Character & Citizenship
It’s just after 7 on a Thursday morning and Mamaroneck High School is empty — except for about 30 freshmen who are already seated in their classroom, laptops in front of them.
They are finishing the first year of a new initiative: a four-year program called Original Civic Research and Action, which requires them to immerse themselves in the workings of their town of Mamaroneck — just north of New York City — and find a useful solution to an ongoing problem.
After a brutal 2016 presidential election, pundits predicted that, if nothing else, the election of Donald J. Trump as president would serve as a “Sputnik moment” for civics education. Americans of all political stripes, they said, had realized politics matter and that voting – or not – has real consequences.
In 1957, when the Soviet Union launched the first man-made satellite into space, interest in science education skyrocketed. Soon, Americans were landing astronauts on the moon.
During first period English last Friday at Capital high school in Helena, student Noah Whitehorn, felt his phone buzz with a notification; 10 people were dead following a school shooting in a small town just outside of Houston, Texas.
“I almost cried in the middle of English class. How is this still happening? After all that we’ve done in the past few months you’d think that at least something would have been accomplished.”
While some students, teachers and families are thinking what’s next — what’s the next lesson, what’s the next competition, what’s after graduation — others are losing sleep over an increasingly common question: Who’s next to die?
Education journalists from across the nation gathered here this week with a focus on diversity in their profession, recent activism by teachers, and the scourge of school violence, among other topics.
The Education Writers Association’s top award for education reporting went to John Woodrow Cox of The Washington Post for a compelling three-part series on children and gun violence, which was published last June.
In a city of roughly 1,800 schools, many have names that have little to do with what students experience. Not so for Democracy Prep, a network of charter schools that a new study concludes makes students far more likely to vote once they turn 18.
Coaches’ Use of Homeless Athletes Draws Scrutiny
Investigative Reporting: General News Outlets, Print and Online (Large Staff)
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A tip from a source led Claudia Rowe of The Seattle Times to discover that some high school sports officials appeared to be trying to improve their teams by gaming protections for homeless students — getting star athletes to declare themselves homeless so that they’d be able to transfer and play immediately.
In Michigan, a school’s efforts to help hungry students is broadening its reach, Lori Higgins reports for The Detroit Free Press.
Kathy A. Bolten details for the Des Moines Register how a college student is using social media to criticize campus administrators for their handling of sexual assault allegations.
The Palm Beach Post’s Andrew Marra digs into questionable expenditures by a charter school.
Two students in a Holocaust history class were killed during the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. Now Holocaust Remembrance Day has a deeply personal meaning for their teacher and classmates, Mark Keierleber reports for The 74.
Justin Murphy details for the Democrat & Chronicle how the recent death of a teen with autism — who wandered away from school unnoticed — symbolizes a broader special education crisis.
The Ins and Outs of ‘Restorative Justice’ in Schools
What is it? Does it work as an alternative to traditional student discipline?
When students misbehave at school, traditional approaches to discipline say you should punish them to deter future offenses.
But a growing movement toward “restorative” approaches to discipline focuses more on repairing the damage rather than suspending or expelling students.
Though details vary from school to school, so-called “restorative justice” programs instead encourage students to reflect on their transgressions and their root causes, talk about them – usually with the victims of the behavior – and try to make amends.
Getting heartfelt, personally revealing comments from teenage boys is difficult enough for parents. So reporters Kavitha Cardoza and Cory Turner had to take a few creative risks to get good audio for their National Public Radio series on an all-boys public high school in Washington D.C. last year.
Funds from a settled desegregation case have been supporting Mississippi’s HBCUs, but the money is about to run out, reports Adam Harris for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Lily Altavena of The Arizona Republic takes a look beyond the ‘D’ grade of a Mesa community school.
Building character is an everyday event, woven into the fabric of how school is done on every level, educators and students told journalists during a conference in New Orleans on educating for character and citizenship.
A key goal is creating a community of trust among students and faculty, said educators at several schools that put character development at the center. During the panel discussion, they used words like “love” and “team” to describe their schools, emphasizing the mutual respect that they work to cultivate between students and teachers.
Student Voices Take Spotlight in Walkout Coverage
The #Enough movement pushes for stricter gun control measures, more funding for mental health
On Wednesday, students across the country joined forces to call for stricter gun control laws, better mental health services in public schools, and to draw attention to concerns about violence in their own communities.
Push for Media Literacy Takes on Urgency Amid Rise of ‘Fake News’
Some states act to spark schools' focus on teaching subject
The advent of “fake news” was the worst-best thing to happen to media literacy in schools.
That’s according to Sherri Hope Culver, the director of the Center for Media and Information Literacy at Temple University.
In years past, it was tough work convincing legislators and reporters the importance of paying attention to the issue of teaching children how to analyze and evaluate media, Culver said during a recent Education Writers Association seminar in New Orleans.They’d ask what made the issue timely.
It’s an education topic that prompts more questions than answers, and it’s expected to spur debate for years to come.
Character education: What is it? What does it look like? Can it be measured?
Experts in education and journalists gathered in New Orleans last month quickly agreed there are numerous terms, definitions, philosophies and methods to explain character education.
With their bodies submerged in the shallow bayou and their heads bobbing just above the water, Sunny Dawn Summers and her class of high school students talked through the process of harvesting, shucking, and selling oysters.
Just miles from restaurants in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter, the students pondered the costs of labor, boat maintenance, and shipping that get an oyster from the muddy bayou floor to the dinner plate.