February 2006 Archives

This article from the February 2006 issue of American School & University examines the strategies schools are implementing to create safe learning environments for their students. Many schools now offer violence prevention programs as part of the curriculum, while others take a more hard line approach by increasing the police presence on campus and installing metal detectors. Citing a variety of research reports on the topic, the article highlights the combination of factors that ensure a safer learning environment....


Ten years ago, Mayor Richard M. Daley took the helm of an ailing Chicago school system. In this special issue, Catalyst Chicago takes an in-depth look at how a decade of mayoral reform has impacted the city's students and schools by documenting the experiences of three public school students. Catalyst editors also talked with the Mayor himself to get his views on the progress and setbacks of the past ten years, and his vision for the future....


14 years ago Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin came up with the idea of creating a 5th grade curriculum that could significantly raise academic achievement for minority students. What they needed to achieve this goal, they believed, was the freedom to teach the way they wanted and more time in which to do it. The result was the Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP, as it is commonly known, which now has 44 middle schools, two high schools, and one prekindergarten school in the U.S. Read more on the birth, maturation, and flourishing of this non-traditional school program in ...


Advanced Placement classes are increasingly touted as the key to college admissions. But some parents worry their high schoolers may not be ready for higher-level classes—or may be taking on too much. In Anne Arundel County, Maryland, half of all high school students were recommended for AP classes this year. And the number of kids enrolled in AP classes has jumped by 50 percent over the past three years. This article from HometownAnnapolis.com looks at parents' concerns over the AP numbers game....


Religious parents are not the only ones choosing to teach their children at home. Spurred by online access to education resources, a flex-time economy, and an uneasiness about the quality of private and public school education, an increasing number of affluent parents also are opting to turn their living rooms into classrooms. Read more about this growing trend from BusinessWeek....


Economic professors Austan Goolsbee and Jonathan Guryan examine how effective the federal E-Rate program has been on student learning, in this Winter 2006 article from Education Next. Launched in 1996, the federal program sought to ensure that all schoolchildren—regardless of income—had the opportunity to learn in a classroom wired to the World Wide Web. Under the program's mandates, schools received subsidies to buy Internet technology, with poorer schools receiving more funds. Billions of dollars have been given to schools since 1998, when the government first started doling out E-Rate subsidies. But what impact has the program had on student...


The Scottish Executive has come up with a novel way to fight child-obesity rates, reports BBC News. It recently launched an initiative designed to keep children active by teaching hip-hop and other modern dance techniques during school. The new classes are intended to provide an exercise alternative to less athletically-inclined kids, particularly girls. Watch a video of some of the dance classes being offered—select "Dancing Plan to Get School Pupils Active" from the list. (RealPlayer required). Not to be out-stepped, West Virginia schools are adopting a similar scheme, read more about this here....


Taken from The White House's regular online chats feature, this transcript from the Feb. 3 discussion with Secretary Spellings highlights the education aspects of President Bush's 2006 State of the Union Address, including the American Competitiveness Initiative and the emphasis placed on math and science instruction. The initiative, Spellings writes, "will do for math and science what the No Child Left Behind Act did for reading--namely, train teachers in scientifically proven instructional methods."...


Is boarding school the fix-all to cramped urban schools and evening conflicts between homework-laden children and nagging parents? In this feature from the U.K-based Telegraph, Candide Crewe vividly recalls the nauseating homesickness she endured at boarding school. But now, with children of her own, she wonders if the initial pain of separation may be well worth the benefits modern boarding schools have to offer....


In this article from Slate, Author Ann Hulbert writes that the latest educational crisis is not the alleged learning gap between the sexes (see entry from Newsweek below). The real issue, she writes, is that "the rudimentary habits of working" are too often overlooked—or worse, ignored—when it comes to measuring effective child learning. Adopting such habits would be of benefit to both sexes in making further progress in math and verbal skills in our competitive global world, Hulbert writes....


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