From a pair of Native American women to a Somali refugee to the first openly gay man elected governor, the 2018 midterm elections brought a series of history-making votes that marked major accomplishments for women and LGBT candidates. Here's a rundown of the history made Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.
There were tears of joy and tears of sorrow here at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame tonight, as the "teacher caucus" and its supporters watched the election results roll in. While teachers across the country ran for their state legislatures to champion public education, Tulsa was somewhat of an epicenter for the movement, with about a dozen area educators on the ballot. At least two educators from the group, which deemed itself the "caucus," claimed big victories. Democrats Melissa Provenzano, an assistant principal at Bixby High School, and John Waldron, a social studies teacher at Booker T. Washington High School, both won their races for state House, according to the county Democratic party.
Jahana Hayes, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, has won her race for a U.S. House seat, representing Connecticut's 5th district. A former high school history teacher and current district administrator, Hayes, a Democrat, will be the first black woman from the state to serve in Congress.
Today, we're highlighting Kathleen Argus, a teacher at the Institute of Technology, a public high school in Syracuse, N.Y., who teachers a 12th grade active citizenship course. Teaching about elections poses some particular challenges in New York, a state that nearly always winds up blue in presidential elections thanks to the dominance of New York City. So, from a certain angle, the midterms are even more important for the state's electorate: That's where upstate districts and counties can really make their voting power felt.
Across the country, undocumented and DACAmented youth are finding lots of ways to participate in the democratic process. Citali Ruiz is one of those young people. She says that while parties and candidates may not view undocumented and DACAmented youth as a "win now" group, they can register voters, attend city council meetings, call their representatives, and organize political rallies and protests — regardless of their citizenship status.
Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski announced that a total of 1,327 students have earned the 'Seal of Bilingualism-Biliteracy' on their New Mexico Diploma of Excellence. Students have earned the seal for demonstrating proficiency in Spanish, French, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Keres, Navajo, Tewa, Tiwa and Zuni. The seal was first implemented in Sept. 2015 and in 2018 676 were earned by high school students and this set an unprecedented record.
Guided use of social media in classrooms can help boost the literacy and language development of English-learners in multiple languages, according to a pair of studies from a University of Minnesota research team.
Debbie Reese writes, "When We Play Our Drums, They Sing by Richard Van Camp and Lucy & Lola by Monique Gray Smith are two outstanding books... in one… Van Camp's author's note tells us that his mother went to Residential school. He tells us that he recently worked up the courage to talk with his mother about her experiences. In her note, Monique Gray Smith writes that her family members were also in the schools."
Baltimore's Stoop Stories is a 12-year-old live show and podcast wherein people from all walks of life tell their tales. The premise is simple: Everyone has a story. But then few have one as horrific, heartbreaking — and ultimately inspiring — as the one told by Jacob Atem, who was born in the part of Sudan that is now the independent country of South Sudan and who is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Humanitarian Health. Atem is a former Lost Boy, one of some 40,000 children orphaned by the Sudanese civil war in the 1990s. They fled the country on foot via arduous cross-country treks and spent years in refugee camps. Nearly 4,000 were ultimately resettled in the U.S.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is embracing a higher profile this fall in her off-the-bench role promoting education, as author of two new books for young people and in assuming the mantle of a national leader in efforts to improve civics education and engagement among youth.