Independent Schools Association of the Southwest

Education News


War on the Young

By Scott Galloway, No Mercy/No Malics (from April 19, 2024)
This week I spoke at TED2024, the iconic program’s 40th anniversary event. I joined RuPaul, Kesha, and two different astrophysicists on the stage in Vancouver. I was given 15 minutes, and took 17, to riffle through 47 slides articulating what I believe is the greatest challenge facing the U.S. It’s not inequality, climate change, or war in the Middle East, but an issue that threads these threats together: America’s war on the young. A war of mutually assured destruction.
Read more

What Schools Are Asking About AI, Part 2

By Eric Hudson, Learning on Purpose (from April 5, 2024)
A few months ago, I wrote a post sharing some of the common questions and answers that were coming up in my travels to schools and conferences. I’m in the middle of another burst of AI engagements, and I’m happy to find schools are diving more deeply into AI and making longer-term decisions about how to approach it. This shift has raised new questions (and rejuvenated some old ones), so I thought it was time for a sequel.
Read more

Avoiding Social Media Pitfalls: 3 Tips for Private and Independent Schools to Help Employees Maintain a Professional Online Presence

By Amy Canning, Fisher Phillips (from April 2, 2024)
What is the first thing most parents do when their child is assigned a new teacher? Many would say “Google them” — which highlights the importance for schools to recognize that your employees’ online and social media presence is ripe for scrutiny. Your employees should understand that their social media activities present certain unique risks inherent to their status as not just educators but also role models for students. Is it time to review and potentially revise your approach to social media and online activity to reflect the modern era? Here are three tips to keep in mind.
Read more

A Sigh of Relief for Private Schools: 4th Circuit Rules Tax-Exempt Status Does Not Trigger Title IX Coverage

By Brian Guerinot, Fisher Phillips (from March 28, 2024)
A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that Title IX does not apply to a private school based purely on its nonprofit status, reversing a lower court’s bombshell decision that put the entire private and independent school community on notice. This decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals represents a big win for private schools in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina – and helps restore the status quo that had been in place for decades. Private schools nationwide can cautiously celebrate this decision, as it may influence other courts to follow suit on an issue that has courts split across the country. We’ll explain what happened and guide nonprofit private schools on what they should do next.
Read more

Google And MIT Offer A No-Cost AI Course For Educators

By Jack Kelly, Forbes (from April 16, 2024)
Growing up in a family of almost all teachers, I regularly heard the litany of complaints of middle and high school educators about their jobs. They bemoaned the after-hours workload that included writing lesson plans, grading tests and administrative responsibilities, and also contended with large class sizes, disruptive behaviors, difficult conversations with parents and inadequate support and resources.
Read more

What K-12 Independent Schools Should Know about the New Federal Overtime Rule and 5 Steps You Can Take Now

By Jennifer B. Carroll, Ilanit Fischler, & Megan L. Janes, Fisher Phillips
(from May 2, 2024)
A new federal rule will soon make millions of salaried workers eligible for overtime pay – forcing K-12 independent schools to act quickly to evaluate which employees are covered in order to comply, while balancing budgetary restraints and employment contracts for the upcoming academic year. The new rule creates challenges for all employers but especially for schools who tend to have workforces where some employees are not impacted by the change – such as teachers – and others who are. What do K-12 independent schools need to know about the new federal overtime rule? We’ll explain everything and give you five steps you should take next.
Read more

How to Delay the Age at Which Kids Get Smartphones

By Melanie Hempe, After Babel (from April 3, 2024)

The most effective solutions to significant problems are sometimes surprisingly simple and yet strongly resisted. Take, for instance, the case of handwashing in 1847—a doctor's groundbreaking discovery that handwashing could effectively prevent the spread of germs was initially met with skepticism and rejected by prevailing cultural beliefs. In fact, handwashing remained controversial for four decades before finally gaining universal acceptance as a cornerstone of medical practice. Today, the adolescent screen crisis is our newest problem with a surprisingly simple and effective solution. That solution is to delay smartphones until the end of adolescence—period. Like handwashing, this solution sounds simple in concept and will one day seem like common sense, but right now, it is considered countercultural.
Read more

What Public K-12 Teachers Want Americans To Know About Teaching

By Dana Braga, Kiley Hurst, Shannon Greenwood, Nick Zanetti & John Carlo Mandapat, Pew Research Center (from April 4, 2024)

At a time when most teachers are feeling stressed and overwhelmed in their jobs, we asked 2,531 public K-12 teachers this open-ended question:

If there’s one thing you’d want the public to know about teachers, what would it be?
Read more

Leading Effective Teams Requires Regular and Dedicated Maintenance

By Crystal Land & Michele Williams, Independent School (Spring 2024)
ndependent schools typically fill their teams with high-performing individuals, ones who care deeply about the school and its students—and who are often fully occupied from the time they arrive at the school until late in the evening. Occasionally, at the beginning of a school year, teams will set aside some time to focus on team-building and the aspects that make teams effective. But once the year gets under way, the demands of the school day and year come into focus and the work around teams is not easily maintained. Perhaps inadvertently, we find ourselves structuring our days around the contents of our email inbox, a long and ever-growing to-do list, and, sometimes, the urgent need for crisis management. And that takes over any team-building time we might have had.
Read more

Why School Absences Have ‘Exploded’ Almost Everywhere

By Sarah Mervosh & Francesca Paris, The New York Times (from March 29, 2024)
In Anchorage, affluent families set off on ski trips and other lengthy vacations, with the assumption that their children can keep up with schoolwork online.
Read more

Working With Your Hands Is Good for Your Brain

By Markham Held, The New York Times (from March 28, 2024)
The human hand is a marvel of nature. No other creature on Earth, not even our closest primate relatives, has hands structured quite like ours, capable of such precise grasping and manipulation.
Read more

Culture Building in the Real World

By Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak (from April 3, 2024)
Culture is mortar, not bricks. Culture building is laying a bed of mortar on bricks. Culture binds people together. Culture is expressed by the way people treat each other while they do the work.
Read more

The Growing Discontent With American Education

By Brandon Busteed, Forbes (from February 21, 2024)
There is a growing discontent with American education. You can sense it swelling like a big wave, evidenced in a mix of troubling stats and trends from waning public perceptions of education to significant declines in enrollment and attendance. Students aren’t just talking about their discontent with education but walking it, too.
Read more

New Perspective: Improving the K-12 Teacher Experience

By Emily Lorenz & Janet Gibbon, Gallup (from February 29, 2024)
While K-12 teaching is, for many in the profession, inherently purposeful, some leaders in education mistakenly believe that the mission-rich nature of educators’ work alone is sufficient to keep K-12 teachers in the classroom.
Read more

Simplifying AI for Educators: The 3 Things You Really Need to Know (For Right Now)

By Michael Gaskell, Tech Learning (from March 4, 2024)

Remember when “big data” was the buzzword in education a decade ago? Books about big data were published, but what exactly was it? 

Big data described the large and continuously growing masses of data and the process of analyzing student performance. This became complicated, and big data was often just that, too big. In fact, shorter data sets were evidenced as effective, and I have written about the power of small wins, tracking microsteps in students progress.
Read more

The Growing Importance of Digital Citizenship

By Abbie Misha, EdSurge (from February 19, 2024)
In an era where technology and digital platforms are integral to our everyday lives, the role of digital citizenship is ever more critical. This is especially true in educational settings, where equipping students with digital citizenship skills is essential for their safe and responsible navigation of the digital landscape. On February 13, 2023, the Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy Act was introduced in the Senate. The bill is aimed at increasing media literacy education and helping students navigate disinformation, ultimately strengthening digital citizenship.
Read more

Election-Related Policies: A Guide for Independent School Leaders

By NAIS (from March 8, 2024)
In the months leading up to a presidential election or during other times of heightened partisanship, independent schools benefit from considering the degree to which school policies promote constructive dialogue, reinforce community norms, and ensure legal compliance.
Read more

The Performance of Endowments at Independent Schools Bounces Back

By Michael Thrasher, Institutional Investor (from February 28, 2024)
Endowment performance for independent schools — private, nonprofit day and boarding schools with students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade — bounced back last fiscal year.
Read more

The Dorito Theory: Encouraging students to strike a balance with social media

By The Social Institute (from February 22, 2024)
TikTok users, a third of whom are students, have been thinking a lot about Doritos lately. On February 8th, one user, celeste.aria_, posted a video about an interesting concept she recently heard about: the Dorito Theory. She explained that while delicious and loved by many, Doritos don’t provide a ton of nutritional value compared to a well-balanced meal. In the same way, many students enjoy scrolling on social media because it’s entertaining, but scrolling might not make them feel “full” mentally or emotionally after. The video now has over 126,000 likes on TikTok and a few articles written about it, proving how eye-opening the concept is and how quickly new ideas spread online.
Read more

PROOF POINTS: Controversies within the science of reading

By Jill Barshay, The Hechinger Report (from February 26, 2024)
Educators around the country have embraced the “science of reading” in their classrooms, but that doesn’t mean there’s a truce in the reading wars. In fact, controversies are emerging about an important but less understood aspect of learning to read: phonemic awareness.
Read more

What the Champions of Neutrality Get Wrong

By John K. Wilson, The Chronicle of Higher Education (from March 18, 2024)
More than a half-century after it was released, an obscure University of Chicago faculty committee document known as the Kalven Report has become the center of a national debate about campus institutional statements. The Kalven Report stands for the ideal that faculty academic freedom is so precious that the mere statement of a position by the administration should be discouraged for fear that it could intimidate faculty members. Now, this same report is being abused to demand legislative and administrative censorship of the faculty.
Read more

Why not pay teachers $100,000 a year?

By Daniel Pink, The Washington Post (from February 19, 2024)
Adam DiPerna always had to hold it in. As a Spanish teacher at Gerald G. Huesken Middle School in Lancaster, Pa., he’d arrive in his classroom at 7:10 a.m. each day and cannonball into a morning that left no time for a bathroom break. He’d teach back-to-back-to-back-to-back classes until his lunch period, 27 minutes during which he also had to heat and eat the food he’d brought from home, email parents about problems and absences, and field questions from students. After school, he coached wrestling, advised the student council and chaired the GHMS world language department. Work, from grading papers to preparing lessons, spilled into the evenings and weekends he wanted to spend with his wife and three kids.
Read more

On paper, teens are thriving. In reality, they’re not

By Christina A. Samuels, The Hechinger Report (from February 15, 2024)

By traditional measures of well-being, America’s children and teens should be doing well. Consider that:

Read more

Overscheduling kids’ lives causes depression and anxiety, study finds

By Jill Barshay, KQED (from February 5, 2024)
Psychologists have long warned that children’s lives are overscheduled, which undermines their ability to develop non-academic skills that they’ll need in adulthood, from coping with setbacks to building strong relationships. Now a trio of economists say they’ve been able to calculate some of these psychological costs.
Read more

The Many Dimensions of Belonging

By Jessica Comola, ASCD (from February 13, 2023)
“Belonging” is a fundamental human need—but not one that’s easily defined. In their latest video column for Educational Leadership’s February issue, Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher ask, “What does it really mean to ‘belong’ at school?” To unpack this question, Fisher and Frey gathered perspectives from both faculty and students—and their responses shed light on the profound impact that a sense of belonging can have on overall well-being.
Read more