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Defying Demographics

Defying Demographics: A look at University Park Campus School, a 7-12th grade school located in the poorest neighborhood in blue-collar Worcester, MA. Approximately 73% of students hover at or below the poverty line and 61% are minorities, yet over 80% go on to college and 99% pass the Massachusetts graduation exams. The partnership between Clark University and Worcester Public Schools has created an environment so successful that a number of cities are looking to emulate it. Have they discovered the key to closing the achievement gap?
posted by rollbiz on Nov 23, 2007 - 32 comments

Students shouldn't carry guns, teachers should.

In a lawsuit filed in Oregon, a local teacher with a permit to carry concealed is demanding the right to take her gun to school. The anonymous plaintiff's personal reasons claim a fear for her life from an abusive ex who works at the same school, however, as the argument takes a life of it's own, we can see echoes of Columbine(wikipedia link) and Virginia Tech. [more inside]
posted by softriver on Sep 19, 2007 - 16 comments

Infrastructure Report Card

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) published their latest Infrastructure Report Card in 2005. America's infrastructure got a D. The ASCE estimate that it will cost $1.6 trillion over a five-year period to bring the nation's infrastructure to good condition. They also have a Critical Infrastructure blog. [Via Gristmill.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 3, 2007 - 49 comments

“Nobody. Myself.”

The McDonogh library has no books. The stalls in a girls’ restroom have no doors. Fights break out daily. About 50 students have been suspended; 20 have been recommended for expulsion. Several weeks ago, a teacher was “beaten unmercifully” by a ninth grader enraged at being barred from class because he was late.

The principal, Donald Jackson, estimated that up to a fifth of the 775 students live without parents. “Basically, they are raising themselves, because there is no authority figure in the home,” Mr. Jackson said. “If I call for a parent because I’m having an issue, I may be getting an aunt, who may be at the oldest 20, 21. What type of governance, what type of structure is in the home, if this is the living conditions?”

This is John McDonogh High School in New Orleans.
posted by four panels on Nov 1, 2006 - 56 comments

Berkeley Videos

Courses from UC Berkeley on Google Video - including a guest lecture by Sergey Brin and poems by Mary Karr. Perhaps they are now moving towards competing with YouTube's College section.
posted by mattbucher on Sep 29, 2006 - 4 comments

Making the Grade Without Being Graded

"I hate grades.... [But] I am obliged to follow the rules set forth by my employer and the larger education industry in general. Consequently, I assign grades."
posted by grumblebee on Sep 28, 2006 - 97 comments

...515 to material with a homosexual theme or “promoting homosexuality,” ...

Banned Books Week -- 25th anniversary year. How to deal with a challenge, what you can do generally, and of course, lists, and more lists. Captain Underpants is a more recent entry, i notice.
posted by amberglow on Sep 25, 2006 - 42 comments

"I have accomplished nothing and I am nothing."

[T]his pattern, grade for the sake of a grade, work for the sake of work, can be found everywhere. Ladies and gentlemen, the spirit of intellectual thought is lost. I speak today not to rant, complain or cause trouble, and certainly not to draw attention to myself. I have accomplished nothing and I am nothing. I know that. Rather, I was moved by the countless hours wasted in those halls. Today, you should focus on your child or loved one. This is meant to be a day of celebration, and if I’ve taken away from that, I’m sorry. But I know how highly this community values learning, and I urge you all to re-evaluate what it means to be educated.
- from a graduation speech by the valedictorian of Mainland Regional High School, Kareem Elnahal, critiquing his school's education process.

The principal's reaction? “My hope was they did not hear or understand what he was saying. ... He was belittling the diplomas of every one of those kids.”.
posted by divabat on Jul 5, 2006 - 156 comments

But What About Us? Student Photographs from the Corridor of Shame

"But What About Us? Student Photographs from the Corridor of Shame" is a traveling photography exhibit that follows up on “Corridor of Shame: the neglect of South Carolina's rural schools" [wmv], a 58 minute documentary that tells the story of the challenges faced in funding an adequate education in South Carolina's rural school districts. The documentary tracks the evidence presented on behalf of eight school districts in Abbeville County School District v. The State of South Carolina [pdf]. The exhibit is a powerful demonstration to the needs still unmet in South Carolina's rural schools. Only five pictures and captions are on the website now, but most of the pictures appear inside with permission from the copyright holder.
posted by ND¢ on May 10, 2006 - 28 comments

Brown vs. Brown?

Segregation. Elimination. Two different accounts of bizarro things happening in USA schools. [via]
posted by dirtynumbangelboy on Apr 17, 2006 - 35 comments

"What if a person felt their religious view was that African Americans shouldn't mingle with Caucasians, or that women shouldn't work?"

...a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment....Christian activist Gregory S. Baylor responds to such criticism angrily. He says he supports policies that protect people from discrimination based on race and gender. But he draws a distinction that infuriates gay rights activists when he argues that sexual orientation is different — a lifestyle choice, not an inborn trait. By equating homosexuality with race, Baylor said, tolerance policies put conservative evangelicals in the same category as racists. ... "Think how marginalized racists are," said Baylor, who directs the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law and Religious Freedom. "If we don't address this now, it will only get worse." Should Christians be able to sue for the right to not tolerate or abide by anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies meant to apply to all? Should they still be able to get school activity funding?
posted by amberglow on Apr 10, 2006 - 95 comments

Art Teacher Suspended for Suggesting Nudes

Mention nude art, get suspended. 25-year veteran art teacher Pete Panse recommended several ways for his ninth grade advanced art students to improve their skills, one of which included nude life figure drawing sessions at other art schools. For this, the Middletown, NY School District Board of Education suspended him, pending hearings in which he may be fired. They'll be after our bathroom mirrors next. [via DC Art News]
posted by brownpau on Mar 9, 2006 - 78 comments

Young Jeezy

Got that snow, man? Hottest holiday shirt is a snowman. But activists alarmed by hidden message of t-shirt. Meanwhile schools expel evil frosty.
posted by dingobully on Nov 21, 2005 - 34 comments

Wahhabi U.

Wahhabi U. A top U.S. diplomat recently revealed Saudi Arabia still teaches students to hate non-Muslims and the West. So why are we making it easier for Saudi students schooled in that hatred to visit the U.S.?
posted by Postroad on Nov 11, 2005 - 24 comments

Don't Laugh at the D.O.E.

The Department of Education is introducing into all of its elementary and middle schools “Operation Respect: Don’t Laugh at Me,” an intensive curriculum in character development. Operation Respect home page and the "centerpiece" song page (Autoplay Music Warning!) Related dontlaugh.org.
posted by spock on Jun 27, 2005 - 90 comments

I Am a High School English Teacher in Japan

Beware the Kancho! The ongoing adventures and cultural insights of an American English teacher in Japan.
posted by John of Michigan on Jun 12, 2005 - 47 comments

Band booster busts big business

Midlothian mom looking to raise money for the school band discovers the local TXI cement plant is draining millions from the Texas school system. This while getting paid burning hazardous waste in their back yard. When she seeks to right these wrongs she finds that the environmental regulators include lobbyist for TXI, and their House representative, Joe Barton, cares more about "economic development" than her kids.
posted by betaray on May 12, 2005 - 29 comments

"Unintelligible at any speed."

"Unintelligible at any speed." No, not Ralph Nader mumbling, but the lyrics to "Louie Louie," in the FBI's humble assessment more than 40 years ago. Nevertheless, this week a Michigan school superintendent banned a middle school marching band from playing the song... even without anyone singing the lyrics.
posted by twsf on May 5, 2005 - 47 comments

Mass Expulsions

300+ High Schoolers Expelled You don't go to school here, you live too far away...
posted by AMWKE on Apr 5, 2005 - 178 comments

"On March 18 [1937] students prepared for the next day's Inter-scholastic Meet in Henderson. At the gymnasium, the PTA met. At 3:05 P.M. Lemmie R. Butler, instructor of manual training, turned on a sanding machine in an area which, unknown to him, was filled with a mixture of gas and air. The switch ignited the mixture and carried the flame into a nearly closed space beneath the building, 253 feet long and fifty-six feet wide. Immediately the building seemed to lift in the air and then smashed to the ground. Walls collapsed. The roof fell in and buried its victims in a mass of brick, steel, and concrete debris. The explosion was heard four miles away, and it hurled a two-ton concrete slab 200 feet away, where it crushed a 1936 Chevrolet. Of the 500 students and forty teachers in the building, approximately 298 died. Some rescuers, students, and teachers needed psychiatric attention, and only about 130 students escaped serious injury. -- From the Handbook of Texas Online. (Other accounts, personal recollections, and photos .)

It was one of the worst disasters in Texas history. With Texans' love of superlatives, why is this a story no one tells? [more...]
posted by mudpuppie on Mar 18, 2005 - 35 comments

Court orders 35% hike in schools budget

Court orders $5.6 billion per year increase in NYC schools funding. The order, being appealed by Gov. Pataki, compels a 35% increase in operating funds for NYC public schools, and an additional $9 billion for school construction, but doesn't say which taxes ought to be raised to pay for it. Supporters and opponents both agree that, if implemented, the order would have a dramatic effect. Supporters think poor black and hispanic students will get a better education; opponents are dubious about the educational benefits and certain of the disastrous effects of a massive tax increase. A second arguments concerns whether the city ought to bear some of the costs, or the state should have to bear them all.
posted by MattD on Feb 18, 2005 - 40 comments

Are you a monkey or a man?

"The lawsuits are coming," school board member Angie Yingling said. "It's like being on the Titanic. Everyone seems to see the iceberg, but no one is steering away." The ACLU sued the Dover (Pennsylvania) Area School District today to prevent the district from enacting their recent controversial decision to teach "intelligent design" in the classroom.
posted by MegoSteve on Dec 14, 2004 - 39 comments

Hey, Johnny, give bisexuality a try

RecallMontgomerySchoolboard.com The purpose of this site is to provide an information exchange for all citizens* concerning the recent actions of the Montgomery County School Board with the possible recall of these board members in accordance with applicable statutes.
* Please note that "all" is used here in its little known sense of everyone afraid of rubbers and homos.

posted by danOstuporStar on Dec 2, 2004 - 30 comments

Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School

Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School? WTF? That's what I thought when I first read it. I read more and again I said: WTF? This can't be right! So, I looked around a bit and I realised some people had already a different perspective on this.
posted by acrobat on Nov 25, 2004 - 38 comments

Homosexual agenda v. Christian soldiers

High-school bans traditional crossdressing day because parents complained it was part of the "homosexual agenda." It's replacement? The manly "Camo Day" complete with military fatigues and combat boots. No word on whether there is a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
posted by hipnerd on Nov 17, 2004 - 99 comments

Focus Concern on Schools in Six States

Focus Concern on Schools in Six States I had recenbtly read that when alerts are issued, Bush support moves up. Now we have this alert based on info from a captured terrorist in Iraq. Our govt, we are told, downloaded building plans for a number of public schools. Alas: the material according to the article was found in the Summer--School begins around Labor Day...and now the alert is made?
posted by Postroad on Oct 7, 2004 - 19 comments

DeMint: Gays should not teach

DeMint: Gays should not teach US Congressional candidate opposes gays teaching in schools. He's dancing with them whut brung him, as they say in certain circles. Yet another reason I'm proud of my home state of South Carolina. (Not.)
posted by alumshubby on Oct 4, 2004 - 28 comments

About English schools

A guide to the English school system. From the BBC. This certainly explained a few things for me. (And remember, private school = public school)
posted by iffley on Jul 29, 2004 - 7 comments

Governor's Schools

Arkansas Governor's School, one of over 100 "Governor's Schools," starts today. The program is going in to its 24th year despite years of controversy over several mediums.
posted by whoshotwho on Jun 13, 2004 - 17 comments

Narconon

Scientology extends a tentacle into public schools. Just as adults can have a hard time getting drug treatments without a heavy dose of Jebus, now the Scientologists are trying to cut in earlier and give school kids a heavy dose of L. Ron via the drug prevention program Narcanon, provided free to schools.
posted by badstone on Jun 9, 2004 - 31 comments

African-American == Black?

African-American == Black? Several high-school students at a predominantly white (well, predominantly NOT black) Nebraska high school were disciplined for a campaign to get 16-year-old student Trevor Richards awarded the school's annual "Distinguished African-American Student" award. Richards is from South Africa, now lives in America (not sure if he's a citizen, the CNN story isn't clear), but here's the catch: he's white.
posted by Bluecoat93 on Jan 23, 2004 - 111 comments

Children hogtied, shackled, sprayed, forced to eat vomit, stripped naked ..

Mississippi Gulag. Remember Tranquility Bay? Kids being forcibly deported to Jamaica, where they have to earn their right to speak by advancing in a perverted "level" system, with punishment ranging from laying on the floor for hours to painful "restraint" sessions? A report by Assistant Attorney General submitted on June 19, 2003 to Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove sheds light on two different "correctional" facilities, the Oakley and Columbia "Training Schools" in Mississipi. Boys and girls aged from 10 to 17 are hogtied for hours, pepper sprayed for disobedience, forced to eat their own vomit during exercises, or stripped naked and locked in a dark room for days because of suicide attempts. Between torturing sessions, they have to participate in good Christian prayers. These kids have to suffer abuse that would lead to a nationwide scandal if it happened to adults (or if sex was involved). AP has a brief summary.
posted by Eloquence on Jul 22, 2003 - 11 comments

The Blair Hornstine Project

Remember Blair Hornstine? Her $2.5 million lawsuit against her high school for not naming her valedictorian resulted in an injunction and the sole possession of the title. Now it gets worse: she has a Jayson Blair problem. Several of her contributions to local papers were lifted from presidential speeches, Supreme Court opinions, and editorials.
posted by PrinceValium on Jun 5, 2003 - 65 comments

Nobody wants to hear it.

Cal Professor John Ogbu thinks he knows why rich black kids are failing in school. Nobody wants to hear it.
posted by studentbaker on May 23, 2003 - 50 comments

Well, Saddam shot people for less...

"We own you, you don't have any legal rights" U.S. Secret Service agents aggressively interrogate two Bay Area high school students after their teacher reports their remarks on President Bush, made during in-class discussion on the war in Iraq, to authorities.
posted by troutfishing on May 12, 2003 - 97 comments

Only men bake cookies in school textbooks

Only men bake cookies in school textbooks. What do dinosaurs, mountains, deserts, brave boys, shy girls, men fixing roofs, women baking cookies, elderly people in wheelchairs, athletic African Americans, God, heathens, witches, owls, birthday cake and religious fanatics all have in common? Trick question? Not really. As we learn from Diane Ravitch's eye-opening book "The Language Police," all of the above share the common fate of having been banned from the textbooks or test questions (or both) being used in today's schools.
posted by dagny on May 2, 2003 - 41 comments

schools out

School's out 17 days early in Hillsboro. Oregon isn't alone in their state budget crunch. Will this solution be seen elsewhere? Meanwhile, defense industry CEOs -- "just 37 men have made enough money in the last three years to, for instance, pay for two years of running the Boston public schools."
posted by kat on May 1, 2003 - 44 comments

speech buttons

Free Speech Button Police -- Chicago-area schools debate ban on teachers wearing "No War" buttons vs. the ubiquitous flag lapel pins. What are the limits to teachers' political fashion statements -- are students a captive audience? More inside.
posted by serafinapekkala on Apr 29, 2003 - 49 comments

Little nugget 'O hope for yr. platter...

Laptops transform learning for 7th graders in rural Maine : It "was more controversial than abortion, gay rights or even clear cutting," said former Gov. Angus King. But "Just six months after Maine began a controversial [and first in the nation] program to provide laptop computers to every seventh grader in the state, educators are impressed by how quickly students and teachers have adapted to laptop technology."(NYT)
posted by troutfishing on Mar 11, 2003 - 17 comments

Public Education in Oregon?. . .. nope

Another embarrasment for Oregon. As if the government of my home state had not reached bottom, as far as actually acting in the interests of it's citizens, comes the news that the head of the State Senate Education Committee, State Senator Charles Starr, has written a letter urging his constituents to "run, don't walk" away from public schools. This from the "leader" in the state legislature for public education. This ranks with Tonya Harding and the anti-gay Oregon Citizen's alliance as another in the growing list of lowlights for Oregonians.
posted by Danf on Mar 7, 2003 - 32 comments

Three little pollitically correct animals...

The BBC reports that a school in West Yorkshire has banned stories like the Three Little Pigs and Babe because "for Muslims talk of pigs is offensive." Strange that the Muslims don't agree.
posted by twine42 on Mar 5, 2003 - 22 comments

Teachers Traumatizing Students of Deployed Soldiers

Teachers Traumatizing Students of Deployed Soldiers "WABI TV reported Friday that the Maine National Guard Family Assistance Center has received about 30 complaints from children of deployed soldiers concerning Principals, Teachers and Guidance Counselors reportedly demeaning the role of their deployed parent. Some children involved are 7 to 9 years of age." More inside...
posted by darian on Feb 26, 2003 - 65 comments

School budget

An imaginative solution to California's school budget crisis.
posted by semmi on Jan 24, 2003 - 24 comments

The Segregation of Freewill

Southern public schools are becoming segregated again, but not through governmental regulation this time, but through the free will of white teachers who are fleeing all black schools, and relaxed bussing laws that are no longer forcing mixed race students to intermingle. A disturbing step backwards, and one that doesn't trend better in the foreseeable future.
posted by jonson on Jan 12, 2003 - 41 comments

No Child Unrecruited

No Child Unrecruited Under the "No Child Left Behind Act" passed earlier this year, secondary schools must provide military recruiters with the names, addresses and phone numbers of their students or risk losing federal aid. [More Inside]
posted by EmergencyPenguin on Nov 8, 2002 - 47 comments

Testimony of Teens Kidnapped w/ authorization of parents and taken to overseas "behavior modification" schools.

Testimony of Teens Kidnapped w/ authorization of parents and taken to overseas "behavior modification" schools. After researching these schools almost 5 years ago I am horrified that most of them are still running and whose teachings are even showing up in the form of seminars in kindergarten. Has anyone else had experience with schools like this, whether directly or through a family member or friend ?
posted by bkdelong on Sep 30, 2002 - 17 comments

"It's a terrible thing, but it's time to embrace Big Brother"

"It's a terrible thing, but it's time to embrace Big Brother" A high school in Santee California has implemented "security procedures" that would do Mr. Orwell proud. Wireless cameras the face and license plate of every driver and car entering the parking lot. If you go to the bathroom, your picture gets logged. Hall monitors will soon carry wireless computers that can pull up a student's school picture and class schedule. And they are considering implementing face recognition software. Installed over the summer, a few parents complained to the school system - NOT that it was being done, but that they hadn't been notified. (LA Times Link - metafilter99/metafilter99)
posted by Irontom on Sep 9, 2002 - 39 comments

Court gives the go-ahead on random drug testing for non-athlete students.

Court gives the go-ahead on random drug testing for non-athlete students. "Given the nationwide epidemic of drug use, and the evidence of increased drug use in Tecumseh schools, it was entirely reasonable for the school district to enact this particular drug testing policy," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the decision. Drug tests which really only target marijuana use (alcohol, cocaine, opiates leave the body shortly after use) can now be randomly given to students involved in extra-curricular activities. Is this a further step in the "my anti-drug" campaign? Is debate or drama club YOUR anti-drug? By denying student drug users the privilege of participating in activities, aren't we just marginalizing them further and making the problem worse? What will it be? Drugs or getting involved?
posted by Hammerikaner on Jun 27, 2002 - 58 comments

Spare the rod and spoil the (1st grade) child... U.S. school violence gets really outta hand!

Spare the rod and spoil the (1st grade) child... U.S. school violence gets really outta hand! Twenty first-grade students went to a hospital yesterday after their substitute teacher went berserk in their Washington Heights classroom, smacking them with a broomstick, pulling their hair and twisting their ears, police said. To paraphrase David Letterman, "what was he thinking of??"
posted by dash_slot- on Jun 15, 2002 - 12 comments

PETA Protests "Packers."

PETA Protests "Packers." The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has written a letter to the principal of Austin (Minnesota) High School, demanding that he change the school's "offensive" nickname ("Packers" is short for "Meatpackers," and the school is so named because Austin is the headquarters for Hormel Foods). PETA's suggested alternative? "Pickers," which would "promote a healthier, plant-based diet." No word yet on a response to that proposal from PETV (People for the Ethical Treatment of Vegetation).
posted by pardonyou? on May 10, 2002 - 43 comments

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