Elizabeth Buehl is a first-year who has not yet declared their major. Elizabeth can be reached at [email protected]

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Building Blocks: School security

Content warning: This column discusses mass shootings and gun violence.  In 2012, 20 students and six adults lost their lives in the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting. Sadly, this event is not an isolated one. In 2018, one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings occurred in Parkland, Fla., leading to the loss of 17 precious […]

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Building Blocks: Linguistics in education

In order to bolster full support and ensure the highest levels of success, contributions must be made to the students’ personal and academic lives. Informing and educating immigrant families will help foster a sense of confidence in students and could help cultivate feelings of belonging. In addition, rather than forcing cultural assimilation in schools through a lack of diverse thought and perspectives presented in the classroom, educators and curricula writers must work to ensure that there are an array of learning opportunities available for students of all backgrounds.

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Building Blocks: Standardized testing

The cost of these examinations is not the only barrier to higher education for minority students; the structure of the test also poses difficulties. The current SAT may appear vastly different, yet it remains inherently the same as the original test that was invented almost 80 years ago as an adaptation of the IQ test. The first rendition of this examination was overtly racist in practice, and sought to bolster a discriminatory college admissions system that aimed to keep minority students out of prestigious institutions through carefully worded questions and unfair structure.

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Building Blocks: Overcrowding

Although many of the effects of overcrowding in schools are not currently visible due to virtual modalities, over enrollment in American public schools is a pressing problem that has been facing our nation for several decades. Teacher shortages, in addition to lack of funding for education, are a few of the driving forces for overfilled public schools.

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Building Blocks: Preemptive support

While much research has been done on the avenues that have impacted students, not as much attention has been paid to the ways that the pandemic has affected teachers. Therefore, while I agree with Cardona that we must prioritize reopening of schools, I believe that we must simultaneously institute a plan to support many of our nation’s educators who have been overlooked during the past year.

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Building Blocks: Modern fault lines

It has been almost 70 years since the Supreme Court made its precedent-setting decision to desegregate schools in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case. While our nation has made immense progress from our former legal structures that openly endorsed blatantly segregated schools, we still have a long way to go. Approximately […]

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Building Blocks: Tabula rasa

In Locke’s "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding" (1689), he presented the idea that we are all born a blank slate, a tabula rasa, ready to be painted with acquired knowledge. His philosophy laid the foundations for the secular education system that seeks to paint millions of K–12 students’ blank slates today.

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Building Blocks: Pledge to participate

The cornerstone of our democracy rests on voter turnout. In order to represent the true desires of the American people, we must pull from the largest sample possible. This is simply impossible unless we can increase the number of Americans who are motivated on the basis of political efficacy to share their opinion.

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Building blocks: Classroom to cell

We must begin by creating new disciplinary policies within our schools. Rather than excessive suspensions and expulsions, we must create educational, empathetic avenues that give students the room to grow as individuals.

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Sobremesa: The importance of equitable vaccination distribution

In an ideal world, this developed nation would have produced enough vaccinations to provide doses to all Americans as soon as possible. But given our current political climate and the limited number of doses available, one approach that has a fighting chance at providing a standard of health care equity is ensuring not only that the vaccine is financially accessible to all, but that minority voices are included in statewide task forces.