MTV is using the airwaves—naturally—to take a closer look at dropping out. On May 9, MTV:Music Television is premiering a new documentary titled "The Dropout Chronicles" that looks at three young people on the brink of leaving school without a diploma. The show will air on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. EST/PT on MTV2. It will also be shown at Wednesday's "National Summit on America's Silent Epidemic" in Washington, an event that MTV is co-hosting with Time, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Civic Enterprises, and the National Governors Association to examine the reasons so many ...


The Oregonian series on "Standout Schools" profiles three schools that are using innovative methods to reach kids. Monday's piece looks at Mt. Tabor Middle School in Portland where the staff makes a special effort to bond with the students. "Teachers work in teams with small groups of students. They know their students and quickly intervene when one stumbles," reporter Steven Carter writes. "When a boy doesn't show up for school, for instance, a staff member goes to his house to get him." The focus is on the personal at Mt. Tabor. Should more schools go to these lengths? Can they? ...


Schools feeling pressure from the No Child Left Behind Act to push students to absorb more reading and math skills should take a look at what their students are sitting on, says this article in Edutopia. Students would learn more in comfy chairs instead of hard seats and desks, the authors say. Schools should also think about indoor air quality, get rid of “horrible bells” and other noise pollution, create pleasing spaces for learning and install a school café conducive to absorbing all that knowledge floating around. Anyone seen a school like this?...


The Nation offers a fascinating take on five years of No Child Left Behind and where to go from here (in the view of four veterans in the policy community). Linda Darling-Hammond writes in the magazine's May 21 issue that while NCLB provided some breakthroughs and "shines a spotlight on longstanding inequalities" in education, its implementation has undermined good intentions. It is time to reconsider the big picture, she says. "We badly need a national policy that enables schools to meet the intellectual demands of the twenty-first century," Darling-Hammond writes. "More fundamentally, we need to pay off the educational debt ...


Norma and Norman Baker finally made it to the prom in Sutton, Mass.—62 years late. Baker and then-Norma Duhamel met and fell in love at Northbridge High School in the days when Franklin Roosevelt was president, but World War II—and Baker’s decision to drop out of school and join the Navy—thwarted their opportunity to go to the prom together. The Bakers, who married after Norman’s return from the war, jumped at the chance to attend a “prom” at the Sutton Senior Center on May 1, the Boston Globe reports. The Sutton High School jazz ...


Their parents would be proud. The Mortarboard blog in the Guardian (England) reports on a survey in which teens "put hard work and reliability at the top of the list of skills they think they need to get them their dream job.” What’s more, only 15 percent of those surveyed called being creative an asset in vying for jobs, according to the survey commissioned by the United Kingdom’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. In an ironic twist, however, NESTA says today’s employers are actually looking for creative, resourceful employees to advance innovation. Would the ...


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