Are teachers ready for the Common Core?

By Alexandria Neason

The sprawling second floor of the Sheraton Boston Hotel is swarming with teachers. They’ve traveled from 17 states for the Common Core Now Institute, a two-day conference held by Solution Tree, a for-profit company that specializes in training teachers. The institute is designed to get educators ready to teach the new and contentious Common Core […]

Fourth grade math teacher Adelia Weatherspoon teaches her class Common Core math at Higgins Middle School in McComb.

Cramming for Common Core: one Mississippi school district has to make big changes in limited time

By Kayleigh Skinner

McComb, Miss. – Before school began in this small Mississippi town, teachers at McComb High School and Higgins Middle School received a massive binder full of instructional strategies outlining how to pace their classes. “All of that information seems so overwhelming at first,” recalls Tokie Young-Butler, whose job is to provide resources to teachers. McComb’s […]

Students protest against a Jefferson County School Board proposal to emphasize patriotism and downplay civil unrest in the teaching of U.S. history, in front of their school, Jefferson High, in the Denver suburb of Edgewater, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Is the new AP U.S. History really anti-American?

By Emmanuel Felton

Martin Luther King Jr., Benjamin Franklin, George Washington Carver, James Madison and Rosa Parks. If you’ve heard that the new AP U.S. History course description doesn’t mention these legendary Americans, you have not been misled. But whether the new version of the class skips over key moments in United States history – and even disparages […]


Facing money and enrollment squeeze, more women’s colleges go coed

By Alexandria Neason

Twenty-five years ago, when dwindling enrollment at Wilson College in Pennsylvania threatened to close its doors, a swell of opposition by staff and students stopped it. This year, the college will turn to its only other option — admitting men. Like other women’s colleges, Wilson says it can no longer afford to serve only half […]


Teachers figure out when to turn technology on, and when to turn it off

By Alexandria Neason

This summer, nearly 100 new and veteran teachers from the New York City public schools became students themselves. The subject? How to introduce blended learning into their classrooms. Blended learning combines online and teacher-led instruction. Instead of learning in a traditional, lecture style classroom, students use laptops or tablets to study independently and move through the […]

File photo of a group of graduating Richland Community College students recite an oath after receiving their nursing pins in Decatur, Ill. (AP Photo/Herald & Review, Mark Roberts)

Colleges take cues from private business to improve their customer service

By Jon Marcus

CLAYTON, Missouri — The man in the impeccably tailored black suit has the people in his audience engrossed as he describes the secrets that have made his multibillion-dollar company internationally known for customer service. They’re here to find out how to do a better job of it themselves, in this case from a general manager […]

Emmanuel Angeles, raises his hand to be called on while doing a worksheet in an English Language Learner summer school class at the Cordova Villa Elementary School in Rancho Cordova, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

What urban districts need to know to get their English language learners up to Common Core standards

By Emmanuel Felton

California’s large urban school districts are failing to consistently provide quality instruction to students with limited English language proficiency, according to Patricia Gardara, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. “The large urban districts tend to have highly disproportionate poverty, transiency, and urban problems, which must be dealt with in addition to the regular […]


The real cost of college? It’s probably even higher than you think

By Jon Marcus

When Alex Nichols started as a freshman at the University of Mississippi, he felt sure he’d earn his bachelor’s degree in four years. Nichols is about to return to the campus for his fifth successive fall. “There are a lot more students staying another semester or another year than I thought there would be when […]

Second-grade teacher Vickie Boudouris goes over a work sheet her students were doing in an English Language Learner summer school class at the Cordova Villa Elementary School, Wednesday, June 12, 2013 in Rancho Cordova, Calif. File photo. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Common Core can help English learners in California, new study says

By Pat Wingert

The rigorous new Common Core standards represent both a daunting challenge and a promising pathway that could help close the achievement gap for the growing number of American students who enter school knowing little or no English. So concludes a new yearlong study released today by the California-based arm of Education Trust, a nonpartisan research […]


Teach For America’s soft-power education reform strategy

By Jackie Mader

CLEVELAND, Miss. — Babak Mostaghimi never expected to settle down in the rural Mississippi Delta. A native of Virginia, he graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2006 with a high-paying job offer as a defense contractor at a consulting firm. On a whim, Mostaghimi also applied to Teach For America (TFA), a 24-year-old program that […]

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