Memphis City Schools gets an "F" in most subjects on Tennessee's annual education report card for grades 3 through 8. Today, roughly a third of all Memphis City Schools have been identified among the lowest-performing "priority" schools in Tennessee. A dismal 73 percent of Memphis students graduate from high school, and a mere 5 percent leave high school "college ready." Tennessee recently received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to adjust student achievement targets across the state.
When unionized teachers in Chicago took to the picket lines in September, leaving classrooms empty in the first weeks of the new school year, it caught America’s attention. Now that the debate over education has been reignited, let’s put the focus back where it belongs — on the students.
Education reform will be at the core of an interactive forum that will feature a panel discussion and a special screening of the film "Won't Back Down" on Wednesday (Oct. 10). The event unfolds from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Malco Paradiso at 584 South Mendenhall. It's part of Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity, a cross-country tour to discuss education reform in local communities, highlight the important role the business community must play, and encourage local leaders to become a catalyst for change.
Memphis needs passion and commitment to effect positive and lasting change in its public education system, members of a panel on education reform suggested Wednesday. Opportunities for job creation in the community are too often lost, said John Moore, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Memphis Chamber, when public education does not prepare students adequately for the postgraduate academic careers needed to fill local job openings.
Advocates who are pushing for laws to give parents more control over their children’s schools are raising money and building campaigns around a Hollywood movie that dramatizes the issue, says Reuters. Despite poor reviews for Won’t Back Down, which stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as a mother who takes on the teachers union to reform a failing public school, foundations and activist groups have spent more than $2-million on advocacy efforts tied to the film.
At least once a decade, Hollywood produces a film like Stand and Deliver (1988), Dangerous Minds (1995), or Freedom Writers (2007), spotlighting a teacher whose grit helps students unlock their potential and transcend poverty. The only problem with those kinds of films is that they can reinforce the dangerous myth that poverty is an insurmountable obstacle to learning that can only be overcome by rare hero-teachers. Won't Back Down, Hollywood's latest broken-school flick, subverts that comfortable narrative, which is why it's such an important movie, and why it's drawing so much heat from teachers' unions.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced Sept. 24 that it is granting money to 14 organizations nationwide that are working on postsecondary financial aid solutions. Organizations are involved in business, higher education, civil rights, and public policy. White papers from each of the 14 organizations are expected in early 2013, and will address how financial aid can improve student success rates in college.
Education reform film "Won't Back Down" opened Friday to terrible reviews - and high hopes from activists who expect the movie to inspire parents everywhere to demand big changes in public schools. The drama stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as a spirited mother who teams up with a passionate teacher to seize control of their failing neighborhood school, over the opposition of a self-serving teachers union.
We hear it every day: ‘The success or failure of our education system directly correlates to the success or failure of the U.S. economy.’ We know that learning and mastering essential skills, such as writing and mathematics, in K–12 and postsecondary schooling is crucial to landing a job and excelling in the workforce. Yet, it’s also known that American public schools are failing across the board.
The Central Florida Education Summit will be hosted by the Central Florida Partnership and sponsored by the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, in partnership with the National Chamber Foundation, the Institute for a Competitive Workforce, and the Central Florida Public School Board Coalition.
U.S. News STEM Solutions 2013 will bring together business, education and government leaders who have long recognized the need to connect the dots between STEM education and careers. Adding to last year’s successful conference format, the second edition will give more dedicated time for these leaders to interact and collaborate.