Tiana Nobile, co-president of the new United Educators Morris Jeff teachers union, starts the day with her kindergarten class on October 28, 2014. Teachers at Morris Jeff Community School in New Orleans voted to unionize last year, making them the first to do so in a city that has had virtually no union representation since Hurricane Katrina. (Photo: Alex Neason)

Do charter schools need teachers unions?

By Alexandria Neason

NEW ORLEANS – Kaycee Eckhardt, a former charter school teacher in New Orleans, has decidedly mixed feelings about teachers unions. She believes they play an important role on certain issues, including ensuring teachers aren’t overworked. But she worries they sometimes squelch teacher voices by insisting on a party line.

Alison Derbenwick Miller is vice president of Oracle Academy.

Why there’s no such thing as an ‘F’ in computer science

By Ayanna Howard and Alison Derbenwick Miller

It’s not clear exactly why kids don’t pursue STEM fields in general, and shy away from computer science in droves. They will give you myriad reasons, among them that the work just isn’t interesting, that the cool kids don’t do it, and fear – fear it’s too hard, fear they’ll be ridiculed as “nerds,” fear […]

The principal of Madison Crossing, Martha D’Amico, explains how to grade student writing, while teacher Lela Hester looks on. (Photo: Jackie Mader)

Teachers or administrators, who’s the real problem?

By Jordan Shapiro

You’ve probably heard all the buzzwords: inquiry- or project-based learning, blended classrooms, gamification, play, etc. Whether the cheerleaders shout “21st Century Skills,” “Character Education,” or “Entrepreneurship,” it is clear that we want children to have a school experience that is not only about facts and content, but also about empowering thoughtful individuals. School administrators and […]

Q & A with US Department of Education officials: States have an ‘obligation’ to better serve incarcerated youth with disabilities

By Jackie Mader and Sarah Butrymowicz

Each year, thousands of children end up in the juvenile justice system, at least one-third of whom have a disability. These students become dependent on educators and resources at correctional facilities not only to provide an education but also to furnish special education services, as required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A […]

So far, two buses in the Coachella Valley Unified School District have Wi-Fi technology. The district is still working on how to best use the technology on buses. (Credit: Nichole Dobo, The Hechinger Report)

What to do for kids with no internet at home? How about parking a wifi-enabled school bus near their trailer park?

By Nichole Dobo

SALTON CITY, Calif. – Near the shore of the murky Salton Sea in this southern California desert, a bus drives up to West Shores High School each day with a critical connection: A Wi-Fi router mounted behind an interior mirror, providing Internet access for students whose homes aren’t wired. At night, the bus driver parks […]

Assistant Principal Jamil Payton has taken charge of the ban on suspensions for non-violent behavior, like talking back in class, at North View Junior High in the Osseo School District. (Photo: Kim Palmer)

Minnesota’s suburban districts struggle to close discipline gap

By Sarah Butrymowicz

ROBBINSDALE, Minn.— Last year, students at Robbinsdale Middle School caught fighting were automatically given an out-of-school suspension for five days. Now, they are sent to the PRIDE room, an in-school space opened this past fall for students being disciplined. Bouncy chairs, stress balls and an exercise bike are spread throughout the room for students with […]

Gautier High School student Cecilia Cox talks with Early Beginnings program director Connie Jo Williams about the goals she set during her first semester. (Photo: Kayleigh Skinner)

In one Gulf Coast program, every teen mom graduates

By Kayleigh Skinner

GAUTIER, Miss. — It’s a Monday morning at Gautier High School, and three teenage girls are talking about their weekends. Instead of discussing Taylor Swift’s latest song or what they posted to Instagram, though, they are immersed in another topic: their children. That means potty-training and first words, first steps and other milestones. It also […]

Summer school seems to work better for math than for reading

By Jill Barshay

Back in 2007 a team of Johns Hopkins researchers found that low-income children tended to improve in reading just as much as their wealthier peers did during the school year. The problem, at least for a group of Baltimore children these researchers studied for 18 years, was summertime. During those three idle months, the poorer […]

The learning environment at Quitman Street Renew School has improved significantly in Erskine Glover’s time as principal. (Amanda Brown / NJ Spotlight)

A taste of victory, finally, for a struggling Newark school

By Sara Neufeld

NEWARK, N.J. — The scene could have come from any school principal’s dream, but there it was before Erskine Glover’s eyes, happening in reality. It was the first day of the 2014-2015 academic year at Quitman Street Renew School. Students and teachers were crowded into the combined cafeteria-auditorium, and Glover’s boss, Assistant Superintendent Peter Turnamian, […]

People protesting the Common Core education standards demonstrate near the hotel where the meeting of Tennessee's Education Summit is taking place on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Thursday's event titled "Progress of the Past, Present and Future" will involve elected officials and representatives from 24 organizations focusing on K-12 and higher education. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Are we on the verge of a mass Common Core repeal?

By Emmanuel Felton

Last month’s election spells trouble for the Common Core, a set of expectations for what students should know in English and math by the end of each grade. With the standards increasingly being assailed by conservatives as an unwanted federal intrusion into public education , the Republican sweep of state legislatures – the party is now […]

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