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.

Why did Mississippi lose out on preschool funding — again?

Mississippi’s flawed application and underdeveloped plans to provide preschool for all children is partly to blame for why the state’s youngest learners were bypassed once again for federal funds that could have provided a boost to early education, a review found. Last week, Mississippi was passed over for a preschool grant that would have tripled […]

Can a school district’s technology program lift a rural Alabama town out of poverty?

PIEDMONT, Alabama — For years, Chasity Tucker got frustrated when she tried to use her home computer for schoolwork. The 17-year-old senior at Piedmont High School in this rural northeastern Alabama town said her computer was slow and frequently got viruses. Then, in eighth grade, Tucker received a free laptop through the Piedmont School District […]

Educators question future progress if Mississippi backs away from Common Core

JACKSON, Miss. — Educators across Mississippi say the already-lagging state will “move backwards” if Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves throw out the Common Core academic standards and create new ones. On Monday, Reeves said that the Obama administration is using the standards to “hijack” states’ educational autonomy — despite the fact that […]

In rural Mississippi, optimism for Common Core

LAMBERT, Miss. — It’s early morning in Tyler Corbin’s third-grade math class at Quitman County Elementary, and Corbin is about to teach his students how to divide. He draws 24 stars on his electronic whiteboard, and then draws three circles below them. With the class counting along, he drags stars one at a time into the circles to create three equal groups.

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 […]

Older Posts »