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Inside Maine’s disastrous roll out of proficiency-based learning

Hechinger Report - April 19, 2019 4906

This past fall, Ragan Toppan, 16, walked out of her Algebra II class at Deering High School to protest her school’s recent switch to standards-based grading. Toppan, a junior at the high school, was angry that the administration hadn’t sought student input about the change, and worried that a switch to a 1-4 grading system, […]


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‘We want a kid you don’t have any idea what to do with’

Hechinger Report - April 19, 2019 4899

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Earlier this year, Ricketa Bluford, a teacher at the Elk Grove campus of the Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy (SAVA), assigned her students a personal narrative essay. The one submitted by Maria Garcia, a senior in her independent study class, stopped her cold. “The beginning of my senior year I got addicted […]


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In professional development for online teachers, highlighting failure led the way to success

Hechinger Report - April 17, 2019 4830

Editor’s note: This story led off this week’s Future of Learning newsletter, which is delivered free to subscribers’ inboxes every Wednesday with trends and top stories about education innovation. Subscribe today! The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, on the west side of Indianapolis, has gotten a fair amount of attention for personalizing the professional […]


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OPINION: Early ed should adopt these 3 ideas from Montessori schools

Hechinger Report - April 17, 2019 4830

Parents, policymakers and teachers increasingly realize that funding early childhood initiatives is vital to the nation’s future. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of 3- to 5-year-olds enrolled in full-day education programs has risen from 47 percent in 2000 to 54 percent in 2016. The federal investment highlights the importance of […]


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School district secessions gather speed, a new report shows

Hechinger Report - April 17, 2019 4793

One night in 2017, Leslie Williams saw a post on Facebook about a meeting later that evening at Gardendale City Hall. Gardendale, a predominately white city in Alabama, had put forward a proposal to split from the Jefferson County School District, which enrolls a student body that is majority black and Latino. If Gardendale’s plan […]


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White coaches pick the wrong side when they talk down to their black athletes

Hechinger Report - April 16, 2019 4745

Now that the NCAA tournament is over and passions about everyone’s favorite basketball team are not running as high, we need to have a conversation about coaches’ abusive treatment of black athletes. In late March, when Michigan State and Bradley University were in a dead heat during the NCAA basketball semifinals, the actions of coach […]


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OPINION: ‘Far too few veterans are enrolled in our elite undergraduate institutions’

Hechinger Report - April 15, 2019 4720

As the nation’s elite colleges rightly focus on the diversity of their student bodies — thoughtfully balancing socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, gender, sexual orientation and geographic factors to achieve an inclusive learning environment that mirrors our broader society — a group of highly valuable, highly deserving students remains poorly considered. Fewer than two out of […]


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As small private colleges keep closing, some are fighting back

Hechinger Report - April 15, 2019 4704

DUDLEY, Mass. — It was in his part-time job as a campus tour guide that Jared Maymon first heard prospective students and their parents asking not just about the food, the dorms or the required courses but about whether his college would be around long enough for them to experience any of those things. Several […]


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College financial aid letters are confusing. We made a tool to help figure them out

Hechinger Report - April 15, 2019 4700

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Gifted classes may not help talented students move ahead faster

Hechinger Report - April 15, 2019 4679

One of the big justifications for gifted-and-talented education is that high achieving kids need more advanced material so that they’re not bored and actually learn something during the school day. Their academic needs cannot be met in a general education class, advocates say. But a large survey of 2,000 elementary schools in three states found […]


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OPINION: How do we ensure that charter schools don’t exacerbate segregation?

Hechinger Report - April 14, 2019 4665

Underscoring just how segregated our public education system remains some 65 years after Brown v. Board of Education, New York City’s most selective public high school made headlines — and not the good kind — when it announced that it offered seven of 900 available slots for the Class of 2023 to black students. The […]


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Some experts have a new idea to help students afford college: more federal loans

Hechinger Report - April 12, 2019 4514

Tatum Johnson was hooked on the view from Clemson University’s North Green soon after she set foot on the South Carolina institution’s campus for a tour while she was still a high school senior. The stretch of grass overlooking the amphitheater, Reflection Pond and the library “is pretty breathtaking,” she said. The botanical gardens were […]


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What happens when students are given a say in school budgets?

Hechinger Report - April 12, 2019 4509

NEW YORK — Katherine Penida-Briceno was on stage in the cavernous auditorium of Veritas Academy, mic in hand, making a final plea to her classmates to vote for the school greenhouse project. Penida-Briceno, a senior with blue-tipped hair who hopes to become a biochemist, was one of two dozen teens at the high school in […]


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Beyond basic reading, kids can learn how to think like a good reader

Hechinger Report - April 10, 2019 4445

Editor’s note: This story led off this week’s Future of Learning newsletter, which is delivered free to subscribers’ inboxes every Wednesday with trends and top stories about education innovation. Subscribe today! Once students learn how to sound out words, reading is easy. They can speak the words they see. But whether they understand them is […]


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OPINION: Numbers evoke joy and wonder, why doesn’t math class?

Hechinger Report - April 10, 2019 4445

What happens to students after they take math in high school or college? Does their math experience lead to expanded professional opportunities? Does it help them understand and critique the world? Do they experience beauty, joy and wonder? If math is achieving its purpose, as defined by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, students would […]


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DeVos’ support of charters spells disaster for their Democrat backers

Hechinger Report - April 09, 2019 4361

When U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos put out the department’s 2019 budget, Democrats who support charter schools found themselves in an awkward political situation. DeVos proposed cutting $17.6 million the Department of Education had allocated for the Special Olympics, but she somehow found room in the budget to increase charter school funding by $60 […]


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OPINION: How to shatter the education system’s glass ceiling

Hechinger Report - April 09, 2019 4346

In schools, we tell all children that they can be anything they want. It’s a striking irony that the leaders of our school systems — district superintendents and state chiefs — overwhelmingly are white men. A report that we at Chiefs for Change are releasing today takes a hard look at this issue and offers solutions […]


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Study finds that new principals can boost student achievement — with a little help

Hechinger Report - April 08, 2019 4294

One theory for how to improve schools begins not with teachers in the classroom but with the principals who hire and oversee them. To that end, the Wallace Foundation spent $85 million on a five-year project to improve school principals in six cities and large urban counties, from New York to Denver, beginning in 2011. […]


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OPINION: When it comes to vouchers, equity and equality are not the same

Hechinger Report - April 07, 2019 4280

Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Secretary of Education, continues to insist that private-school vouchers are the magic wand that the nation can wave to create equity for disadvantaged children — especially disadvantaged children of color. Last year she proposed to fund vouchers by cutting $1 billion from federal spending on various elements of public K– 12 education, […]


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With white students becoming a minority, public universities push harder to diversify

Hechinger Report - April 04, 2019 4119

BATON ROUGE, La. — A few weeks after Stewart Lockett made local headlines for becoming the first black student body president at Louisiana State University in nearly 30 years, the 21-year-old settled into his new office and began looking through the files that previous presidents had left behind. He found old notes of inspiration and […]


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OPINION: “They said I only got in because I ‘checked the black box’ ”

Hechinger Report - April 03, 2019 4060

“Dream big, work hard and you can do anything.” This is what students often hear about what it takes to get into college and pursue their dreams. If the recent alleged admissions scandal proves anything, though, it’s that this isn’t always true, especially if you are a student of color, a first-generation college student or […]


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To the survivors of school shootings

Hechinger Report - April 03, 2019 4036

Dear survivors of the Parkland school shooting, I’m thinking of you, unsure of what to say, fearful that I will say the wrong thing. The last three weeks have been hard: Two of your Parkland classmates, maybe your friends, ended their lives. I don’t want to lose you, too. So, I’m reaching out to offer […]


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After years of neglect, Mississippi takes baby steps to boost school readiness

Hechinger Report - April 03, 2019 4019

 QUITMAN, Miss. — On a muggy fall morning, pre-K teacher Ruth Shows inspected the work of students in her classroom, stepping over a cluster of little learners sprawled on the carpet. She watched a 4-year-old thrust her tiny hands into a plastic tub of rainbow-colored rice, scooping up handfuls of magnetic letters and numbers. […]


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Fighting for Mississippi’s struggling 5-year-olds, one student at a time

Hechinger Report - April 02, 2019 3972

VAUGHAN, Miss. — When Antroine Anderson started kindergarten in this close-knit rural town last August, he knew just three words by sight. He mistook H for G, confused L and I and identified M as F. Accustomed to being called AJ by his family, Antroine didn’t recognize his name in print. His mother, Janice Barton, […]


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Test prep to get into vocational education? Yup, it’s a thing

Hechinger Report - April 02, 2019 3960

This story is a part of our Map to the Middle Class project, where readers ask questions about educational pathways to financial stability and then we investigate. This question comes from Kirk Warren, of Reno, Nevada. Kirk asks: “Where are the effective high school tech & trade programs in the U.S. and how are they funded?” […]


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