Education Policy

Why Gay Marriage Makes School Leaders Uncomfortable

This blog was originally published on Finding Common Ground at Education Week by Peter DeWitt on March 26th, 2013 1:16 PM.

Why are only some students allowed to have the best school experiences of their lives when others are kicked to the curb?

Last week, the Supreme Court dove into what marriage means in America. They looked at Proposition 8, which is a ban on gay marriage in California, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which is a law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

For some people, it's another story in the media that t…


Battles Over Transgender Student Rights Heat Up Across the Nation

At his Portland school, Scott Morrison stopped drinking water during the day so he would not have to choose between the male or female bathrooms. Born a female, Scott identifies as a male and, according to Oregon Live, until recently he often felt anxious when attempting to navigate the restrooms, feeling that he could be discriminated against by his male and female classmates. As a result, the Northeast Portland school added six unisex restrooms to alleviate stress for transgender students and staff. Scott feels more comfortable now, saying, “You don't even have to think about it, and that's great.” Oregon is one of about 15 states that offer sp…


Some Urban Districts Facing School Closings in Faltering Economy

Protests have been building, a union president has been arrested, and angry teachers and families across the nation have been crying foul over the potential closings of hundreds of urban schools. With many schools seeing decreasing student populations and budget cuts, closing neighborhood schools to consolidate seems like the only solution, but such solutions comes with casualties, like teacher layoffs and the loss of intimate neighborhood schools in exchange for school’s with larger student populations, less curriculum offerings and decreased individualized attention. While districts in every state have suffered, some of the larger school districts being hit include those in Philadelphia, Chicago, t…

Are Your Students Learning Ready?

This blog was originally published on Finding Common Ground at Education Week by Peter DeWitt on March 3rd, 2013 8:35 AM.

At this point, if you do not see the relevance in technology, you're holding your students back.

College and career ready is a very common theme these days. As with any catch-phrase, many educators are most likely sick of hearing it. The longer you stay in any profession the more at risk you are of hearing new phrases year after year, which may just have the same…

Dignity for All: Protecting Our Students from Bullying [VIDEO]

Peter DeWitt, author of Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students, is a nationally renowned advocate for student rights. As an elementary school principal, Peter is passionate about empowering teachers and administrators to protect vulnerable students, particularly the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community. Through a culture of acceptance and a firm stance against bullying, schools can make all students feel safe so they can maximize their full potential.

As Peter mentions in this video, the Dignity for All Students Act of 2010 is New York State’s law protecting students from bullying, and the Equal Access Act o…

Professional Development: Whose Job Is It?

This blog was originally published on Finding Common Ground at Education Week by Peter DeWitt on February 14th, 2013 6:08 AM.

Professional Development is not defined by what someone else provides for us.

Twitter is creating a natural shift in professional thinking for connected educators and administrators. They are finding their own professional development (PD) through their Professional Learning Networks (PLN). There are other educators who don't use Twitter but th…