K-12

Photo: Jackie Mader

Opportunity gap narrows in Mississippi

By Jackie Mader

The latest national survey that looks at the ability of young people to better their lives through economic opportunity and education comes with some good news for Mississippi: More students are graduating from high school and more people are going to college. But even with these positive measures of upward mobility, the state lags behind […]

Pittsfield Middle High School English teacher Jenny Wellington observes a student-led discussion. (Photo: Emily Richmond)

Putting students in charge to close the achievement gap

By Emily Richmond

In an 11th-grade English class at Pittsfield Middle High School in rural New Hampshire, Jenny Wellington’s students were gathered in a circle debating Henry David Thoreau’s positions on personal responsibility. “Do you think Thoreau really was about ‘every man for himself’?” asked one 16-year-old boy. “He lived alone in the woods and didn’t want to […]

Classroom technology can make learning more dangerous, and that’s a good thing

By Greg Toppo

Steve Jobs once called the personal computer “a bicycle for our minds,” a tool that helps us go farther with the same amount of energy. But for many teachers, it has been a bumpy ride. Educators have long held new technology at arm’s length, and probably for good reason: For more than a century, they […]

Students study at Akili Academy, one of dozens of charter schools in New Orleans.  (Photo: Sarah Garland)

Don’t believe everything you hear about the New Orleans charter revolution

By Marta Jewson

As public school students settle into the school year, they can’t seem to shake off a bit of inaccurate national attention: The belief that New Orleans has the country’s first all-charter school system.

Newark School Superintendent Cami Anderson, second form left, welcomes students to the first day of classes at Peshine Avenue School in Newark, N.J., Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Geoff Mulvihill)

Arbitrator rules Newark teacher must be rehired, given back pay

By John Mooney

Amid all the debate surrounding her tenure as state-appointed leader of New Jersey’s largest school district, Newark schools Superintendent Cami Anderson has taken special pride being able to retain and reward exemplary teachers while removing the poor ones.

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Twenty five percent of low-income urban high schools beat the odds

By Jill Barshay

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that wealthier high schools send more students to college than low-income high schools. But a October 2014 report from the research arm of the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks college students, reveals that a quarter of low-income urban high schools are doing better than a quarter of their high-income […]

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More AP courses slated for major overhaul

By Emmanuel Felton

Despite the recent fallout over new guidelines for Advanced Placement U.S. History, the College Board is making similar changes to most science and history AP courses in an effort to emphasize critical thinking. The College Board is in the process of retooling many of its 36 courses to more align with what it sees as […]

Richard Whitmire

As top charters start to look like school districts, here’s why we should embrace their growth

By Richard Whitmire

More than twenty years ago when charter schools first got launched in Minnesota no one envisioned that one day we would see charter management networks growing to resemble medium-size school districts. But it has happened. Last week, New York City-based Success Academy Charter Schools got green lighted to open 14 more schools over the next […]

Mississippi kindergartners start the year behind, new test finds

By Kayleigh Skinner

JACKSON, Miss. – Two-thirds of Mississippi’s youngest learners are starting the year unprepared, according to results from a new test examining the reading skills of kindergarten students. Kindergartners took the STAR Early Literacy exam during the first month of the current school year to gauge their reading abilities. Over 40,000 students from 144 school districts […]

Superintendent John Deasy is seen in this file photo before the start of a public hearing at the headquarters of the Los Angeles Unified School District. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

After months of turmoil, LA Schools Superintendent Deasy resigns

By Brenda Iasevoli

Los Angeles Unified School Superintendent John Deasy’s resignation Thursday ended weeks of speculation over whether the school board would oust him or he would leave the post of his own accord. “Needless to say this has been hard work, in fact exhausting work,” the beleaguered superintendent wrote in his resignation letter. “I have neglected my […]

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