Demographics & Diversity
“While Trump spoke of his desire to reinvest in rural America, most of his education policy has had an urban focus,” Ben Felder writes for The Oklahoman in a story that’s part of a series leading up to the inauguration.
Kate Murphy of the Cincinnati Enquirer interviews the sexual assault survivor whose case launched a federal investigation of how the University of Cincinnati handles reports of sexual assault.
For those who attend and live around the Prince George’s County school named for the country’s first African American president, the shift in power will not only evoke intense emotions — it will also cut at their identity. This is Obama territory, one of the nation’s most affluent, majority-black communities, where residents speak of the 44th commander in chief as they would a relative.
Tuesday’s confirmation hearing for billionaire school advocate Betsy DeVos — President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. secretary of education — was a doozy.
DeVos sought to present herself as ready to oversee the federal agency, but some of her remarks suggested a lack of familiarity with the federal laws governing the nation’s schools.
In her opening statement before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, DeVos said:
Journalist Daniel Connolly spent a year embedded at a Memphis high school to learn first-hand about the educational experiences of Hispanic immigrants’ children. Connolly’s new book focuses on star student Isaias Ramos, “the hope of Kingsbury High.” The author explores how Isaias, born in the U.S., seeks to overcome obstacles to his plans for college. How did Connolly (The Memphis Commercial Appeal) gain such extraordinary access to the students, educators, and families of this school community? What does Isaias’ journey tell us about the hopes and aspirations of Hispanic immigrant families? And how are real world realities pressuring public schools to redefine expectations for student success?
President Obama has renamed the My Brother’s Keeper initiative he created to close the opportunity gaps faced by black and Latino males, hoping the new moniker will more accurately reflect its mission and increase the chances of its longevity.
This is a story about some little kids and a big idea.
The little kids are fourth graders. They go to William Penn Elementary School on Chicago’s West Side in the North Lawndale neighborhood.
It’s the first day of school, September 2014, and they’re filing into the auditorium because Mayor Rahm Emanuel is here to tout rising test scores. The head of Chicago Public Schools at the time, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, is here too.
She’s laying out the big idea that I want to wrestle with:
When President Obama took office in January 2009, the country was on edge, the economy in free-fall. The federal education law, known as No Child Left Behind, was also in need of an update after earning the ire of teachers, parents and politicians alike. In short, there was much to do.
In time, that update would come, but President Obama’s education legacy begins, oddly enough, with his plan to bolster the faltering economy.
Havasu Canyon is home to turquoise waterfalls, billowing cottonwood trees, and red sandstone cliffs that attract thousands of tourists each year. It’s also home to the Havasupai people, a federally recognized Native American tribe allegedly subject to education conditions so dreadful it’s as if many of the reservation’s children don’t attend school at all.
More districts and states are enacting rules to monitor school water safety. “The action is an acknowledgment that the largely voluntary testing system present in most of the country isn’t sufficient,” writes Stacy Teicher Khadaroo for The Christian Science Monitor.
Eric Kelderman of The Chronicle of Higher Education with an important insight into the likely education secretary under Trump: “Ms. DeVos shows her belief in developing civil society through the contributions of individual citizens rather than government.”
The population of English learners has been increasing in North Dakota schools — most recently in rural districts.
“It’s growing. The need there is growing,” said Lyle Krueger, executive director of the Missouri River Educational Cooperative, one of eight regional education associations in the state. The MREC is comprised of 37 school districts in south-central North Dakota.
In rural districts, Krueger said the numbers are sporadic. They may not have an English learner for years; then, when they do, they are often at a loss to offer help.
It’s shaping up to be a contentious year on the education beat, fueled in part by Donald Trump’s upset victory in the presidential election. For starters, in the days and weeks since his election, his campaign call for expanding school choice has sparked widespread discussion and debate.
Antwan Wilson will take over as head of DC Public Schools following Kaya Henderson’s exit. While he is an outsider, he is not expected to make sweeping changes to the direction the district has been heading over the last decade. His success on reducing suspensions in Oakland comes at a time when the nation is moving away from zero tolerance discipline policies in favor of keeping kids in classrooms.
Nationally, 84 percent of computer science majors are men. At Harvey Mudd College in California, women make up 55 percent of computer science graduates. Rosanna Xia explores the school’s gender-equity efforts in this Los Angeles Times story.
California is failing to keep parents with young children from slipping into extreme poverty and, ultimately homelessness.
Despite federal and state money earmarked specifically to support children’s wellbeing, government programs are inadequate to meet the region’s rising housing costs and falling incomes, leaving the poorest families on the street.
Undocumented immigrants in Georgia who came to the U.S. as children and have received temporary protection from deportation under the Obama administration will now be able to pay in-state tuition at the state’s colleges and universities, a judge ruled in the years-long court case Tuesday.
When Perla Anguiano Carrizales walked up to Ralston High School for the first time in August 2015, she was terrified. The building was massive — nothing like her school back in Mexico. She didn’t speak English. She knew no one.
More than a year later, Carrizales gets good grades. The 17-year-old is aiming to get a scholarship to college. And she wants to be a nurse.
A judge says the Georgia university system must allow immigrants to pay in-state tuition if they’ve been granted temporary permission by the federal government to stay in the U.S.
Georgia’s state colleges and universities require verification of “lawful presence” in the U.S. for in-state tuition. The Board of Regents had said students with temporary permission to stay under a 2012 program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, didn’t meet that requirement.
What’s Next for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics?
A Q&A With Outgoing Executive Director Alejandra Ceja
Alejandra Ceja has been the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics since 2013 — a position she’ll give up at noon on Jan. 19, the day before the presidential inauguration. I recently sat down with her at the U.S. Department of Education to talk about the state of Latino education, the Initiative’s first 25 years, and what we can expect from the Initiative under the next administration.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length.
It began with everyone in the Corning-Paskenta Tribal Community doing their parts.
There were home visits to new parents, a deep look at how to boost early-reading skills,and programs to help middle-schoolers avoid substance abuse and violence.
There were four years of surveys and research on what worked and what didn’t. And there were dozens of meetings that reached out to many groups normally left out of policy discussions, such as teen parents and migrant workers.
This company trains schools how to respond to active shooter attacks, reports Dan Carsen for WBHM. Unlike other training, this group, which has partnered with 3,700 districts, encourages staff and students to fight back.
A heartwarming tale or a case study in picking favorites? Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel examines the merits of a Florida university absorbing a bionics company and the worries other firms have about an unfair competitive environment.
A Chalkbeat analysis found that over half the students who took and passed the eighth-grade state math exam in 2015 wound up clustered in less than 8 percent of New York City high schools. The same was true for those who passed the English exam. Meanwhile, nearly 165 of the city’s roughly 440 high schools had five or fewer ninth-graders who took and passed the state math test in 2015.
Charter schools have existed in San Diego since 1994, but the debate over whether they’re good for public education shows no signs of slowing down.
Charter schools are publicly funded but independently run. In San Diego, there’s been a steady growth of students opting out of traditional schools and into charter schools. This year, roughly 20 percent of students living within San Diego Unified boundaries are enrolled in charters, and district officials expect the numbers to rise.
In Hartford, Connecticut, a third-grade class read enough books to earn a pizza party. The excited students piled onto a bus, crossing the Connecticut River to a pizza parlor in East Hartford. One student pointed out the window: “What’s that?” She had never seen a river, recalls current Westport Public Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer. Shortly after, Palmer visited a third-grade classroom in the affluent town of Weston. A girl told Palmer it was almost her birthday, and Palmer asked what she was doing to celebrate. The answer: her father was taking her to Paris.
Annie Martin of the Orlando Sentinel investigates how Orange County school board members spent $500,000 of taxpayer money over the last two years. “One board member paid $2,500 for a school mural that depicts herself,” she writes.
Starting in January, Portland Community College will teach a specially designed curriculum for nursing students left stranded by the closure of the for-profit ITT Technical Institute earlier this year, Andrew Theen reports for The Oregonian.
In the sweltering days of July, tensions between police and civilians were running high. A cop fatally shot Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, setting off a week of protests. Another police officer fatally shot Philando Castile in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, while his fiance and her 4-year-old daughter watched. A sniper shot and killed five police officers in Dallas.
Refugees, immigrants and other kids who do not speak English are entitled to the same special education services as native speakers. But in this Southeast Texas city, they seldom get them. Just 39 of the nearly 1,000 English Language Learners here receive services like tutoring, counseling and speech therapy, 70 percent fewer per capita than a decade ago.
News stories often state that black and Latino males have lower test scores and graduation rates than their white and Asian peers, that they’re more likely to be disciplined in school and be incarcerated. UCLA professor Tyrone Howard decided to produce a report that offers a different perspective.
The Morris School District was created in 1971, after a state court decision led to the merger of two Northern New Jersey communities — the mostly white suburbs of Morris Township, and the racially mixed urban hub of Morristown — into one school district for the purpose of maintaining racial and economic balance. Paul Tractenberg says the district has a “remarkable can-do attitude” that has allowed officials to continuously “rejigger what they are doing to accommodate the demands of the moment.”
The ability to speak more than one language can enhance brain function, academic performance and business acumen, linguistic experts said at a U.S. House of Representatives briefing Tuesday, making the case for a greater emphasis on multilingual education in American schools.
Boys are less likely than girls to take advantage of college-prep services in California. Larry Gordon of EdSource reports on the how and why.
The school district in Ohio’s capital created a counseling response team to aid students at campuses beset by tragedy. A team of roughly 20 personnel responded to 17 incidents last year, write Bill Bush and Shannon Gilchrist for The Columbus Dispatch.
Nathan Damigo brought his message of white separatism to an unusual place: an ethnic studies class at Cal State Stanislaus called Searching for America.
Speaking to a crowd filled with black and Latino students, he wove a country song tale of whites becoming an endangered minority in America and compared their plight to Native Americans — before describing his fantasy for a utopian homeland for whites not unlike Indian reservations.
David Roberts, a 75-year-old substitute teacher, went to work last month at Clovis West High wearing a Black Lives Matter button on his shirt pocket. A day later, he was told that he was no longer allowed to work at the school.
“They said it was a violation of their policy of being neutral regarding political issues, but I don’t consider it a political statement. It is a moral statement,” Roberts said. “I was very surprised because I didn’t think it was a violation of anything.”
Xavier University has joined forces with a nonprofit group at the forefront of the New Orleans charter school movement to create a first-of-its-kind “residency” program intended to diversify the city’s public school teaching force. The program will primarily recruit Xavier University seniors and recent graduates, many of whom have ties to the community. It is the first such partnership in the country between charter schools and a historically black college or university.
Should an Urban School Serving Black and Hispanic Students Look Like Schools for Affluent White Kids?
Should an urban school serving black and Hispanic students try to emulate schools for affluent white kids?
Colorado’s largest school district continues to grow, though not at the same breakneck pace that saw Denver Public Schools gain 20,000 students in the past decade. This year, DPS has 902 more students in preschool through 12th grade for a total of 92,331 kids, according to officials.
That’s about a 1 percent increase over last year, when the district had 91,429 students.
There are several reasons why student enrollment is slowing even as the city’s population is surging.
Two state universities in Georgia will now admit undocumented immigrants to their campuses, despite legal restrictions that have barred these students from the state’s most selective public universities since 2010.
Detroit Just Created Its First Intentionally Diverse Charter School. Here’s Why It Might Not Stay That Way.
In the 20 years since charter schools first opened as a free alternative to traditional district schools in Michigan and around the country, many of the privately run, publicly funded schools have focused on serving poor students in urban areas. It’s one of the reasons why charter schools are some of the most segregated schools in the nation.
But a growing group of educators have tried to change that by building schools designed to attract kids from different backgrounds and different neighborhoods.
The number of Latino and multi-racial students at Oregon’s public universities is more than double what it was seven years ago, according to an analysis of enrollment records by The Oregonian/OregonLive.
More low-income Hispanic families are enrolling their children in early childhood care and education services, narrowing long-standing racial gaps in participation of these programs, new research shows.
New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres introduced a bill Tuesday that would create an Office of School Diversity aimed at tackling deep segregation in the nation’s largest school system.
If approved, the office would be housed within the city’s Commission on Human Rights, and would be tasked with investigating the causes and extent of school segregation in the city.
As the population has grown more diverse, support for grand efforts like the GI Bill to open doors to higher education has dwindled. Coincidence?
As the population has grown more diverse, support for grand efforts like the GI Bill to open doors to higher education has dwindled. Coincidence?
The U.S. isn’t No. 1 but it’s in the top 10: According to a respected international measure of American student performance in math and science, the nation’s 4th and 8th graders, on average, scored higher than students in dozens of countries.
Children of undocumented immigrants represent a growing share of U.S. students in kindergarten through 12th grade, a Pew Research Center analysis of American Community Survey data shows.
In the two weeks since Republican Donald Trump won the presidency on a platform touting stricter immigration laws and mass deportations, Los Angeles leaders have taken steps to assure the immigrants within their borders that the city supports them.
In a new series, Memphis Commercial Appeal reporter Jennifer Pignolet tells the story of Shelby County students working hard to make it to college — and to succeed once they arrive. And their challenges aren’t just financial: for some, like Darrius Isom of South Memphis, having reliable transportation to get to class on time is a game changer. And what are some of the in-school and extracurricular programs that students say are making a difference? Pignolet also looks at the the Tennessee Promise program, which provides free community college classes to qualified students, and assigns a mentor to help guide them.
THANKSGIVING BONUS: EWA journalist members share some of the things they’re grateful for this year.
Before she came to the U.S. for high school, Yuhan “Coco” Yang remembers wanting to “fly away” from her life in China, where school began at the crack of dawn and lasted until the sky went dark.
Every year, more students like Yang arrive in American schools, dreaming of a different future than the one China allowed them.
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser named Antwan Wilson — the superintendent of schools in Oakland, Calif. — as her nominee to lead the District’s school system on Tuesday, betting that an outsider with fresh eyes will bring new ideas for addressing wide achievement gaps between the city’s poor and affluent children.
U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. has called on states to stop allowing schools to use corporal punishment to discipline students, arguing that it is a “harmful practice.”
In his letter to governors and chief state school officers dated Tuesday, King pointed out that the corporal punishment practiced in some states’ schools could also be classified as criminal assault or battery under separate laws in those same states. Corporal punishment is often used disproportionately on certain groups of students, such as students of color, King said.
Jeff Sessions became attorney general four decades after the Supreme Court struck down segregated schools in its landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. In the intervening years, racial segregation diminished somewhat, but separate and unequal continued in another form. In 1956, as a way to sidestep Brown, Alabama voters amended the state Constitution to deprive students of a right to public education. Public support for school funding collapsed in its aftermath.
A child’s race, ethnicity, and immigrant status could determine whether a teacher reaches out to that student’s parents, a new study out of New York University has found.
After months of controversy surrounding a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook that critics called racist and inaccurate, the Texas State Board of Education voted this week to reject its adoption.
The board rejected the textbook on Wednesday 14-0, with one board member absent. A final vote will take place today, but even if the board votes “no” again, the text could still show up in Texas public school classrooms — just not on the board-approved list of instructional materials.
Growing up in Columbia, Maryland, Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng was a self-described troublemaker in grade school. He even got sent to the principal’s office once for in-class misbehavior. But none of his teachers ever called his parents about his school misconduct. In fact, throughout his K-12 schooling, Cherng can’t recall once when a school staffer reached out to his parents. Meanwhile, even though it was customary in high school for the counselor to personally congratulate parents of students who gained early admission to college, his name was left off the call list.
North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district has taken big — and somewhat controversial — steps toward diversifying its schools, Ann Doss Helms reports for The Charlotte Observer.
‘Education Not Deportation’: Hundreds of NYC Students Walk Out of Class, March to Trump Tower in Protest
Leaving biology, English, and calculus behind, hundreds of New York City high school students walked out of class and into the pouring rain, marching to Trump Tower exactly a week after the eponymous candidate’s victory. The march began around 10 a.m., when well over 100 students streamed out of Manhattan’s selective Beacon High School, chanting, “This is what democracy looks like!” and “Education, not deportation!” The protest coincided with others at colleges and university across the country.
L.A.’s Education Board Sends a Message to Trump: Schools Will Stay ‘Safe Zones’ for Students Here Illegally
The nation’s second-largest school system on Tuesday sent a message to President-elect Donald Trump: Los Angeles’ public schools will continue to be “safe zones” for students in the U.S. illegally. The Los Angeles Board of Education voted to approve a resolution reaffirming L.A. Unified’s current policy, which directs school staff members not to allow federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents onto school campuses unless their visit has been approved by the superintendent and the district’s lawyers.
Students who are learning English will have access to more supports when taking the ACT exam next year, the nonprofit organization that administers the test announced this week.
There’s been lots of chatter on social media and among pundits, warning that the treatment of immigrant kids and English language learners is going to “get worse” under a Donald Trump presidency.
Some people on Twitter are even monitoring incidents in which Latino students in particular have been targeted.
But I wonder: When were these students not targeted? When did immigrant students and their families ever have it easy?
Columbia University’s wrestling team, which bills itself as the nation’s oldest intercollegiate program, has had its season suspended by the university while officials investigate text messages sent by team members that included the frequent use of racist, misogynistic and homophobic terms.
It was the state’s first true public university.
Known as the “Father of the University of Virginia,” Jefferson was laid to rest at his home in Monticello, less than 10 miles from his school.
Children and teenagers of Mexican descent make up one of the fastest-growing populations in the nation’s public schools.
That’s a well-known statistic, but less known is that, in the last eight years, nearly 500,000 of these children have returned to Mexico with their families. Nine out of 10 are U.S. citizens because they were born in the U.S. That’s according to Mexican and U.S. government figures compiled by researchers with the University of California system, and the Civil Rights Project at UCLA.
After more than a year of polarizing campaign rhetoric about immigrants that led to reports of increased school bullying across the country, many school districts have begun offering additional counseling and support services for students who fear for their futures under the next presidential administration.
Some school districts are offering counseling services to students and staff upset about the election of Donald Trump to the presidency while school and community leaders sent out messages urging calm.
Parents dropping their students off at schools in different areas reported seeing teachers crying, and teachers said non-white students expressed fears that they and their families would be negatively affected by a Trump administration.
Advocates of bilingual education got a big win in California Tuesday, when an overwhelming majority of the electorate voted to end the state’s longstanding English-only approach to educating English-language learners.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Public schools in California will have more power to develop their own bilingual and multilingual programs after voters on Tuesday approved a measure repealing English-only instruction across the state.
With nearly 21% of 24,849 precincts reporting, Proposition 58 appeared to coast to victory, with 73% support among voters. Twenty-seven percent of voters sought to defeat it.
The long, strange election cycle came to an end Tuesday with the election of Donald Trump as the next president. And while his campaign platform was scarce on education policy details, there’s no question his administration will have a significant impact, from early childhood to K-12 and higher education
Katie Cardamone teaches second grade in the Mendon-Upton Regional School District, about 40 miles southwest of Boston. Barely 1 percent of Mendon’s population is Latino and about 2 percent of Upton’s is, but Cardamone teaches her entire class in Spanish. According to Cardamone, about 250 predominantly white families across the district have signed their children up for the immersion program, recognizing the value of becoming bilingual and of starting the process in kindergarten.
This Election Day, Massachusetts voters will decide whether to lift the cap on the number of charter schools in the state — a hotly contested ballot measure that’s drawn more than $34 million in fundraising among the two sides and garnered national attention, with parents of students of color and advocates for minority students on both sides of the issue.
As classrooms across the United States become more diverse, schools are working to hire more teachers of color, particularly black teachers. Some have actually done a reasonable job of bringing more African American educators in the door. Yet the vast majority of teachers remain white women, in part because many black teachers leave just a few years into the job. Federal data suggests that in 2012-13, nearly 22 percent of black public-school teachers moved schools or left the profession altogether, compared to only about 15 percent of white, non-Hispanic teachers.
A program called Diplomas Now, a partnership between Johns Hopkins University, City Year, provides academic support in struggling schools, and Communities In Schools, a national nonprofit that tackles out-of-school problems like getting kids glasses or helping their families find child care for younger siblings. Based on the data the team monitors, he helps City Year and Communities In Schools staff figure out who needs extra attention. Without Diplomas Now, “You just don’t have enough adults in this school to meet the needs of the kids here.”
I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen headlines this election season about polarizing campaign rhetoric being used to bully and harass Latino students.
Students need many things, from visionary principals to sharp pencils. Somewhere near the top of that list should be these two words:
As of 2012, 16 percent of public school students were African-American, while just 7 percent of teachers were black. To make matters worse, according to the U.S. Department of Education, black teachers are leaving their classrooms at a higher rate than any other group.
Just listen, if you would, to how she listens.
That may sound like an odd way to invoke what Anna Deavere Smith does in “Notes From the Field,” her wonderfully energizing new performance piece about the cursed intersection of two American institutions, the school and the prison, in a racially divided nation. After all, Ms. Smith talks practically nonstop in the show, which opened on Wednesday night at Second Stage Theater.
A bipartisan group of 10 U.S. senators is asking President Obama to rein in the Education Department, arguing that the agency is trying to overreach into matters that Congress intended to be decided by states and school districts.
John B. King Jr. understood the importance of school counselors from a young age, because his own mother served as one in his school. “I can remember hearing her talk with my father about her students and the kinds of support she was providing them,” he says.
Changes in Income-Based Gaps in Parent Activities with Young Children from 1988-2012
American Educational Research Association
Numerous studies show large differences between economically advantaged and disadvantaged parents in the quality and quantity of their engagement in young children’s development. This “parenting gap” may account for a substantial portion of the gap in children’s early cognitive skills. However, researchers know little about whether the socioeconomic gap in parenting has increased over time. The present study investigates this question, focusing on income- (and education) based gaps in parents’ engagement in cognitively stimulating activities with preschool-aged children.
All along the U.S.-Mexico border, hundreds of children from kindergarten on up make their way through checkpoints and guard stations each day to study. This has been happening for decades. Many, like Vidaña Sanchez, are Americans born to Mexican parents who desperately want to create a better life for their offspring and see education as the path forward.
A Virginia school district wants to ban a transgender teen from using the boys’ bathroom. NPR’s David Greene speaks to attorneys Kyle Duncan and Josh Block, central players in what could be a landmark case.
The children of migrant workers are some of the country’s poorest, most undereducated and hardest to track down. But tracking them down is exactly what a preschool for migrant children needs to do.
Here’s a secret about federal laws: Even after Congress passes them and the president signs them, federal agencies can take actions –through writing regulations — that change their impact considerably. That worry is on full display almost a year after Congress overhauled the nation’s main K-12 education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
New York City’s Department of Education frequently boasts that 75 percent of eighth graders get one of their top three choices for high school. That sounds impressive for a system handling about 75,000 applications each fall. But teachers and principals at small schools with special themes told WNYC they wind up with students each year who don’t want to be there, while some who really do want to attend aren’t accepted.
A study published in the Review of Educational Research today suggests that school climate is something educators and communities should prioritize — especially as a way to bridge the elusive achievement gap. The authors analyzed more than 15 years of research on schools worldwide, and found that positive school climate had a significant impact on academics.
Black students are routinely punished more harshly in school than white counterparts. However, new research shows there may be a relatively simple fix for this disparity: more black teachers.
Approximately 1.8 million U.S. children were home-schooled in 2012, more than double the number that were home-schooled in 1999, when the federal government began gathering data on national home-schooling trends, according to estimates released Tuesday. The estimated number of home-schooled children represents 3.4 percent of the U.S. student population between the ages of 5 and 17.
The increase was fastest between 1999 and 2007, then slowed between 2007 and 2012, according to the estimates from the National Center for Education Statistics.
(Nathaniel Minor/CPR News) In this fractious election season, we searched — and we found — some hopeful voices. There’s a catch, though: They can’t vote. But they want you to.
Fifth graders from the Boulder Community School of Integrated Studies recently took a field trip to the University of Colorado Boulder campus, where they shared their get out the vote message with college students. Along the way, they tackled important issues about who gets to vote — and who historically hasn’t been allowed to.
Public schools are increasingly divided by race and class. John Oliver discusses the troubling trend towards school resegregation, citing findings that showed the South had actually the least-segregated schools in the nation, but New York was found to have the most segregation.
Latino children will “pretty much determine the fate of Texas” during the 21st century, the state’s Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes said in his annual address this week.
That’s why the state will need to get more creative in educating Latinos and ensuring they graduate from college. “Doing business as usual,” won’t work, he said, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
In Texas school districts, it’s often the men who are calling the shots. Shelby Webb of The Houston Chronicle explores why it’s the case that in a state where three out of four teachers are women, only one of five superintendents are female. Click here to bypass the story’s paywall.
Bilingual education is back on the ballot in California. Do voters feel differently about the issue now than they did in 1998?
At present, the Golden State public schools are required to teach most English learners in English-only programs. In some circumstances, parents can request consideration for bilingual programs. By voting “yes” on Proposition 58, California voters would make it easier for schools to decidehow they teach English learners, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the California legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal and policy advisor.
The 4-year-old boy was mentally disabled, unable to speak in complete sentences and unable to play with other children because of his violent fits of hitting and biting.
The decision facing one Brooklyn jury last year was how much a landlord should pay in damages to the boy — named “G.M.M.” in court documents — after an investigation showed he had been living in an apartment illegally coated with lead paint. To determine that, the jury would have to decide how much more the boy would have earned over his lifetime without the injury.
Newly appointed state superintendent Michael Sentance, during his first work session, warned the Alabama Board of Education of a crisis in math education.
“We’re in trouble,” he said.
The numbers he used as proof: scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, also known as the nation’s report card. Alabama’s fourth-graders landed in 52nd place in 2015. All fifty states, the Department of Defense (DoD) schools and the District of Columbia are included, making that dead-last ranking possible.
Craig Brock teaches high school science in Amarillo, Texas, where his freshman biology students are currently learning about the parts of a cell. But since many of them are refugee children who have only recently arrived in the U.S. and speak little or no English, Brock often has to get creative.
Usually that means creating PowerPoint presentations full of pictures and “just kind of pulling from here and there,” he said — the Internet, a third grade textbook or a preschool homeschool curriculum from Sam’s Club, for example.
The LA School Report, an online news publication covering the intersection of politics and education in Los Angeles, is expanding its reach in the City of Angels by adding a partner website with education news in Spanish. It’s the first (and only) Spanish-language education news site dedicated to the Los Angeles Latino community, according to the outlet.
Timothy Pratt of The Hechinger Report discusses why liberal arts colleges in Appalachia are making Latino student recruiting a top priority. A 2016 EWA Reporting Fellow, Pratt recently completed an in-depth reporting project on the implications of this shift for private colleges — many of which are struggling to keep enrollment counts up.
Here’s the scenario: a teenage boy and girl are arguing about the presidential election in their school cafeteria. The boy tells the girl he’s supporting Trump because he’ll build a wall to keep out Mexican immigrants. The girl says she’s of Mexican descent and that she considers the boy’s remarks racist. A teacher overhearing this lunchroom conversation should:
A) Get the kids to calm down, tell them they’re each entitled to their opinion and change the topic.
B) Offer a history lesson on how Texas actually used to be part of Mexico.
Hispanic students for the first time outnumber their peers in other racial and ethnic groups in Montgomery County’s public schools, a milestone for diversity in a suburb long regarded as largely white and affluent. The school district in 2016-2017 is 30 percent Hispanic, 29 percent white, 22 percent black and 14 percent Asian, according to school district data, a student body that would have been difficult to imagine five decades ago, when Montgomery’s enrollment was 94 percent white.
Some schools across Texas have ousted children with disabilities from needed services in order to comply with an agency decree that no more than 8.5 percent of students should obtain specialized education. School districts seeking to meet the arbitrary benchmark have not only made services harder to get into but have resorted to removing hundreds and hundreds of kids.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has its eye on becoming the first school in the state to earn federal recognition as a Hispanic-serving institution. But first, it must more than double the number of Hispanic students it enrolls.
The fate of the U.S. presidency isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance on Election Day 2016.
Come Nov. 8, dual-language education could either get strengthened or further suppressed in the state with the highest percentage of English-language learners, as voters in California face a decision about overturning the state’s longstanding ban on a bilingual approach to educating these students.
Racial bias among educators may play a larger role than previously understood in deciding whether students are referred for special education or gifted programs, according to new research from NYU.
The study, the first of its kind to show a direct link between teacher bias and referrals for special services, found stark differences in how teachers classify students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds showing identical signs of disability or giftedness.
Who will win the U.S. presidential election? Just ask America’s schoolchildren, who have accurately predicted the last 13 presidential elections, Greg Toppo of USA TODAY reports. This year’s nationwide mock election showed a landslide victory for Hillary Clinton.
Chicago could become the first U.S. city to cap its number of charter schools using a union contract, Lauren FitzPatrick writes for the Chicago Sun-Times.
A record 83.2 percent of students graduated from U.S. high schools in 2015, and the graduation rates of black and Latino students were also up. But there’s still work to be done, President Obama said in his “final report card” speech at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C., Monday.
President Obama wants more American Indian students to graduate from college. But look at the challenges these high schoolers face, and it becomes clear why that is a tall order.
Read more from an occasional series of articles on the transition to college for students at Browning High School on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana.
Eleven years ago, as Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters receded, experts promised to transform the city by upending its schools, fixing poverty and crime by and through degrees. …
Far more students graduate from New Orleans public high schools now: 75 percent, up from 54 percent before the storm …
But the real test is what happens after high school. The new New Orleans won’t materialize if beaming teenagers walk off the graduation dais as if it were a gangplank.
Learn about Finland’s transition toward a school schedule that merges multiple subjects into extended learning blocks, a move that could be the exception to the adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Education Week’s Madeline Will has the story.
Melinda D. Anderson explains in The Atlantic how the “stress of racial discrimination may partly explain the persistent gaps in academic performance between some nonwhite students, mainly black and Latino youth, and their white counterparts.”
Black and Latino teachers may be minorities in the U.S. educator workforce, but a new study finds they also may be the most effective — at least according to their students.
The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Excelencia in Education has released its annual list of college programs and community groups that are effectively supporting the educational advancement of Latino students in higher education, or “Examples of ¡Excelencia!“
Here’s a look at this year’s honorees.
Pathway to the Baccalaureate Program, Northern Virginia Community College
In the first story of a new series for The Hechinger Report, Lynell Hancock writes about Greenville, Mississippi, whose school district was the first in the state to “defy the governor and voluntarily offer real choice for white and black children to enroll in each other’s schools.”
One year after the deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, the unity and solidarity of the surrounding community hasn’t waned, Andrew Theen reports for The Oregonian.
The University of Arizona professor whose research found that Mexican-American studies leads to improved test scores and high school graduation rates may be barred from testifying in a pending lawsuit against the state for its ban on ethnic studies.
The number of Hispanic students enrolled in charter schools is growing, as is support for school choice among Hispanic parents, a new report by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools shows.
Melissa Sanchez does some digging for The Chicago Reporter to learn that undocumented students represented roughly a quarter of all the learners who benefited from the city’s free community-college tuition program. Undocumented residents are barred from receiving federal aid for college.
In an article for Harper’s Magazine, “Held Back: Battling for the Fate of a School District,” Alexandria Neason digs into the financial and racial turmoil facing Detroit’s public schools.
As the University of West Florida seeks a new president, students want to know whether their next leader will support the Black Lives Matter movement, Jessica Bakeman writes for Politico.
The Detroit public-school system was contending with an operating debt of more than $500 million, and the Citizens Research Council of Michigan had estimated that the total debt topped $3.5 billion. For years, money intended for students has instead been paying off old loans, and academic achievement has consistently ranked among the worst in American cities.
The school districts in Texas’ eight largest cities all have Latino superintendents at the helm, as do half of the top 20, Dallas-based KERA News reported Tuesday. The story comes after the recent hire of Richard A. Carranza as superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, the largest in the state and seventh largest in the country.
Melinda Anderson for The Atlantic: “The study suggests that as the portion of students of color in the school increased, so did the odds that the school would rely on more intense surveillance methods.”
More of the teenagers graduating from high schools in Appalachia look like Janeth Barrera Cantu, and fewer look like the middle- and upper-class whites from which local colleges and universities have historically drawn their enrollments. So Lenoir-Rhyne and other schools in the region have started trying to recruit Hispanics, who—like Barrera Cantu—increasingly want college educations.
Today’s assignment: Reporting on the nation’s largest school district, with 1.1 million students and an operating budget of $25 billion. Patrick Wall of Chalkbeat New York has dug deep into the city’s special education programs, investigated whether school choice programs are contributing to student segregation rather than reducing it, and penned a three-part series on on one high school’s effort to reinvent itself. He talks with EWA public editor Emily Richmond about his work, and offers tips for making the most of student interviews, getting access to campuses, and balancing bigger investigations with daily coverage. A first-prize winner for beat reporting in this year’s EWA Awards, Wall is spending the current academic year at Columbia University’s School of Journalism as a Spencer Fellow.
There are hundreds of thousands of students who cross borders to attend schools in both the U.S. and Mexico during their elementary, middle and high school years, but poor communication between the two nations often results in significant obstacles for their academic advancement, researchers said at a binational symposium in Mexico this week.
The Hispanic population is no longer the fastest-growing group in the U.S., falling second to Asians due to lower immigration rates from Latin America and fewer births since the Great Recession, a new Pew Research Center study shows.
What does it mean to be ready for colleges and careers? How can a state measure its schools’ progress in keeping students on pace to do well after high school? California officials are trying to answer these questions with the state’s forthcoming College and Career Readiness Indicator, reports Fermin Leal for EdSource.
Des Moines schools are venturing beyond the standard lunch fare of chicken nuggets to appeal to an increasingly diverse student body, reports Mackenzie Ryan for the Des Moines Register.
The precocious teen who’s too cool for school – earning high marks despite skipping class – is a pop-culture standard, the idealized version of an effortless youth for whom success comes easy.
Too bad it’s largely a work of fiction that belies a much harsher reality: Missing just two days a month of school for any reason exposes kids to a cascade of academic setbacks, from lower reading and math scores in the third grade to higher risks of dropping out of high school, research suggests.
Black and Latino students in Boston increasingly are enrolled in a free program that offers test prep services for students seeking entry into the district’s three prestigious exam schools — one of which is under federal investigation for alleged racial discrimination and harassment, The Boston Globe
A tribal school in Puyallup, Washington, is no longer accepting students who are not registered with a Native American tribe, meaning many children who intended to return to the K-12 campus this school year will have to seek an education elsewhere, Debbie Cafazzo of The News Tribune reports.
Crossing an international border can be a hassle. But some parents in Mexico do it every day in pursuit of a better education for their children.
San Antonio-based KENS 5 recently aired a story of a father who walks his two young children across the Mexico-Texas border daily so they can attend school in the U.S. The trek is worth it, he says.
More than six decades since the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision declared that segregated schools are “inherently unequal,” Latino students from low-income backgrounds are becoming increasingly isolated in public schools across the country.
The most-segregated schools Latinos attend often have fewer resources, including less access to Advanced Placement courses and Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) programs, compared with schools with high populations of affluent and white students.
The boys (and girls) are back in town. For class, that is.
See how forced that lede was? Back-to-school reporting can take on a similar tinge of predictability, with journalists wondering how an occasion as locked in as the changing of the seasons can be written about with the freshness of spring.
Recently some of the beat’s heavy hitters dished with EWA’s Emily Richmond about ways newsrooms can take advantage of the first week of school to tell important stories and cover overlooked issues.
The most economically segregated school districts in the country have childhood poverty rates that differ from neighboring school districts by more than 40 percentage points, highlighting the stark contrast among K-12 schools located just miles apart from each other.
The finding, included in an analysis released Tuesday from EdBuild, a nonprofit focused on education funding inequality, is just the latest in mounting pile of research focused onschool funding inequality.
What will it take for the federal government to provide American Indian and Alaskan Native students with the schooling and services they’ve long been promised?
In 1910, one in four children in the U.S. was an immigrant, and most of that group were European, Christian and white.
When Edgar Ríos was one of 126 students in the first class of a new charter school in Chicago in 1999, almost all of his teachers were white.
They were good teachers, he says. His favorite, though, was a teacher “who could speak Spanish with my mother and father, so I didn’t have to translate.”
While the number of parents who opt out of having their kids take their states’ standardized tests has grown nationally, much of this movement appears to be made up of white, wealthier families. Latinos and other minorities seem to be less inclined to avoid standardized testing.
That should not be the case, said Ruth Rodriguez, an administrator with United Opt Out National.
Margarita is a four-year-old girl living in East Harlem. She speaks Spanish at home with her Mexican-born parents, is obedient, well-behaved and plays well with kids her age, younger and older.
For more than two decades, “Savage Inequalities” — a close look at school funding disparities nationwide — has been required reading at many colleges and universities. And with a growing number of states facing legal challenges to how they fund their local schools, author Jonathan Kozol’s work has fresh relevance. Education journalists Lauren Camera (US News & World Report) and Christine Sampson (East Hampton Star) talk with EWA public editor Emily Richmond about how Kozol’s book has influenced their own reporting.
Black and Hispanic children experience mental health problems at a similar rate than their white peers, yet are less likely to receive treatment, a new study of nationally representative data shows.
Young Latinos who are not proficient in English are more likely to develop higher early literacy skills when their teachers are also Latino, according to a University of Virginia study released this week examining the teacher-student racial gap in pre-K.
EdSource’s Theresa Harrington writes about a Common Core-aligned curriculum created by educators in California that includes shearing sheep and designing board games.
Parents in Florida are suing the state for a “13-year-old practice of holding back third graders who score poorly on the state’s spring reading test, arguing that more factors should come into play when deciding the children’s academic fate,” Jeffrey Solochek reports for the Tampa Bay Times.
Charter schools have grown at a rapid rate over the past 20 years as parents, activist groups, lawmakers and others look for alternatives to the traditional public schools.
Supporters say charters can offer the freedom to be more creative in the curriculum they provide to support a wider range of needs for students.
“At USC, the Warrior-Scholar Project aims to help veterans … hone academic and social skills that may be lacking or forgotten, dissuading many from considering a top-tier school,” writes Rosanna Xia of the Los Angeles Times
“Over 1 in 5 of California’s charter schools have restrictive admissions requirements or other exclusionary practices that keep out many students with the greatest academic needs,” reports Louis Freedberg of EdSource.
Graduates in white and purple robes exited the auditorium, their newly turned tassels bouncing as they sang and danced to a recording of the popular Latin salsa tune, “Vivir Mi Vida.”
They had just graduated from the Margarita Muñiz Academy in Boston — many with more than a high school diploma. Forty-six of the 51 new alumni of the dual-language school had also earned a Seal of Biliteracy, an official recognition of their academic proficiency in both English and Spanish.
A community program working to reduce violence through soccer and an after-school robotics class serving Latino youth in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region have each received up to $50,000 in grants to aid their efforts from the Inter-American Development Bank.
Reporter Armando Trull provides insight into these two programs in a story for WAMU.
The red-brick building of Ashburn Community Elementary School sits on a quiet street of bungalows, two blocks from the commuter rail line that cuts through the city’s Far Southwest Side.
The principal, Jewel Diaz, is a veteran who’s led Ashburn since 2003, the year after it opened. Nearly all of her students are low-income children of color, and a survey the school conducted last year showed that dozens of them don’t have internet access at home. To make up for this, Diaz has tried to compensate at school.
Anne Holton, wife of vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, is “a power in her own right,” Louis Llovio of the Richmond Times-Dispatch writes of Virginia’s secretary of education.
Lauren Camera of U.S. News & World Report takes a closer look at segregation in schools at a time when racial tensions — fueled by recent police killings of black men – are high across the country.
As many immigrant children navigate a new language in a new country, some schools across the nation are ill-equipped to meet their needs. What strategies have been successful to help these children develop the language and academic skills necessary to succeed? And what will changes to federal education policies mean for this demographic group?
Getting High-Quality Teachers to Disadvantaged Students
Video Resources from the 69th EWA National Seminar
Low-income and minority students are less likely to have experienced, high-quality teachers, research shows. What steps can school districts and educators put in place to improve these statistics? Panelists share some strategies.
- James Cole, U.S. Department of Education
- Sonja Santelises, Education Trust
- Dyan Smiley, American Federation of Teachers
- Jeffrey Solochek, Tampa Bay Times (moderator)
For education reporters, coming up with fresh ideas for back-to-school stories is an annual ritual. And if you’re balancing the K-12 and higher education beats, it can be an even bigger challenge.
Getting in Deep: Immersing Yourself in a Difficult Education Story
Video Resources from the 69th EWA National Seminar
Award-winning Boston Globe journalist Meghan Irons shares lessons from her reporting on two complex stories about students and race: one on equity and campus climate at Boston Latin, the nation’s oldest public school; and another that looked closely at school desegregation 40 years after the tumultuous debut of court-ordered busing in Boston.
- Meghan Irons, The Boston Globe
- Denise Amos, The Florida Times-Union (moderator)
The complexity around covering issues of segregation was in high gear in June when investigative writer Nikole Hannah-Jones documented in the New York Times magazine her family’s tough decision on where to enroll daughter Najya.
The article came a month after she discussed the deliberate and structural segregation she sees in communities around the country during the Education Writers Association’s National Seminar. Hannah-Jones urged journalists to hold accountable public officials and communities that allow this to happen.
EWA Express Talks: Equity, Poverty, and Education
Video Resources from the 69th EWA National Seminar
This special, morning-long session features a series of speakers aiming to illuminate under-recognized or under-reported facets of the challenges of providing equitable opportunities for all students. Topics examined include social mobility, cultural questions, combatting trauma, and solutions focusing on equity.
Chalkbeat, the Indianapolis Star and WFYI are teaming up for a joint project to examine why inequality and segregation continue in Indianapolis 60 years after the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education outlawed “separate but equal” schools — and solutions that could lead to change.
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), like No Child Left Behind before it, requires states to report information on the academic achievement of students in each of their schools, both overall and for various subgroups of students. A subgroup of particular interest to policymakers and researchers is economically disadvantaged students, who, on average, score much lower on standardized tests than their higher-income peers.
Educational Exclusion: Drop Out, Push Out, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline among LGBTQ Youth provides an in-depth look at the conditions that effectively push LGBTQ youth out of school and potentially into the criminal justice system. The report provides specific, real world guidance to address the hostile school climates and damaging policies and practices that contribute to pushing LGBTQ youth out of their schools.
I spent an academic year as an embedded reporter inside a Memphis high school that enrolled hundreds of children of Mexican immigrants. Many of the young people I met that year had lived most of their lives in the United States, and in some cases were born here. Most spoke fluent English.
As I followed these English-speaking students around the school, I paid much less attention to another group of young people: kids who had recently arrived from other countries and spoke little English.
Most education journalists probably remember last year’s viral video depicting members of the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity singing a racist chant.
“I thought it was a really isolated, terrible incident,” recalled Kimberly Hefling, then an education reporter for The Associated Press. But her colleague, Jesse Holland, didn’t see it as a major news event at all.
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the use of race in college admissions, colleges and universities should assess their policies in a way that takes a more nuanced look at diversity, a higher education scholar said Tuesday.
Liliana M. Garces, assistant professor of higher education at Pennsylvania State University, said the court’s majority opinion in the case — known as Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin — “reflects a robust understanding of diversity.”
If you haven’t yet heard of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the use of race as a factor in college admissions, you may have at least seen the #BeckyWithTheBadGrades buzz on Twitter and wondered what it meant.
Though it is in part a reference to Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” sensation, the hashtag has more to do with higher education than pop culture.
Undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children are often known as “DREAMers,” for the failed Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. In the face of instability, many DREAMers have turned to advocacy. DREAMers share their immigration stories and discuss the media’s approach to reporting on the undocumented.
Students of color represent more than half of the United States’ public school population, but their parents are the most underrepresented group of stakeholders in local and national conversations about whether policies and reforms are working for their students.
A panel of experts who engage parents of color on local and national levels shared these and other observations with education reporters in Boston at the Education Writers Association annual national conference. And their message was clear: No longer can these voices be ignored.
It’s been a month since a proposed textbook for Mexican-American studies courses in Texas spurred widespread controversy over allegations of racism and inaccuracy, and ethnic studies advocates who convened at a 200-person summit in San Antonio Saturday are prepared to fight the book’s presence in the state’s public schools.
As education becomes increasingly digital, it creates a world of opportunities for students, who can now visit world-famous museums or collaborate with other students without ever leaving the classroom.
But it also creates potential barriers for families lacking access to adequate devices or high-speed internet and can lead to a growing opportunity gap.
For the first time in the nation’s history, students of color outnumber their white peers in public school classrooms. In a new 12-part series for Slate, The Teacher Project at Columbia University explores what that means for students, teachers, schools, and broader communities stretching from Boston to Hawaii.
Sarah Carr, editor of The Teacher Project, talks with EWA public editor Emily Richmond about why terminology matters when reporting on school diversity, the challenge of preparing a largely white, female teacher workforce for working with diverse student populations, and how de facto school segregation continues to influence opportunities and outcomes for kids of color.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights released its latest Civil Rights Data Collection, a comprehensive database with information from just about every public school in the nation from the 2013-14 school year. Most of the information is disaggregated by race and ethnicity, sex, English-language proficiency and disability.
After an unarmed Michael Brown was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones watched events unfold from afar. But she was struck when the 18-year-old’s mother, standing at the edge of the crime scene where her son’s dead body lay, asked if the authorities knew how hard it is to get a black boy to graduate from high school.
The issue of race and diversity in college admissions once again is front and center, as the U.S. Supreme Court will rule soon on the high-profile affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas.
Panelists during a discussion at the Education Writers Association’s national conference in May offered mixed predictions about how the court will rule on whether the use of race in admissions is constitutional and how far the effects of the ruling could reach.
“Diversity — (noun) the state of being diverse; variety”
Schools in New York City are being asked to consider voluntary diversity plans in an effort to combat widespread segregation in the city’s schools.
According to its online call for proposals under the Diversity in Admissions Initiative, the city’s education department ”seeks to empower schools to strengthen diversity among their students through targeted efforts to change their admissions process.”
Education journalist Shelby Webb of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune spent six months digging into student suspensions and expulsions in Florida, and her findings took the local school board by surprise: Sarasota County has the second-highest rate of expulsions in the Sunshine State. But the district’s process for expulsions was certainly built for volume: as many as 14 students have been expelled with a single “yes” vote by school board members, some of whom haven’t even read the background on the individual students’ cases. The Herald-Tribune’s project also examines questions of equity of school discipline policies across Florida where — echoing a nationwide trend — many students of color face more severe punishments than their white peers.
How do you get the best teachers in front of the students who need them the most? It’s an issue getting increased attention, but a tough problem to solve.
What’s behind a cluster of student suicides in the heart of ultra-competitive Silicon Valley?
In a cover story for The Atlantic, journalist Hanna Rosin investigated a disturbing cycle stretching back more than a decade for Palo Alto and Gunn high schools. She spoke with EWA public editor Emily Richmond: How are local educators, parents, and students are responding to the crisis? What’s next for the investigation by federal health officials? And how can reporters improve their own coverage of these kinds of challenging issues? Rosin’s story, “The Silicon Valley Suicides” won 1st Prize for magazine feature writing in the EWA National Awards for Education Reporting.
This election season, it has become common to read about candidates’ anti-immigrant rhetoric trickling down into schools and, in many cases, being used to insult Latino students. Over the past several days, the polarizing phrase “build a wall” — presumed to be inspired by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s immigration plan to curb illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border — has been making headlines in Oregon, as it has inspired hundreds of studen
Texas advocates of ethnic studies in public schools celebrated two years ago when the State Board of Education voted to create instructional materials for classes like Mexican-American and African-American studies that school districts could choose to offer as electives in the state. The decision wasn’t exactly what proponents of Mexican-American studies had asked for — to establish a statewide curriculum — but it was something.
When it comes to the story of Massachusetts’ public schools, the takeaway, according to the state’s former education secretary, Paul Reville, is that “doing well isn’t good enough.”
For education journalists, writing about poverty poses many challenges. But one of the most overlooked is that it’s often difficult to know much about the socioeconomic background of students in a given school. Reporters often rely on two things: anecdotal evidence and the percentage of students who receive a free or reduced-price lunch.
Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, known for “Bowling Alone,” examines the state of the American dream in his newest work. He discusses whether equality of opportunity still exists and whether all kids, regardless of background, have the chance to improve their lot in life.
- Robert Putnam, Harvard University
- Claudio Sanchez, NPR (moderator)
At the age of nine, Amalio Nieves saw his father die from gun violence in Chicago. And as a child, Nieves himself was robbed at gunpoint. Now he’s always thinking about his young niece Jordan and the year 2100 – when Jordan will be the parent of a child that leads America into a new, unknown century.
Last month, The Washington Post ran a front-page profile about Edwin Ordoñez: a high school valedictorian who swam across the Rio Grande with his father at age 9. Now he has protection from deportation and is choosing between admissions and scholarship offers from Emory, Williams and Princeton.
For every savant who’s skilled enough to ditch class and still ace the course, many more who miss school fall way behind, increasing their odds of dropping out or performing poorly.
The implications are major: If a school has a high number of students repeatedly absent, there’s a good chance other troubles are afoot. Feeling uninspired in the classroom, poor family outreach, or struggles at students’ homes are just some of the root causes of absenteeism, experts say.
“If you’ve made the commitment to go to school here, then you’ve made the commitment to go to college.”
Racial diversity and the socioeconomic integration of schools can be powerful tools to help improve educational opportunities for students, but much depends on whether states and local communities prioritize them, Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. stressed in remarks here on Monday.
In the dozen years that Angela Duckworth has researched the concept of grit, she’s found new ways to test its validity, identified examples of it in popular culture, and worked to bust myths about its application in schools. But she hasn’t developed a just-add-water curriculum package that interested schools can use to develop the character trait in their students.
Cara Fitzpatrick was in labor when her husband – and colleague at the Tampa Bay Times – asked her “So what can you tell me about segregation in Pinellas County?”
The paper had just decided to do a large-scale investigation into the district’s schools that were serving predominately low-income, black students. Two years later, Fitzpatrick’s son is walking and talking and she and the rest of the team have earned a Pulitzer Prize for their series Failure Factories.
We’ve long known of the persistent and troublesome academic gap between white students and their black and Hispanic peers in public schools.
We’ve long understood the primary reason, too: A higher proportion of black and Hispanic children come from poor families. A new analysis of reading and math test score data from across the country confirms just how much socioeconomic conditions matter.
Children in the school districts with the highest concentrations of poverty score an average of more than four grade levels below children in the richest districts.
Update: On May 2, “Failure Factories” won the $10,000 Hechinger Grand Prize in the EWA National Awards for Education Reporting.
The Pulitzer Prize for local reporting this year went to the Tampa Bay Times for an exhaustive investigation into how a handful of elementary schools in Pinellas County wound up deeply segregated by race, poverty, and opportunity.
By offering cash prizes to Latino and black boys who read books, a retired Los Angeles school teacher is hoping to improve educational outcomes for these groups – one book at a time.
As a regular feature, The Educated Reporter chooses a buzzword or phrase that You Need to Know (yes, this designation is highly subjective, but we’re giving it a shot). Send your Word on the Beat suggestions to email@example.com.
Word on the Beat: Equity
The Springs Union Free School District in New York has been accused of violating the civil rights of its Latino students, who comprise the majority of its student population.
Some students throughout Arizona won’t have to add a $40 ACT fee to the list of bills they’ll encounter on the path to college.
When students don’t speak English well, it can be easy for their outstanding academic abilities to get overlooked.
In a recent NPR story for All Things Considered, Claudio Sanchez tells listeners about a program in Arizona’s Paradise Valley Unified School District that has figured out a way to identify the talents of gifted students – even as they’re still learning the English language.