“This is hard work and these are tough decisions, but students only have one chance for an education,” Education Secretary Duncan said, “and when schools continue to struggle we have a collective obligation to take action.” In response to a new federal mandate to fix under-performing schools, every teacher will be fired at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island.
A new study of middle schoolers found for the first time that abstinence-only education can help to delay [the students'] sexual initiation. While the evaluation adds important new information to the question of “what works” in sex education, the evaluated program was not a rigid "abstinence-only-until-marriage" program of the type that, until this year, received significant federal funding, leaving intact existing evidence that abstinence-only-until-marriage programming that met previous federal guidelines is ineffective.
Wesleyan, a liberal arts college in Middletown, CT, has started a program that allows inmates in a nearby high-security prison to take classes. The students are selected competitively - with only a 16% acceptance rate - and receive the same rigorous education provided to Wesleyan undergrads. Here you can read some of their work. The Bard Prison Initiative [Previously on Metafilter] features a similar program. [more inside]
The Case Against Homework. Does assigning fifty math problems accomplish any more than assigning five? Is memorizing word lists the best way to increase vocabulary—especially when it takes away from reading time? And what is the real purpose behind those devilish dioramas? Sara Bennett wants to stop homework. Here she explains why (pdf).