Tue July 28, 2015

Is This The Beginning Of The End For The SAT and ACT?

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 4:38 pm

Carol McMullen-Pettit (right), a Premier Tutor at The Princeton Review, goes over SAT test preparation with 11th-grader Suzane Nazir in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Many high schoolers hoping to attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C., one of the top private universities in the country, breathed a sigh of relief this week.

GWU announced it will no longer require applicants to take the SAT or ACT.

The move comes after the school formed a task force to study the pros and cons of going "test-optional." GWU attracts lots of high-achieving students who do well on both exams, but the task force concluded that the school's reliance on these tests was excluding some high-achieving students who simply don't test well.

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Tue July 28, 2015
American Graduate

Here's A Unique Approach To Keep Kids In High School: Pay Them

Courtesy of the Student Recovery Program

While many of their friends are hanging out at the mall or playing video games at home during the summer, about 40 high school sophomores and juniors are spending their vacation days in class. But unlike a typical summer school… this program actually pays them to be there.

One thing these students all have in common is that they're all Latino males who attend either Northridge or Greeley Central High School. Another common characteristic: they're all considered at high risk of dropping out of school before getting a diploma.

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Tue July 28, 2015

The Struggle To Breathe Life Back Into Empty Schools

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 12:37 pm

Eliot Elementary in St. Louis, Mo., closed 10 years ago. The building remains empty.
Tim Lloyd/ St. Louis Public Radio

Virginia Savage lives in a part of north St. Louis, Mo., that's filled with vacant buildings, including Marshall Elementary. It has been closed for years now, and vines crawl into the building's smashed-out windows. The playground is littered with empty liquor bottles.

Savage went to school at Marshall as a young girl, and now she sees bigger problems beyond all those blemishes: "Drug dealers, drug users, eyesore. That's what I see."

In St. Louis, the student enrollment is one-fourth the size it was in the 1960s. That drop has led the district to close 30 or so schools.

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Tue July 28, 2015

The 'Swim Whisperer' Teaches Kids To Be Water-Safe

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 3:35 pm

Cooper is known as the Swim Whisperer. He's been teaching swimming full-time since 1995.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

If you looked at the children at the edge of Conrad Cooper's pool, you'd think you were watching an ad for something. Jell-O, maybe. Or a breakfast cereal kids like. They're that cute.

They're lined up on the steps in the shallow end, 10 little ones, ranging from age 2 to 5. The boys are in board trunks, many wearing rash-guard shirts like the weekend surfers they might become years from now. The girls wear bright one-piece suits and two-pieces that show their childish potbellies.

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Mon July 27, 2015

The Toughest Job In Education? Maybe Not

Originally published on Mon July 27, 2015 4:50 pm

Rosie The Assistant Principal?
LA Johnson/NPR

It's been a theory of mine that the assistant principal has the toughest job in education.

I got that idea a long time ago, when I was a student teacher at a middle school.

It seemed the assistant principal's job goes something like this:

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