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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Education

Should An Anonymous Donor Be Able To Save A Public School?

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LA Johnson/NPR

The Traverse City Area Public Schools in northern Michigan have a saying: “Great Community, Great Schools.” The Washington Post agrees, ranking Traverse City high schools some of the most challenging in the country.

But the district of about 9,500 is losing enough students — 12 percent in the last 10 years — that last fall superintendent Paul Soma recommended closing three elementary schools.

Then came a surprise. At a school board meeting in March, when members had just voted to close two of the schools, Soma made an announcement about the third. “We are in the receipt of new information regarding a donor offering over $800,000 to keep Old Mission open.”

With just 168 students, Old Mission Peninsula School is costing the district too much money to keep the lights on, even though the school’s in an affluent area surrounded by some of the most expensive homes in northern Michigan.

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Education

What Young Men Of Color Can Teach Us About The Achievement Gap

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LA Johnson/NPR

Public schools in the U.S. now have a majority of nonwhite students.

That’s been the case since 2014, and yet children of color — especially boys — still lag behind their white peers.

This story has been all over the media. It’s topic No. 1 at education conferences on university campuses. Even the White House is all over it.

But what Ron Ferguson wants to know is why. And he says there’s a big group of experts out there who never get asked about it: boys and young men of color.

Ferguson, an economist at Harvard University, says that if we want to fix this problem, we need to listen to these students.

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Education

Citadel Military College Says Prospective Student Can’t Wear Hijab

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Citadel freshman cadets drill for the first time in their new uniforms in 2013 in Charleston, S.C. The school says it will not allow a prospective student to wear hijab because it would break uniform.

Richard Ellis/Getty Images

The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, says it will not allow an admitted student to wear a Muslim headscarf. The woman’s family is considering legal action, according to a Muslim advocacy group.

In a statement Tuesday, Citadel President John Rosa says, “Uniformity is the cornerstone of this four-year leader development model.” Through a “relinquishing of self,” the lieutenant general says, “cadets learn the value of teamwork to function as a single unit.”

Despite not allowing the student to wear hijab, Rosa says he hopes she will attend in the fall.

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Education

Fact Check: Did Hillary Clinton Introduce A New Approach To Early Education?

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A 3-year-old presents her artwork to Hillary Clinton at Lee Highway KinderCare in Fairfax, Va.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

This week Hillary Clinton was in Virginia to talk about women, family and workplace issues. She met at the Mug’n Muffin coffee shop with local participants in a program called Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters.

In HIPPY, as it’s called, parents receive free books, educational materials and weekly home visits to coach them on how to get their young children ready for school — for example, by reading to them daily.

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Education

Through The Looking Glass: How Children’s Books Have Grown Up

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Kindergarten students read before class starts at Walker-Jones Education Campus in Washington, D.C.

Elissa Nadworny/NPR

In Sarah Parrish’s second-grade classroom, the colors are loud, but the kids are quiet.

It’s Thursday morning. Her students sit at their desks, reading to themselves. Books about Ramona and Junie B. Jones. Mystery books, fantasy books …

Marisa Sotelino has just finished Horse Diaries #3: Koda. She grins when asked about it, showing a mouthful of light green braces.

“It’s interesting to see other people, or animals’ point of view,” she explains, “because, well, you can’t be a different person.”

Nearby, a boy named Alec Mahini talks about his love for fantasy books: “It makes me feel that I’m in the adventure kind of, like the narrator.”

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Education

7 tips for having that difficult teacher conversation?

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Schools, despite being the most wonderful places to work,  can also be frustrating and painful places to be at times.

School leaders are charged with the responsibility of instilling the highest level of professionalism in their colleagues. Unfortunately, it is a undeniable fact that some teachers do a better job than others. The differences that one can see between teachers is wide-ranging. Some teachers are great at collaborating whilst others are reluctant to share and engage with others. Many teachers are great at giving students valuable feedback for learning while others are far less effective. A good number of teachers ensure that they act in the highest professional manner, however, we would be naive not to think that some teachers cut corners falling well short of their professional obligations.

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