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It’s a shameful and heartbreaking mental image from the past: minority children being turned away at the schoolhouse door, denied an opportunity for a quality education for no other reason than the color of their skin. Yet that painful image of injustice is not as far in the past as you might think. In fact, it’s happening today in Hartford, Connecticut, where African-American and Hispanic children are told they cannot attend the city’s world-class magnet schools, even when there is available space. view article arw

As most of us learned early in elementary school, July 4 is remembered as the day that we celebrate U.S. independence from England. It’s a day that celebrates the liberties and freedoms we have. Regrettably for minority groups, the date is not without its ironies. For example, even with their enthusiastic patriotism, anchored in the U.S. War of Independence itself, it’s been a long, hard-fought struggle for Mexican-descent people. view article arw

North Carolina gives out public money to private and religious schools with little or no oversight. Do not be surprised that some people take advantage of the open cash register and help themselves to taxpayers’ money that should have done to public schools. This is what Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos hopes to see in every state. In the latest case of embezzlement, the former headmaster of a Christian school was indicted on multiple counts of stealing $134,000 of public money. view article arw

FBI leaders and local law enforcement officials are studying shootings in schools to piece together trends and come up with ways to prevent future violence, officials said. The FBI on Wednesday hosted a daylong seminar at its headquarters for dozens of officials to discuss common warning signs of shooters, information sharing among law enforcement and response plans by schools. view article arw

The Pentagon said Thursday that federal authorities could place up to 20,000 children in tent cities on three military installations in Texas and one in Arkansas. The Department of Health and Human Services has not settled on where to temporarily place the children, unaccompanied minors who have arrived at the Texas-Mexico border on their own, said Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. view article arw

For the last two decades, Pennsylvania’s political leaders have attempted to improve schools in Philadelphia without spending money. In 2001, Governor Thomas Ridge turned to Chris Whittle and his Edison Project to study the school system and create a reform plan. That December, the state of Pennsylvania disbanded the local school board and assumed total control of the district. Since then, citizens of Philadelphia have endured – with minimal input – a relentless school choice agenda and the loss of public schools in their neighborhoods. view article arw

The White House plans to propose merging the Department of Labor and the Department of Education on Thursday, both the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Postreported. The proposal would allow the administration to focus its efforts on student vocational training under one department, according to the Washington Post Congress would need to approve any such overhaul of federal agencies.  The Department of Education was created by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, and has since been a subject of ire among conservatives.  view article arw

In contemporary education policy debates in the United States, school voucher programs and school privatization—the entry of many private for-profit corporations and nonprofit and other organizations into the education arena—are under the spotlight. Following in the footsteps of several prior administrations, the current federal administration is actively supporting vouchers and privatization as ways to expand school choice for American parents and students. Some state governments have followed suit. view article arw

The AP (6/5, Danilova) reports that in an appearance before a Senate subcommittee, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said a federal school safety commission that was created after the Parkland, Florida school shootings will not examine the role of guns in school violence. DeVos is quoted as saying, “That is not part of the commission’s charge per se.” The Post says there has been “criticism by Democrats and some educators that the panel...was focused more on distracting public attention rather than truly addressing gun violence.” The Washington Times (6/5, Munoz) reports that, “asked if the commission was comparing the rate of school shootings in other nations with the same amount of video game usage, Mrs. DeVos...responded, ‘not per se.’” Sen. Pat Leahy replied, “So, we’ll look at gun violence in schools but not look at guns. It’s an interesting concept.” view article arw

BERLIN (AP) - High school students in Germany have gathered tens of thousands of signatures in an online petition to complain about an "unfair" final English exam, saying the test was much harder than in previous years. By Sunday, the students from the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg had gathered almost 36,000 signatures - even though only 33,500 people took last month's statewide exam. view article arw

Four Florida high school seniors slain in a mass shooting were honored by their classmates celebrating their senior prom. The Sun Sentinel reports that the main ballroom at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort was transformed Saturday into an enchanted forest for 850 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students. A giant ice sculpture stood in the hallway, proclaiming, "(hashtag)MSDSTRONG." Butterflies were released from the rooftop, and a room was set aside for anyone needing quiet reflection. view article arw

Drawing almost no attention, the nation crossed an ominous milestone last year that threatens more economic polarization and social division: For the first time, public colleges and universities in most states received most of their revenue from tuition rather than government appropriations. view article arw

Every school day, Abdirizack Hussein Bashir rises at dawn for an eight-kilometer (five-mile) trek through a dangerous forest where he sometimes faces harassment by Kenyan army patrols hunting down extremists. Now the 12-year-old's dream to become a doctor is threatened. Attacks by the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab against non-Muslims have forced the transfer of hundreds of teachers from the border area with Somalia, where the extremist group is based. Schools have closed and thousands of children are affected. view article arw

Beside a highway in Bryan, Texas, tucked between a motorcycle bar and the county jail, stands a low-slung, sprawling complex with tinted windows, sandstone walls, and barbed wire lining parts of its roof. A roadside sign identifies it as the Brazos County Juvenile Justice Center. view article arw

Beside a highway in Bryan, Texas, tucked between a motorcycle bar and the county jail, stands a low-slung, sprawling complex with tinted windows, sandstone walls and barbed wire lining parts of its roof. A roadside sign identifies it as the Brazos County Juvenile Justice Center.  One Friday afternoon last October, after an incident at nearby Arthur L. Davila Middle School, a police officer arrested 13-year-old Trah’Vaeziah Jackson and brought her to the juvenile detention facility. She cried as employees patted her down, cut off her hair extensions, and took her photo and fingerprints. She was served dinner — chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes and an apple in a styrofoam box with a carton of milk — but had no appetite. view article arw

Arizona teachers have voted to walk off the job to demand increased school funding, marking a key step toward a first-ever statewide strike that builds on a movement for higher pay in other Republican-dominant states. A grassroots group and the state's largest teacher membership group said Thursday that teachers will walkout April 26. The vote was held following weeks of growing protests and an offer from Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to give teachers 20 percent raise by 2020. Many teachers kept up the pressure at schools and on social media, saying the plan failed to address much-needed funding for classrooms and support staff. view article arw

Three parents whose children were killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting have filed defamation lawsuits against Alex Jones, the controversial conspiracy theorist and Infowars host who has falsely claimed the 2012 massacre was faked. The two lawsuits were filed on Monday afternoon by Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, the parents of 6-year-old Noah Pozner, and by Neil Heslin, the father of 6-year-old Jesse Heslin. "The statements were a continuation and elaboration of a years-long campaign to falsely attack the honesty of the Sandy Hook parents, casting them as participants in a ghastly conspiracy and cover-up," the plaintiffs said in their suits. view article arw

Arizona teachers on Tuesday began weighing whether to walk out of their classrooms to demand more school funding after weeks of growing protests - a vote that's raising questions about how an unprecedented strike could play out across the state's education system. The walkout vote comes after Republican Gov. Doug Ducey offered teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020. Teachers in a grass-roots group that's mobilized tens of thousands of teachers say the plan doesn't address other needs, including raises for support staff and a return to pre-Great Recession school funding levels. view article arw

Arizona teachers who have pushed for big raises and an increase in school funding say Gov. Doug Ducey's teacher raise proposal falls short and they're moving to take a strike vote. The leaders of the grassroots group Arizona Educators United posted a video on Facebook Sunday night saying three days of voting begins Tuesday. The Republican governor last week proposed a 9 percent teacher pay raise this year and 10 percent more by 2020, on top of 1 percent they are getting this year. But he did not address teachers' other demands — including raises for support staff, a return to pre-Great Recession school funding levels and no more tax cuts until school spending reached the national average. view article arw

The most dramatic moment of George W. Bush’s presidency unfolded while he was sitting in an elementary school classroom. As a girl read aloud from the book The Pet Goat, then-White House chief of staff Andy Card delivered the news that two passenger jets had crashed into the World Trade Center. While the president didn’t know it yet, two other Boeing-757s were destined to crash into the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Within the span of a few minutes, Bush had become a wartime president. view article arw

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It's the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility. Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, says in an article in the Washington Post, "Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans' rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism."  view article arw

A Mississippi school district has been ordered to desegregate its schools after what the Justice Department called a five-decade-long legal battle. The Cleveland School District, about two hours northwest of Jackson, was told that it must consolidate its schools in order to provide real desegregation for students in the city of about 12,000. view article arw