November 19, 2020
This school year has been far from what we once considered normal. COVID-19 has drastically shifted the way students learn and teachers teach. Most students are learning remotely at least part of the time, and when children are in school they are wearing masks and staying distant. It’s a challenging time for students, teachers, and families. But amid all these sudden changes, are there opportunities for long-term changes that would make our schools even better than before the pandemic? To find the answer, we went to the experts: educators. Last month, we held a virtual forum to hear from those working in and with schools to learn what’s working, what's not working, and what opportunities there are to propel our education system into a future that’s brighter for all students.
October 28, 2020
With less than a week until the 2020 election, Rennie's Meghan Volcy takes a close look at the history and current state of civics education, examines the importance of giving young people the tools to engage in the democratic process, and reflects on her own journey in civic engagement.
October 26, 2020
The Rennie Center is thrilled to introduce our three newest team members: Elle Jansen, Meghan Volcy, and Sophie Zamarripa! Read more about the experience they bring to the Rennie Center and the new projects they are working on.
September 15, 2020
Guest Blog Post by the Brookline Center for Community Mental Health’s BRYT program: In the past couple of months the look and feel of education have drastically shifted for educators, students, and families. These changes have been unexpected and unwanted, and to many they still feel unresolved. Students, educators, and families are finding themselves chronically holding the unknown, while trying to make the future somewhat predictable. The unpredictability of change, the chronic holding of the unknown, and the magnitude of change have increased stress levels for everyone involved in education. We believe that when children are stressed they can't learn.
August 05, 2020
The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others have led me to reflect on my role in our dominant white culture. I have asked myself how the organization I lead can better address the inequities that plague our society and, as righteous anger and protests erupted, why I haven’t done more. As a white man, I want to be a strong ally. I am not sure how. But to be an ally, I know I need to start by examining my own understanding of systems of oppression and how I may be complicit in them.
August 05, 2020
Equality of opportunity is, and has been, on the decline. Racial and economic segregation has intensified educational gaps between rich and poor students, and between white students and students of color. The results of these inequities are pervasive in our education system and beyond. Black and Latino individuals, and other racial and ethnic minorities, are underrepresented in leadership, underserved in schools, and confronted with large gaps in opportunity and outcomes when compared to their white peers. How can we begin dismantling the structures that reinforce these inequities? Should we rethink our approach to teaching and learning? To find those answers, we’ve teamed up with more than 40 like-minded local organizations to form Open Opportunity – Massachusetts.
June 03, 2020
Words cannot express the anguish we feel over the senseless killing of George Floyd and countless other acts of violence against communities of color, particularly Black men, around our country. We stand in solidarity with those crying out in pain, anger, and grief over this horrific loss of life—and the deep, systemic racism that created the conditions for this injustice to occur.
May 05, 2020
This year, educators and students are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Day from a distance. In this trying time, we are reminded of the important role educators play in the lives of students, not just as academic guides but as figures of stability and social and emotional support. As students struggle with social isolation, anxiety around the ongoing pandemic, and the challenges of remote learning, educator and student relationships are as important as ever. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, we spoke with two educators who are finding ways to support their students’ social and emotional well-being, despite not being together in person.
April 29, 2020
The Rennie Center will be rolling out a Back-to-School Blueprint, an interactive series of research-based, online modules to help schools get ready to reopen. The Blueprint aims to help schools implement practices that will not only address the pressing issues facing our students right now, but also become building blocks for a more supportive and high-performing system in general.
March 20, 2020
As our communities adjust to school closings and social isolation, we recognize the struggles our teachers, parents, and colleagues are facing. At the Rennie Center, we are doing our small part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by working remotely and postponing all in-person events. In this time of upheaval, anxiety, and isolation, we hope we can provide some small sense of support by sharing this list of resources for those looking for information.