Young lives. Old problems. New solutions.

Welcome to EqualEd

Our new EqualEd section is all about giving voice to constituencies that often aren't heard. It's about making connections and helping those outside of education better understand barriers that can keep young people from reaching their full potential.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor
Third-grade students at Roosevelt School work on reading comprehension on May 19, 201,6 in Bridgeport, Conn. Connecticut, the wealthiest state, also has the greatest levels of inequality in its schools.

Tired of hearing about failing schools and the broken US education system?

So are we.

At the Monitor, we’ve been reporting on education for decades. But we’ve come to realize that schools can’t educate students and overcome the effects of poverty and racism in six hours a day. We want to go deeper, to train our lens on key inequities inside and outside the classroom and, more important, what’s working to reverse them.

Our new EqualEd section is all about giving voice to constituencies that often aren't heard, such as those who spend the most time in classrooms: teachers and students. It's about helping those outside of education better understand barriers that can keep young people from reaching their full potential.

It's about connecting: EqualEd aims to build a strong community through its in-depth reporting, free email newsletter, and special events that allow for a vital exchange of ideas and ways to engage in solutions. (Feel free to join us on Twitter, as well, at @CSMEqualEd.)

And we want to offer the students themselves a chance to tell their stories with our audio podcasts. By listening to the voices of students at risk of being left behind, we can empower them – and discover real solutions to help them succeed. We want to take those stories and ideas to the people who are not always hearing them – because the more people who hear them, the more hands will turn to shaping and expanding the paths of opportunity and success for all children.

Take today’s story: As Monitor staff reporter Stacy Teicher Khadaroo reports, a Providence middle school realized one-third of its students were missing more than 15 days of school a year. So it gave those sixth graders mentors who were in the school with them, every day. The turnaround was dramatic. 

When Manny Aponte explains in our first audio clip the reason he struggled to attend school, it goes straight to the heart of why some young people need someone extra on their side. He says his relationship with his mentor was unlike anything he'd ever experienced.

It’s time for children to be seen and heard. Ready to listen?

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.