The term "cancelled" is quite common in American culture nowadays. It no longer refers to things like a TV series that has run its course or a meeting that is not going to take place--it's frequently used to describe a person of influence or an organization that has been publicly called out and outcast for (perceived) wrongdoing. It could be as simple as one bad tweet or comment, either past or present, but the effects can be catastrophic. Celebrities can all but lose their careers, and companies can suffer extreme economic impacts. The phenomenon of being "cancelled" is not necessarily a new one (think: McCarthyism from the 1950's), but it has certainly become a widespread and accelerated experience largely thanks to social media.
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A school board in southeast Tennessee recently decided to remove the Pulitzer-prize winning Holocaust graphic novel "Maus" from its language arts curriculum, deeming its content unsuitable for eighth-grade students. Another local school district outside of Nashville decided to remove the book "Walk Two Moons" from its elementary curriculum following parental complaints about its content. These two decisions have received national attention, stirring controversy about what content is appropriate for students to read, when, why, and who is responsible for making those decisions.
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The notion of "school choice" is not a new one, but discussions around it are perhaps increasing in a new way. It seems to be that when a particular pattern or way of being is interrupted or disrupted, this creates a natural pause and cause for re-thinking the 'status quo.' This is perhaps the case with the education system in the United States in the present moment. The traditional education system in the US (and around the world) was fully disrupted in 2019.
Since that time, many new conversations and considerations have surface among educators, administrators, educational advocates, legislators, and parents. Rather than being able to maintain "school as usual," this has been a time to question on a deeper level: what are the needs of the modern learner, what is the best way to deliver meaningful education opportunities to students in our day and age, is the traditional school model the most effective way of teaching and learning? For parents, the questioning is on a much more personal level: what truly is the best educational approach for my children?