K-12

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)

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

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 […]

Peter Cunningham

Is school reform progressive?

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 […]

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)

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

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 […]

(Photo by Sarah Garland)

Technology skills only scratch the surface of the digital divide

By Jordan Shapiro

The realities of the “digital divide” are increasingly apparent. In a consumer culture that equates status with early adoption of the newest iPhone, access to new technology necessarily splits pretty clearly along socio-economic class lines. According to U.S. census data, for example, more than 30 million homes have no broadband access, most of them concentrated […]

Sunset Park Elementary School third grader Anaya Hardy, 9, uses an iPad during digital morning math at Sunset Park Elementary School in Wilmington, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/The Star-News, Mike Spencer)

Billions more in spending for school Internet connections under FCC proposal

By Nichole Dobo

After months of pleas from the nation’s school leaders, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission agreed Monday that billions more dollars each year are needed to improve school and library Internet connections. Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed raising the cap on such spending by about $1.5 billion a year to support work to link nearly […]

Poor high schools in California lose 25 school days a year

By Jill Barshay

Students at extremely poor high schools in California on average lose roughly 25 more school days a year — almost 14 percent of the school year — than students at higher income schools do. Interruptions, substitute teachers and test prep account for a large portion of the lost instructional time, according to a UCLA study […]

President Barack Obama visits first grade students at Gen. Clarence Tinker elementary school at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Black kids lose when Democratic ed reformers act like Republicans

By Andre Perry

NEW ORLEANS – Republicans are winning the support of black Americans. But don’t give the GOP too much credit. Democrats have themselves to thank. And poor, black schoolchildren have little to be thankful for at all. Through the rhetoric of “choice,” “competition,” and “accountability,” the education-reform clique of the Democratic Party have been campaigning for […]

Erin Lockley, 12th grade student at Cohen High School. (Photo: © William Widmer 2014)

The painful backlash against ‘no-excuses’ school discipline

By Sarah Carr

NEW ORLEANS — From the moment Summer Duskin arrived at Carver Collegiate Academy in New Orleans last fall, she struggled to keep track of all the rules. There were rules governing how she talked. She had to say thank you constantly, including when she was given the “opportunity”—as the school handbook put it—to answer questions […]

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The sorry state of vocational training

By Jill Barshay

I had long been under the impression that the United States had a particular problem in providing technical and specialized professional training for students who maybe aren’t academically inclined. But it turns out the United States isn’t alone, and even nations with once vaunted apprenticeship programs are no longer properly training students to enter the […]

Samaria Stevenson sits outside her office at Davis Elementary School. Stevenson is one of two nurses in the Greenwood Public School District. (Photo by Bryn Stole).

In Mississippi, lack of school nurses a threat to health, education

By Jackie Mader

GREENWOOD, Miss. — On any given day, school nurse Samaria Stevenson is traveling between at least three schools in this rural Delta town. She counts the carbohydrates in lunch for a student with diabetes at one elementary school every day, while providing medical care for students at two others. She teaches health classes and presents the district’s abstinence education curriculum to middle school […]

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