February 29th, 2012
04:26 PM ET

Columbine principal offers Chardon help

Columbine High principal Frank DeAngelis offers to help the principal of Chardon High School in wake of the shooting there.

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Filed under: Practice • School violence • video
February 29th, 2012
12:02 PM ET

Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Preserving the Dream

By John Martin, CNN

(CNN) - Howard, Morehouse, Spelman, Tuskegee, Xavier – these are just a few of America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities, known as HBCUs. HBCUs are accredited historically black institutions of higher learning established before 1964. While many of these colleges are located in the South, there are HBCUs as far north as Michigan and as far west as Oklahoma. While some HBCUs are public and others private, all of them serve a principle mission to educate black Americans.

Several Morehouse and Spelman college students who we interviewed recently discussed the diversity they see on campus. They told us that HBCUs are "not exclusively black" and also serve international students and students from other ethnicities. Morehouse junior Jarrad Mandeville-Lawson, who comes from Matawan, New Jersey, identified himself as "Nigerian, Italian and Greek," and said, "My high school is majority Caucasian so I don't actually have those strong African-American traits that people would assume I would have." In 2008, Joshua Packwood became the first white valedictorian in Morehouse's history.

Students from both schools talked about their schools’ nurturing environments. At Morehouse, one of America's few all-male campuses, the students talked about the school's strong tradition of a brotherhood. Mandeville-Lawson told us, "We're going to constantly have our brother's back and uplift them.....These are my brothers. I'm going to do everything possible to make sure they stay strong and to get them where they need to be." Spelman senior Gabrielle Horton echoed Mandeville-Lawson's sentiments. "When you think of Spelman you think of the 'Spelman Sisterhood' ... You're indoctrinated with that your first year ... They have their brother's back, we have our sister's back. And that's something we just carry with us every day," Horton said. FULL POST

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Filed under: After High School • CNN Student News • College • Practice • video
February 29th, 2012
06:10 AM ET

My View: 'Waiving' state education control goodbye

Courtesy David Hills By Lindsey Burke, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Lindsey M. Burke is senior policy analyst in Domestic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

For more than a year now, Congress has been holding hearings about No Child Left Behind, garnering input about the federal role in education and its impact on local schools, and deliberating about how to re-write the 600-page law. In other words, Congress has been engaging in a thoughtful process about how to reform federal education policy.

Earlier this month, President Obama effectively told Congress that time was up, announcing that his administration would begin issuing NCLB waivers to states. In his announcement at the Department of Education (an appropriate location, considering the authority just vested in the agency), President Obama announced that Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee will receive the first round of waivers.

Nearly everyone agrees that No Child Left Behind is broken. But President Obama has decided to circumvent Congress and issue waivers to states that agree to his administration’s preferred education policies – a move that will not provide genuine relief to states and schools. The waivers are conditions-based, and states will only have access to the “relief” they offer if they agree to reforms such as adopting common standards and tests – a huge step toward nationalizing curriculum. So while states might feel some temporary relief from NCLB as a result of the waivers, they’ll be binding their hands in the long run by ceding more control to Washington.

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Filed under: NCLB • Policy • Voices
February 28th, 2012
04:13 PM ET

Shifting schools' 'culture of hostility' to 'culture of caring'

In schools across the United States, students report the same kinds of trouble: bullying, harassment, being called "gay" or "slut," says Jessie Klein,  author of "The Bully Society: School Shootings and the Crisis of Bullying in America’s Schools," which comes out in March.

So, as parents, educators and law enforcement replay what led to a school shooting at Chardon High School in Ohio on Monday, Klein, an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Adelphi University, says they shouldn't look for "red flags" from the student. Instead, she says, focus on creating a "culture of caring" at schools.

"School shootings are just one symptom of a culture of despair in our schools," Klein said. "There's just a culture of hostility in their schools and different students react to it in different ways."

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February 28th, 2012
12:40 PM ET

Why does America lead the world in school shootings?

Editor's Note: Dr. Frank Ochberg is clinical professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University and former associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

By Frank Ochberg, Special to CNN

(CNN) - School shootings are far more frequent in America than in other countries, although terrible massacres have occurred in Russia, Israel and several European nations. In the high-crime neighborhoods of inner cities, school turf is relatively safe. We have learned to harden the target and patrol with vigilance.

And even in those suburbs and small towns where spree killings have occurred, the rates, per capita, are lower now than in previous decades. School is a safe place – until, as in Chardon, Ohio, the unspeakable happens. Then, even though the risks are low, it is fair to ask, why does this still happen? Why here, in America?

Let's be clear. There is no single, certain answer to these questions. The possible factors include failure by classmates, parents and school officials to see the warning signs; bullying and revenge; serious mental illness; violent role models; drugs; access to guns, and a culture that condones extremism.

America has its share of these factors, but which are significant and which are more prevalent here than across the Atlantic?

Read the full post on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS blog

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February 28th, 2012
06:20 AM ET

Today's Reading List

On Friday, New York City Public Schools released performance data on thousands of its teachers. These "Teacher Data Reports" try to calculate the value of a teacher based on how well that teacher's students perform on standardized tests. Opinions on the release of this data vary widely and were expressed in media outlets across the city and nationwide. Today's Reading List focuses on some stories and responses to the release of that data:

The Wall Street Journal Online: Teacher Rankings Opened to View

The New York Times: Parents Have Mixed Views on Teacher Rankings

New York Post: Parents praise release of NYC public school teacher ratings

GothamSchools: Many parents in the dark on teacher ratings on first day back

The Atlantic: The Trouble With New York's Teacher Data Dump

CBS New York: Release of NYC Public School Teacher Ratings Draws Ire

United Federation of Teachers: Q&A on Teacher Data Reports and Teacher Evaluation

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Obama chides governors for education cuts
February 27th, 2012
03:47 PM ET

Obama chides governors for education cuts

By Tom Cohen, CNN

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama told U.S. governors attending a luncheon Monday that they are cutting too much funding for education and need to make reforms while continuing to invest in the future of America's students.

While acknowledging the tough economic climate for state governments, Obama cited the need to prioritize the long-range significance of a strong education system.

"We've all faced some stark choices over the past several years, but that is no excuse to lose sight of what matters most, and the fact is that too many states are making cuts to education that I believe are simply too big," Obama told a White House gathering with the National Governors Association that included some of his harshest Republican critics.

"Nothing more clearly signals what you value as a state than the decisions you make about where to invest," Obama said, "Budgets are about choices, so today I'm calling on all of you: invest more in education, invest more in our children and in our future."

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February 27th, 2012
02:43 PM ET

Perry's Principles: Charter schools

CNN Education Contributor Steve Perry gives some helpful advice to parents looking for a charter school for their child.

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February 27th, 2012
01:04 PM ET

Affirmative action still needed?

As the Supreme Court reconsiders affirmative action, 3 parents tell Christine Romans whether or not race should be used in college admissions.

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February 27th, 2012
11:41 AM ET

Five students shot, one killed, at Ohio high school

More on this story from CNN affiliates WOIO-TV, WEWS-TV, WJW-TV and WKYC-TV.

iReport: Are you there? Let us know but please stay safe.

(CNN) - Sorrow and disbelief replaced the chaos of Monday morning's school shooting in Chardon, Ohio, as residents and investigators tried to sort out what prompted a young man to open fire on a table of students in the school cafeteria, killing one and wounding four others.

"I just can't believe it. I don't think it's real," said student Danny Komertz, who witnessed the shooting. "And I just, it kills me that I saw someone hiding, and now that someone is now dead."

The gunman, whom police said was a juvenile, opened fire in the cafeteria of Chardon High School just as the school day was getting started about 7:30 a.m., according to police. Witnesses said he walked up to a table of four students he may have been friendly with and began shooting.

Police arrested the suspect a short time later in Chardon Township, police said.

Police Chief Tim McKenna declined to identify the suspect. But the the Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland cited student Nate Mueller, who was slightly wounded in the shooting, in identifying the suspect as student T.J. Lane.

The fatally wounded student was identified by the hospital that treated him as Daniel Parmertor.

Read the full story

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