K-12

Sydney Morris and Evan Stone

How Duncan’s teacher reprieve aids students, Common Core, tests

By Sydney Morris and Evan Stone

Test: It’s just a four-letter word for measuring skill, knowledge, intelligence, capacities, or aptitude. In public education lately, test has become another kind of four-letter word: one associated with stressed out students, angry parents and teachers fearful of losing their jobs. Testing has such a negative connotation that in New York City alone this year, […]

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What it actually takes for schools to ‘go digital’

By Margaret Ramirez

Statesville, N.C. – As a hazy morning sun rises over the rural farm community surrounding North Iredell Middle School, the students take their seats and lift their MacBooks to start the school day. Soon, the glow of hundreds of screens illuminates each face in every classroom. Inside Skye Templeton’s seventh-grade Social Studies class, students are […]

Ronald Bracamontes, 8, Christian Zaragosa, 9, and Jocelyn Buenrostro, 9, teamed up to experiment with paper airplane designs during a summer school program at Romero-Cruz Elementary in Santa Ana Unified. The team conducted nine tests on three designs to see which one generated the smoothest landings.

Will ‘creative’ and ‘hands on’ summer school foster a love of learning?

By William Diepenbrock

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Nine-year-old Sarahy Lopez’s silvery singing voice washed over the audience as her Goldilocks declared “so sorry” and “please give me a break.” But her pleas were slow to sway Baby Bear (Noe Lopez, 7) who growled, “I’d rather stay angry and eat her instead.” A few streets over, Lupita Martinez, 6, […]

File photo. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Teaching computer science — without touching a computer

By Annie Murphy Paul

A group of children on a playground, each kid clutching a slip of paper with a number on it, moves along a line drawn in chalk, comparing numbers as they go and sorting themselves into ascending order from one to ten. Another group of children, sitting in a circle, passes pieces of fruit — an […]

The banks of the Mississippi River, as seen from Great River Road State Park in the Mississippi Delta, where there is a dearth of structured activities for children in the summer. (Photo: Nick Chiles)

Are the lazy days of summer killing our nation’s academic progress?

By Nick Chiles

DREW, Miss. ––Drive down a dusty road in the Mississippi Delta in July and you will quickly come across a familiar scene: Kids, walking. Out of the house, no particular destination in mind. Ambling along. But the walking may be better than the alternative: Stopping. It’s the stopping that gets you in trouble. “In the […]

Members of the Jackie Robinson West Little League team from Chicago, Ill., ride in the Little League Grand Slam Parade as it makes its way through downtown Williamsport, Pa., Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The Little League World Series tournament begins Thursday, August 14, in South Williamsport, Pa.. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

I’d rather black, superhuman student-athletes just be human

By Andre Perry

What happens when prep athletes take off their uniforms? The same black males who are beloved heroes on schools’ playing fields can be treated as violent trespassers off of them. Between being a celebrated superhero and a profligate thug, black students just need to be seen – as human. Last week, Jackie Robinson West became […]

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Lessons from Hawaii: tracking the right data to fix absenteeism

By Jill Barshay

Good school attendance is associated with all sorts of good educational outcomes, especially higher grades and higher test scores. It’s obvious: if you’re not showing up for school, you’re not going to learn as much. But only 17 states track and report chronic absenteeism data, according to the Data Quality Campaign and Attendance Works, a […]

How one Ohio mother is trying to take down the Common Core

By Sarah Butrymowicz

CINCINNATI – The several hundred people that filled the sanctuary of Faith Christian Fellowship Church on the outskirts of Cincinnati on a Monday evening in July murmured their indignation as Heidi Huber blasted a book that taught that homosexuality was normal. The book wouldn’t be important except it had popped up on a Catholic school […]

Devon Sanford dropped out of school the summer before ninth grade to take care of his sick mother, making him one of the thousands of California middle school dropouts who go largely unnoticed.

Thousands of California kids don’t get past middle school

By Sarah Butrymowicz

LOS ANGELES – Devon Sanford’s mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when he was in the eighth grade. After barely finishing at Los Angeles’s Henry Clay Middle School, he never enrolled in high school. Instead, he spent what should have been his freshman year caring for his mother and waiting for the police to show […]

People play video games at a New York game arcade in December 20, 1981. (AP Photo/G. Paul Burnett)

Informal education: What students are learning outside the classroom

By Annie Murphy Paul

One thousand hours: That’s approximately the number of instructional hours required of U.S. middle school and high school students each year. Four thousand hours: That’s approximately the number of hours of digital media content U.S. youths aged 8 to 18 absorb each year. (If you doubt that’s possible, be sure you’re taking into account the […]

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