public schools

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No Plan After High School, No Diploma, Says Chicago Mayor

Proposal would require students to show their next move

(Newser) - Don't have a plan after high school? Don't expect a diploma, says Rahm Emanuel. Under a new proposal from the Chicago mayor, high school students of Chicago Public Schools will need to prove they have a plan for their immediate future before they can graduate, reports the Chicago ... More »

Rapper Slams Governor, Gives $1M to Chicago Schools

Chance the Rapper urges Gov. Bruce Rauner to start doing his job

(Newser) - Chance the Rapper demanded action Monday as he handed a $1 million check to his hometown's struggling school system. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner "still won't commit to give Chicago's kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums," Chance said, per the Chicago Tribune . "Gov. Rauner,... More »

Education Chief to Schools: Stop Hitting Kids

John King says corporal punishment is 'harmful,' 'ineffective'

(Newser) - Education Secretary John King has a message for states where physical discipline is permitted in schools, per USA Today : Quit it. In a letter to governors and state school chiefs, King says 22 states—mostly in the South and West—still allow corporal punishment or don't forbid it. He... More »

NYC Mayor Wants Computer Science for All Students

Only 1% of public school students currently get tech training

(Newser) - New York Mayor Bill de Blasio wants every student in the city to have a good shot at getting the jobs of the future. The mayor is preparing to announce an ambitious 10-year plan to make computer science education available in all the city's public schools, reports the New ... More »

Chicago Parents Hunger-Striking Over a Closed School

'We have to starve ourselves to have our voices heard,' says protest leader

(Newser) - Protesters in Chicago say they haven't eaten in eight days and will continue their hunger strike until a proposal to turn a former high school into a new "green tech" school is accepted. For years, members of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School have fought to preserve... More »

Majority of Public School Students in US Are Poor

It's the first time in a half-century

(Newser) - One more challenge for US public schools: A new report finds that for the first time in 50 years, a majority of students come from poor families. Specifically, the Southern Education Foundation says that 51% of students in kindergarten through 12th grade qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch, a... More »

Principal Loses Post Over Misspelled Sign

Typos were up for a week in New Jersey

(Newser) - After a typo-ridden sign outside a public school became a thing on social media, the principal was reassigned to a different school—as a vice principal, reports CBS Local . The offending sign mentioned "Dicember" and a "progress reepor" at Public School 20 in Paterson, NJ. It was up... More »

White Students Now a Minority in Public Schools

Demographic shift raises big issues for school systems

(Newser) - American public schools will pass a watershed this fall: For the first time, there will be more minority students than non-Hispanic whites, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The shift comes even as schools become more racially segregated, and leaves school systems facing issues such as integration and... More »

Zuckerberg Throws $120M Into Local Schools

Priscilla Chan says it's an 'incredibly personal issue'

(Newser) - As debate rages over Silicon Valley's gentrification of the Bay Area, Mark Zuckerberg yesterday gave parents there a reason to applaud their wealthy neighbors. The Facebook founder and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced that they're sinking $120 million into San Francisco-area schools over the next five years, the... More »

Send Your Kid to Private School? You Suck

Only the morally bankrupt do it, Allison Benedikt argues

(Newser) - Do you send your kids to private school? Then congratulations: "You are a bad person," Allison Benedikt argues in Slate . "Not bad like murder bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So pretty bad." Her reasoning is simple: if everyone were invested in public schools—... More »

Chicago to Close 53 Elementary Schools

Teachers' union fumes over deficit-fighting move

(Newser) - Chicago yesterday released a long-awaited school closings list, which named the 61 buildings it plans to shutter. The Tribune breaks down the "confusing" math behind the closure announcement, and reports that the plan will spell the end for 53 elementary schools; 13% of elementary and middle schools in the... More »

US Littered With Empty Schools

Maintenance a drain on districts

(Newser) - Across 12 major US cities, there are 327 empty school buildings simply waiting to be sold—all the while costing districts money for maintenance without bringing in tax dollars, a Pew Charitable Trusts study finds. Prospects for sale are dimmed as parents increasingly send kids to charter or private schools,... More »

Chicago Teachers Say Strike Continues; City to File Suit

Union isn't happy with proposed contract

(Newser) - So much for that tentative deal . Chicago teachers this evening opted not to vote on a pact that would end their weeklong strike, saying they needed more time to digest the details, reports the Chicago Tribune . Union chief Karen Lewis said the earliest classes could resume is Wednesday. But soon... More »

Education Solution: Ban Private Schools

Private schools give rich kids unfair advantage: Gawker's John Cook

(Newser) - If cities want to avoid situations like the current mess in Chicago , then John Cook at Gawker has some advice: Make all private schools public. Rich parents (and politicians like Rahm Emanuel and the Obamas) are less likely to care about public school conditions, because they can afford to send... More »

Chicago Teachers' Strike: Greed or Grit?

Either way, negotiations must be public

(Newser) - Unions began as a powerful and much-needed force for good, raising workers from "scraping out a meager living in low-paid and dangerous jobs into the middle class," and nowhere more so than in Chicago, writes Dennis Byrne in the Chicago Tribune . But the teachers' strike is a different... More »

Colorado School: No Peyton Manning Jerseys Allowed

Number 18 linked to gang fears

(Newser) - At one Colorado school district, Peyton Manning fans will have to wait until after hours to show their colors. That's because Manning's number, 18, is associated with gangs, district officials tell the Indianapolis Star . In fact, the number 18 has been banned for years—but it was no... More »

Atheists May Sue School Over Songs Mentioning God

They're songs, not prayers, says Clifton Park district

(Newser) - Stop singing about God or go to court, or so says an atheist organization threatening to sue a school district in Clifton Park, New York. The Freedom From Religion Foundation wants the Shenendehowa district to stop teaching two songs to elementary school kids that include lyrics referencing an almighty creator.... More »

Miami School Board Members: Ax Michelle Event

Michelle Obama's campaign event inappropriate, they argue

(Newser) - A couple of Republicans on the Miami-Dade School Board are not happy with Michelle Obama's plan to hold a campaign event at one of their high schools tonight. The first lady plans to push voter registration and enlist residents to volunteer for President Obama's re-election campaign—and two... More »

Berkeley Schools Invest in Attendance—and It Works

Brings in extra $1M in funding

(Newser) - Berkeley schools' superintendent had enough cash in hand to hire three new teachers a year ago—but he chose to take a risk. Bill Huyett opted to spend $250,000 on new administrative staff dedicated to making sure kids showed up at school. Looks like it worked: After nine months,... More »

Tennessee's Anti-Evolution Bill to Become Law

Critics: Move 'undermines science education'

(Newser) - Tennessee was the site of the infamous Scopes monkey trial nearly 90 years ago (spoiler alert: creationists lost), but the state is still fighting evolution. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said yesterday he'll allow a bill to become law that protects teachers who criticize evolution, as well as global warming... More »

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