News Briefs | FYI
May 15, 2023
Library association releases most challenged books of 2022
The American Library Association kicked off National Library Week on April 24 with the release of its annual list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2022.
Due to multiple books that received the same number of challenges, the list was expanded to 13 titles, most of which were written by or about members of the LGBTQIA+ community and people of color.
Libraries in every state faced another year of unprecedented attempts to ban books. In 2022, ALA tracked the highest number of censorship reports since the association began compiling data about library censorship more than 20 years ago. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, a 38 percent increase from the 1,858 unique titles targeted in 2021.
“By releasing the list of Top 10 Most Challenged Books each year, ALA recognizes all of the brave authors whose work challenges readers with stories that disrupt the status quo and offer fresh perspectives on tough issues,” said ALA President Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, in a news release. “The list also illustrates how frequently stories by or about LGBTQ+ persons, people of color, and lived experiences are being targeted by censors. Closing our eyes to the reality portrayed in these stories will not make life’s challenges disappear. Books give us courage and help us understand each other.”
According to the State of America’s Libraries report, 48 percent of book challenges take place in public libraries, 41 percent in school libraries, 10 percent in schools and 1 percent in higher education.
In response to the uptick in book challenges and other efforts to suppress access to information, ALA has designated every Monday of National Library Week moving forward as Right to Read Day, a day of action that encourages communities to fight back against censorship and to protect and celebrate the right to read freely.
This year’s National Library Week also marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of Unite Against Book Bans. More information is available at
Below are the most Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022:
  • “Gender Queer,” by Maia Kobabe.
  • “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” by George M. Johnson.
  • “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison.
  • “Flamer,” by Mike Curato.
  • “Looking for Alaska,” by John Green.
  • “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky.
  • “Lawn Boy,” by Jonathan Evison.
  • “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie.
  • “Out of Darkness,” by Ashley Hope Perez.
  • “A Court of Mist and Fury,” by Sarah J. Maas.
  • “Crank,” by Ellen Hopkins.
  • “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” by Jesse Andrews.
  • “This Book is Gay,” by Juno Dawson.
ED calls for end of corporal punishment in schools
The U.S. Department of Education is calling for an end to corporal punishment in schools upon the release of a new resource on how to maintain safe, inclusive, supportive and fair learning environments for students and school staff.
On March 24, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona wrote to governors, Chief State School Officers, and school district and school leaders and urged them to end corporal punishment in schools — the practice of paddling, spanking or otherwise imposing physical punishment on students.
This letter reinforces the department’s position that corporal punishment in schools should be replaced with evidence-based practices, such as implementing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support like Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, that create safe and healthy school environments. Every student and educator should feel safe and supported inside of school buildings; and more importantly, schools should always be free from the threat of violence.
“It’s unacceptable that corporal punishment remains legally permissible in at least 23 states. Our children urgently need their schools to raise the bar for supporting their mental health and wellbeing,” said Cardona, in a news release. “Despite years of research linking corporal punishment to poorer psychological, behavioral, and academic outcomes, tens of thousands of children and youth are subjected to beating and hitting or other forms of physical harm in school every academic year, with students of color and students with disabilities disproportionately affected. Schools should be places where students and educators interact in positive, nurturing ways that foster students’ growth and development, dignity, and sense of belonging — not places that condone violence and instill fear and mistrust.”
In addition, the department has released guiding principles on how to maintain safe, inclusive, supportive and fair learning environments for students and school staff, including specific recommendations for evidence-based practices to give students what they need to learn and grow. Read the document on the ACSA Resource Hub,
Report: Chromebook ‘death date’ costing schools money
Schools are being saddled with enormous amounts of e-waste from Chromebooks that have reached their “death date,” according to a recent report from U.S. PIRG Education Fund.
Popular at the start of the pandemic as an inexpensive solution to provide a laptop to every student for distance learning, school administrators interviewed by the public interest watchdog are now seeing devices start to fail by design.
That’s because Chromebooks contain an AUE or Auto-Update Expiration, after which software updates are not supported and the device cannot access secure websites. According to U.S. PIRG, the average Chromebook expiration is just four years away. (Look up device expiration at
U.S. PIRG Education Fund is advocating that Google double the life of its Chromebooks to save schools money on replacement costs, reduce e-waste and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
“One-to-one policies where every student gets a laptop are likely here to stay. Which means the consequences of balancing utility and sustainability are huge,” writes Lucas Gutterman, director of U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s Designed to Last Campaign. “Interviews with school IT staff reveal Chromebooks typically last four years. Across the 48.1 million K-12 public school students in the U.S., doubling the lifespan of Chromebooks could result in $1.8 billion dollars in savings for taxpayers, assuming no additional maintenance costs.”
Read the report at
CDE hosts virtual panel on AI in education systems
Educators are invited to join CDE Computer Science Coordinator Katherine Goyette at 8:30 a.m. May 24 as she moderates a virtual panel discussion regarding the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on our students’ lives. Panelists from across California’s K–12 and higher education systems will speak to build students’ conceptual knowledge of this emerging technology and address the capabilities and limitations of AI. Register via Zoom at Email questions to
Virtual reading conference to be held June 14-15
The Sacramento County Office of Education is pleased to announce the virtual California Early Literacy Conference: “Everyone Has the Right to Read.” This free, two-day conference June 14–15 will feature evidence-based practices in elementary literacy and sessions on literacy for multilingual learners, special education, assessment, SEL, trauma-informed practices, literacy coaching, and more. Register at
Free webinar looks at mindfulness in education
ACSA Partner4Purpose Alliant International University and Penguin Random House Education have partnered on a two-part webinar series to provide expertise, guidance and resources to educators seeking to amplify their impact. The first webinar will feature a conversation about the transformative power of mindfulness in education. The webinar will be from 12-1 p.m. May 18. Register at
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