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
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YES! Magazine

March 2014 :: Education Uprising   Facebook Like button Twitter Follow button

“Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.”
—William Butler Yeats

Dear Educator,

How many times have you heard that the education system is broken and it’s teachers’ fault?

The spring issue of YES! Magazine, “Education Uprising,” convincingly refutes that tired claim. Read “The Myth Behind Public School Failure” to see how this idea became a part of our public discourse to begin with—and who profits from keeping it alive. Meet teachers who are using restorative justice instead of punishment, and who are protesting against high-stakes testing because of wasted hours and “teaching to the test.”

This newsletter also offers writing workshop curriculum that sparks conversations about “who I am,” a slam poet’s video on English Language Learner (ELL) students, and an Atlanta teacher’s story of how race affects the way he teaches.

Happy Spring!


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Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager

P.S. Don’t miss out! Register for the Spring 2014 National Student Writing Contest. Get the details here. Registration closes on April 25th!


Walter Davis with his students at Rising S.T.A.R.S. Male Academy. Photo courtesy of Walter Davis.Why Race Has Everything To Do With Who and How I Teach

In urban Atlanta, Walter Davis teaches at a school within a school. It’s a school just for young teenage boys—all of whom are people of color. Read how Walter pours his heart, humor, and love for literature into empowering his students to believe in themselves, to be excellent students, and—ultimately—to become successful fathers, husbands, brothers, and professionals. This is Walter’s story.


Graphic from New England New Economy Transition interactive infographic.Infographic: A Guided Tour of the New Economy

The world is in transition. Communities are moving away from an economy based on inequality, ecological destruction, and political paralysis and toward an economy based in equity, sustainability, and true democracy. Explore this interactive infographic with your students to see what this “new economy” might really look like.

Graphic from What Kids Can Do banner.What Kids Can Do

What Kids Can Do uses digital, print, and broadcast media to showcase the power youth can achieve when they are taken seriously. Check out writing curricula, stories, and other powerful learning resources that give voice to the opinions and talents of young people, particularly those compromised by poverty, race, and language.


Photo by Michael Bednarek/Shutterstock.The Page That Counts

Have your students ever wondered how many species of bacteria call their belly buttons “home”? Or, pondered the number of hours a laptop can be powered by the energy saved from recycling an aluminum can? Nourish your curiosity with The Page That Counts.

Image cropped from YES! Magazine infographic 2014Infographic: The Math Error Behind 30 Years of Education Policy

You’ve heard the phrase, “our schools are failing.” But when and how did this notion originate—and was it really true? This infographic explains the fuzzy math in the Reagan administration’s “A Nation at Risk” report that ushered in a new era of privatization and testing.


Still image of Dylan Garrity from videoThis Slam Poet Totally Nails Why Kids Learn Best in Their Native Language

In a stirring performance packed with vivid language, poet Dylan Garrity draws on his sister’s experiences as an ELL teacher to show the stark injustice of English-only learning policies. You’ll be moved and inspired by his powerful words!


Hundreds of feet of boom lie off the coast of Louisiana after the BP oil spill. Photo by Kris Krug.Boom!

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

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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.