Tuition at public colleges rises 4.8%
October 24th, 2012
04:24 PM ET

Tuition at public colleges rises 4.8%

By Kim Clark @CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Tuition hikes, stagnant federal aid and increases in other expenses have pushed public college costs to new heights yet again this year, according to a College Board report out Wednesday.

To attend an in-state public college for the 2012-13 academic year, the average overall cost (or "sticker price") for students who don't receive any financial aid rose 3.8% to a record $22,261, according to the report.

Tuition accounted for about half of that increase. Public university tuition and fees alone rose 4.8% to $8,655. In addition, higher dorm, cafeteria, books and other expenses added significantly to the overall increase.

While about two-thirds of full-time students receive grants or federal tax breaks, many are likely to have to foot more of the bill themselves this year. The College Board's economists estimate that financial aid budgets stayed flat, leaving students less money to cover rising college costs.

Read the full story from CNNMoney
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My View: Why I will vote for President Obama
President Barack Obama talks with teachers during a education roundtable at Canyon Springs High School in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 22, 2012.
October 24th, 2012
04:10 AM ET

My View: Why I will vote for President Obama

Courtesy Jack MillerBy Diane Ravitch, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Diane Ravitch was assistant secretary of education in the administration of George H.W. Bush. She is a historian of education and is now a research professor at New York University.  She is the author of several books on education, including her latest “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education.”   She blogs daily at dianeravitch.net and can be followed on Twitter at @DianeRavitch.

Schools of Thought will be publishing other views on this topic in the days up to the election.

(CNN) - Over the past three years, I have been an outspoken critic of the education policies of the Obama administration. In my view, Race to the Top is a disastrous program that is almost indistinguishable from the Bush administration’s failed No Child Left Behind legislation. Both programs require teaching to the test, both encourage privatization of our public schools, and both have demoralized the nation’s educators while doing nothing to improve education.

But as bad as the Obama education policies are, they are tolerable in comparison to what Mitt Romney plans. Romney claims credit for the academic successes of Massachusetts, but he had nothing to do with the gains in that state, which were enacted 10 years before he became governor. The Massachusetts education reforms doubled the budget for public schools, increased spending on early childhood education, and raised standards for new teachers, but Romney intends to do none of that if elected President.

If elected president, Romney will curtail spending on everything except privatization of public education. He will lower standards for entering the teaching profession. His policies will devastate our public schools and dismantle the education profession. He supports charters and vouchers and welcomes the takeover of public schools by for-profit entrepreneurs. Unlike the Massachusetts reforms that he wrongly takes credit for, he offers not a single idea to improve public education. Romney nowhere acknowledges that free public education is a public responsibility and an essential institution in a democratic society.

Under a Romney administration, I fear not only for the future of public education but for the future of our society. Presently, nearly 25% of American children are growing up in poverty. We lead the advanced nations of the world in child poverty. Romney offers no proposals to reduce that scandalous number. Only government action can make a dent in a problem of that magnitude, but Romney believes in private charity, not government action.
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October 23rd, 2012
06:38 PM ET

School ditches the can, grows fresh food

by Matt Abshire, CNN

(CNN) A fresh fruit and vegetable bar isn't exactly a common option you'll find in school cafeterias, but Rene Sellgren is helping initiate a new program to provide that very idea.

Sellgren is the chef at Spokane School District's Community School in Washington.  She is leading the charge into a new scratch cooking project aimed at creating lunches from the fresh produce students have grown in a campus-run garden.

In short, the students pick the produce, and she creates a menu around what they bring in.

"What we're really doing is getting away from cans and bags and already prepared food, and using whole food that we actually do all the cooking instead of it coming frozen or in a can," said Sellgren in an interview with KXLY.

The project is part of a wider initiative by the nonprofit organization Empire Health Foundation to help school districts create healthier, fresher lunch menus for students while minimizing costs. And the idea seems to be paying off. Both students and administrators are excited about the new program that feeds while teaching healthy habits. (KXLY video)

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October 23rd, 2012
06:02 PM ET

Mother charged with assault, claims boys bullied her daughter

By Rande Iaboni, CNN

(CNN) - Toms River, New Jersey police charged a mother with simple assault, criminal trespassing, and terroristic threats after an altercation with two boys on a public school bus. Rebecca Sardoni, 28, claims the boys had bullied her daughter, according to reports from the Toms River Regional School District.

Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy told CNN today that Sardoni boarded the bus Friday morning and, according to witnesses, confronted two boys sitting in the back and slapped them both.

Sardoni claims she was protecting her 9-year-old daughter from school bullies and that three kids in her daughter's class have been harassing her daughter, even assaulting the student sexually.

Director of Communications for the Toms River Regional School District, Tammi Millar confirmed to CNN that Sardoni did report a bullying incident to the principal of East Dover Elementary School on Thursday afternoon. The incident would have been investigated that next day, "but she stepped on to that bus Friday morning" and took matters into her hands, Millar said.
FULL POST

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Filed under: At Home • Behavior • Bullying • Issues • Parents • video
October 23rd, 2012
01:08 PM ET

Homebound student learns via Skype

By John Martin, CNN

(CNN) - When students are sick, many teachers send lessons home. At Father McGivney Catholic High School in Maryville, Illinois that’s 20th century thinking. Homebound teen Alixandria Horstmann uses technology to attend her classes there virtually.

Horstmann’s medical issues meant she had to stay home for about three months. The school already has replaced textbooks with laptops and iPads, so one of her classmates came up with the idea of carrying a laptop from class to class. Horstmann sits in her living room, listening – and contributing – via Skype on her iPad.

Father McGivney principal Michael Scholz told CNN affiliate KSDK that virtually attending school has advantages beyond academics. “The student who’s gone can still feel a part of your school and community,” Scholz said.

Parents: How do you think your child would handle learning via Skype?
Teachers: How would you accommodate a child who wants to learn virtually?

Please tell us in the comments below.

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Filed under: At Home • High school • Kids' health • Practice • Technology • video
October 23rd, 2012
04:36 AM ET

H.S. football player punished for pink

(CNN) - A high school football coach punished a player for violating the dress code when he wore pink on the field.


Filed under: High school • On air • Sports • video
October 22nd, 2012
02:13 PM ET

Homecoming queen breaks barriers

(CNN) - CNN's Don Lemon talks to Courtney Pearson, who became the first African American homecoming queen at Ole Miss.

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Letter-writing campaign shows frustration with Obama education policies
Education Secretary Arne Duncan speaks on the state of education at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 2, 2012.
October 22nd, 2012
04:10 AM ET

Letter-writing campaign shows frustration with Obama education policies

by Donna Krache, CNN

(CNN) Earlier this month, Education Secretary Arne Duncan delivered his state of education speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., which was part self-review of his department’s goals and achievements and part campaign speech for his boss, President Obama.

But not all educators are ardent supporters of the president’s policies, and they are letting him know.

At about the same time Duncan was giving his speech, education historian and professor Diane Ravitch issued a call to teachers, administrators, parents and students to send letters to the president, expressing their sincere views on his education policies.

In her own draft of a letter to President Obama, Ravitch says, “Please, Mr. President, stop talking about rewarding and punishing teachers. Teachers are professionals, not toddlers.”  She also asks the president to “stop encouraging the privatization of education” and to “speak out against the spread of for-profit schools.” She adds “Please withdraw your support from the failed effort to evaluate teachers by the test scores of their students."

Teacher and education activist Anthony Cody volunteered to help gather the correspondence.  In 2009, Cody led the “Teachers’ Letters to Obama” effort and collected about 100 letters. That campaign led to a meeting with Secretary Duncan but no change in education policies.

This month, educators and parents sent correspondence to The Campaign for Our Public Schools website. On October 18, Cody compiled nearly 400 letters, almost three-quarters of these from educators. They were printed, bound and sent to the White House last week. Cody told CNN that “the level of frustration now is even higher” among teachers than it was three years ago.
FULL POST

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Cheerleaders win temporary injunction in high-profile free speech case
October 19th, 2012
03:30 PM ET

Cheerleaders win temporary injunction in high-profile free speech case

By Jason Morris, CNN

Dallas (CNN)– Cheerleaders from a small eastern Texas town have won the first battle in their crusade to display Christian religious messages on banners at their high school's football games.

State District Judge Steve Thomas of Hardin County implemented a temporary injunction Thursday in favor of the Kountze High School cheerleaders, and by setting a trial date of June 24, 2013, Thomas effectively allows the cheerleaders to keep displaying Bible-quoting signs at Kountze athletic events through the end of this current school year.

Macy Matthews, a 15-year-old Kountze sophomore, was eating lunch at cheerleading camp last July when her friend Megan became inspired by images she saw on social media.

"She saw a picture on Pinterest of a team that had made a run-through sign with a scripture on it, and as we were sitting down eating, she showed us and asked if we would be interested in doing that for the football season. So, we all talked about it," Matthews remembered. "We all loved the idea and thought it was really cool and encouraging."

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Macy's mother, Coti Matthews, said the girls were excited to use Biblical phrases they considered motivational and uplifting for both the Kountz Lions and their opponents.

"It's their Christian belief, and they liked the idea and thought it was very positive, instead of doing traditional banners that say things like, 'Cage the Eagles,' or 'Bash the Tigers,' she said.

Instead, before the first three home games this season, the football players bolted onto the field through banners bearing New Testament verses such as "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13; "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14; and "If God is for us, who can be against us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31.

Read the full story on CNN's Belief blog

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How housewives and the ‘Atlanta Nine’ integrated Georgia’s public schools
August 30, 1961: Lawrence Jefferson and Mary McMullen integrated Atlanta's Grady High School.
October 19th, 2012
04:01 AM ET

How housewives and the ‘Atlanta Nine’ integrated Georgia’s public schools

By John Martin, CNN

Atlanta (CNN)–My great aunt Muriel Lokey passed away August 27, 2012, at age 90. Family and friends gathered recently in Atlanta, more to celebrate her being and her attitude toward life than to mourn her passing. During her rich life, Lokey explored the world with her husband, Hamilton (Ham), climbing the world's mountains and rafting down America's rivers.

Muriel Lokey was one of the founding members of a group that helped integrate Georgia's public schools.

Muriel Lokey co-founded a group that helped integrate Georgia's public schools.

Decades before those accomplishments, Lokey was a force for justice and social change in her home city of Atlanta.

In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in the now famous case Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, that all public schools must desegregate. Soon after, Georgia passed a series of laws, in defiance of the court, to bolster segregation. Ham Lokey, Muriel’s husband and my great-uncle, was in the state legislature and he and six or seven of his fellow representatives were often the only votes against these measures.

By 1958, the state of Georgia mandated that if any public school integrated, its school district would be shut down.

The Lokeys had five children and they believed in public schools. Muriel Lokey began to talk about the issue with other Morris Brandon Elementary School parents, over coffee or when dropping off or picking their children up from school in the daily carpool. Later, she told the Atlanta History Center, "The school crisis came to a head in 1958, and I had a front row seat in watching the amount of changing in our society and I climbed on the stage and played a role in the drama."
FULL POST

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