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Unleashing Pathos A Guide To Impactful Writing

Writing is a powerful tool that has the ability to evoke a range of emotions within readers. Whether it is a heart-warming story, a motivational speech, or a compelling advertisement, successful pieces of writing often rely on pathos – the emotional appeal – to captivate and persuade their audience. In this article, we will explore the use of pathos in writing, its significance, and provide tips on how to master this art, allowing you to create a deep and persuasive connection with your readers. So, let’s dive into the world of pathos and uncover its role in effective writing.

The Power of Pathos in Effective Writing

Writing is a powerful tool that allows us to express our thoughts, share our opinions, and connect with others. While techniques such as logic and reasoning are essential in crafting a persuasive piece, there is another crucial element that can truly engage and move your readers: pathos.

Derived from the Greek word meaning “suffering” or “experience,” pathos refers to the use of emotions in writing to create a strong emotional response from the audience. It taps into the human experience, evoking feelings of empathy, sympathy, joy, or fear. As a writer, incorporating pathos into your writing can greatly enhance its effectiveness and ultimately make your piece more convincing. In this article, we will explore the use of pathos in writing and how you can master the art of crafting emotional appeal in your writing.

Crafting Emotional Appeal in Your Writing

Effective writing is all about engaging and connecting with your audience. While logic and facts appeal to the rational side of our brain, it is emotions that truly drive our decisions and actions. As humans, we are naturally drawn to stories and experiences that evoke emotions within us. This is where pathos comes into play.

An excellent example of using pathos in writing is in storytelling. Stories have the power to tug at our heartstrings, make us empathize with the characters, and create an emotional connection with the readers. When incorporating pathos into your writing, consider using anecdotes, personal experiences, or even fictional tales to elicit an emotional response from your audience.

Another way to craft emotional appeal in your writing is by using descriptive language. By painting a vivid picture with your words, you can transport your readers to a specific moment or scene and evoke emotions within them. For example, instead of saying, “The puppy looked cute,” you can say, “The soft fur of the adorable puppy glistened under the warm sunlight, and as it wagged its tail, my heart melted.” This not only creates a strong image but also evokes a sense of warmth and joy in the readers.

Mastering the Art of Using Pathos in Your Writing

While pathos can be a powerful tool, it is essential to use it tactfully and with purpose. Too much emotional appeal can come across as manipulative or insincere, which can turn off your audience. Here are some tips to help you master the art of using pathos in your writing:

  • Know Your Audience: Understanding your target audience is crucial when it comes to incorporating pathos into your writing. Different emotions resonate with different people, so make sure to consider your audience’s values, beliefs, and experiences when crafting your piece.
  • Use Personal Stories: Sharing personal stories allows your readers to connect with you on a deeper level and creates a sense of relatability. However, make sure that the story is relevant to your topic and adds value to your writing.
  • Choose the Right Emotions: As mentioned earlier, too much emotional appeal can backfire. Make sure to choose the right emotions that align with your message and purpose. For instance, if you want to evoke empathy, focus on sharing a story of a person’s struggle rather than trying to guilt-trip your readers.
  • Appeal to the Senses: Our senses play a significant role in evoking emotions. Use descriptive language that appeals to your readers’ senses to create a sensory experience for them.

Tips for Incorporating Pathos into Your Writing

Now that you understand how to use pathos in your writing let us look at some practical tips to help you incorporate it effectively:

  • Use Metaphors and Similes: These literary devices can be incredibly powerful in creating a strong emotional response. They allow readers to view things in a new light, making them feel more connected to the subject matter.
  • Rely on Personal Experiences: Personal experiences are authentic and can make your writing appear more genuine. Incorporate your own experiences or those of people close to you to add credibility and connect with your readers.
  • Employ Rhetorical Devices: Techniques such as repetition, exaggeration, and rhetorical questions can all add a dramatic effect to your writing and evoke strong emotions.
  • Research Emotional Triggers: Different things trigger different emotions within people. Do some research and find out what emotional triggers are most effective for your target audience and incorporate them into your writing.

Creating a Persuasive Emotional Connection Through Writing

Ultimately, the key to using pathos in writing is to create a persuasive emotional connection with your readers. It allows them to not only understand your message but also feel it. When done effectively, pathos can be a powerful tool in influencing opinions, motivating action, and creating a lasting impact on your readers.

Whether you are writing a persuasive essay, a blog post, or a sales pitch, incorporating pathos into your writing can greatly enhance its effectiveness. So next time you sit down to write, remember to tap into the power of emotions and create a strong emotional appeal in your piece.

The Power of Pathos in Effective Writing

In conclusion, pathos is a powerful tool that can elevate your writing and evoke a strong emotional response from your audience. By understanding your audience, choosing the right emotions, and using literary devices, you can craft a persuasive emotional connection through your writing.

If you want to learn more about incorporating pathos into your writing, check out this guide on how to write about pathos. It offers valuable insights and tips on using this technique effectively. With practice and intention, you can master the art of using pathos in your writing and create a lasting impact on your readers. So go ahead and start crafting emotionally appealing pieces that will captivate and move your audience.

In conclusion, the use of pathos in writing can be a powerful tool in creating a persuasive emotional connection with your audience. By crafting emotional appeal and mastering the art of using pathos, you can effectively engage and influence your readers. Incorporating pathos into your writing requires careful consideration of your target audience and the message you want to convey, but with the right techniques and tips, you can create impactful and memorable pieces. Remember to use relevant and relatable emotions, vivid language and sensory details, and to strike a balance between emotional appeal and logical reasoning. With practice and intentionality, the power of pathos can elevate your writing and make it truly compelling. So go ahead and explore the use of pathos in your writing, and see the difference it can make in connecting with your audience and achieving your desired impact.

How To Write A Textual Analysis Essay

A textual analysis essay is a type of essay that requires the student to read a text closely and critically. The goal of a textual analysis essay is to examine a text’s structure, meaning, and impact on readers. In order to write a successful textual analysis essay, you must first read the text carefully and thoughtfully. After reading the text, you should identify the text’s main points and analyze how the author constructs the text. In addition, you should consider the text’s intended audience and how the text might affect readers. Finally, you should evaluate the text’s impact on you, the reader.

When writing a textual analysis essay, it is important to remember that the author’s purpose is not always clear. You must use your own judgment to determine the author’s purpose and how it is conveyed in the text. In addition, you must be able to identify the text’s main points and analyze how the author constructs the text. This means that you must understand the text’s structure and meaning. Finally, you must be able to articulate your thoughts and opinions about the text.

The best way to write a successful textual analysis essay is to start by outlining the essay. This will help you to organize your thoughts and ensure that you cover all of the key points. In your outline, you should include the following:

-The title of the text
-The author of the text
-The year the text was published
-The genre of the text
-The intended audience of the text
-The main points of the text
-How the author constructs the text
-The text’s impact on the reader

Once you have written your outline, you can begin writing the body of your essay. Be sure to support your points with evidence from the text. In addition, use your own judgment to articulate your thoughts and opinions about the text. If you are having difficulty writing the essay, you may want to consider reading the text a second time. This will help you to better understand the text’s structure and meaning.

When you are finished writing your essay, be sure to proofread it carefully. This will help you to ensure that your essay is free of mistakes.

Understanding the Purpose of Textual Analysis Essays

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What is a textual analysis essay?

A textual analysis essay is a type of essay that breaks a text down into its component parts and evaluates each part. In order to write a textual analysis essay, you must first understand the text’s purpose and structure.

What is the purpose of a textual analysis essay?

The purpose of a textual analysis essay is to analyze the text’s structure, purpose, and meaning. By breaking the text down into its component parts, you can better understand its purpose and meaning.

What is the structure of a textual analysis essay?

The structure of a textual analysis essay is very similar to the structure of an essay. It typically consists of an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction introduces the text and provides background information. The body paragraphs analyze the text’s structure, purpose, and meaning. The conclusion summarizes the essay’s findings.

Selecting an Appropriate Text for Analysis

When it comes to writing a textual analysis essay, the most important part is selecting an appropriate text to analyze. The text you choose should be something that is meaningful to you and that you feel passionate about. It can be anything from a novel to a poem to a song.

Once you have selected a text, you need to read it carefully and make sure you understand it. Then, you need to come up with a thesis statement that will be the focus of your essay. Your thesis statement should be clear and concise, and it should explain what you plan to discuss in your essay.

After you have drafted your thesis statement, you need to start creating an outline. The outline should include all of the points you plan to discuss in your essay, and it should be arranged in a logical order.

Once you have finished writing your essay, be sure to proofread it carefully. Make sure all of your points are clear and that your essay flows smoothly from one paragraph to the next.

Identifying Key Literary Elements and Devices

When writing a textual analysis essay, it is important to identify and analyze the key literary elements and devices used by the author. These elements and devices can include:

– plot
– setting
– characters
– point of view
– symbolism
– theme

By identifying and analyzing these elements and devices, you can develop a deeper understanding of the text and the author’s message.

One of the most important things to remember when writing a textual analysis essay is to stay focused on the text itself. Don’t get distracted by your own personal opinions or interpretations. Instead, analyze the text objectively, using your own words and arguments.

When analyzing a text, it is helpful to come up with a thesis statement that summarizes your main points. Then, use evidence from the text to support your thesis. Be sure to provide clear and concise explanations of how the evidence supports your argument.

In the end, your goal is to provide a thoughtful and well-argued analysis of the text.

Developing a Strong Thesis Statement

A textual analysis essay is a type of academic writing assignment that asks students to read and analyze a text, and then to write about their observations. In order to write a successful textual analysis essay, it is important to develop a strong thesis statement.

The thesis statement is the central focus of the essay, and it should be clear and concise. It should state your argument clearly, and it should be supported by evidence from the text.

In order to develop a strong thesis statement, you need to do your research. Read the text carefully, and make note of the key points that support your argument. Make sure to include evidence from the text to support your argument.

Once you have developed a strong thesis statement, it is important to plan your essay. Make sure to outline your argument, and make sure to include evidence from the text to support your points.

The body of the essay should be organized and concise. Make sure to write in a clear and concise manner, and make sure to support your points with evidence from the text.

The conclusion of the essay should restate your argument, and it should leave the reader with a clear understanding of your thesis.

Analyzing and Interpreting Textual Evidence

A textual analysis essay is a type of essay that requires the student to analyze and interpret a text. The goal of a textual analysis essay is to provide a close reading of a text that focuses on the meaning of the text and how it is conveyed. In order to write a successful textual analysis essay, you will need to carefully examine the text, identify the main points that the author is trying to make, and then provide your own interpretation of those points.

In order to get started, you will need to read the text closely and make sure that you understand it fully. Once you have a good understanding of the text, you can begin to identify the main points that the author is trying to make. Often times, these points will be stated explicitly by the author, but sometimes you will need to infer them from the text. After you have identified the main points, you will need to provide your own interpretation of them. This is where your own analysis and thoughts come into play.

It is important to remember that a textual analysis essay is not just a summary of the text. Your goal should be to provide a close reading of the text that goes beyond the surface level. You should provide your own insights and analysis of the text in order to help the reader understand it fully.

Ultimately, a successful textual analysis essay will help the reader understand the text on a deeper level and will allow them to see the meaning behind the words.

Crafting Well-Structured Body Paragraphs

Textual analysis essays can be difficult to write, but with careful attention to detail and well-structured body paragraphs, a great essay can be crafted.

The first step in writing a textual analysis essay is to read the text closely and develop a strong understanding of its meaning. This can be done by asking yourself questions such as who is the author, what is the context of the text, and what is the main argument or point the author is making. Once you have a clear understanding of the text, you can begin to craft your body paragraphs.

Each body paragraph should focus on a specific point that you are making about the text. Start by introducing the point you are making, and then support it with evidence from the text. Be sure to explain how the evidence supports your point, and don’t simply list evidence without explaining its significance. You should also make sure that your body paragraphs are well-organized and easy to follow.

In order to create a well-structured body paragraph, it is helpful to use a three-part structure. The first part should introduce the point you are making and provide a brief explanation of how it relates to the text. The second part should provide specific evidence from the text that supports your point. The third part should explain the significance of the evidence and how it supports your argument.

Here is an example of a body paragraph using this structure:

In the text, the author argues that _____. One piece of evidence that supports this argument is _____. This evidence shows _____. The significance of this evidence is _____.

In the text, the author argues that the current education system is failing students. One piece of evidence that supports this argument is the fact that students are not being taught the skills they need to be successful in the workplace. This evidence shows that the current education system is not preparing students for the real world. The significance of this evidence is that it confirms the author’s argument that the education system is failing students.

Incorporating Critical Analysis and Commentary

A textual analysis essay is a writing assignment that requires students to closely read a text and then develop an argument based on their analysis of the text. In order to write a successful textual analysis essay, students must be able to incorporate critical analysis and commentary into their writing.

The first step in writing a textual analysis essay is to read the text closely and develop an understanding of its main ideas. Students should take notes as they read, highlighting important passages and noting any questions or ideas that they have. Once they have a good understanding of the text, they can begin to develop an argument based on their analysis.

In order to write a critical analysis, students must be able to articulate their own thoughts and opinions about the text. They should also be able to back up their arguments with evidence from the text. In addition, students should be able to comment on the text’s structure, style, and tone.

When writing a textual analysis essay, it is important to be clear and concise. Students should avoid rambling or going off on tangents. Instead, they should focus on developing a clear and argumentative essay.

Overall, a successful textual analysis essay should be well-written, well-argued, and highly analytical.

Watch: Florida Teen Asks Girlfriend To Homecoming Dance, And The World Goes Wild — ‘Down Syndrome Does Not Limit Them’

Watch: Florida Teen Asks Girlfriend to Homecoming Dance, and the World Goes Wild — ‘Down Syndrome Does Not Limit Them’

This article is part of a series on that showcases the incredible stories, victories, and acts of kindness happening at schools throughout America. For more inspiring profiles, visit The74Million.org/series/inspiring.

Two high school sweethearts captured the hearts of not only America, but the entire world when their simple homecoming date request went viral.

David Cowan, a senior at Seminole High School in Sanford, Florida, went to a football game at Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs with flowers and a poster. Saris Garcia, his girlfriend and a cheerleader at Lake Brantley High, was there.

In front of the crowd, David got down on one knee and asked, "Will you go to homecoming with me?" Saris, filled with excitement, screamed "Yes!"

This moment would have been special regardless, but what makes it even more heartwarming is the fact that David and Saris both have Down syndrome. Their pure joy and happiness is truly a delight to witness.

David and Saris first met when they were 3 years old at a speech therapist’s office, according to Today.com. Although they moved a few times, they remained close friends. Their families also became close, ensuring that the two participated in Special Olympics together and had fun at the beach, just like any other kids in Florida.

Now, at the ages of 19 and 18, David and Saris live near each other and attend neighboring high schools. While their parents are unsure of exactly when they started dating, they have always had a special connection. As they grew older, their relationship blossomed, and they began expressing their love and care for each other.

Their families want others to know that David and Saris are just like any other couple. They fall in love and aspire to have fulfilling lives. Down syndrome doesn’t limit them.

Sophia, David’s 16-year-old sister, accompanied him when he bought the supplies and helped him create the poster, as reported by Today. David’s mother, Marilyn Cowan, was there in the stands, cheerfully supporting him. According to CNN, she and Wanda Cruz, Saris’s mother, wrote in a joint email, "He was so excited and dancing in the bleachers." Cruz captured the moment on video, which has gained over 1 million views on Facebook.

In the video, David walks along the sidelines, holding flowers and a sign that reads, "Will you be my sunshine to homecoming?" The crowd cheers and applauds when Saris gives him the answer he was hoping for, and he raises his arms in victory.

Saris’s mother expressed her gratitude for inclusion programs that allow her daughter to be fully integrated into the school culture and participate in events like homecoming, just like any other student.

This heartwarming story of David and Saris reminds us that love transcends any limitations or disabilities. They serve as an inspiration to all, showing that true love knows no boundaries.

Upon arrival at the dance, the applause for the young couple did not cease. Principal Jordan Rodriguez extended a warm invitation for them to join him on stage, in the presence of a supportive crowd.

"I have the pleasure of introducing some very special guests," stated Rodriguez in a YouTube video documenting the dance. "They are not only esteemed within Seminole High School, but they have gained recognition on a national level."



Delighted! Delighted! Delighted! Picture taken by: @bomas2005

Shared by Saris.Marie on Sunday, September 29, 2019

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SXSW EDU Launch Winner Our Worlds Bringing Native American Culture To Life Through Mobile-Based Immersive Reality

SXSW EDU Launch Winner Our Worlds Bringing Native American Culture to Life Through Mobile-Based Immersive Reality

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Take a leisurely walk along the beautiful La Jolla Shores Beach in San Diego, and you may feel the warm sand beneath your feet. However, if you use the innovative Our Worlds app, which won the prestigious 2022 SXSW EDU Launch Competition, you will experience much more. Through the power of augmented reality, you can witness handmade tule boats from the local Kumeyaay tribe right there on the beach.

The main purpose behind the launch of Our Worlds is to showcase Native American history using modern technology, which aligns with the founder and CEO Kilma Lattin’s vision of merging "code to culture" in order to propel Native American civilization forward. Our Worlds provides a comprehensive suite of cutting-edge technologies, including virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence, to capture all the components that define a culture.

Our Worlds has developed its own proprietary XR360 technology, which combines 360-degree video with additional content. This includes written and spoken Native languages overlaid on everyday objects and landscapes, as well as the insertion of historical artifacts into real-time environments. By merging modern and historical images, users can witness what a particular place looked like at different points in time.

Catherine Eng, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Our Worlds, describes the tool they have created as a means to provide a glimpse of an alternative reality in a different location.

The app itself offers multiple avenues for exploration. One option allows users to virtually explore Native artifacts through a hologram-like function, while another enables them to experience the items, such as the tule boats, in their original historic locations. For example, while on the beach, users can open the app and use the camera mode to scan across the sand. The tule boats will then appear along the shore in an augmented reality state. Accompanied by narration from Kumeyaay professor Stanley Rodriguez, users can learn about the history of these boats and how they were constructed using the reed-like tule plant.

The geolocation settings of the app personalize Native American history based on the user’s location and provide primary-source accounts. For instance, there is a lesson on the Choctaw Code Talkers, featuring a four-minute video that reconstructs the messages used during World War I. This vividly demonstrates how the Choctaw language played a pivotal role in altering the course of the war.

Lattin explains that Our Worlds has the ability to geolocate cultural content wherever it is relevant. Whether it’s stories in Austin, Texas, or any other place, they can create and geolocate stories accordingly. In its short existence, Our Worlds has expanded its content to include locations in San Diego, Oklahoma, Washington, D.C., and even France. Lattin emphasizes that they are imbuing greater meaning into these places by providing an augmented reality experience that connects users to the history and culture.

According to Lattin, augmented reality allows users to witness life as it was centuries ago, offering a glimpse into the past. He suggests that if you find yourself in modern-day Times Square and want to delve into its historical roots, you can use Our Worlds to digitally erase the current buildings and connect with primary sources who possess knowledge about Times Square in its earlier days. This enriches our understanding of the places we inhabit, work in, and travel to.

Eng believes that the potential of Our Worlds as a tool for K-12 curriculum is immense. She envisions incorporating captivating stories into classroom teaching and is eager to explore opportunities to serve educators in the best possible way.

Lattin sees the bigger picture of Our Worlds as enabling education to unfold wherever you go. As they continue to expand their library of primary source content and digitize maps to showcase historical landscapes, drop artifacts onto sandy beaches, and narrate compelling historical stories, Lattin asserts that this endeavor is not limited to Native American culture alone. It encompasses all cultures and is about fostering a communal approach to building a digital future centered on immersive realities.

Since winning the SXSW Launch competition, Lattin has been engaging with other cultural groups to help them share their stories through the Our Worlds platform. He expresses the desire to serve a multitude of communities and cultural narratives, aiming to make the experience relevant and meaningful for everyone. Lattin envisions a different approach to constructing digital futures, one that embraces immersive realities and inclusivity.

Your assignment is to rephrase the entire text using enhanced vocabulary and create a unique version with a natural language tone. All the resulting content should be written in English. Here is the original text to be rewritten:

"Every morning, I wake up at 6 o’clock and start my day by going for a jog. Jogging helps me clear my mind and energize my body for the day ahead. After jogging, I return home and enjoy a nutritious breakfast. It’s important to fuel my body with wholesome food to provide me with the energy I need for the day. Once I finish breakfast, I begin my work. I have a structured routine that allows me to be productive and focused throughout the day. During my work breaks, I take the time to stretch and move around, which helps me stay active and refreshes my mind. In the evening, I engage in activities that promote relaxation, such as reading a book or taking a leisurely walk. These activities help me unwind and prepare for a restful night’s sleep. Overall, following this daily routine has significantly improved my physical and mental well-being."

Study: Online Charter Schools Not Making The Grade

Study: Online Charter Schools Not Making the Grade

On October 27, the findings of a new study were released, revealing that students attending online charter schools perform worse than their peers in traditional brick-and-mortar schools. This trend is consistent across various demographic groups, different methodologies, and the majority of states. Greg Richmond, of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, expressed his concern over these results, stating that while virtual schooling has its place, the outcomes shown in the report are unacceptable.

The report concludes that academic benefits from online charter schools are the exception rather than the rule. Online charter schools, which deliver the majority of their instruction via computer over the internet, are a topic of controversy. Supporters argue that they promote innovation in education and cater to at-risk students, while skeptics highlight the fact that two-thirds of these schools are operated by for-profit organizations, and previous research has consistently shown poor academic performance.

The study, conducted by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), was accompanied by reports from the Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) and Mathematica Policy Research. CREDO, based at Stanford University, has a history of producing influential studies on charter school effectiveness.

The CREDO research compares the impact of attending online charter schools versus traditional public schools. To do this, researchers match students attending online charters with demographically similar students who attend traditional public schools and have similar prior levels of achievement. By comparing the academic growth between these two groups, the study found significant negative effects on both math and reading scores for students in online charter schools.

While the results of this study are concerning, it is important to note that CREDO’s methodology has its limitations. One challenge for charter school studies is the potential for selection bias, as students who choose to attend charter schools may differ from those who remain in traditional public schools. However, CREDO attempts to address this by controlling for demographic factors and prior achievement. Nevertheless, it is possible that there are other differences between students in online charter schools and traditional public schools that were not captured in the data.

These findings have led to disappointment among charter advocates, who are now calling for reforms. Nina Rees, of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, acknowledges that while online schooling may work for some students, the CREDO report highlights the fact that many are not succeeding in this environment. Rees emphasizes the need for stronger oversight from charter authorizers and suggests awarding grant money based on school performance.

In conclusion, the study’s results reveal the underperformance of online charter schools compared to traditional schools, sparking calls for action and reform within the charter school sector. It is important to recognize the limitations of this study’s methodology, but the findings raise valid concerns about the effectiveness of online charter schools.

These findings follow a study that discovered a negative impact on student learning from online instruction at the university level.

CREDO solely focuses on academic achievement in math and reading, neglecting other factors of school quality that families and students may prioritize. Furthermore, the study cannot determine if a student would have dropped out of school if they were not enrolled in an online charter program.

K12 Inc, the largest operator of online schools in the country, criticized the study for relying on outdated data from 2012. They also argue that the methodology used in the study does not allow for fair comparisons, as it fails to account for differences between students who transfer to online charter schools and those who remain in traditional schools.

In response, K12 stated, "We are aware of the academic challenges that online charter schools face, and we have implemented significant measures in the past two years to address these challenges. However, these efforts are not reflected in this study."

The Mathematica report primarily focuses on specific aspects of online charters, which have seen substantial growth in recent years. It highlights the fact that online charters have a significantly higher number of white students and fewer Hispanic students and English-language learners compared to traditional public schools. Principals of online charters often cite "student engagement" as their biggest challenge.

Brian Gill, a coauthor of the report, explains, "Maintaining student engagement is inherently challenging in online instruction, and it is made worse by the high student-teacher ratios and limited contact time between students and teachers, which our data shows is typical across online charter schools nationwide."

The CRPE research examines the policy environment surrounding online charters and finds that three states – Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California – account for 50% of all students enrolled in online charter schools.

These states have generally supported unrestricted initial growth in the online charter sector and provide relatively high per-pupil funding. This may be due to strong lobbying efforts by online charter networks, particularly in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The authors of the report state, "Since online charter schools often have ties to for-profit organizations, they tend to have powerful lobbyists who influence legislation and oppose additional regulations." However, the report also notes that some states have recently made efforts to limit the growth of online charters and increase oversight.

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Pandemic Spurs Huge Homeschooling Boom — But Will It Last?

Pandemic Spurs Huge Homeschooling Boom — But Will it Last?

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The number of home schools and home-schooled students in North Carolina has seen a significant increase during the COVID-19 pandemic. Comparing the 2019-20 academic year to the current one, the number of home schools rose from 94,863 to 112,614, an 18.7% surge. Regarding student enrollment, estimates suggest an increase from 149,173 to 179,900, which represents a nearly 21% change. However, these figures are not exact due to the state’s lack of accurate information on the number of students in home schools. Nonetheless, the growth in students between last year and this year is substantial. Over the span of 2016 to 2021, home schools have expanded by 39% and the number of students has grown by 41%.

For data broken down by county, including specific numbers, refer to this link.

Now, the question arises: what are the reasons behind this growth, and what implications does it have for education in North Carolina?

Exploring the issue further, it is evident that the percentage of students enrolled in public schools has been declining for several years. For every academic year between 2016-17 and 2019-20, the number of students served by public schools has consistently decreased. In 2016-17, enrollment amounted to 1,486,448 whereas by 2019-20, it had dropped to 1,458,814.

In comparison, during the second month of the 2020-21 school year, there were 63,000 fewer students enrolled compared to the previous year. This accounts for a 4.4% decrease, as reported by Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The annual charter school report for this year reveals an enrollment of 126,165 students in such schools as of October 1, 2020, compared to "over 117,000" in 2019-20. Furthermore, the number of charter schools in the state has nearly doubled since the removal of the 100-school cap on charters in 2011.

Charter schools, even though they are considered public schools, differ from school district-run institutions. Instead, they are operated by for-profit or nonprofit organizations, granting them certain flexibilities in adhering to rules and requirements that traditional public schools must follow.

According to the state Division of Non-Public Education, private school enrollment for this academic year stands at 107,341, an increase from the previous year’s 103,959. Private schools, too, typically witness year-after-year growth in enrollment.

Now, with an estimated 179,900 students enrolled in home schools this year, they have become the second-most popular educational choice in the state, trailing behind traditional public schools.

From the 2016-17 to 2017-18 academic year, the number of home schools increased by 7% from 80,973 to 86,753, while enrollment rose by approximately 6% from 127,847 to 135,749.

Between 2017-18 and 2018-19, the number of home schools grew by 3,935, and enrollment increased by 6,288. This translates to an approximate 4.5% increase in both cases.

Moving to the period from 2018-19 to 2019-20, the number of home schools rose by 4,175, and enrollment grew by 7,136. These figures represent a 4.6% and 5% increase, respectively.

To visualize the growth trend since the 2000-01 school year, refer to the provided chart.

A Superintendent’s Perspective

Travis Reeves, Superintendent of Surry County Schools, acknowledged the phenomenon of students shifting from traditional public schools to home schools, a trend that has been observed by superintendents throughout the state. Reeves emphasized that school systems need to introspect and understand the reasons behind this shift, as well as evaluate the market.

In Surry County Schools, Reeves and his team took proactive steps to engage with home school families and attended home school fairs to gain insights into their motives and educational preferences. In February 2020, before the pandemic, the local board of education altered certain policies to establish partnerships with home schools.

Consequently, home-schooled students in the Surry area can now attend Surry County Schools and take classes there. These students become dual-enrolled in their home school and the school district. Reeves expressed confidence that once these students become familiar with the teachers and principals, they will appreciate what Surry County Schools has to offer.

During the pandemic, the district introduced an online magnet school that stands apart from the virtual academies created by many other districts. The Surry Online Magnet School, which commenced in August, operates as a true online school with its own dedicated principals and teachers. Its inaugural graduation took place in May.

Upon the school’s opening, there was significant interest from homeschooled students, resulting in many of them enrolling in the school. Superintendent Reeves suggested that if this choice was not available, an additional 210 students may have opted for homeschooling.

However, Reeves acknowledged that some students also returned to homeschooling. In many instances, they sought to avoid the testing, accountability, and attendance obligations imposed by traditional schools. Reeves noted that some families found these requirements to be overwhelming.

Reeves acknowledged the growth of the school choice movement in the state. While he recognized the value of options such as magnet schools, online schools, and others, he emphasized that traditional public schools also provide choices to students and families. He believed that offering families this variety of options was crucial to the success of public education.

Reeves expressed concern about the loss of a sense of community and belonging that students experience in traditional public schools. He regarded this feeling of togetherness and unity as a fundamental aspect of democracy.

The reasons behind the surge in homeschool numbers during the pandemic are widely understood. However, questions arise about the steady growth observed prior to the pandemic. Will this expansion level off in the future, or has the pandemic triggered a more significant transformation in homeschooling?

Various factors contribute to families choosing homeschooling: concerns about the perceived lack of rigor or resources in public and private schools, the availability of online options and homeschool communities, specific educational needs of children with disabilities, and personal or familial circumstances.

Then, the pandemic struck. In July 2020, interest in homeschooling reached such heights that the registration website had to be temporarily shut down. But will the substantial increase persist now that COVID-19 concerns have diminished?

Terry Stoops, director of the Center for Effective Education at the right-leaning John Locke Foundation, believed that many families who turned to homeschooling during the pandemic will discover it to be a viable and enjoyable option for their families.

Stoops also suggested that the best way to promote homeschooling is through personal conversations between homeschooling families and those considering it.

On the other hand, Matt Ellinwood, director of the Education and Law project at the left-leaning NC Justice Center, predicted that while some new homeschooling families may continue in the short term, the overall increase observed during the pandemic is unlikely to be permanent.

Ellinwood highlighted that for many individuals, the pandemic is far from over. Moreover, the unavailability of COVID-19 vaccinations for children under 12 adds to the uncertainty. He anticipated only a modest increase in permanent homeschool enrollments, rather than the dramatic surge witnessed during the pandemic.

He expressed concerns about the sudden rise in homeschooling this year because many families did not plan on teaching their children at home and, therefore, did not adequately prepare for an educational experience outside of traditional schools.

In North Carolina, parents have significant freedom in homeschooling their children, although the state mandates that homeschooled students take annual standardized tests in subjects like English, grammar, reading, spelling, and mathematics. While parents are not required to submit the test results or evidence of compliance, they must retain the results for at least one year in case of inspection by the state authorities (as noted by Molly Osborne, director of news and policy for EducationNC, in a 2017 article).

When considering whether an increase in the number of students being home-schooled is positive or negative, Stoops and Ellinwood offer contrasting viewpoints.

Stoops believes that the focus should not be on whether public school is better than home school. Instead, the primary concern should be meeting the needs of children. He personally sees it as a positive outcome when a student succeeds academically, and whether they are in a traditional classroom or at home is irrelevant. Stoops believes that policymakers should share this perspective.

On the other hand, Ellinwood argues that as more families choose home schooling, it diminishes the number of people who have a vested interest in public education. Since the vast majority of individuals receive their education in public schools, they want to ensure that these schools have adequate resources and programs. However, if more and more people opt out of public education, it weakens the collective support for these institutions.

The state Division of Non-Public Education utilizes a particular language to explain how they determine student estimates. They use an algorithm to account for non-reporting schools and schools with unrealistic reported numbers. The algorithm takes into consideration the average student population per school from the remaining reporting schools in a county. Enrollment by grade is also estimated by assuming that non-reporting schools have a similar grade distribution to the reporting schools in that county.

In North Carolina, like 42 other states, home schools are required to register with the Division of Non-Public Education. Parents must provide basic information about the school and its administrators, such as the name, address, owner, and chief administrator. However, they are not obligated to disclose the names, ages, or specific number of home-schooled students. This is why the figures for home-schooled students in the state are only estimations and not precise counts.

This article was originally published on EdNC.org.

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Teacher’s View: From Reading ‘Power Hours’ To Spaghetti Dinners, How To Get Kids — And Their Families — Ready For Test Day

Teacher’s View: From Reading ‘Power Hours’ to Spaghetti Dinners, How to Get Kids — and Their Families — Ready for Test Day

Having grown up in the southern part of the country, I always cherished the time I spent with my grandparents in their garden. There was nothing that brought me greater joy than tending to plants and observing them flourish. I felt a sense of pride when the seeds I had planted finally blossomed.

Reflecting on my past, it’s no surprise that I ultimately chose a career in teaching. I deliberately decided to work at a high-needs school, where many students come from low-income households. As an instructional mentor for elementary school students, I have found that a significant portion of my success stems from nurturing the individual needs of my students and supporting their academic growth. This requires a substantial amount of effort and an understanding of where each student stands in relation to their peers.

This is where annual assessments come into play. In Mississippi, third-graders undertake an English Language Arts test that evaluates their reading proficiency based on the state’s rigorous academic standards. These assessments serve as a crucial tool for educators to identify areas where students are struggling, uncover learning gaps, and gauge whether students are performing below, at, or above their grade level.

Any elementary school teacher will tell you that third grade is a pivotal year in a child’s education. Prior to third grade, we focus on teaching children how to read. After this point, reading becomes integrated into other subjects. Therefore, it is essential for students to establish a strong foundation in reading by third grade, as it sets the stage for their future education.

Without the insights provided by these exams, we would be unable to track students’ progress over time or evaluate how well our school is equipping them with the necessary skills for their future.

Consequently, a significant portion of my work revolves around preparing and supporting our students. It’s important to remember that this support extends far beyond the confines of the classroom. While assessments play a vital role, a student’s educational success is influenced by various other factors outside of school. Many of the students I work with face significant challenges outside of school, which deeply impact their academic performance.

To offer our third-graders the support they need, my colleagues and I continually brainstorm ideas for what we can do outside of regular lessons and what strategies we can employ to cultivate a positive mindset leading up to the test. Just like gardening involves more than simply watering plants, nurturing students to help them reach their full potential requires a diverse range of approaches. For instance, this year we organized a spaghetti dinner for our third-grade families on the night before the test in mid-April. This event aimed to foster camaraderie among students, their families, and us, while also discussing the importance of the assessment and encouraging our students to give their best effort and demonstrate the knowledge they have acquired throughout the year.

Within the classroom, we introduced new nonfiction materials into our lessons to stimulate the curiosity of students who needed extra help in becoming proficient readers. Additionally, we implemented a "power hour" of reading each week, during which students were grouped with peers of similar proficiency levels and received personalized attention focused on the specific skills they were working on.

It’s important to recognize that this assessment does not solely determine a student’s ability to read, regardless of their performance on test day. However, it does provide an opportunity to celebrate the hard work of both students and teachers throughout the year and obtain detailed information on what else our students require to reach their full potential. Most importantly, here in Gulfport, this assessment has presented us with another chance to connect with our students and their families, emphasizing the significance of learning and discussing ways in which we can prepare students for whatever lies ahead.

Trish Stoll serves as an instructional coach in the Gulfport School District in Mississippi.

How Generation Citizen Uses Action Civics To Empower Students, Grow Lifelong Citizens And Combat Inequality

How Generation Citizen Uses Action Civics to Empower Students, Grow Lifelong Citizens and Combat Inequality

Scott Warren aims to revolutionize the concept of civics education and make it the most captivating subject in schools. As the CEO of Generation Citizen, an organization he established in 2009 while attending Brown University, Warren is dedicated to implementing action civics in schools. This approach empowers students to identify issues within their communities and collaborate to find solutions.

Warren’s passion for preserving democracy was sparked during his upbringing, as his family traveled extensively due to his father’s job in the foreign service. Generation Citizen was founded with the purpose of bringing civics back into classrooms, transforming the subject, and making it an exciting and dynamic experience. Warren believes in viewing democracy as a constantly evolving concept that requires active engagement and nurturing.

In addition to his recent book on youth political engagement, Warren recognizes civics education as a tool to address inequality in the United States. Generation Citizen primarily partners with schools that serve a majority of students from low-income backgrounds, aiming to bridge the civic participation gap experienced by historically marginalized groups.

Warren highlights the correlation between higher levels of civic engagement and reduced economic and political inequality in countries. Consequently, he emphasizes the importance of early education in shaping good citizenship, particularly in a time of increasing polarization and stratification.

During Warren’s formative years, he personally witnessed significant world events such as Kenya’s inaugural democratic elections in 2002 and a 2005 coup in Ecuador. These experiences gave him valuable insight into the factors crucial for maintaining a thriving democracy. Warren became involved in local politics upon returning to the United States for college, where his focus was on advocating for divestment from companies operating in Sudan due to the conflict in Darfur. He observed that his peers were eager to contribute towards positive change, but lacked faith in local and state governments as effective agents for achieving it.

Unfortunately, youth civic engagement and trust in government have not seen significant improvement since Warren’s college years. A 2016 poll revealed that less than half of millennials believed they had a genuine voice in the political process. Moreover, disparities in the quality of civics education persist, with privileged white students outperforming their less affluent and non-white counterparts.

Generation Citizen aims to bridge this educational gap and empower historically disenfranchised students. Research conducted by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement validates the positive impact of strong civics education on students’ political engagement. With a projected increase in reach from 18,000 to 30,000 students next year, Generation Citizen is committed to its mission. While the organization focuses on six states where it has dedicated staff, it also facilitates remote collaboration with educators nationwide and internationally.

Generation Citizen engages directly with school and district leaders in the targeted states, but interested educators can also reach out to the organization to learn more and involve their schools. Schools partnering with Generation Citizen pay a fee, which is determined based on location and affordability. Considering its commitment to serving low-income students, the organization aims to find a mutually beneficial cost arrangement. Funding for Generation Citizen is also obtained through foundations and corporate sponsorships.

Designed for middle and high school classrooms, Generation Citizen’s curriculum follows the "advocacy hourglass" model. This approach involves students and teachers identifying a community problem, investigating its causes, developing potential solutions, and actively working to implement those solutions. The organization supports teachers by providing curriculum resources and training, and some classrooms are paired with college volunteers for additional guidance throughout the semester-long projects.

Abby Kiesa, the director of impact at the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, emphasizes the value of the action civics approach in empowering young people.

Kiesa highlights the distinguishing feature of the action civics model, which does not dictate what young people should think or do. Instead, it focuses on collaboration with young people, prioritizing their thoughts and concerns. This approach centers around the experiences of young individuals and aims to foster efficacy and agency, crucial elements for sustaining engagement.

Meredith Norris, the executive director of Generation Citizen’s central Texas division, recognized the need for substantial improvement in civics education during her time as a middle school social studies teacher in the Bay Area. Norris encountered students who held the misconception that Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. had collaborated to bring about civil rights.

Generation Citizen is designed to facilitate students’ understanding of their communities and encourage cooperation among them to effect positive change. Norris witnessed students advocating for the addition of a sidewalk near the elementary school attended by their younger siblings. She also observed a rural Texas school’s class lobbying their local government to establish a youth advisory council.

Norris admires how Generation Citizen enables students to bring real issues from their communities into the classroom, making the learning experience more relevant and meaningful.

Throughout an action civics semester, teachers assume the role of project managers while their students take ownership of the projects. Generation Citizen provides teachers with professional development before the semester begins, equipping them with the necessary knowledge about local government operations. The teachers are then positioned as guides, supporting their students while allowing them to lead.

Although Generation Citizen acknowledges the value of community service projects, its ultimate aim is to foster citizens who remain politically engaged throughout their lives. The organization’s theory of change centers on empowering young individuals to become active and effective citizens in the long term. They recognize that this process requires time and commitment and are dedicated to convincing students to stay engaged and involved.

Bradford: Teachers Are Hugely Important. But I’m Not Only Against The Strikes In L.A. And Other Places, I’m Hostile To Them. Here’s Why

Bradford: Teachers Are Hugely Important. But I’m Not Only Against the Strikes in L.A. and Other Places, I’m Hostile to Them. Here’s Why

Opinion polls indicate that Americans are generally understanding and supportive of the recent wave of teacher strikes that began with the Chicago Teachers Union and gained momentum in Oklahoma and Arizona with the #RedForEd movement before reaching the Los Angeles Unified School District. This sentiment is not surprising considering the importance of great teachers and their role in shaping the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and citizens in our society.

However, this support for teachers only goes so far, as there are significant disagreements when it comes to the other aspects of the teaching profession, such as recruitment, training, compensation, and evaluation. Additionally, the emerging trend of teacher strikes, like the recent one in Los Angeles, complicates the situation further and brings about even more disagreement.

For clarity, I want to state that I not only oppose teacher strikes, but I am also hostile towards them. While some people argue that striking is the last resort for teachers, I find it increasingly difficult to believe this as strikes become more common. Once a tactic of last resort is employed, it becomes easier to use again in the future, just like how President Trump declared a national emergency to build his border wall. It’s unrealistic to think that this tactic won’t be used by future leaders.

However, this is not the main reason for my opposition to teacher strikes. There are two unique reasons why I am against them, regardless of the specific claims, desired outcomes, or intentions behind the strikes. First, the relationship between teacher unions and the public is distinct from that of other public employee unions due to the compulsory nature of public education. The state mandates that children must receive an education, either through attending assigned public schools or via homeschooling. If you choose not to send your child to a public school, you may face legal consequences, including fines or even jail time. This level of compulsion and intertwining of education with the public creates a different dynamic between teacher unions and the citizens they serve compared to other unions.

No other union has such an intimate and complex relationship with the people it serves. While fires can be devastating, they do not affect entire cities all at once. On the other hand, when a teacher union decides to go on strike and remove its members from the classroom, it can have far-reaching consequences, particularly in large school districts. Millions of people may be affected by this disruption. It’s akin to every bank in a city refusing to provide money or facilitate transactions, causing widespread chaos. This unique relationship and the power it gives teacher unions to disrupt life sets them apart from other public sector unions.

However, the impact of teacher strikes on families within a district is not evenly distributed. This is another crucial reason to oppose strikes, regardless of one’s stance on organized labor. During a strike, there are those who may consider the situation a mere inconvenience, while others are deeply threatened by its implications. Unfortunately, as is the case with many things in America, it is often the low-income families that bear the brunt of such disruptions. Despite discussions about raising the minimum wage, childcare remains extremely expensive, particularly for those with limited financial means. When parents cannot send their children to school due to a strike, they are forced to find alternative childcare, which can be a significant and unexpected expense. Moreover, finding available childcare becomes even more challenging when thousands of families are in the same predicament due to a strike.

In conclusion, while there is sympathy towards teachers and their struggles, it is crucial to consider the broader implications and consequences of strikes. The unique relationship between teacher unions and the public, combined with the unequal impact on low-income families, leads me to oppose these strikes and view them as detrimental to the overall well-being of our society.

These possibilities can be seen as the logical outcomes of a capitalist system, but they can also be seen as the realities of the situation.

Teacher strikes may result in positive outcomes such as increased salaries, better health insurance, and even pension benefits for educators, which are often unattainable in actuality rather than just on paper. Supporting these strikes can make one feel empowered by supporting the labor force and standing against powerful entities that seek to privatize education (although it should be noted that charter and private schools usually remain operational during strikes). However, these strikes also have negative consequences, particularly for low-income families who already lack leverage in the situation and have no choice but to endure the political fight.

It is important to remember that both elections and strikes have consequences. We should not overlook the impact on families who face more than just their child’s education being at stake when a local chapter of the National Education Association or American Federation of Teachers decides to take action.

Derrell Bradford serves as the executive director of the New York Campaign for Achievement Now (NYCAN).

Analysis: Money Is No Object As The California Teachers Association Tries To Eke Out A Property Tax Ballot Victory

Analysis: Money Is No Object as the California Teachers Association Tries to Eke Out a Property Tax Ballot Victory

Mike Antonucci’s Union Report is typically published on Wednesdays. You can access the full archive on their website.

The National Education Association (NEA) has allocated a staggering $23 million towards supporting Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and ensuring Democratic control of both houses of Congress. However, it may come as a surprise that a single NEA affiliate, namely the California Teachers Association (CTA), could potentially exceed that amount with just one ballot initiative.

This ballot initiative, known as Proposition 15, aims to significantly modify the provisions of Proposition 13, a groundbreaking property tax limitation measure that was approved by voters in California in 1978. Proposition 15 would protect residential homeowners under Prop 13 but eliminate these protections for numerous commercial properties. This would result in what is commonly referred to as a split-roll property tax, where taxes for commercial properties would considerably increase, generating an estimated $11 billion in revenue for various state programs, including public education.

CTA has been striving to include a split-roll measure on the state ballot since 2004, but their previous attempts have either been withdrawn or failed to gather sufficient signatures. Even the current iteration of the initiative was initially planned for the November 2018 ballot but had to be withdrawn and rewritten. Consequently, the campaign had to collect 1 million new signatures to qualify for this year’s ballot.

Although the union has spent millions over the years without achieving any concrete results, this time they are going all-in. As of mid-October, CTA has already disbursed $17.8 million for the Prop 15 campaign. In addition, they have been assisted by contributions totaling $13.2 million from various state affiliates of the Service Employees International Union, which represents numerous state workers. The largest additional contributor is the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Advocacy, established by Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, with a contribution of $10.9 million.

CTA’s spending is made possible through its Initiative Fund, to which each member contributes an annual due of $36. This generates almost $10 million per year, which can be carried over if not utilized. The union’s state council has authorized a total spending limit of $23.7 million on ballot initiatives for this election cycle. Even if all of this amount is spent, the fund would still have approximately $10 million remaining.

Moreover, CTA has additional sources of funding. The National Education Association recently provided a $4.5 million donation to CTA specifically for the Prop 15 campaign. This means that teachers from various states, including Mississippi and South Dakota, are contributing dues money to support a property tax increase in California.

The American Federation of Teachers, along with its California affiliate, has also expended $2 million in support of Prop 15.

Despite this significant financial backing, the measure has not experienced substantial changes in its public opinion polling over the years. Recent survey results from the Public Policy Institute of California and the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies indicate that Prop 15 enjoys 49 percent support, a range that has remained relatively constant since March 2018.

Traditionally, this lack of movement in polling numbers is unfavorable for California ballot initiatives, as the opposing side tends to gain momentum as Election Day approaches. However, it goes without saying that 2020 is far from being a typical year, and the unions may still manage to succeed.

CTA’s desire for a cash influx is understandable. Without a federal bailout, the union anticipates the possibility of laying off up to 50,000 teachers and support staff by February 2021. Meanwhile, active membership continues to decline, which could pose challenges for CTA to raise such significant campaign funds in the future. Nevertheless, a problem arises.

The provisions of Prop 15 would not take effect immediately, and it would only contribute a maximum of $4.6 billion to the state’s education budget. California’s education expenditure has increased by over $33 billion since 2012, even as enrollment has declined. Furthermore, enrollment was projected to continue decreasing even before the COVID-19 crisis.

While the additional revenue would certainly be welcomed, it would have far from a transformative impact on CTA and other public employee unions. What Prop 15 would accomplish is the demonstration that a targeted property tax increase can garner support. I suspect that a proposal for a residential property tax hike, but limited to mansions and the super-wealthy, may soon follow. From there, it’s a slippery slope towards reaching New Jersey’s property tax levels.

A defeat would undeniably disappoint CTA and its allies, but in reality, it wouldn’t be a major setback. No one would face repercussions for this miscalculation, and no one would be reprimanded for repeatedly spending tens of millions of dollars in dues money on unsuccessful endeavors. Furthermore, next year, an additional $10 million would be added to the initiative fund for any future efforts. Regardless of what happens in other parts of the country, the cycle in California will persist.

Disclosure: The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative provides financial support to .

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