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I previously published Closed Schools, “Opportunity Hoarding,” and the Pandemic addressing the rise of “pandemic pods” in the midst of schools not yet opening their doors. In it, I detailed the many ways these pods are widening achievement gaps and exacerbating inequalities in education.

These learning centers established in private residences seem like a great deal for the teacher. You would be working with a small group of students, rather than a large class. This allows you to develop stronger relationships with the students and provide individualized instruction. Smaller groups can also potentially mean a lower risk of contracting the…

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Yesterday, Insider published an article called “A Texas school district pulled an assignment after complaints that it compared police officers to KKK members.” In it, the journalist described a situation that unfolded after a Texas middle school teacher assigned political cartoons for analysis.

A group comprised of law enforcement officers called the National Fraternal Order of Police caught wind of the assignment and took a strong stand of opposition on twitter. Soon, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, denounced the assignment, called for the teacher to be fired, and demanded an investigation. …

Stranger Danger

Image courtesy of Kamil Feczko via Unsplash

You think you should worry

About the stranger

At the bar,

Or the dark figure

In an empty alley,

Or even the abandoned house

At the edge of town.

You’ve heard stranger danger

Since you were a child.

You know not to approach

A white van

Or take free candy.

You’re extra careful

After dark.

You feel uneasy

When it’s storming.

Lightning strikes and rumbling thunder

Are typical horror cliches.

You would never go

Into the forest alone,

Or get gas

At the unlit station.

You know how to survive a horror film

But can you survive reality?

Image courtesy of Macau Photo Agency via Unsplash

When I first moved into this classroom a couple summers ago, I kept coming back once a week. It wasn’t because I had any work to do in there that I couldn’t complete at home, but there was something about that room that always pulled me back in.

My classroom was my favorite place in the world. To me, just like my students, it was a safe haven that I had carefully curated. I enjoyed getting to school early and even staying late to be in that room. It was my favorite place in the entire world — which is…

Image courtesy of Markus Spiske via Unsplash

Recently, I published an article about wealthy families using pandemic pods as a means of opportunity hoarding during remote learning. More recently, the Boston Globe exposed another equity concern: child services being called on poor and/or minority families with unfounded claims.

Students who are missing virtual class or failing to turn in assignments are being reported as neglected to child services by teachers and school staff. The problem though, is that this issue is disproportionately affecting poor families and families of color. I’m not here to blame concerned teachers — I am here to call out a much bigger problem.

In a recent Washington Post article, a new savage inequality in education was revealed: pandemic pods. This is when small groups of wealthier families come together to host their children under remote learning with a private tutor. Fearing their children falling behind academically or worries over being able to return to work, parents with more financial resources have created a work-around.

In the article, plenty of numbers were thrown out there: up to $100k a year, about $500 per month for one child, $1300 per month per child, and even almost $500 a week in a Pennsylvania neighborhood. …

When I attended the University of Arizona, there was a new major that no other school had — Law. Not pre-law or government and politics related coursework to eventually go to law school, but a major that was modeled after L1 classes and taught by the actual professors from the law school on campus. In that program I learned so much from contracts to property law, to constitutional law, and even criminal and international law. Our professors taught us about precedents, the judicial system, and how as a lawyer you’ll defend anything for $550 an hour. In my free time…

For a long time in our country and many others, education was a privilege for only specific populations of people. Historically, that was the children of the wealthy who tended to be of European descent and excluded girls. The father of public education, Horace Mann, believed certain principles were critical to education, namely: education should be funded by the government, it should support students of diverse backgrounds, it should be secular, and it should be provided by qualified teachers. …

Madison Woodward, M.Ed.

Alt school educator and writer. Living an active life in the desert. Endlessly passionate.

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