President Barack Obama on Monday cited the remarkable turnarounds of two schools — each of which went from graduating a minority of students to graduating nearly all of them — as he pushed for changes in the nation's 10-year-old No Child Left Behind law.
Speaking at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Va., Obama applauded the efforts of students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members who helped reverse a pattern of failure at Bruce Randolph School in Denver and Taft High School in Cincinnati.
Want to keep students in school? It's time to raise expectations.
That's the message Education Secretary Arne Duncan shared Sunday afternoon in a discussion preceding President Barack Obama's anticipated call for an overhaul of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
"Many students drop out because they are not being challenged," he said.
Danette McAlexander has not had an easy life — and she does not have an easy job.
McAlexander works with some of the most troubled students in Mississippi's Hattiesburg Public School District district. Her job is to keep them in school.
But McAlexander's got a secret weapon: Empathy. She was a dropout too.
Over the past 40 years, Marguerite W. Kondracke has worked in government, business and the non-profit sector. But one thing has remained constant: Kondracke's focus on the needs of children and families.
Baltimore City Schools made national headlines last fall when it announced it had slashed its dropout rate by 56 percent over three years. And unlike other districts, it had done so without leaving black males behind.
When New Haven, Conn. school reform czar Garth Harries heard those results, he shot an email to Baltimore Superintedent Andrés Alonso to ask how he'd done it.
For the past month, education experts have been trying to better understand Shanghai's surprise success in the annual Program for International Student Assessment — a test given to 15-year-old students across the world, the results of which provide a shorthand assessment of each nation's relative educational achievements.
We've learned a lot since launching NoDropouts.org, five months ago:
We've learned that everyone can play a role in the effort to keep students in school.
It's 8 a.m., and Mission High School choir director Steven Hankle is about to start class. Soul and hip-hop tunes play softly in the background while students trickle in. A young Latina girl pulls her friend up from the chair, and the two dance for a few minutes; an African American girl sings along. Sandwiched between two pianos, the 29-year-old teacher is writing out a holiday concert rehearsal schedule: "Deck the Halls," "This Christmas," a Latin remake of "Stand by Me" and "La Bamba."
The Times-Herald of Vallejo, Calif., is taking a novel approach to the dropout crisis: It has asked its Facebook fans to suggest solutions to the city's nearly 50-percent dropout rate.
The answers run the gamut, but a few themes emerge: