Roundup: Student Poverty — & High School Grad Rates — Are Up

Today’s big story is the latest Condition of Education report from Washington (and the speculation that Gov. Chris Christie will walk back some of his support for Common Core later today):

Key Numbers From a Report to Congress on US Education AP: More U.S. school-age kids live in poverty and need English-language services, according to a report released Thursday by the National Center for Education Statistics. Enrollment in public schools is up, including in charter schools that have grown in popularity. At the same time, smaller numbers of children attend private schools. Fewer students are dropping out of high school. 

American Kids Are Poorer Than They Were Decades Ago, Education Report Shows HuffPost: Childhood poverty has risen for every major racial group since 2008, according to the report. Childhood poverty in 2013 ranged from 39 percent for blacks and 36 percent for American Indians and Alaska natives, to 13 percent for whites and Asians. The report had few bright spots. It said the achievement gap between blacks and whites ages 25 to 29 who had attained at least a high school degree had narrowed considerably. School crime, the report says, continued its 20-year decline.

Education Leaders Fear Christie Will Pull Back on Common Core Support WSJ: Mr. Christie appointed an expert commission last year to study testing and the Common Core, and its report is due July 31. Several educators questioned why he would give an address on the standards before the commission’s report is complete.

Hundreds of NJ Students Fail Grad Test and Earn Diploma by Appeal WNYC: New Jersey created its appeals process in 2010 when the state introduced the alternative high school graduation exam, which is more rigorous than the previous test. Close to 2,000 seniors failed. Instead of telling them at the last minute that they wouldn’t graduate, the state began allowing students to appeal the graduation requirements by submitting samples of their classwork.

De Blasio defends parent input under city’s mayoral control structure Chalkbeat: “I think our current approach is working and I think it’s very inclusive,” de Blasio told reporters between meetings with state leaders in Albany. “I do think there’s many good and constructive ways to hear the voices of parents, and we’re doing that right now.”

Minneapolis School Suspensions Spike Under Interim Superintendent District Dossier: Reducing suspensions was one of former Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson’s top priorities. Soon after she left the job in December, the district’s suspensions were on the rise.

With Common Core tests, a lot at stake for first-year principal Hechinger Report: Indeed, like most public school students across America, pupils at Sylvanie Williams get tested often – although Hardy is trying to balance the “data-driven instruction” with a strong social justice curriculum.

Giving every kid a computer and a connection Marketplace: When VIDA Middle School in Vista, California, received a grant to hand every one of its 680 students an iPad with a free 4G connection, parents were excited. They were also a little nervous.

Non-Academic Skills Are Key To Success. But What Should We Call Them? NPR: Half the picture of student success is something other than academic. So why can’t someone come up with a better name for them?

Alumni report finds more abuse victims at elite NYC school AP: A new investigation into alleged sexual abuse at an elite New York City private school has found that the abuse was more widespread than previously reported….

Illinois high school shrinks its achievement gap for minority students by setting a high bar PBS NewsHour: Students here at Evanston Township High School outside Chicago can take anything from automotive service excellence certification to advanced calculus. They also have their pick of almost 30 advanced placement courses.

Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at alexanderrusso@gmail.com.