Year In Review

Embracing the elephant in the room: How educators approach race in the classroom

PHOTO: Jamaal Bowman
Jamaal Bowman (center) with national leaders in Washington, D.C.

Terence Crutcher, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling — these black men who were killed in police shootings this year prompted a difficult national conversation about race and privilege. That conversation unfolded in part in public school classrooms across the country.

Chalkbeat reporters were there as educators helped children work through complicated and often frightening emotions and ideas, while at the same grappling with their own feelings.

PHOTO: Andy Cross/The Denver Post
Aurora Public Schools Superintendent Rico Munn.

Check out all of our 2016 Year In Review coverage here. Like what you see? Make a tax-deductible donation to Chalkbeat today to help support our work in 2017 and beyond.

Year In Review

Race Matters: How America’s schools wrestled with segregation in 2016

PHOTO: Alex Zimmerman
A classroom at Brooklyn Laboratory middle school.

In a year where race dominated the national conversation about identity and equality, American education systems grappled with issues of integration and segregation.

Across America, school systems approached segregation with varied success. Two generations of students in Indianapolis lived through the failure of busing, while a Detroit charter school finds state laws in the way of diversity. In New York, schools inch closer to diversity through revamped admissions policies.

These individual snapshots of how America’s cities struggle with issues of diversity, inclusion and equality paint a broader picture of the current state of integration efforts in the US. Learn about how our communities dealt with the issue in 2016.

PHOTO: Dylan Peers McCoy
Students eat lunch at the Oaks Academy Middle School, a private Christian school that is integrated by design.
  • Where integration works: How one inner-city Indianapolis private school is bringing kids together
    “Lunch at The Oaks Middle School on the northeast side of Indianapolis has a lot in common with meals at any school: Kids carry plastic trays stacked with sliced fruit and chicken nuggets or soft lunch bags stuffed with sandwiches and Doritos. But here, as the hum of chatter and banging of metal chairs fill the small cafeteria, kids head to tables with students from different ethnic and racial backgrounds.”

Check out all of our 2016 Year In Review coverage here. Like what you see? Make a tax-deductible donation to Chalkbeat today to help support our work in 2017 and beyond.

Walk it out

Hugs, walkouts and tears: How the election’s youngest voices reacted to the results

PHOTO: Alex Zimmerman
Beacon High School students marched to Trump Tower Tuesday morning.

In any other year, November means a seemingly endless countdown to Thanksgiving break. For many students who bore the brunt of the election’s racial tensions, the weeks after this year’s election were far more fraught.

Through organized protests and, in one case, an impromptu multischool rally, many students who couldn’t cast a ballot found ways to be heard. Chalkbeat reporters were able to listen in. Here’s what we we learned.

  • ‘Education not deportation’: Hundreds of NYC students walk out of class, march to Trump Tower in protest
    “The day after the election, I was in tears,” said Hebh Jamal, a Beacon senior and one of the protest’s organizers. “A lot of my friends are disabled, a lot of my friends are immigrants, a lot of my friends are undocumented. This is scary. Everyone was just so distraught, and we all want to do something.”
  •  How my school embraced student protesters after Trump’s win
    “It became clear that the day would not be spent on ‘traditional’ instruction. Students were angry, afraid and dealing with feelings of rejection. Our principal asked teachers to offer their classrooms as safe places for students to express their feelings. Students gravitated to classrooms and places in the building where they felt they would be heard.”
  • PHOTO: Melanie Asmar
    Denver students chant in protest of Donald Trump.
  •  ‘Not my president:’ Denver students walk out of school to protest Trump election
    “In the words of Trump, we’re seen as rapists and a waste of money,” said Marcus Marrakchi, a junior at STRIVE Prep SMART Academy. “We’re here to prove that we want to get our education.”

Check out all of our 2016 Year In Review coverage here. Like what you see? Make a tax-deductible donation to Chalkbeat today to help support our work in 2017 and beyond.