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Why Alternative Education Needs to Go Mainstream

Dropouts in alternative programs get a personalized learning experience. Maybe if they had that in the first place they wouldn't leave school.

Research shows that alternative education—small learning communities, individualized, personalized instruction, a low student-teacher ratio, and support for pregnant or parenting students—works to get dropouts back on track. But ironically, notes creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson, current education reform efforts like the federal No Child Left Behind Act are "rooted in standardization" even though we know that a quality education should "be about personalization."

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What If the Notorious B.I.G. Hadn't Dropped Out of High School?

Rapper Christoper Wallace was murdered 14 years ago today. He dropped out of school in 1989, and his Brooklyn high school is still a dropout factory.


The name "Christopher Wallace" has been in Twitter's top ten trending topics today. That's because it's the 14th anniversary of the Notorious B.I.G.'s unsolved 1997 murder. His superior lyrics and flow still garner him a top spot on virtually every "Greatest Rappers of All Time" list. But, despite his talent with words, the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, native was a high school dropout.

Wallace didn't drop out because he wasn't smart. In fact, he was known throughout his middle school years at the Roman Catholic Queen of All Saints Middle School as a high-achieving, excellent student. No surprise, he was a stand-out in English class and even won several awards. He initially attended a parochial school, Bishop Loughlin Memorial, for high school but later switched to the public George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High. At Westinghouse, Wallace was chronically truant and, in 1989 at the age of 17, he left school to sell drugs.

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Pennsylvania School Levies Insane Fines for Ditching

How would you like to get a $27,000 fine if your kid missed school? That's what's going down in Lebanon, PA—and a lawsuit plans to stop it.


What happens when a school district cares more about money than it does about kids? It levies insane—as in $27,000 for one student—truancy fines. That's the kind of penalties the Lebanon, Pennsylvania, school district's been imposing on students and their families, and now they're facing a federal lawsuit over the practice.

The class action suit filed by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia on behalf of four parents and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People says that Lebanon School District's truancy fines are "excessive and illegal" and are unfairly applied to minority families.

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