NEW ORLEANS — Jasmine Stewart applied to only one college — the historically black Southern University at New Orleans. It was near home, willing to take her despite her mixed academic record, and comparatively cheap. Stewart also didn’t want her mother, a hotel housekeeper, to have to pay more than one application fee. But after […]
Editor’s note: This is the second in an occasional series looking at how Belle Chasse Primary School, in suburban New Orleans, is adjusting to the Common Core standards that are reshaping teaching in classrooms throughout Louisiana. The first story in the series, done in partnership with The Advocate and New Orleans public radio, can be […]
NEW ORLEANS — When a group of Mid-City residents proposed opening a school four years ago that would be racially and economically diverse, they were greeted with doubt. Skeptics thought Morris Jeff would end up like most other public schools in the city: almost entirely African American and low-income. “The understanding (was) that you guys […]
MEMPHIS — Depending on who you talk to, Memphis is rapidly becoming one of the best cities to teach in America—or one of the worst. For Amanda Montgomery, a 24-year-old teacher, for instance, the takeover of her elementary school by Aspire Public Schools—the California-based charter network—has brought smaller class sizes and more-consistent mentoring. “I have […]
Out with “The Great Gatsby” and in with “The Glass Castle”? Florida’s English teachers adjust to new standards
MIAMI—In Chris Kirchner’s freshman English classes at Coral Reef Senior High School, novels like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Great Gatsby” have been squeezed off the syllabus to make room for nonfiction texts including “The Glass Castle” and “How to Re-Imagine the World.” For the first time, students will read only excerpts of classics like “The Odyssey” and “The House on Mango Street” instead of the entire book. And Kirchner will assign less independent reading at home, but will require students to write more essays, and push them to make connections across multiple texts.
MIAMI—English instructor Lois Seaman often speaks bluntly to her middle-school students about the increased expectations they will face under the new Common Core curriculum standards. “It’s like you are looking at this under a microscope; glean all you can from this text,” she told a class of eighth graders as they studied a passage from “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes. “Common Core says, ‘Read like a detective and write like an investigative reporter.’”
MIAMI—The pushback against the testing component of Common Core here has endangered political support for the controversial national curriculum standards in a linchpin state. But it also has left Florida’s public school teachers in an uncomfortable limbo: Officials expect them to start teaching the new standards over the next year, yet educators remain unsure when, and how, their students will be tested on them.
It’s not just K-12 teachers who are being asked to adjust their teaching styles and curricula to ensure students learn the Common Core standards. The people who teach the teachers are also under the gun. But as the controversial standards take root, there’s disagreement over whether teacher-training programs are doing enough to prepare aspiring educators […]
When Tania Nyman’s 9-year-old son decided a year ago to type a page of his homework rather than handwrite it, the experiment did not go well. “It was painful to watch him type and how long it took,” said Nyman, who lives in Baton Rouge, La. “He managed it, but it was a slow process.” […]
NEW ORLEANS — One year ago, the big debate over the Common Core standards in Louisiana centered on how to put them into practice. Now, the Core is on shakier ground. Political opposition is rising in the state and Gov. Bobby Jindal has distanced himself from the Core, raising the possibility that teachers may have […]