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Editor's Note

Just when we thought we understood everything about the Millennial generation, Generation Z—those born in the mid 1990s or later—now fills our schools.

My generation, “X,” followed the baby boomers. We were widely considered to be slackers who were raised on television and music videos. (For the record, we turned out to be quite motivated—once we got off the couch!)

Generation Z’s reputation is the opposite. According to a recent Northeastern national study that takes a close look at this age group, and inspired our cover story about them, Generation Z is “highly self-directed, demonstrated by a strong desire to work for themselves, study entrepreneurship, and design their own programs of study in college. Along with the good, this generation has also encountered the bad in the form of high stakes testing. It’s been with them throughout their school careers.

Last spring, Congress finally put some effort into reauthorizing ESEA. Now that the fight is (sort of) over, we examine the good and bad outcomes (so far) of the ESEA reauthorization and what it means for schools. Click here for more.

This magazine also marks the beginning of our quarterly “opportunity series,” which will examine the role of equity in education. We begin with a story from Reading, Pa., the nation’s poorest city.

We take a look in the mirror and examine how the small dues increase passed two years ago by delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly is well on its way to generating $60 million which will go toward programs and training to help members create union-led, student-centered change in their schools.

Lastly, this beginning-of-the-school year issue has a slightly changed look, with new and informative sections like “Teaching and Learning,” “Issues and Impact,” and “People and Places.” As you begin this new school year, we hope that we’ve provided you with exactly what you need to make 2015–2016 the best yet!

Steven Grant

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