June 6th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

Oregon high school has 29 valedictorians

(CNN) - There's not one, not two, but 29 valedictorians graduating from Redmond High School in Oregon this year. The school implemented a new system that adds weight to some classes, and enables students to receive up to a 5.0 GPA. But these students had three years under the old system, and all qualified to be valedictorian, CNN affiliate KTVZ reported.

It's expected to be a one-time phenom in Redmond, school officials said, but it's not the only place to have far more than one valedictorian. Just last year, a high school in Ocala, Florida, graduated 25 valedictorians - there, the top students all earned a 5.0 because of the college-level classes they'd taken.

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Filed under: Graduation • High school • Report cards • Students
Study finds school breakfast is a key to future success
A new study shows the positive effect that school breakfast can have on a child's performance on standardized tests.
March 4th, 2013
11:30 AM ET

Study finds school breakfast is a key to future success

By Kat Kinsman, CNN

(CNN) - Breakfast might not just be the most important meal of a child's day – it might be one of most important meals of their life. A new study released Wednesday by non-profit group Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign shows the positive effect that school breakfast can have on a child's performance in class and on standardized tests, and what this can mean for their future.

Eleven million low-income students eat a school-provided breakfast. Share Our Strength partnered with professional services firm Deloitte to analyze third party studies and publicly available data to assess the impact of existing school breakfast plans on students' academic performance. They found some rather eye-opening statistics.

Students who ate school breakfast attended an average of 1.5 more days of school than their meal-skipping peers, and their math scores averaged 17.5% higher. The report, which was funded in part by Kellogg's, went on to share that these students with increased attendance and scores were 20% more likely to continue on and graduate high school. High school graduates earn on average $10,090 more annually that their non-diploma-holding counterparts and are significantly less likely to experience hunger in adulthood.

Read the full post on CNN's Eatocracy blog

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Filed under: Nutrition • Report cards • Testing
Judge rules against raising Lehigh University grad student's C-plus grade
A judge ruled against a former Lehigh University grad student who wanted her grade raised.
February 14th, 2013
06:51 PM ET

Judge rules against raising Lehigh University grad student's C-plus grade

By Rande Iaboni, CNN

(CNN) - A Northampton County, Pennsylvania, judge ruled Thursday against a former Lehigh University graduate student who sued to have her C-plus grade raised and for $1.3 million in damages.

Judge Emil Giordano said there was no breach of contract or discrimination against former student Megan Thode in assigning the grade. Thode, the daughter of Lehigh associate professor Stephen Thode, was attending the university tuition-free in 2009 when she received a C-plus in her master’s fieldwork class.

Lawsuit documents said Thode maintained a B-plus on all written documents, but her instructor, Amanda Carr, gave her a zero in class participation and consequently dropped her grade to a C-plus. The grade prevented her from advancing to the next course required for her degree, although she has since graduated from another program and has a job.

Thode's lawsuit said the professor deprived her of her dream of becoming a licensed professional counselor, and the potential earnings. The lawsuit said Carr retaliated against the student because Thode advocated for same-sex marriage.

The lawsuit also said Nicholas Ladany, the then-director of the degree program, was “personally annoyed and agitated that a female student" would complain about his handling of the grade.

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Filed under: Grad school • Report cards
My View: Don't harp on report cards this holiday break
Miriam Gamoran Sherin says report cards -- good or bad -- might not tell you how much your kids are learning.
December 24th, 2012
05:00 AM ET

My View: Don't harp on report cards this holiday break

Courtesy Bruce SherinBy Miriam Gamoran Sherin, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Miriam Gamoran Sherin, a public voices fellow with the OpEd Project, is professor of education and social policy at Northwestern University and mother of three.

(CNN) - In the past several weeks, middle and high school students across the country brought home their first-quarter report cards. Many make a push to improve scores and grades before the holidays, and over winter break, some will study for final exams, knowing those results are a major component of their semester class ranks.

For many families, report cards serve as the key measure of a child’s success in school.  They're assigned so much importance, grades can be the source of conflict and tension at a time when parents and their children could be celebrating the winter holidays peacefully.

But what if the report card itself is not so valuable? What do grades actually tell us about our children’s learning?

Not as much as we think.

Grades are one measure of our children’s success, but perhaps not the most important one. The level of learning is what matters.

My 12-year-old daughter is getting a B in her seventh-grade math class, and learning much more than last year, when she was getting an A. Her sixth-grade math class focused on rote computation with study guides that were almost identical to the following day’s test. This year, her class focuses on mathematical problem-solving. The tests challenge students to apply what they know.
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