Tennessee’s Common Core backtrack strands teachers, studentsNEWS

Tennessee’s Common Core backtrack strands teachers, students

On the first week of school, Heather Hobbs, a 26-year-old teacher in Kingsport, Tenn., asked her third-grade class to do something she knew that they wouldn’t be able to do.


NYC’s ramped-up after-school programs offer safety, supper and sports

The after-school program at East Fordham Academy in the Bronx is filled to capacity and has children on a waiting list. (Photo: Meredith Kolodner)
By Meredith Kolodner

NEW YORK CITY — Thousands of kids stream into Fort Greene Park each afternoon as local middle and high schools let out, but Daquan McKethan is no longer among them. On a recent Wednesday, the seventh-grader was two blocks away ensconced in a basketball scrimmage at his school, where he now stays until 6 p.m. […]


Can Detroit attract middle-class families to one of the worst school systems in the country?

A community volunteer checks out the playground at Bow Elementary school. Excellent Schools Detroit, a Detroit-based nonprofit, rates all schools and preschool programs in the city based on test scores and unscheduled volunteer visits. (Photo: Sarah Butrymowicz)
By Sarah Butrymowicz

DETROIT — Dara Hill, a college professor and mother of a four-year-old, diligently scribbled notes as the principal of Detroit’s Nichols Elementary-Middle School led her and several of her neighbors on a tour of the school. A room for special education students was brimming with stuffed animals, but the hallways were sparsely decorated. Work displayed […]


School kids to New Orleans bureaucrats: Show us the money

By Andre Perry

NEW ORLEANS – School buildings in the Crescent City will become monuments to our differences instead of the beacons of learning they are supposed to be if New Orleanians reject a preservation program for educational facilities in the voting booth on Dec. 6. It’s a funding conflict that mirrors power disputes around the country over […]


As a police officer kills without consequence in Ferguson, let’s look at profiling, education’s silent serial killer for black kids

Protesters listen to the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
By Andre Perry

NEW ORLEANS — It took 14 weeks for the Grand Jury in Ferguson to decide no charges will be filed against the officer in Michael Brown’s shooting. St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch noted that numerous eyewitnesses gave different accounts of what happened on August 9, 2014. But we don’t need a jury to tell […]


Unaccompanied minors bring hope, past trauma to American schools

By Lillian Mongeau

Brandon, 18 and a recent immigrant from Guatemala, jumped eagerly into a recent conversation exercise in his English language class. He was supposed to ask a classmate, “What color are your eyes?” With liquid brown eyes of his own, and carefully cultivated biceps, the Oakland International High School student had no intention of wasting this […]


In rural Mississippi, optimism for Common Core

By Jackie Mader

LAMBERT, Miss. — It’s early morning in Tyler Corbin’s third-grade math class at Quitman County Elementary, and Corbin is about to teach his students how to divide. He draws 24 stars on his electronic whiteboard, and then draws three circles below them. With the class counting along, he drags stars one at a time into the circles to create three equal groups.


Why two states have poured money into public higher education

University of North Dakota. (Photo: University of North Dakota)
By Jon Marcus

GRAND FORKS, North Dakota — Construction cranes sprout like stalks of wheat from the windswept, tabletop-flat campus of the University of North Dakota. More than a quarter of a billion dollars’ worth of new facilities are going up here or have been opened in the last few years. Another $80 million is being spent at […]


New Orleans charter schools not in any rush to rejoin local district

Sixth grade students Miracle Roberson, left, Darion James, and Brianetay Martin, right, read during literature intervention class at ReNEW SciTech Academy, a charter school in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
By Marta Jewson

It’s that odd time of year again in New Orleans when academically improving charter schools must decide if they want to stay with a special state system or rejoin the traditional Orleans Parish School Board. When the state-created Recovery School District took control of more than 100 schools in 2005, the public presumption was that […]


Is school reform progressive?

Peter Cunningham
By Peter Cunningham

At its core, to be “progressive” is to fight for the little guy against powerful forces of self-interest. Whether the little guy was a Kansas farmer whose earnings were manipulated by commodities traders in Chicago, a woman denied the right to vote, an underpaid working man seeking union representation, blacks oppressed by segregation, or a […]


At Newark school striving for turnaround, a 12-year-old’s fragile success

D’Andre’s grandmother, Jean, reviewing a school map as he pointed out his new classrooms for seventh grade, is a constant presence at Quitman events. (Amanda Brown / NJ Spotlight)
By Sara Neufeld

NEWARK, N.J. –– On his 12th birthday, the first Friday in June, D’Andre took the day off from school. It was out of character for the boy, an honor roll student at Quitman Street Renew School who was the sixth grade’s student council ambassador. D’Andre was elected duke of Quitman’s winter dance last January for […]

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