Read the full Salon story "As school closures continue, students could face long-term learning setback.”

PROFESSOR BRUCE FULLER tells Reuters federal aid for child care will be needed if schools hold in-person instruction. “This cost would be offset by the surge in labor supply and income, as parents flock back to work, helping to jump-start the economy,” he said. Read the full Reuters story "U.S. public schools, focus of debate on reopening, are unsung economic force.”

PROFESSOR TRAVIS J. BRISTOL talks with NPR's All Things Considered about anti-racist education. “I believe that to begin the work of forming a more perfect union requires us to enact anti-racist teaching, but it also requires us to prepare teachers to think about how to design anti-racist teaching. And that is what gives me hope,” he said. Read the full All Things Considered story "Effective Anti-Racist Education Requires More Diverse Teachers, More Training.”

ANNIE JOHNSTON, Coordinator of Public Programs and Principal Investigator of the GSE's College and Career Academy Support Network (CCASN), tells KQED's MindShift that the pandemic gives schools an opportunity for substantive change in how education is designed by including all stakeholders, including students traditionally on the margins. Read the full MindShift story "How Students Benefit from a School Reopening Plan Designed for Those at the Margins.”

PROFESSOR CHUNYAN YANG tells the Daily Californian about her UCOP grant that will help fund research on the mental health needs of Chinese American students during the pandemic. Read the full Daily Californian story "UC system awards $2M to CA COVID-19 researchers.”

PROFESSOR DEREK VAN RHEENEN talks with The Atlantic about Berkeley alumnus and Boston Celtics player Jaylen Brown, the first freshman to take Van Rheenen's course, Theoretical Foundations for the Cultural Studies of Sport and Education. “I think of Jaylen as a public scholar,” Van Rheenan said. “I think both the music and the sports world have dabbled in that notion of public scholars or public intellects who are stepping outside of their normal identity. It’s a responsibility some want to take on and others don’t, and some are better equipped to take it on and others aren’t. Jaylen has both. He has the responsibility, he feels that in his core, and he has the ability to articulate and make use of his platform.” Read the full story in The Atlantic, "‘He’s been about this’: Why Jaylen Brown driving 15 hours to protest is who he is.

PROFESSOR TRAVIS J. BRISTOL talks with EdWeek about the problems of assigning teachers of color only to classes with students of color. Read the full story "Rotating teachers through classes of different ability levels is better for students and prevents educator burnout.”

PROFESSOR TRAVIS J. BRISTOL tells California Schools, a publication of the California School Boards Association (CSBA), that successful retention of teachers of color means school principals and teachers collaborating on improving working conditions. “If principals aren’t creating positive working conditions for teachers, where teachers are getting feedback on their practice, where teachers are being treated like practitioners and experts. If those conditions aren’t present, then you will have teachers leaving,” he said. Read the full CSBA story "The Time is Now: Leaders, researchers advance teacher diversity as an imperative issue.”

PROFESSOR FRANK C. WORRELL tells KTVU-2 News that for school-age kids at home during the COVID-19 public health crisis who aren't used to homeschooling, sticking to a route Monday through Friday is important. Parents and guardians can also have their kids try educational apps, and virtual museum tours. See the KTVU-2 News story "Tips for homeschooling during coronavirus outbreak.”

PROFESSOR BRUCE FULLER'S latest research shows that learning disparities between African Americans and English-learners, compared with white and Asian students, failed to budge in Los Angeles after five years of additional funding. Read more on Berkeley News "New funding lifts L.A. schools, but disadvantaged students still lag.” In a related story, PROFESSOR TRAVIS J. BRISTOL comments on the findings, noting that resources need to focused on specific issues. Read more in the Daily Californian "Progressive funding for schools fails to alleviate racial achievement gap, study says.”

PROFESSOR TOLANI BRITTON tells KPIX5-TV that income sharing agreements as a way to pay for a post-secondary education has many unknowns, it’s not well regulated, and some critics say it's akin to indentured servitude. Read more on the KPIX5-TV news site  "San Francisco-Based Holberton Coding School Facing Fraud Accusations From Former Students.”

PROFESSOR TRAVIS J. BRISTOL tells ABC7 in Los Angeles, "If we're going to lower turnover for teachers of color we have to attend to improving the working conditions in their schools." Read more on the ABC7 Los Angeles news site, "Compton school looking at new ways to help African-American students."

PROFESSOR DEREK VAN RHEENEN says that it’s common for fans to deify professional athletes, so it's not unusual for some fans to be upset when negative aspects of an athlete’s life are reported, such as the 2003 rape allegation against the late NBA player Kobe Bryant. Read more in the Los Angeles Times, "For survivors of sexual assault, Kobe Bryant’s legacy is complicated."

PROFESSOR TRAVIS J. BRISTOL appreciates California Gov. Gavin Newsom's education budget because "it reminds the public that teaching is a profession and in order to become better in the profession, you have to spend time learning the craft of teaching." Read more in the Sacramento Bee, "Teacher bonuses and classroom prep: Inside Newsom’s $900 million plan for California schools."

PROFESSOR TOLANI BRITTON comments on the topic of free college as proposed by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. In the short term, "capacity is going to be a big issue," Britton tells the San Francisco Chronicle's political reporter John Wildermuth.  "President Bernie Sanders: Here’s what it would mean for California.”

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2019 headlines

PROFESSOR TRAVIS J. BRISTOL'S project to increase the number of male teachers of color (Compton Male Teachers of Color Network) is featured in a KQED News radio story, “ 'I Feel That I’m Needed': An Effort to Keep Male Teachers of Color in the Classroom.”

At a day-long forum hosted by the GSE and Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), Chancellor Christ and other UC leaders said they are ready to end SAT and ACT scores in the college admissions process. Read the coverage in the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

PROFESSOR LISA GARCÍA BEDOLLA, commenting to LAist.com about the rise of Latinx political power after California's Prop. 187, says, "Everyone had a clear sense that this was a moment of racial threat. That it was a Latino threat, not just anti-immigrant threat." Read more.

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Community Development Innovation Review includes the article “The Critical Role for Young People and Schools in Resiliency Planning,” authored by DEBORAH MCKOY, AMANDA EPPLEY, AND SHIRL BUSS of the Center for Cities + Schools (CC+S). The center is an interdisciplinary initiative between the GSE and the College of Environmental Design. Read more

Doctoral student DARRYL DIPTEE leads the Sonic Eyewear Project, a technology that enables people who are blind or visually impaired to use echolocation to better navigate their surroundings. It won 2nd place in the Big Ideas contest (Hardware for Good category). Read more.

PROFESSOR JANELLE SCOTT, commenting to the San Francisco Chronicle on Salesforce's annual grants to the San Francisco and Oakland school districts, now totaling $66 million to date, says: "This is not just parents or local businesses contributing. ... These are big dollars dedicated to moving public education policy or curriculum in the imagination of the donors." Read more.

PROFESSOR MICHAEL RANNEY talks to Philosophy Talk radio about Changing Minds on Climate Change. His research explores the nature of explanation and understanding. Read more.

DEAN PRUDENCE L. CARTER is featured in an hour-long discussion on WBUR’s On Point Radio regarding the achievement gap. Carter notes that the opportunity gap is impacted by macro-level policies to micro-level classroom activities and curriculum, and together shape the entire constellation of a student's educational success. And it's disproportionate by race, ethnicity and class. Listen in.

DEAN PRUDENCE L. CARTER'S piece, “Poor Schools Need to Encompass More Than Instruction to Succeed,” which appeared in Room for Debate (New York Times), is used in a creative activity by high school librarian Jacquelyn Whiting when teaching about invisible bias. Read more.

Doctoral student MICHAEL BAKAL writes an op/ed on immigration in Truthout, on Guatemala's capacity to provide basic safety and public health services for refugees after the United States began requiring immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador and possibly other countries to process their asylum claims in Guatemala (aka safe third-country agreement). Read more.

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