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Surrounded by messy school reform and ‘drama’ on the streets, a Newark girl tries to land on her feet

By Sara Neufeld

NEWARK, N.J. –– Nydresha is a small girl with big dreams about Hawaii. In her dreams, the 12-year-old and her mother live in a beach house. There is peace, and there is quiet. There is no drama, no abandoned houses and no cursing –– not even by Nydresha herself. She curses sometimes in real life […]

Student work in the hallway of a Mississippi elementary school shows the “partial product” method of solving a multiplication problem. The new Common Core standards emphasize multiple ways of solving problems. (Photo: Jackie Mader)

Huge confusion in Mississippi over Common Core

By Jackie Mader

It’s been called a federal curriculum, the end of literature lessons, and even, here in Mississippi, a “Muslim takeover of schools.” The Common Core, a set of math and English language arts standards that spells out what skills students are expected to master in kindergarten through twelfth grade, will be rolled out in every Mississippi […]

Christina Liberatore, an inclusion teacher at East Moriches Elementary School, helps her fourth-grade students complete a group assignment. (Photo: Amanda M. Fairbanks)

Can special education students keep up with the Common Core?

By Amanda M. Fairbanks

East Moriches, New York — On a morning in late May, the pace was slow and deliberate as seven students formed a semicircle around their teacher to work on a lesson about finding the main idea in a story. “I have a surprise for you on my phone,” said Nicole Papa, before starting an audio […]

Reports of MOOCs’ demise have been greatly exaggerated

By Craig Weidemann

Last year’s exuberance about the impact of massive open online courses has fizzled. MOOCs have been widely eulogized as “overpromised,” “off course,” and just plain “enough already!” This much ballyhooed and belittled phenomenon is clearly neither the cure for all that ails higher education, nor the end of colleges and universities as we know them. […]

Mothballed laptops locked inside a storage closet at Hoboken Junior Senior High School. School staff will inventory them and hire a recycling company to discard them. (Photo: Jill Barshay)

Why a New Jersey school district decided giving laptops to students is a terrible idea

By Jill Barshay

Inside Hoboken’s combined junior-senior high school is a storage closet. Behind the locked door, mothballed laptop computers are strewn among brown cardboard boxes. Others are stacked one atop another amid other computer detritus. Dozens more are stored on mobile computer carts, many of them on their last legs. That’s all that remains from a failed […]

Report: 31 million Americans have college credits, but no degree

By Jon Marcus

At a time when policymakers are struggling to increase the proportion of Americans with college and university degrees, more than 31 million people have already accumulated credits but quit without graduating, a new report shows. And while a third of those left after as little as a single term, about 21 million spent more than […]

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Lessons from a school that scrapped a longer student day and made time for teachers

By Melissa Bailey

NEW HAVEN, Conn. –– Talizha Jones returned from summer vacation after fourth grade to an unwelcome surprise at school: Students would have to stay in class until 4:15 p.m. four days a week. “I was very upset,” the now-14-year-old recalled. “I was asking my grandma if I could switch schools.” At the time, Talizha was […]

Report: Higher education behind on Common Core

By Jon Marcus

America’s primary and secondary schools may be busy preparing for the onset of the Common Core standards, meant to better prepare students for college, but one key partner isn’t even close to ready: colleges and universities themselves. That’s the conclusion of a new report from the New America Foundation, which finds that “there is little […]

Darlene Paul, principal of West Defuniak Elementary, speaks to a student during a visit to a third-grade classroom. Paul says she has been impressed with the academic success of young students who have been taught only using the new Florida Standards. (Photo by Jackie Mader)

Florida counts down to new Common Core standards, exams

By John O'Connor and Jackie Mader

For the past year The Hechinger Report and StateImpact Florida have taken you into two schools to hear what preparations for Florida’s new Common Core-based standards sound like. The standards outline what students should know in math and language arts. When classes start this fall every grade in every Florida public school will use them. […]

Katie Bonfiglio, a 9th grade English Teacher at Arlington High School is part of a nationwide push underway to dramatically improve teacher training and evaluation through recording classes, then reviewing critiquing the footage. Arlington uses video routinely in teacher training and evaluation. Here she teaches her (Michelle Pemberton/The Star)

Half of teachers leave the job after five years. Here’s what to do about it

By Alexandria Neason

Amid intense debate about new education standards, and teacher tenure and pay, the Alliance for Excellent Education has turned the focus to new teachers – and their tendency to quit. A new report, published by the Alliance in collaboration with the New Teacher Center (NTC), a non-profit that helps schools and policymakers develop training for […]

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