Talking About Ferguson in the Classroom

Like everyone else over the past few weeks, at TNTP we’ve been paying close attention to the events in Ferguson, Missouri, following the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9. We’ve been reading, watching and talking about what’s happening—but we’ve struggled to find something to say here on our blog that would make a valuable contribution to the conversation.

At its root, Ferguson is about an unarmed young man who died at the hands of authorities. Again, as is too often the case, that young man is African American. We cannot be afraid to discuss why this keeps happening.

In classrooms, many teachers will be reaching for ways to talk with their students about Michael Brown, about the protests they saw following his death, and about racism and what we can all do better to fight it. We’d like to send our heartfelt support out to all the educators who are about to go there.

District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and her team have compiled a guide for teachers that offers recommendations and additional resources for talking about Ferguson with students. We think their resource does as good a job as anything out there of guiding these tough but vital conversations, so we’re sharing it here, and we hope you’ll share it with teacher friends and colleagues, too.

Download the guide: Preparing to Discuss Michael Brown in the Classroom.

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TNTP is the nation’s leading research, policy, and consulting organization dedicated to transforming America’s public education system, so that every generation thrives.

Today, we work side-by-side with educators, system leaders, and communities across 39 states and over 6,000 districts nationwide to reach ambitious goals for student success.

Yet the possibilities we imagine push far beyond the walls of school and the education field alone. We are catalyzing a movement across sectors to create multiple pathways for young people to achieve academic, economic, and social mobility.

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