The Holberton School, a San Francisco "start-up" university with a two-year curriculum, aims to provide an affordable and estimable computer science education while removing barriers to knowledge -- age, gender, ethnicity, past professional life -- typically confronted by minority and low-income students across the nation. And by "teaching the population frozen out of the internet age, meaning people of color, women, and the non-wealthy," Holberton demonstrates how altered admissions processes and atypical, low-cost tuition plans imbue the tech sector's workforce with a more diverse array of high-quality, qualified candidates than those typically recruited from elite universities like Stanford or CalTech.
Part 3 of 3 in Series "The Social Wall: Universal Lessons in Berlin's Attempt to Integrate Schools" - A progressive funding model has been a boon to schools in Berlin’s poorer neighborhoods, which receive a baseline of staff and resources. But schools in poorer neighborhoods face a myriad of struggles that additional resources haven’t been able to quell, due to the deep socioeconomic disparities between the home neighborhoods of wealthy and poor students. However, one elementary school seems to have succeeded in desegregating students by offering a choice of academic tracks that, in the long run, better diversify classrooms.
Part 2 of 3 in Series "The Social Wall: Universal Lessons in Berlin's Attempt to Integrate Schools" - A progressive funding model has been a boon to schools in Berlin’s poorer neighborhoods, which receive a baseline of staff and resources. But schools in poorer neighborhoods face a myriad of struggles that additional resources haven’t been able to quell, due to the deep socioeconomic disparities between the home neighborhoods of wealthy and poor students. This "social wall" lies exactly along the lines of the once physical Berlin wall and now divide the haves and have-nots.
Part 1 of 3 in Series "The Social Wall: Universal Lessons in Berlin's Attempt to Integrate Schools" - A progressive funding model has been a boon to schools in Berlin’s poorer neighborhoods, which receive a baseline of staff and resources that would make them the envy of many of their counterparts in Pennsylvania. But schools in poorer neighborhoods face a myriad of struggles that additional resources haven’t been able to quell, due to the deep socioeconomic disparities between the home neighborhoods of wealthy and poor students. This "social wall" lies exactly along the lines of the once physical Berlin wall and now divide the haves and have-nots.
Despite comprising a third of the population, poor and minority students are drastically underrepresented in gifted education programs across the nation, even if their academic performance is on-par with their white peers. Federal Way Public Academy in Washington has re-examined its methods for finding academically talented kids and is changing the numbers.
In Latvia, a new software-Edurio- helps educators learn from insights that go beyond grades by surveying students, families and teachers. This allows for fast feedback and alterations to improve educational experience.
Community College Students, an often overlooked demographic, often suffer from low completion rates. Colleges across the country are using a guided pathways model, emphasizing features like full time enrollment, block scheduling, and meta majors to address specific completion barriers this demographic faces.
High school drop out rates, especially for Black and Hispanic students, are alarmingly low, which led North High School in Minneapolis to rebuild the school model resulting in a dramatically increased graduation rate. Through daily advisory periods with teachers, a community of peer support, close contact between teachers and parents, and outside guidance the school has seen overwhelming improvement.
At Georgia State University in Atlanta, a couple of hundred dollars can often be the tipping point for if a student can graduate or not. To address this issue and to further help low income students, the college has implemented a retention grant system, providing these essential funds to get students over the finish line.
In Scandinavian countries where the sun doesn’t rise very high during the winter the residents are more prone to seasonal affective disorder. A town square In Norway, has mounted mirrors that create a high sun affect for two hours a day and schools are waking the students up during the wintertime with artificial lights in the classroom that mimic the light intensity cycle of a summer day.
Adapting tactics that have helped persuade homeowners to use less electricity by comparing them to their neighbors, schools in Tacoma and other school districts across the nation are trying to boost student attendance with “nudge” letters. These nudges compare students’ attendance rates with school and district averages. Research has shown that the nudges reduces chronic absenteeism.
The Wildwood School District has implemented programs during and after school hours to help provide nutritious meals to students living with hunger and poverty, while also teaching the children invaluable skills such as sewing and gardening to help create better future opportunities.
In low-income districts, the school nurse is often a family’s first health care provider, and the role at places like Wildwood High School and Glenwood Avenue School has expanded to provide everything from warm coats and food donations for children and their families living in hunger.
Conflicts of interest have made school lunch meals the dumping ground for the cheap calories our modern agricultural system was designed to overproduce. Many programs are trying to improve school lunches, such as the Community Eligibility Provision which allows schools in high poverty areas to provide free meals to all students, allowing more money to be spent on cooks and food instead of who qualifies.
In a globalized world, increased focus has been put on expanding the frequently under-studied global competency component of American Student's education. By integrating lessons on this type of global thinking and knowledge into common courses, educators across the country are attempting to remedy this lack of global competency.
Schools in Connecticut are facing serious challenges with allocation of finances and resources that have dramatically affected their ability to provide programs such as after school curriculum to students, disproportionately in poor neighborhoods. There are several potential solutions, including more just distribution of funding and increased transparency in the system.
Dozens of colleges are vaulting thousands of low-income students into the middle class and beyond, allowing children from poorer families to enjoy brighter futures, and yet are being starved of funding.
In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically cut by the 'Youth in Iceland' program that institutted a curfew for children, promoted greater parental involvement, and involvement in extra curriculars. Now the questions is, why are other places not following suit?
Despite a few remaining flaws to overcome, models for free community college in Chicago and Tennessee are serving as beacons for the rest of the nation in a time when many are calling for higher education to be more accessible to better bolster the American workforce. What can Pennsylvania draw from their successes?
The Parent-Child Home Program in the Seattle area is helping close the achievement gap in poor and at-risk families by giving 2 and 3 year-olds a jump start in early education. By pairing parents with a trained educator, the program is helping children in low-income and immigrant families perform on par with their white and wealthier peers years later, improving graduation rates and potentially even salary and healthy lifestyles in the long term.
Research is recognizing that to help women graduate from career programs additional supports and services are needed such as child care, domestic violence aid and emergency cash assistance. Programs, such as The Brighton Center, provide systems of support where students can list additional supports they need and receive the help they need to graduate.
Detroit has been in the middle of a school system crisis, but has recently implemented the Montessori Method at schools across the city and its having a positive impact. The classrooms are more diverse and children and parents are happy. Now the question is, will the state be able to financially support it for longer.
Detroit's school system has historically lacked funding to make any great changes and parents oftentimes look to the suburbs and private schools for education. With a new Montessori program in the Detroit public schools, more parents are being attracted to the public system and are willing to fight for it.