December 2012

Two Head Start reports find problems and some hope

The benefits children reap from Head Start, the preschool program for low-income families, disappear almost completely by third grade. While social support for children in the program is high, academic supports are low. Nearly all of children in the program live near the poverty line, more than half do not live with their fathers, and […]

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School districts prepare for fiscal cliff cuts

School districts around the country are worrying over stalled negotiations to avert the “fiscal cliff” at the end of the month, which could result in the loss of more than 8 percent of their federal funding. Education advocates and  lobbyists, including for the two national teachers unions, are clamoring for a deal – specifically one […]

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When the safety of school is attacked

Schools are supposed to be sanctuaries. That refrain has been echoing around the country following Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman shot his way into the building and murdered 20 children and six adults before taking his own life. “I live between the Sandy Hook Elementary School and […]


Boards of trustees think the price of college is just about right

The boards of trustees and directors who oversee America’s colleges and universities think higher education has gotten too expensive—just not at their own institutions. In a finding that suggests there’s little sense of urgency among governing boards to rein in the cost of college, more than half of 2,500 board members surveyed said higher education […]


A nation reacts to horrific school shooting in Connecticut

Americans are again mourning and grappling with the question, ‘Why?’ after a gunman shot and killed multiple children at an elementary school in Connecticut on Friday. Twenty-eight were killed–20 of them children–at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., according to law enforcement officials. It will likely rank as the nation’s second deadliest shooting at a […]


Giving teachers more power helps in turnaround of Boston schools

Six low-performing Boston schools participating in a pilot program that gives teachers more training, support, and leadership roles are showing higher growth on state tests than other low-performing city schools according to a report released Monday by the non-profit Teach Plus. The T3 Initiative program, a collaboration between Boston Public Schools and Teach Plus, began […]


Clock ticks down on billions in tuition tax credits

Among the many tax breaks waiting for Congress to rescue or let tumble off the fiscal cliff is more than $18 billion in savings for families who pay college and university tuition. The American Opportunity Tax Credit expires on December 31st, and, with it, financial relief averaging $1,545 per recipient who pays for college. Compounding […]

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Charter schools expanding rapidly in more U.S. cities

Charter schools now enroll more than 20 percent of public school children in 25 school districts across the country, according to a new report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, which tracks charter-school growth annually. Overall, charters enrolled more than two million students in 41 states and the District of Columbia during the […]


Why change is still a long time coming in Mississippi education

For education advocates in Mississippi, it must be difficult to sit quietly and watch the tepid progress, or, as some put it last week, “small scale ideas” that are emerging in a state with a perpetual education crisis. After all, it’s been 30 years since the so-called “Christmas Miracle” — the historic December day when […]