January 18th, 2012
01:18 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

Azcentral.com: Arizona shifts focus to holding charter schools accountable
The Arizona State Board for Charter Schools has put 27 charter schools on notice: improve academic performance by next year or be shut down. The board says it will encourage the expansion of successful charter organizations, while making it harder for failing schools to renew contracts.

Courant.com: For Students Facing Long School Day, Supper Is Served
Some Connecticut schools are using funds from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 to offer dinner. The schools are encouraging students to participate in a longer school day that includes tutorials and after-school programs.

Miami Herald: Opinion – On education, money counts
Florida ranked 39th among U.S. states in revenue spent per student, and that's before the state cut $1.35 billion from the education budget. Myriam Marquez argues that while the state's curriculum standards and exams are top-notch, inadequate funding will have a negative impact on academics.

Huffington Post: 'My Teacher Is a Lesbian': Coming Out at School
Teacher Jody Sokolower revealed to her middle class students that she is a lesbian mother. She describes the reaction from the students, the school administration, and her colleagues, and gives advice to other teachers who may be contemplating coming out in the classroom.

Al.com: Liberty Middle School students' video creating buzz across the web (with video)
An Alabama middle school produced a video that celebrates differences and is intended to address bullying in school.

January 18th, 2012
07:45 AM ET

My View: Flipped classrooms give every student a chance to succeed

Courtesy Troy Stein by Greg Green, Special to CNN

Editor’s note:  Greg Green is the principal at Clintondale High School in Clinton Township, Michigan.

I’m a principal at Clintondale High, a financially challenged school near Detroit. I’m in charge of doing my best to make sure that Clintondale students get the best education possible when they walk through our doors.

There are constant hurdles to making this happen. We are a school of choice, so not all students come in with the same skill levels in reading, math, science or other subjects. Almost 75% of our students receive free or reduced-price lunch because of today’s economic climate, and a large part of our student population commutes from Detroit, which often times takes an hour or longer, especially if the bus is late.

Every year, our failure rates have been through the roof.  The students weren’t paying attention, they weren’t doing their homework, they were being disruptive, or they weren’t coming to school at all. Sadly, these issues are not that uncommon, particularly in this economic climate, where the percentage of students who fall into the poverty category is increasing by the day.

It’s no surprise that these issues are happening in our schools. Everyone from politicians to parents admit that our educational system isn’t working, and we’re all screaming for change.  But no one gives advice on what changes are needed to improve education. The time has come to realize that the problem isn’t simply lack of effort or money, but the misalignment of our school structure.

To watch this happen every day, where it is your responsibility to try to provide the very best you can for the students, is beyond frustrating. It’s heartbreaking.

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