Community College Students Talk Transitions with Secretary Duncan

When someone says, “I want to go to college,” a traditional four-year college or university often comes to mind. Many don’t think of community colleges as an option, even though they are the single largest sector of the U.S. higher education system, enrolling nearly half of all undergraduates each year. Community colleges provide opportunity and access to millions of students, helping them prepare for a degree at a four-year institution, obtain an associate’s degree, or Read More

Seeing Success in Hawaii: Duncan’s 50th State as Secretary

Andrea, a senior at Hawaii’s Waipahu High School, came to the U.S. just four years ago after emigrating from the Philippines, but now she’s a proud Waipahu Marauder. From her first day in the classroom, she found the “opportunity to explore” and became interested in cancer research and science. This fall, thanks to her dedication and the teachers she has at Waipahu, she’ll attend Columbia University on a full-ride scholarship. Full story of success in Read More

The State of Education

This year’s State of the Union Address was unlike any I had ever experienced before.  I had just sat down in a room full of educators when I heard the word “teacher” come out of the President’s mouth, and to be precise, it was the fifth word. We were astounded. Then when he talked about other education issues–high school redesign, high quality preschool, connecting students to the best technology, making college more affordable and accessible, Read More

Education innovation: A case study in what not to do

The $1 billion initiative by the Los Angeles public schools district to give an iPad to all 650,000 students and teachers for home use has been nothing short of a mess, plagued by poor planning and bad execution. You can read about it here. Here’s a new look at what went wrong from  Larry Cuban, a high school social studies teacher for 14 years, a district superintendent (seven years in Arlington, VA), and professor emeritus Read More

Mental Health in High School: Teach Students Link between Thinking Patterns, Emotions & Behavior

Adding a mental health component to school-based health education programs could enhance health behaviors, reduce depression and improve grades. Researchers from The Ohio State University College of Nursing found that a program called COPE: (Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment) Healthy Lifestyles TEEN (Thinking, Emotions, Exercise, Nutrition) had a beneficial outcome for several health and behavioral factors. The high school health classes used an intervention that emphasized building cognitive behavioral skills in addition to nutrition and Read More

The Great Stagnation of American Education

For most of American history, parents could expect that their children would, on average, be much better educated than they were. But that is no longer true. This development has serious consequences for the economy. The epochal achievements of American economic growth have gone hand in hand with rising educational attainment, as the economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz have shown. From 1891 to 2007, real economic output per person grew at an average Read More

Lexington tries to tackle high school student stress

One day last week at Lexington High School, teachers wore red clown noses as they stood before their classes. Students blew bubbles in the quad, the outdoor common area, before school. Music played over the loudspeakers between classes, and teenagers danced in the hallways. “Kids just got to be kids and play,” said wellness teacher Julie Fenn, standing in the quad where students had drawn on the pavement with chalk. “It’s been fun to see Read More

Teens Who Sometimes, but Not Always Follow the Herd Fare Better

Being popular isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but new research says it’s a decent indicator of how well teens will form friendships in the future. Many teens who struggle to make friends in high school continue to have problems creating lasting relationships in adulthood. While it’s not always the case, new research from the University of Virginia says a teen’s social habits in high school can predict problems they may face as adults. Read More

Study links prevalence of bullying, teasing to high dropout rates

Teasing and bullying is linked to the dropout rate of students, according to the latest report from the Virginia High School Safety Study, directed by Dewey Cornell, a professor at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. "This study suggests that teasing and bullying at the high school level is a noteworthy problem that is associated with the most serious negative outcome, failure to graduate," he said. The prevalence of teasing and bullying in Read More

Keep focus on education quality and choice

Pennsylvania’s Charter School Act of 1997 must be updated to reflect the current, vital role that charter schools offer parents and children. Two pieces of proposed legislation in the House Education Committee aim to reform charter school law, but each would have a very different outcome for parents and children seeking public school choice in the commonwealth. House Bill 2352, introduced by state Rep. Thomas Killion, R-Delaware, mandates accountability and transparency for charter schools and Read More