Amid Influx of Muslim Students, Schools Temper Tensions
Hands-On Veterinary Program Helps Navajo Students Succeed
Are Rural Students Getting Shortchanged in the Digital Age?
The Aftermath of the Atlanta Test Cheating Scandal
What Flint's Superintendent Did to Protect Children From Lead
Vermont Parents Square Off Over Vaccine Rules for School
When Arts Education Takes Center Stage
School Shootings Ignite Controversial Proposals Around Arming Teachers
To cut costs and strengthen public schools, Vermont plans massive consolidation
Amid Influx of Muslim Students, Schools Temper TensionsGrowing anti-Muslim sentiment has become a problem in U.S. schools—as many as half of Muslim students have been bullied by their peers, mainly because of their religion. One hotspot of anti-Muslim sentiment has been St. Cloud, Minn., a small city 90 minutes west of Minneapolis, where a large influx of Somali immigrants has sparked anger and intolerance in the community.
Hands-On Veterinary Program Helps Navajo Students SucceedAt Monument Valley High School in Kayenta, Arizona, students from the Navajo Nation get hands-on instruction in caring for animals. Director Clyde McBride discusses how the program helps prepare students for success.
Are Rural Students Getting Shortchanged in the Digital Age?Rural schools are often charged outrageous rates for lousy Internet service, an ongoing equity challenge that has drawn increasing attention from Washington. Correspondent John Tulenko visited the Calhoun County school district, which was paying $9,275 in monthly bills for the slowest Internet service in all of Mississippi. For years, the district's 2,500 students haven't been able to do Internet research in school. Computerized state testing last year was a disaster. And the district long ago gave up on buying the new digital technologies that are transforming schools just an hour away. But all that could be about to change, thanks to the Federal Communications Commission's recent overhaul of the E-rate program. Education Week talks with students, educators, and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to gauge whether billions of new federal dollars and new rule changes to the program can finally help bring affordable high-speed Internet access to America's rural schools. This video segment appeared on PBS NewsHour on February 16, 2016.
The Aftermath of the Atlanta Test Cheating ScandalEleven Atlanta educators convicted of conspiracy in one of the nation’s largest cheating scandals are just now beginning their appeals, more than two years after they were sentenced to prison. Nearly 200 educators in Atlanta public schools were caught up in the scandal, suspected of erasing and correcting student answers on standardized tests, in order to boost scores. They were under enormous pressure from the federal No Child Left Behind law and from their own superintendent, Beverly Hall, who set targets even higher than the federal government. Thousands of students were impacted, and now, many years later, the district has set up a program to offer extra help to those students who remain in Atlanta public schools. We spoke with those at the heart of the case – an educator, the judge, the district attorney, and students who are about to graduate.
What Flint's Superintendent Did to Protect Children From LeadFlint, Michigan’s superintendent is leading a comprehensive effort to mitigate the effects of lead on his students. Since alarmingly high levels of lead were found two years ago, the school district taken several measures to ensure the crisis wouldn't stand in the way of their kids' education. Special correspondent Kavitha Cardoza of Education Week reports.
Vermont Parents Square Off Over Vaccine Rules for SchoolEvery state requires children to be vaccinated before they attend school, but all states also allow for exemptions. Some states have moved to tighten exemptions, including California, where vaccination rates are now at their highest level in more than 15 years. Vermont has also made it tougher to opt out of vaccines. We spoke to parents there on both sides of the issue - those who feel it’s their right not to vaccinate, and to a mom whose daughter was battling cancer and couldn’t be vaccinated. She needed others around her to have their immunizations against diseases such as measles and chicken pox, to reduce the risk of illness and help protect her.
When Arts Education Takes Center StageOver the past 5 years as executive director for the arts for Boston's public schools, classically trained mezzo-soprano Myran Parker-Brass has worked to bring top-notch arts instruction to every child in the district. Since she assumed leadership, the number of students who are learning theater, dance, music, and visual arts during the school day has dramatically increased. The district has also expanded partnerships with local nonprofits, and upped its investment in arts education from $17 million to $26 million annually.
School Shootings Ignite Controversial Proposals Around Arming TeachersIt’s been five years since the nation’s worst school shooting took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 children and six staff members. The massacre did not, as some had hoped, become a transformative moment and lead to widespread policies restricting gun access. But the Connecticut killings did lead many school districts across the country to ramp up security measures, including lockdown drills, hiring police officers and installing cameras and metal detectors. Under federal law, schools are designated gun-free school zones unless there’s an exception created by state law. Now, gun-rights advocates in a growing number of states are lobbying for such legislative changes, which would then allow educators to carry concealed weapons in classrooms. The efforts have sparked considerable controversy and many organizations, including those representing teachers, are fighting such measures, saying that arming school staff will help keep kids’ safe.
To cut costs and strengthen public schools, Vermont plans massive consolidationIn Vermont, voters will decide next week whether to okay the largest public school reorganization in 125 years. A new ballot measure would merge smaller schools and do away with perks that let parents use tax dollars to send their kids to private schools, even in Canada. Opposition is fierce, but advocates say it’ll cut costs and strengthen public schools. John Tulenko of Education Week reports.
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