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The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week)

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Diminished counseling ranks, Trayvon Martin, and ending compulsory education—here's what you might have missed this week on student engagement and school climate.

Also, something to note: I call this column the "best school climate blogging" not because of the views expressed—Rules for Engagement takes no editorial position, just as a reminder—but because of the conversations they might and hopefully do foster.

1. "It feels as though, like art and music, guidance seems to be regarded—Oh! how wrongly!—as one of those ancillary aspects of education that students and school districts can live without when budgets shrink and student populations soar."

Peter Gow, on how school counselors are being spread too thinly in public school systems


2. "The news of murder is now as mundane as a furniture sale on President's Day—that is, unless the victim is someone you love."

Marilyn Rhames, from her Charting My Own Course blog, about Trayvon Martin and her fear for her son's life


3. "It turns out that as I was giving my passionate speech, they were gazing longingly at the bag and mostly thinking, 'Mmmm, Hot Cheetos.'"

Roxanna Elden, a high school English teacher, in a story by The Atlantic's Emily Richmond on whether schools should be held responsible for child nutrition


4. "When a parent decides to enroll a child in public school, both the parent and child should agree to meet minimum standards of behavior and academic commitment or face real-life consequences such as repeating a class, a grade, or even expulsion."

—Utah State Senator Aaron Osmond, on the Utah Senate blog, arguing for an end to compulsory education


5. "A manual created by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy encourages healthcare providers working with Latino teens to 'adjust to their reality,' use bilingual moderators and train staff who understand Latino culture."

Titania Kumeh, in The Los Angeles Times' L.A. Now blog, describing possible reasons that the state birthrate has dropped to the lowest level in 20 years


6. "Some people are just walking around with a mouthful of acid, and they spit it at you because you're there."

Linda Holmes, for NPR's Monkey See blog, encouraging youth to pursue new things even in the face of criticism


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