Throughout the month we scour the headlines from around the nation and prepare brief executive summaries of the top education stories.
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Education News March 10th - 21st
Henderson-Hopkins School to Become Campus for Community (The New York Times, March 18, 2014) A new public school in East Baltimore, called Henderson-Hopkins, is looking to become a campus for the community, complete with a library, gym, auditorium, and community center. Typically, public schools are closed after dark, and during the summer, and are only accessible to parents and students while in session. The school, which opened in January, is the centerpiece of a redevelopment project, operated by Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University. They have created a $1.8 billion plan that includes new science and technology buildings, a park, retail development, and mixed-income housing. Christopher Shea, the president of the nonprofit organization overseeing the plan, stated, "We wanted Henderson-Hopkins to be an inspiration and magnet for the neighborhood."
New Technology Could Reduce Cheating (Education Week, March 10, 2014) The question of whether or not cheating will decrease as schools move to online testing with the Common Core State Standards has recently emerged. The standards call for all districts to test students online by the 2014-15 school year. Testing students online allows for adaptive testing, which chooses test questions for each student based on previous test answers, making each exam unique, and therefore reducing studentsí ability to cheat. One device that still remains a big threat is the cellphone, which brings copying, communication, text messaging, videos, and cameras into play during testing. The majority of schools collect cellphones before testing begins but thereís no guarantee that students wonít sneak them in.
DC Struggles to Manage Race to the Top Funds (The Washington Post, March 18, 2014) DC has recently been scrutinized by federal officials for its inability to manage the Race to the Top grants that it was awarded in 2009 and 2010. The US Department of Education has placed $6.2 million on hold which was supposed to be used to improve eight low achieving schools in the area. Federal officials issued a progress report that showed problems with the Districtís effort to improve the failing schools and said "it is behind in its obligation to come up with a strategy for those schools". The District is now required to submit additional plans and needs to get the Department of Educationís approval before using the funds.