Jackie Mader
Jackie Mader writes for The Hechinger Report. She received a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she was a recipient of the 2012 Fred M. Hechinger Journalism Education Award. Prior to attending Columbia, she taught special education in Charlotte, N.C. and trained first-year teachers in the Mississippi Delta.

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

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 […]

Pipeline to Prison: Special education too often leads to jail for thousands of American children

GRENADA, Miss.— Cody Beck was 12 years old when he was handcuffed in front of several classmates and put in the back of a police car outside of Grenada Middle School. Cody had lost his temper in an argument with another student, and hit several teachers when they tried to intervene. He was taken to […]

Pipeline to Prison: How the juvenile justice system fails special education students

Caledonia Miss. — Toney Jennings was illiterate when he was arrested at age 16. In the six months he spent at the Lowndes County Jail in Eastern Mississippi, he says he played basketball, watched TV and “basically just stayed to myself.” A special education student, Jennings qualified for extra help in school. Those services should […]

Opportunity gap narrows in Mississippi

The latest national survey that looks at the ability of young people to better their lives through economic opportunity and education comes with some good news for Mississippi: More students are graduating from high school and more people are going to college. But even with these positive measures of upward mobility, the state lags behind […]

Teach For America’s soft-power education reform strategy

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 […]

Huge confusion in Mississippi over Common Core

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 […]

Florida counts down to new Common Core standards, exams

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. […]

In Mississippi schools, access to technology lacking, uneven

CLINTON, Miss.—When Kelsi Collins was first given a laptop last year at Clinton High School, she hesitated to change from years of reading textbooks and writing assignments by hand to researching topics and typing papers online. It didn’t help that, after she’d ignored teachers’ warnings to back up her work, her computer crashed and she […]

In Mississippi, food gap widens during summer

Each summer, millions of Mississippi’s children rely on the federal Summer Food Service Program to provide up to two nutritious meals a day. It’s a small solution to a larger problem in Mississippi, where many of the most rural parts of the state lack access to healthy foods. Jackie Mader reports on the challenges and […]

In Mississippi, summer program attempts to fill gap in civil rights education

PHILADELPHIA, Miss.—Twenty-seven teenagers from across Mississippi piled off a tour bus on Rock Cut road.It’s 91 degrees. The sun is blazing. Fifty years ago, three young civil rights workers were murdered here by the Ku Klux Klan. The nation was transfixed by these murders and many say they provided the impetus to push the 1964 Civil Rights Act through Congress. But most of the teenagers on today’s tour say they knew nothing about this history.

Older Posts »