Education Week - October 28, 2015 - (Page 21)

BEYOND BIAS The data also suggest that schools with a high proportion of low-income students serve as a magnet for the military. Take the example of two similarly sized high schools in two Hartford suburbs: Avon and Bloomfield. Army recruiters visited Avon High, where only 5 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, four times during the 2011-12 school year. Yet at Bloomfield High, where nearly half the students qualify for such assistance, recruiters made more than 10 times as many visits. Other examples of school-based recruiting efforts challenge widely held beliefs about equality of opportunity. If we are serious about promoting higher education to all students, why do some youths see far more khaki and camouflage than college brochures? There's another reason to be alarmed about the largely unregulated presence of military recruiters in education settings. Research shows that teenagers are at a stage in their development when they are impulsive, apt to engage in risky behavior, and uniquely susceptible to persuasion. Hence, a number of participants in our study framed their opposition to school military recruiting as a form of child advocacy. The leading association of public-health scholars has also endorsed this narrative. In 2012, citing the latest neuroscience research and underlining how the health risks of military service disproportionately impact the youngest re- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Elizabeth Kaufmann Koenig Countering Stereotypes in School " Most public officials are unaware of the extent of the military's presence in education settings." Titled "People Fleeing Paris," this watercolor by Elizabeth Kaufmann is from her sketchbook, which she kept while she was a teenager living in Nazi-occupied France. Unearthing the Humanity Beneath Stereotypes In the early 1990s, while working as a young researcher at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, Alexandra Zapruder came across children's diary entries written during the Holocaust. Ten years later she would publish a collection of those entries titled Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust (Yale University Press). The recent publication of the book's second edition follows decades of Zapruder's travels across the United States and around the world, speaking with students and educators about the diaries. Of this period, she notes, "I found myself in the thick of [an] emerging and changing [education] field" awash with "generalities," "vague lessons about 'tolerance,' " and "misguided and punitive methods to teach history." For its yearlong bias series, Education Week sat down with Zapruder to discuss how these children's accounts of genocide resonate today as a powerful counterweight to dehumanizing stereotypes. In an video interview, Zapruder noted: "Racism, and bias, and prejudice and stereotyping are ways of reducing people. Jews are this way. Blacks are this. Irish are this. It's reductive. You ignore their humanity. And that's what's dangerous about it ... that you don't see another person for the human being that they are." PAGE 22 > is noted, alongside its well-known impact on African-Americans. The blind spots of some Progressive-era activists toward minorities and immigrants are now given appropriate and contextualized coverage. The use of the atomic bomb on Japan is discussed without imposed value judgment. Coverage of the Reagan movement and New Conservatism is likewise notably more neutral. None of these changes amounts to "triumphalism." Slavery, war, poverty, and minorities' struggles for rights and recognition are in no way downplayed. They are simply contextualized, and presented without a biased tone of presentistic judgment. The question going forward is whether critics on all sides will approach the revised 2015 framework with an open mind-or whether they will cling to preconceived attacks in which they have already ideologically invested. Will the right still assume the document forms part of a dark conspiracy against American patriotism? Will the left treat the mere fact of revision as a shameful cavein to right-wing pressure, insisting-contrary to the facts-that "American exceptionalism" is suddenly the framework's dominant thrust? The College Board has made an admirable effort to thread the needle: responding to legitimate criticism while avoiding excessive overcompensation. The 2015 revision offers much to satisfy those who approach the past without a present agenda. Educators should seek neither to attack the past nor to glorify or sanitize it. They should seek to explain historical content in as balanced, neutral, and contextual a manner as possible. The College Board, to its lasting credit, has made dramatic strides toward that ideal in its revised framework. n JEREMY A. STERN is an independent historian and history education consultant. To watch the full video, please visit Here is an excerpt from a diary entry by Yitskhok Rudashevski, age 15, July 8, 1941. He and his family perished in the Ponary massacre in 1943, in what is now Lithuania. Courtesy of Sarah Kalivatsch to American national identity.) In reality, the revisions were never meant to swap the old version's troubling presentism and excessively hostile tone for a triumphalist, nowarts celebration of American glories. The clear purpose was to strive for balanced and neutral coverage, not to replace one bias with another. The complexities and often-dark realities of the past are in no way concealed or glossed over in the revision: They are simply presented less judgmentally, in better context, with more attention to the varied perspectives of all historical actors. The result deserves support from scholars and educators across the ideological spectrum. Some broad snapshots of key changes, in light of my own past published concerns: The 2015 framework no longer seems to single out the British North American colonies as uniquely immoral. While in no way concealing negative realities, it contextualizes slavery and conflict with Native Americans more broadly. The rise of comparatively egalitarian societies and representative political institutions in the colonies-key background to the American Revolution and America's historically crucial political innovations-are now given due weight. The reasons for American objections to British taxation in the 1760s and 1770s are now discussed, clearly contradicting the misconception that the revolutionaries considered all taxation inherently evil. The Jacksonian rise of almost unprecedented (for the time) universal white-male suffrage now appears explicitly. The benefits and costs of industrialization and urbanization are notably balanced, without downplaying the very real burdens of urban poverty and labor exploitation. The views and aims of settlers going west are properly discussed, in addition to the dire consequences such settlement had for increasingly besieged native peoples. Sharecropping's ensnarement of poor white labor Swikar Patel for Education Week SETH KERSHNER is a freelance writer and researcher. SCOTT HARDING is an associate professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Together, they have written extensively on the military's involvement in education. Their book Counter-Recruitment and the Campaign to Demilitarize Public Schools was published in September by Palgrave Macmillan. " I'm looking through the window and see before me the first Vilna Jews with badges. It was painful to see how people were staring at them. The large piece of yellow material on their shoulders seemed to be burning me, and for a long time I Yitskhok Rudashevski and his parents in could not put on the badge. ... an undated family photograph. I was ashamed to appear in them on the street, not because it would be noticed that I am a Jew, but because I was ashamed of what they were doing to us. Now we pay no attention to the badges. We are not ashamed of our badges. Let those be ashamed who have hung them on us. Let them serve as a searing brand to every conscious German who attempts to think about the future of his people." EDUCATION WEEK | October 28, 2015 | | 21

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - October 28, 2015

Education Week - October 28, 2015
Study Paints Chaotic View of Testing
In L.A., Tensions Rise Over Teacher Investigations
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: ‘Ephemeral’ Apps Put School Leaders in Tricky Spots
Unequal Access to Advanced Classes Targeted
Fighting Subtle Bias
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Oak Foundation Aiding Those With ‘Learning Differences’
Long-Term Study to Track Adolescent Brain Development
Blogs of the Week
In Minneapolis, a Targeted Effort To Bolster Black Boys
School-Parent Linkages Chip Away at Cultural Barriers
Fate of Programs Complicates Path To ESEA Compromise
Some School Choice Backers Tepid On Title I Portability Proposal
State Chiefs Look to Montana For Ways to Meet the Needs Of Native American Students
Signs Point to Increase in High School Graduation Rates
Blogs of the Week
SETH KERSHNER & SCOTT HARDING: Do Military Recruiters Belong in Schools?
JEREMY A. STERN: On the AP U.S. History Framework
Unearthing the Humanity Beneath Stereotypes
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
JOHN HATTIE: The Effective Use of Testing: What the Research Says

Education Week - October 28, 2015