public schools

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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 »

The 12 Things Nearly All Americans Agree On

Surveys show most of us believe in God, are OK with birth control

(Newser) - What can nine out of 10 Americans agree on? Survey says: not much. That's partly because the big polls such as Pew, Gallup, and the General Social Survey are designed to explore differences, not to document what unites the United States. Still, a few questions discover 90% agreement, or... 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 »

Plenty of Schools Still Rely on Spanking

Paddling is especially popular in northern Florida

(Newser) - Think spanking in school is extinct? Think again. Nineteen states legally permit teachers and principals in public schools to spank a child, reports NPR . In Florida, for instance, more than 3,600 kids were spanked in 2010, usually with a wooden or fiberglass paddle, and usually in a rural district... More »

Black Students Face More Arrests Than Whites: US

Arne Duncan: Minorities suffer 'harsher discipline'

(Newser) - African-American students are arrested much more frequently than whites in America's large public schools, according to the government's largest-ever study of the subject. Among school systems with more than 50,000 students, 35% of arrests involved African-Americans, though they represent just 24% of the student body. White students... More »

Santorum Took State Cash for Kids' Schooling

...despite fact that he wants government out of education

(Newser) - Rick Santorum has been telling America it's time to take federal and state government "out of the education business," leaving schools in local hands. Indeed, he proudly home-schools his own children—but it seems he's not above using state money to do so, the AP reports.... More »

NH Bill Would Require Bible Class in Schools

Rep. Jerry Bergevin says it's key to understanding American history

(Newser) - A bill being pushed in New Hampshire would force schools to offer an elective Bible studies class—because the Bible is an inescapable part of American history, according to the bill's sponsor. "The Holy Bible is the bedrock of Western civilization," and it was essential to the... More »

Occupy School Districts, Not Wall Street

They contribute just as much to inequality: Andrew Rotherham

(Newser) - Wall Street is an easy target, but if protesters really want to improve social mobility in America, they should be occupying the school districts. “There is perhaps no better example of how the system is rigged against millions of Americans than the education our children receive,” writes Andrew... More »

Virginia School Board Sued Over Ten Commandments

Civil liberties groups want plaque removed from hallway

(Newser) - Dispatches from the church-and-state front:
  • Ten Commandments: Civil liberties groups have sued the school board in Giles County, Virginia, demanding that a Ten Commandments plaque be removed from a high school hallway. The board says it's simply part of a display of historical documents, including the Declaration of Independence,
... More »

School Handcuffed First Graders for Talking: Lawsuit

Mother seeking $100K from Chicago schools

(Newser) - A Chicago mom is suing the city’s public school system, alleging that a school security guard handcuffed her son and several other 6- and 7-year-olds for talking in class. When asked by school officials to discipline the kids in March 2010, the guard allegedly took them to an empty... More »

Church Slams New NYC Sex Ed Mandate

Lessons may be barred from premises when schools rent from archdiocese

(Newser) - Mandatory sex education is returning to public middle and high schools in New York City after nearly 20 years, and the Catholic church isn't happy about it. A spokesman for the archdiocese says the mandate "allows the public school system to substitute its beliefs and values for those... More »

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