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Across U.S., graduation rates are rising, with little connection to test scores

By Matt Barnum ~ Chalkbeat ~ Alabama’s high school graduation rate was one of the lowest in the country in 2011. Today, it’s one of the highest. Over that same period, though, Alabama students have continued to perform among the worst in the nation on federal math and reading tests. That leaves the state with a jarring disconnect between its students’ academic skills and the share of diplomas it hands…

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‘It Is a Disgrace That Our Public Schools Are So Poorly Funded’

By Janine Jackson ~ FAIR ~ As we record on January 16, the strike by more than 30,000 Los Angeles teachers is entering its third day. The decision to go on strike is never a whimsical one; the union, United Teachers Los Angeles, hasn’t had a strike in nearly 30 years. Coverage appears to be deepening as the labor action continues, but corporate media’s initial response consisted of headlines like the New York Times’…

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Why black girls are targeted for punishment at school – and how to change that

By Monique W. Morris ~ TED ~ Around the world, black girls are being pushed out of schools because of policies that target them for punishment, says author and social justice scholar Monique W. Morris. The result: countless girls are forced into unsafe futures with restricted opportunities. How can we put an end to this crisis? In an impassioned talk, Morris uncovers the causes of “pushout” and shows how we…

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Showing Up and Doing Well in School Should Lead to Better Opportunity But It’s Not Always True

By Kate Hardiman ~ Education Post ~ Low-income and minority students are not being challenged nearly as much as their White peers in high school, according to a new study produced by TNTP, a national education nonprofit. They’ve dubbed this the “opportunity myth”—the false idea that showing up and doing well in school will lead to better opportunity. Think about that for a minute. If you’re a parent, you probably tell your…

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This Deep-Red State Decided to Make a Serious Investment in Preschools. It’s Paying Off Big-Time.

By Kiera Butler ~ Mother Jones ~  Call it the Alabama miracle Alabama state senator Trip Pittman had always sort of questioned whether nursery schools were worth the investment. Pittman, a conservative Republican, figured the kinds of things you’re supposed to learn before kindergarten—washing your hands, tying your shoes, minding your manners—might best be taught by parents and grandparents at home. Conservatives often argue that kids who attend preschool fare no…

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Watch a high schooler’s fiery speech about reading more black and brown authors

By Cassie Walker Burke ~ Chalkbeat ~  Ivery Marquez is a senior at Friedrich Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center who is passionate about seeing more black and brown authors, such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Alice Walker, on her reading list.  “What I’ve realized is that there is a lack of diversity, and culture, and discussion when it comes to high school literature,” she said. As for what she’d do…

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Can the Nation’s First Charter School Strike Transform the Industry?

By Candice Bernd ~ Truthout ~ For the first time, charter school teachers are striking. Over the past week, a strike at Chicago’s largest unionized charter network gained steam, with 15 schools serving Acero’s 7,500 predominantly Latino students remaining closed since Tuesday. This week’s strike is the first in the nation against a charter operator, and comes only days after Acero released a financial audit showing that the nonprofit currently…

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Free College Tuition Is Nice, But How About Food?

By Sydney Worth ~ Yes! ~  Some schools are looking to helping students meet much more basic needs. When Michelle Nielsen, 46, decided to return to school at Houston Community College to become a pastry chef, she quickly discovered that she had no room in her budget for food. Even with financial aid covering her tuition and a work-study program to help with rent, Nielsen knew she wouldn’t be able…

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The Justice Project - Social Justice

50 years in, why the fight for Mexican-American studies in schools is still in its early stages

By Francisco Vara-Orta ~ Chalkbeat ~ Thirteen-year-old Alejandra Del Bosque knows not everyone gets to take a class like hers. In it, she’s learned about Mexican-American students who staged walkouts in the late 1960s and early 1970s to protest the lack of resources available to their schools. She’s also learned how her state’s school funding system has still been deemed inadequate in recent court rulings. “There was so much to…

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Why Millions of Teens Can’t Finish Their Homework

By Alia Wong ~ The Atlantic ~ The push toward technology-focused education overlooks the students who lack the resources needed to complete their assignments. In decades past, students needed little more than paper, pencils, and time to get their schoolwork done. For the vast majority of students, that’s no longer the case. Most schoolwork these days necessitates a computer and an internet connection, and that includes work to be done…

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