Today we launch our Mills College School of Education blog, Collegial Connections. We’re excited to have a place to discuss critical educational ideas that we all struggle with as we negotiate the many challenges and opportunities in the education field today. As faculty and staff at the School of Education, we spend most of our time focused on teaching, mentoring, and research. At the same time, we understand the importance of taking a public stand on educational issues, especially as they relate to our focus on the preparation and on-going support of teachers, leaders, and early childhood professionals who work in urban settings. Our perspectives are shaped by our individual and collective experience and expertise, as well as a shared and deep commitment to access and equity,
Our plan is to use this blog to share our informed viewpoints and experiences about critical educational issues that we, and we suspect you, encounter every day. We invite you to speak back from your own experiences and informed opinions so that we can generate a local and far-reaching dialogue. We believe that it is vital that we contribute to the large public dialogue that is currently filled with controversy and the voices of individuals who may have little experience and knowledge of the field of education and, in particular, the experiences of public school teachers.
We plan to address a wide range of issues and invite you to add to this list:
- What are our responses to local events in Oakland and the surrounding communities?
- How do we address the violence children and teachers encounter in their schools; where do we see hope and possibility?
- Where do we stand on issues around documented and undocumented children and youth in our classrooms and communities?
- How can our knowledge about issues such as school readiness shape current policy in the Oakland Unified School District and the surrounding areas?
- How is the current focus on testing shaping teaching, leadership, and policy decisions? What are the challenges and opportunities for using value added metrics to make decisions about teacher hiring and retention?
- Who are the children and youth in our schools? How do we address their needs and support the teachers and leaders doing this work?
- What do we need to know to take leadership roles in policy decisions addressing the birth to five age group?
- What are the educational issues that matter the most to you? What do you feel most strongly about?
We live in a world filled with violence and hate, but also hope and possibility. We want to use this blog to bring together our experiences and ideas, to generate conversations and action, and to continue our learning from one another. We invite your responses and contributions.