Powerful ideas and practical actions from YES! Education, supporting teachers and feeding the next generation with stories, curriculum, tools and resources
Powerful ideas and practical actions from YES! Education, supporting teachers and feeding the next generation with stories, curriculum, tools and resources
Watch Stephen Colbert take on the Common Core and explore resources from Rethinking Schools and IDEA.
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YES! Education Connection News
YES! Magazine

April 2014 :: Powerful Learning   Facebook Like button Twitter Follow button

“To me, education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil’s soul.”
—Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Dear Educator,

There’s an emerging education movement in this country. Teachers, schools, and community members are standing up to meaningless reform, and students are becoming more directly engaged in their education.

The YES! Magazine issue, “Education Uprising,” is a starting point to have deep conversations with your colleagues, administration, and community. Read how No Child Left Behind architect, Diane Ravitch, realized she was wrong and committed to reverse the disastrous “accountability era.” And explore David Sobel’s ideas in “Why Outdoor Schools Makes Kids Happier—And Smarter.” He believes that “mastering puddles is just as important as learning letters.”

This newsletter also offers an activity from Rethinking Schools that uses chocolate chip cookies to teach the dangers of coal mining, a video of Steven Colbert poking fun at Common Core standards, and 10 things that creative people know.


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Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager

P.S. Dream of a Nation is offering hard copies of its book Dream to educators for FREE (just cover shipping). Dream is a collection of ideas and solutions for a better world from over 60 visionaries. You can order online or email [email protected] if you’d like a class set.


Elizabeth Traina.Pause, Breathe, Draw: Art and Consciousness in the Classroom

As a young girl, Elizabeth Traina had a teacher tell her that she wasn’t an artist. Now she helps empower teachers and students through the belief that we are all artists. This is Elizabeth’s story.


Rethinking Schools Graphic.Rethinking Schools

Rethinking Schools is a national, award-winning publisher of educational materials, including a quarterly print magazine filled with honest stories and “tell it like it is” editorials. Its resources reflect a commitment to social justice and to the belief that “public education is central to the creation of humane, caring, and multiracial democracy.” Explore Rethinking Schools “Got Coal?” and “Whose Community Is This?” lesson plans that are told through the experience of the teacher.

Graphic from IDEA.Institute for Democratic Education in America (IDEA)

IDEA is a movement building organization that showcases what powerful learning looks like today—and what it can look like in the future. Through its network of schools and organizations, young people, educators, and communities build relationships, share high quality resources, and work together to solve shared challenges. Check out IDEA’s online library and teacher network, plus the documentary, A Year at Mission Hill.


Reading photo by Thomas Life.The Page That Counts

Are there more McDonald’s, libraries, or Starbucks in the United States? What percentage of U.S. residents are proud to be an American? Explore The Page That Counts for facts that may surprise you—and your students!

Photo by Asife/ Shutterstock.10 Things Creative People Know

If you enjoy cooking or gardening, you may be more creative than you think. Here are 10 keys to tap into your inner creativity.


Still image of Stephen Colbert from videoStephen Colbert: New Standardized Tests Teach Valuable Lessons in Stress and Confusion

Stressed out by the Common Core? You’re not alone. For a bit of comic relief, check out this video of Stephen Colbert poking fun at the new education standards.


Photo by Juan Espinoza.What Was Saved

Ask these three questions about this photo: What do you notice? What are you wondering? And, after uncovering some facts, What’s next?


Winter 2014 Writing Competition winners: Karla Gomez, Middle School Winner; Jim Xie, High School Winner; Blaine Stine, College Winner; Audrey Cameron, Powerful Voice Winner; Cheyanne Smith, Powerful Voice Winner; Jay Hagstrom, Powerful Voice Winner.Winners of the Winter 2014 Competition

We’re delighted to feature the six winning essays from our winter competition, plus literary gems that caught our eye. Participants read and responded to the YES! article, “Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country,” Dr. Ed Tick’s story about the many veterans he sees physically and emotionally wounded from serving in a war, and how we, as community members, can help these warriors heal. Congratulations to our essay winners, and a big thank you to all writers who submitted an essay.
Read the winning essays »

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Each quarter, we take on today’s critical issues with a fresh and positive point of view. Our stories fuse powerful ideas and practical actions, and inspire people to create a better world.