Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they trust and have confidence in their public school teachers and an even higher rate wants to see high achieving high school students. Those and other findings are part of this year’s annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. Read more>
The last decade has seen a significant decline in economic well-being for low-income children and families, according to data released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in its annual KIDS COUNT ® Data Book. Data in the report also reveal the impact of the job and foreclosure crisis on children. Read more>
The Wake County, N.C., public schools system has been a model for the rest of the nation for trying to bring educational opportunity to all students through policies that encourage economically and racially diverse schools. The district’s work to avoid segregated schools is now under attack and well financed conservative interest groups from outside the state have helped lead the effort. Read more>
A new report from Michigan State University underscores the importance of investing in effective teaching. Based on the analysis of test scores for thousands of students in kindergarten through third grade, the report finds that teachers can have positive effects on students that last for several years, particularly in reading. Read more>
Suspensions are costing students valuable instructional time and pushing the most vulnerable kids out of school. In this op-ed, Jane Sundius, director for the education and youth-development program at the Open Society Institute-Baltimore, and Faith Connolly, executive director of the Baltimore Education Research Consortium, explain how Baltimore students lost more than 100,000 days to suspensions before the city schools changed their discipline code. By taking three key steps to limit suspensions, schools in Baltimore ended up cutting that number down by a third — providing thousands more days of instruction to many students.
In a rousing speech at Saturday’s Save Our Schools March in Washington, D.C., Stanford University Education Professor Linda Darling-Hammond reflected on the fortitude – and investment of time, energy and money – that it will take to reclaim world-class status in public education. The full text of Darling-Hammond's speech was reprinted in The Washington Post's The Answer Sheet blog. To read the full speech, click here>
Jan Resseger, Minister of Public Education and Witness for the United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries, blogs about the moving experiencing of last weekend’s Save Our Schools March in Washington, D.C., as she and droves of other education advocates pressed the case for a stronger commitment to public schools. Read more >
The U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice have launched the Supportive School Discipline Initiative on the heels of recently released federal data linking harsh school punishments with lower graduation rates and later criminal trouble. “Ensuring that our educational system is a doorway to opportunity – and not a point of entry to our criminal justice system – is a critical, and achievable, goal,” said Attorney General Holder. Read more>
Findings from a multi-year study of discipline records for nearly 1 million Texas students show that the majority of them were suspended or expelled between seventh to 12th grade. A not-surprising corollary finding: When students are suspended or expelled, the likelihood that they will repeat a grade, not graduate, and/or become involved in the juvenile justice system increases significantly. For more on the groundbreaking report by the Council of State Governments Justice Center in partnership with the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University click here.
The student-led Voices of Youth in Chicago Education recently compiled a cost-analysis that shows how enforcing and administering zero tolerance policies are costing taxpayers and examines the damaging effects of the Chicago public school system’s disciplinary policies on students and schools. In the report, “Failed Policies, Broken Futures: The True Cost of Zero Tolerance,” VOYCE writes that such harsh policies are “based on the fear that young people of color are future criminals, not the hope that we will be future leaders.”