Juan Williams: Education’s grand bargain?

From The Hill, here.

The damage being done to American children — and most of all to black American children — by bad schools is painfully obvious.

James Meredith, who in 1962 became the first black person to enroll at the University of Mississippi, said in January that the nation is “losing millions of our children to inferior schools and catastrophically misguided … education reforms.” He said schools are being “hijacked by politicians … and for-profit operators.”

High rates of single-parent families and poverty complicate the sad picture of minority student failure. But it is also clear schools are failing to do their part.

Politicians, including Obama and Scott, are stuck in partisan paralysis even as they claim to understand the urgency to deliver on the promise of equal opportunity and solve this generation’s top civil rights problem.


ICT: Going for Straight As: Three Minnesota Schools Make the Grade

Here. An excerpt:

MinnCAN, a non-profit educational advocacy organization, took up a challenge set by Minnesota tribal leaders and parents in response to disappointing test scores and high school graduation rates for American Indian students. Rather than focus on struggling schools,MinnCANwas asked to look for schools that are doing very well by their American Indian students.

The organization highlighted three where scores on standardized assessments are impressive not only in comparison to other schools with large populations of Native students but also in relation to state averages for all students. Here is what the Indian education leaders at those schools have to say about principles and strategies that are working.

Read more athttp://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/02/04/going-straight-three-minnesota-schools-make-grade-153410

Senator Hirono introduced the Native Adult Education and Literacy Act to Native education advocates at the National Indian Education Association Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C.

Here. An excerpt:

Today, U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Mark Begich (D-AK) introduced the Native Adult Education and Literacy Act, legislation that would increase educational access to Native communities by awarding competitive grants for Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and Native Hawaiian Education Organizations (NHEOs). Hirono announced the legislation on Thursday to Native education advocates at the National Indian Education Association Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C. You can view her remarks here:http://youtu.be/GcOIusIPyLE.


Colo. tuition bill for Native Americans advances

From the Durango Herald, here. An excerpt:

Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, said his bill will help Native American students graduate. They are among the least likely demographic groups to attend college.

“We spend a considerable amount of time recruiting students to come here, but they don’t stay because of money,” Salazar said.

His House Bill 1124 would allow students from any tribe with historic ties to Colorado to qualify for in-state tuition at any of the state’s public colleges and universities.

The House Education Committee approved it on a 9-4 vote.

From mySA, here. A quote:

A Colorado proposal to provide in-state tuition to many Native Americans is advancing the state legislature.

The measure passed its first committee test in the House Wednesday on a 9-4 vote. The bill would grant in-state tuition to any Native American student in Colorado whose tribe has a historical connection to the state.

Our earlier post on this is here.

NYT’s Student Writing Contest – Submissions Due March 17

Here. An excerpt:

With this, our first-ever Student Editorial Contest, we’re asking you to channel that enthusiasm into something a little more formal: short, evidence-based persuasive essays like the editorials The New York Times publishes every day.
The challenge is pretty straightforward. Choose a topic you care about, gather evidence from both New York Times and non-New York Times sources, and write a concise editorial (450 words or fewer) to convince readers of your point of view.

Because editorial writing at newspapers is a collaborative process, you can write your entry as a team effort, or by yourself. When you’re done, post it in the comments section below by March 17, 2014.

With our contest partner, the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University, we will then use this rubric to select winners to publish on The Learning Network.

As teachers know, the persuasive essay has long been a staple of high school education, but the Common Core standards seem to have put evidence-based argumentative writing on everybody’s agenda. You couldn’t ask for a more real-world example of the genre than the classic newspaper editorial — and The Times publishes, on average, four of them a day.

To help with this challenge, Andrew Rosenthal, The Times’s editorial page editor, made the video above, in which he details seven pointers. We have also culled 200 prompts for argumentative writing from our Student Opinion feature to help inspire you, though, of course, you are not limited to those topics. Finally, we’ll publish a lesson plan on editorial writing later this week.

So what issue do you care about? Gun violence?School lunch?Reality TV? You decide. Then use the facts to convince us that you’re right.

Let’s spread the word, and hopefully we can see a native student or group win this contest!