Top News

Some Oppose Teaching 'In Cold Blood' at Glendale High School (Calif.)

Since its publication in 1965, Truman Capote?s ?In Cold Blood? has been widely recognized as a seminal work in American literature, frequently appearing on high school and college reading lists.

But the contents of the nonfiction novel, which detail the brutal murder of a Kansas family, are apparently too macabre for some Glendale Unified School District officials and parents who are seeking to block a request by a high school English teacher to add the text to the district?s advanced English curriculum.

Read more »

NCLB Option Meets Praise and Caution

President Obama is offering to free public schools from many of the requirements of a controversial federal education law. But as states consider whether to take him up on it, they're realizing the offer comes with some costs.

Read more »

Bloomberg Strikes Pragmatic Tone in Address About Schools

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pledged his support to the Obama administration?s plan to give states relief from the most onerous provision of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, which would require all students to be proficient in reading and math by 2014.

?We should?ve, could?ve, would?ve, but we?re not? going to reach all of the goals, Mr. Bloomberg said.

Read more »

Six More Chicago Schools Start Longer Instructional Day

Six public elementary schools in Chicago launched a 90-minutes-longer school day on Monday.

One of the schools, Disney II Magnet School, was set to receive a visit from Chicago Public Schools head Jean-Claude Brizard, who wanted to thank the teachers who agreed to waive their contract and break from the Chicago Teachers Union, which has opposed the immediate institution of the longer day, earlier this month.

Read more »

Florida School District Holds Mock Debate on Banning Books

For Banned Books Week, some schools put books that often top banned lists on prominent display. Others host readings from frequently banned novels.

The Bay County school district in Florida went one step farther, holding a mock school board meeting in Panama City to simulate discussion that would occur if a parent wanted a book banned. The county made headlines 25 years ago when the district superintendent banned more than 60 books from classrooms and school libraries after parent complaints.

Read more »

Schools Weigh Risk, Benefit of Facebook

For Chuck Collins's advanced placement environmental sciences class, Facebook is a must.

Mr. Collins, who teaches at Missouri's Clayton High School, posts between 10 and 15 articles a week on a page he's set up for the class. Students need to read at least one of the articles and write a thoughtful, substantive response that weaves in class material in the comments section below the post.

"I can do things with [the Facebook page] that I absolutely could not do with more mainstream types of teaching," says Collins.

Read more »

Program Helping South Carolina Youngsters Handle Emotions Expands

A renowned, innovative after-school program that helps students control their tempers, deal with nerves, take responsibility and make good life choices is going national after receiving a $1 million donation.

WINGS for Kids started in Charleston 15 years ago and organizers say it's the only program of its kind teaching emotional skills to elementary school children in an after-school setting.

It now operates in four elementary schools, largely in low-income areas of Charleston, and 3,500 students have passed through WINGS since it was founded in 1996.

Read more »

Sen. Lamar Alexander: Let States Control Schools

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) struck a bipartisan tone Tuesday, arguing that the federal requirements for evaluating students and teachers set out in No Child Left Behind should be scuttled in favor of state-set standards.

?Everyone knows that today every American?s job is on the line, and that better schools mean better jobs. Schools and jobs are alike in this sense: Washington can?t create good jobs, and Washington can?t create good schools,? writes Alexander, who served as education secretary under President George H.W. Bush, in a New York Times op-ed.

Read more »

New Michigan Student Count Formula Could Cost Schools Thousands

The state is changing the way it counts students, a move that is expected to cost the county?s schools more than a half million dollars in state aid.

Starting this year, 90 percent of a school district?s student populations--the number that determines the district?s per-pupil state aid--will be based on the number of students in attendance on fall count day. The other 10 percent will be from the February count in the same calendar year, which is the previous school year.

The old method weighted the fall count at 75 percent and the winter count at 25 percent.

Read more »

Education Secretary Arne Duncan Talks Reform

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Tuesday said education reform must start with comprehensive change.

Duncan talked to NBC Miami from New York, where he was attending an NBC News hosted summit called Education Nation.

"Do unions have to change? Absolutely, but so does management, so do school boards. We all have to look in the mirror we and have to move outside our comfort zone, and say we're not just fighting for our children, we're fighting for our country,? Duncan said via satellite.

Read more »