McMinnville (Ore.) Public School's after-school program simply wasn't cutting it for Deborah Weiner, the school improvement coordinator who oversaw its activities. She knew they could offer more than a glorified babysitting service--if only the funds were available to pour into field trips.
Like the crest of a wave that's been building slowly as it rolls toward shore, the high school reform movement broke in 2005. For years, elementary school education has been front and center for policymakers and advocates. But with a high-profile governors summit on high school reform last February, a mention in President Bush's State of the Union Address and new initiatives popping up from the federal level to school districts, high schools' time in the spotlight has arrived.
During a recent panel discussion I shared my discomfort with the topic of the digital divide. While concerns of equity are laudable, discussions of the digital divide are often little more than simplistic distractions. First, most student access to computers is meager and what's done with those computers is pedestrian. Even students in wealthy, well-equipped schools rarely experience the creative and intellectual potential afforded by computers.
She had no financial expertise--in fact, Veronica Klinefelt was a stay-at-home mom with a high school diploma when she won her bid for a seat on the East Detroit School Board in January 1998. But it was enough background to uncover a $3 million construction fraud scheme in her district that sent two board members and two superintendents to jail.
Drug dealing in American high schools can look as innocent as buying an ice cream cone. And that is exactly what happened in El Paso, Texas, last year.
An ice cream vendor decided to dish out another flavor last year in the student parking lot at Riverside High School in the Ysleta Independent School District, which borders Mexico, and this time it was Ganja ala Mode.
The legitimate ice cream vendor was handing out ice cream cones filled with marijuana to up to a dozen students every other day and administrators finally caught wind of it from an informant.