August 20th, 2012
01:31 PM ET

Suspicious test results in Philadelphia public schools

(CNN) – In Philadelphia, a community news organization reports 53 schools were flagged for cheating across multiple grades. As in Atlanta, many of the cheaters aren't students; they're educators – teachers and principals. CNN contributor and educator Steve Perry tells Soledad O'Brien that he has a solution using technology that could limit this kind of cheating.

We want to hear your solutions – how can cheating by educators be stopped?

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Filed under: Cheating • NCLB • Perry's Principles • Policy • Practice • video
July 30th, 2012
11:30 AM ET

Should we be teaching algebra?

by Donna Krache, CNN

(CNN) In an op-ed in Sunday’s New York Times, Professor Andrew Hacker asks “Is Algebra necessary?”

He answers that question “no.”  Hacker says that algebra “is a stumbling block for all kinds of students” and that it takes a toll on both high school and college graduation rates.

He says that while the study of math is important, “…in the decade ahead a mere 5 percent of entry-level workers will need to be proficient in algebra or above.”

The question of whether or not to teach algebra sparked a lively discussion on Monday’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien.

CNN education contributor Steve Perry says for students of historically disadvantaged populations, algebra “does present a real barrier” to graduating college because “too few take requisite number of math courses.”

Perry acknowledges that “Algebra is a gatekeeper,” but adds “I don’t know that it’s necessary for every child."  He says that we need to get away from “one-size-fits-all academic experiences.”

“We need to create more compelling academic experiences that children are more connected to,” says Perry.

He says that colleges and the SAT measure algebra.  “But is what we’re teaching the best way to ensure we’re getting the best from every child?”

What do you think?  Should schools be teaching algebra?  Post your thoughts in the Comments section below.


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Filed under: Issues • Math • Perry's Principles • Starting Point • video • Voices
July 16th, 2012
01:20 PM ET

Should teacher pay be linked to grades?

CNN education contributor Steve Perry on Ohio Gov. John Kasich's effort to base half of a teacher's pay on test scores. (from Starting Point)

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Filed under: Perry's Principles • Teachers • Testing • video • Voices
July 9th, 2012
01:55 PM ET

Are single-sex classrooms better?

Single-sex education programs have been dropped in some states under pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, which says they can violate the constitution. Some say single-sex classes can be better for kids, though.

CNN education contributor Steve Perry says parents should be able to choose whether single-sex programs work for their kids. In mixed-sex classrooms, boys are sometimes maligned for "just being boys," he said, and girls aren't encouraged to pursue hard sciences. He often directs students toward single-sex colleges, he said.

"If it works and has worked for so many generations, then we can't look past the facts," Perry said. "Do I know if it is, in and of itself, inherently better? No, I do not. But I do support it as an opportunity, as a method."

What do you think? Tell us in the comments: Are single-sex classrooms better or worse for kids? What about for college students? What are your experiences with single-sex education?

July 3rd, 2012
02:10 PM ET

Budget to blame for school eBay 'sale'?

CNN education contributor Steve Perry on a Pennsylvania school's decision to raise money by putting itself up for auction on eBay. (From Starting Point)

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Filed under: Perry's Principles • video • Voices
July 2nd, 2012
02:40 PM ET

Do Americans expect too much from kids?

Steve Perry examines the question as to whether Americans are expecting too much or too little from the next generation. Is being ordinary good enough?  Perry says we need to get kids to excel. (From Starting Point)

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Filed under: Perry's Principles • video • Voices
June 25th, 2012
03:10 PM ET

Are school vouchers the solution?

CNN education contributor Dr. Steve Perry explains why he supports Mitt Romney's plan for a voucher-like system. From Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien.

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Filed under: Perry's Principles • video • Voices
May 28th, 2012
12:35 PM ET

Should P. Diddy's son return $54,000 college scholarship?

Justin Combs worked hard in high school to improve his football game and earn a 3.75 GPA . He recently received a $54,000 merit-based scholarship to UCLA, where he'll play football.

In April, Forbes named Justin Combs' dad,  Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, the wealthiest artist in hip-hop. Some say the family should return Justin's scholarship, arguing that Combs should pay for his son's education and taxpayer money should go to students with greater financial need. Other say Justin Combs earned the scholarship through his grades and athletic ability, and deserves to keep it.

What do you think? Should the Combs family keep, return or donate the money? Should students with wealthy parents have access to merit-based scholarships and financial aid?

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Filed under: College • Economy • Financial aid • Issues • Perry's Principles • Sports
May 21st, 2012
12:15 PM ET

Perry's Principles: No gap year

CNN education contributor Dr. Steve Perry says he isn't a fan of gap years because that's what summer is for.

Filed under: Perry's Principles • Starting Point • Voices
May 18th, 2012
07:05 AM ET

Student refuses to accept ADHD label

By Tamara Wilson, CNN

(CNN) This month Michelle Davis will proudly take the stage to accept her high school diploma. For her it was a journey that could have taken an entirely different turn.

When she was younger, Michelle Davis was diagnosed with a learning disability. She had trouble reading and writing. Gradually she started to fall behind other students, became disruptive and was later diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).

And according to the Journal of Psychiatric Research, teens with ADHD are more likely to drop out of high school or delay graduation.

With the help of her mother, Robyn Olivo, Michelle set out to beat the odds.

Raising three children, divorcee Robyn Olivo did all she knew how to do at the time to help Michelle with her disability. She bought “Hooked on Phonics” – educational software designed to help children read. Olivo would sit with her daughter and have her repeat words and practice vowels. Her mother signed Michelle up for cheerleading to help her spell and sound out words. Later she would pay for tutors.

“As we continued working, the more she read, the better she spelled. But it took her a long time to say the words. So she didn't like reading out loud to try to pronounce the words,” says Olivo.  She would always say, "I can't do it," and I said, "You can do it."

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