June 30, 2015Alexandra Neason of The Teacher Project for EWA
Allen Turner recently recalled the day his grade school teacher said it was time to learn about the U.S. Constitution, beginning with its famous preamble. But Turner, now a video game designer and professor at Chicago’s DePaul University, already knew it. So did all his classmates.
After nearly two years of public debate, and vociferous pushback from the higher education community, the White House announced it is pulling back on plans to rate the nation’s colleges based on a complex matrix of performance measures and student outcomes. Paul Fain, news editor for Inside Higher Ed has been following this story closely since the beginning, and he helped break the news that the Obama administration was scrapping the most controversial parts of its original proposal.
He spoke with EWA public editor Emily Richmond about who’s surprised by the decision (hint: not a lot of people), and the role played by aggressive lobbying against the rating plan by much of the higher education community. Fain and Richmond also discussed college ratings and consumer tools already available, and how to answer parents and students who ask for advice on choosing a school.
June 29, 2015Sarah Darville of Chalkbeat New York for EWA
When Carolyn Alessio assigned her students to prepare to act out a trial to probe the themes of “Frankenstein,” she was surprised at what she found at the top of a few of their supporting documents — perfectly formatted docket numbers.
June 26, 2015Karen Herzog of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for EWA
The challenges facing higher education today are widely known, but no one really knows the future as technology reshapes how college courses are delivered, how effectively they teach, and who takes them at what cost.
June 26, 2015Jessica Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune for EWA
Five years ago, Nicholas Senn High School on the Near North Side of Chicago was one some educators felt lucky to avoid. While student discipline might have been an issue elsewhere, “you would say, at least it’s not Senn,” Principal Susan Lofton said.
June 25, 2015Janet French of The Star Phoenix for EWA
It was quietly proud grandfather and Vietnam War Veteran James Dent who grabbed reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones’ attention in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
For St. Louis reporter Tim Lloyd, it was an African-American middle-school teacher unnerved when a white driver pulled up beside him at a stoplight and pointed his fingers at him in a shooting gun motion.
June 24, 2015Daveen Rae Kurutz of the Beaver County Times for EWA
In a second-grade classroom outside of Palo Alto, Calif., students were sharing their answers to a math quiz. A young boy named Michael held up his answer, and, as was customary, his classmates showed their verdict on the answer – thumbs up or thumbs down.
June 23, 2015Shaina Cavazos of Chalkbeat Indiana for EWA
Usually, the best way to learn about a test is to just take it yourself.
Or at least that was the thinking at the recent Education Writers Association National Seminar session, “Testing, Testing: Trying Out New Assessments.” Journalists were greeted by a thick packet of test questions created for the two national assessment consortia that put together exams aligned to the Common Core State Standards — the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
Spanish professor Luis Fernando Restrepo wanted his children to be bilingual. But living in Arkansas — where Spanish classes aren’t offered until junior high — there wasn’t much institutional support for this endeavor.
June 23, 2015Jessica Trufant of The Patriot Ledger for EWA
Negative reactions to the Common Core State Standards capture the headlines, but many teachers in the trenches of education reform say the standards are here so they have to implement them one way or another.
It’s the way that school administrators and politicians interpret the Common Core standards that some teachers feel is creating a sense of apprehension for their colleagues, students and parents.
June 22, 2015Mackenzie Ryan of The Des Moines Register for EWA
Focusing on student learning, and structuring the school to fit students’ varied learning paces, is proving to be a game changer, said panelists at EWA’s recent National Seminar in Chicago, moderated by journalist Katrina Schwartz of Mindshift at KQED Public Radio.
June 19, 2015Erin Kourkounis of The Tampa Tribune for EWA
As school districts across the country work to address racial inequities in discipline, some campuses are trying alternative approaches to keeping students out of trouble and in the classroom.
Among the approaches gaining in popularity: positive behavior support programs, which reward students for good behavior, and restorative justice programs, in which students are brought into the process of identifying solutions, rather than simply punished.
With engaged parents, bright futures are possible. That’s the philosophy of a child care center on Chicago’s South Side that is pairing research-based child development techniques with a strong family partnership.
The Educare Center grew from a program that had been based at the notorious Robert Taylor Homes. Educare opened their own facility in 2000 as the public housing high-rises across the street were being dismantled.
More knowledge. More skill. More potential. No matter what reason a student enrolls in college, the ultimate goal is usually the same: a degree that will expand opportunities. But for many students, earning a degree and finding work in their chosen field may pose stark and unanticipated challenges. And for many of their communities, turning colleges and universities into reliable places to find qualified candidates for the jobs that are available may prove easier said than done.