ARKANSAS’ TEACHER OF THE YEAR USES POETRY AND HOMETOWN PRIDE TO CONNECT WITH HER STUDENTS

Urban Faith | 12/11/2019 | Kalyn Belsha, Chalkbeat
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Stacey James McAdoo was named Arkansas’ 2019 Teacher of the Year. She teaches speech and AVID at Little Rock Central High School.

Here, in a feature we call How I Teach, we talk to educators about how they approach their jobs. You can see other pieces in the series here.

Stacey - James - McAdoo - Roots - Little

Stacey James McAdoo has deep roots in Little Rock, Arkansas. McAdoo grew up in the city, attended public schools there, and has spent 17 years working at the historic Little Rock Central High School, where she teaches speech and oversees AVID, the school’s college and career prep program.

Central High School is known nationally as the site where in 1957, a mob of white protesters and the Arkansas National Guard blocked nine black students from integrating the school, three years after the Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional. Eventually, the students — who became known as the Little Rock Nine — were escorted in by federal troops.

School - Site - Protest - October - Thousands

More recently, the school was the site of another protest. In October, thousands of parents, students and teachers, including McAdoo, gathered outside Central High School to rally against a state plan that would have returned only some of Little Rock’s schools to local control — those with the highest ratings and largest enrollments of white students. Meanwhile, lower-performing schools with higher numbers of black students would have remained under state watch. Many argued the plan would have set up a two-tiered system that recalled the district’s segregated past.

McAdoo wrote a searing op-ed opposing the plan, which was later rejected, though the state board of education did strip Little Rock teachers of their collective bargaining rights. McAdoo said she wanted people to hear from someone who had a personal understanding of how the plan would affect schools.

Community - Community

“I am from this community, I am this community,” she...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Urban Faith
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