November 2013

In Mississippi, small glimmers of hope and opportunity

It’s always been hard to get ahead in the largely poor and rural state of Mississippi, where the median household income is the lowest in the U.S. Yet Magnolia State residents do have slightly more opportunities to become upwardly mobility these days than they had two years — possibly due to lower unemployment rates and […]

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Hey, kid! How do I get (and keep) your attention?

Much can be said about the lack of access to enrichment opportunities for youth growing up in urban, high-poverty neighborhoods. But what about all those after-school programs that few kids bother to attend, or that never get off the ground to begin with? Anyone who knows a tween––of any economic bracket––knows how hard it is […]


A new model for teacher preparation in California?

For years, California has attempted to reform its teacher preparation programs to better prepare new teachers for the classroom. Alternative routes have popped up to offer aspiring teachers, in many cases, a less expensive and faster route to teaching. The state’s extensive performance exams for teacher candidates have served as a model for the rest […]


As schools become more technologically advanced, who is in charge?

It’s hard to argue against having better and more technology in schools. An increasingly high-tech world where students communicate largely on digital devices means educators can easily be left behind. A harsh lesson emerged in Los Angeles last month, making it clear that it’s not just enough to have iPads in school these days. As […]


Teachers weigh in on how to identify grit

Grit is one of education’s latest buzzwords, encompassing the idea that character traits like perseverance are critical to academic achievement. Now, educators around the country are trying to identify and quantify this intangible quality. In September, Angela Duckworth was awarded a $625,000 MacArthur “genius grant” to continue her work studying grit. In “How Children Succeed,” […]


Survey: Mississippi kids unprepared for kindergarten

More than 40 percent of students in Mississippi are not ready for kindergarten, according to the results of a survey released Monday. Mississippi KIDS COUNT, a project of the Family and Children Research Unit at Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center surveyed kindergarten teachers across the state to assess their perspectives on student readiness. […]


Report: Most third-graders behind in cognitive development

Nearly 65 percent of third-graders lack the cognitive skills and knowledge necessary to succeed academically, according to the results of “The First Eight Years,” a report released Monday. The Annie E. Casey foundation, a non-profit child advocacy organization, analyzed data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal study, which began to track 13,000 kindergarten students during the […]


Anatomy of a 6,000-hour deficit

As we recently reported, by the time a child from a low-income family reaches sixth grade, he or she has spent an estimated 6,000 fewer hours learning than a peer from a wealthy household. How did researchers come up with 6,000 hours? At a Halloween morning conference at the Ford Foundation (one of our funders […]

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