“‘Are you excited for Hispanic Heritage month?’ someone asked. My overactive frontalis muscles must have engaged, because they seemed put off when I didn’t jump for joy. I went to the only other Latina in the school—the Spanish teacher—and asked, ‘Que es y como van a celebrar Hispanic Heritage Month?’ She explained that it was a month running from mid-September through October that had been designated to highlight the accomplishments of ‘Hispanics’ in the United States and that she would be throwing a fiesta. It felt insufficient, inadequate, and simplistic.” In this month’s blog post, our Director of Operations, Yalitza LaFontaine Delgado reflects on her relationship with Hispanic Heritage Month and the experiences that taught her what it actually entails. Follow along on the journey that led her to becoming an educator who centers the voices of those who have been silenced and marginalized.
Education aims to give every student opportunities to learn and thrive, but the current education system was designed for a different time and often falls short of this goal. To provide instruction that fosters the 21st-century learning skills the modern, global economy requires and ensure equitable learning opportunities for today’s students, U.S. education systems must be informed by the growing body of research on how children learn and develop. This online playbook from the Learning Policy Institute and Turnaround for Children, in partnership with the Forum for Youth Investment, and in association with the SoLD Alliance, translates the science of learning and development and the experience of practitioners into principles for redesigning schools to support whole child education.
“We document a largely unrecognized pathway through which schools promote human capital development – by fostering informal mentoring relationships between students and school personnel. Using longitudinal data from a large, nationally representative sample of adolescents, we explore the frequency, nature, and consequences of school-based natural mentorships. Estimates across a range of fixed effect (FE) specifications, including student FE and twins FE models, consistently show that students with school-based mentors achieve greater academic success and higher levels of post-secondary attainment. These apparent benefits are evident for students across a wide range of backgrounds but are largest for students of lower socioeconomic status.”