February 20th, 2012
04:20 PM ET

Should students be paid to go to class?

CNN's education contributor Steve Perry on whether a 'cash for class' program at one school is a good idea for students.

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Filed under: Perry's Principles • video • Voices
Opinion: Farai Chideya: Stop attacking public schools for political gain
February 20th, 2012
02:43 PM ET

Opinion: Farai Chideya: Stop attacking public schools for political gain

Editor's note:  Farai Chideya is a journalist and the author of four nonfiction and fiction books, and she blogs at Farai.com. She is a spring 2012 fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

By Farai Chideya, Special to CNN

(CNN) – Over President’s Day weekend I traveled from the halls of Harvard to my childhood home in Baltimore, a city far better known for The Wire than its education system. On Saturday night, I heard my mother coach a parent by phone on ways to ensure her child was focused and ready to study. My mother retired as a Baltimore City school teacher several years ago, but she still puts in the time to tutor kids through a program run by a local church. She cared about students then, and she cares now. And, although you would not know it from statements like Rick Santorum's attack decrying the "factories called public schools," dedicated teachers like my mother are not an exception. Not all teachers are great; nor all public schools. But the reason I have been at Harvard, twice – once for my undergraduate education, and now again as a teaching fellow at the Institute of Politics – is based on my parents’ efforts and the excellence that was present in public schools.

That's right – excellence. It's there. A couple of years ago, I had the chance to explain how I benefited from just one of the many extraordinary teachers in my life in a public service ad encouraging people to teach.

Read the full story from the In America blog
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Filed under: In America • Voices
February 20th, 2012
11:45 AM ET

Today's Reading List

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

Education Week: Study: Common Standards Will Not Affect Student Achievement
A new study by the Brookings Institution states that there is "not much of a connection" between even the toughest of standards and student achievement.

JSOnline: Report suggests schools improve after some students leave
A study found that after a significant number of students leave a school under Wisconsin's open enrollment program the school tended to see an increase in test scores the following year.

The TimesHerald.com: Struggles test homeless kids
Homeless students face challenges both in and out of the classroom, say workers at one Michigan shelter.

The News-Gazette: High schools add to reading lists
Illinois English teachers require some of the same books you'll find on anyone's reading list, but they're also allowing students to choose books that interest them.

OrlandoSentinel: Lake-Sumter Community College told that it can't bar young students
Lake-Sumter Community College settled an age-discrimination lawsuit, and must enroll a 12-year-old home schooled girl who has above-average scores on college placement exams.

February 20th, 2012
06:15 AM ET

P.S. 22 gives tribute to Whitney Houston

In this edition of Piers Morgan Tonight's "Only in America," P.S. 22 gives tribute to Whitney Houston by singing "The Greatest Love of All".

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Filed under: Extracurricular • Music • video
February 20th, 2012
06:10 AM ET

The crazy world of cheerleading

Cheerleading isn't just for waving pom-poms, it's a very physical and popular sport.  CNN's Patrick Snell reports.

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Filed under: Extracurricular • video