GOOD

GOOD Ideas for Cities: Increasing Parental Involvement

Parental involvement is just as important as a good teacher. How can a city implement a stronger connection between parents and schools?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ht2wtnya3C8

Conversations around improving education largely focus on ideas for improving schools and teachers. But it has been proven that dedicated parental involvement is just as important for students. How could a city implement a stronger connection between parents and schools? As part of GOOD Ideas for Cities Cincinnati, the Cincinatives team tackled a challenge to increase parental interaction during one of the most important periods of a student's career—early childhood education. Their program, Home Room, focuses on showing parents that everyday, at-home experiences can turn into learning opportunities. A group of trusted community advocates across the city from churches and nonprofits would serve as advisors, holding workshops and serving as a resource for parents. Additionally, Home Room would create a series of learning tools, from apps to flashcards, which would help parents to add lessons to everyday activities.

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Almost Half of Detroit Residents Are Functionally Illiterate

Forty-seven percent of Motor City residents can't fill out a job application or read a newspaper.

A new report, Addressing Detroit's Basic Skills Crisis, (PDF) from the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund has some pretty shocking statistics about literacy in the Motor City. Forty-seven percent of adults in Detroit are functionally illiterate. That means almost half of residents can't do basic things like read a newspaper, fill out a job application or other forms, or understand the instructions on a medicine bottle.

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Yellow School Bus on the Loose: A Cross-Country Trip to Save Public Schools

Four young entrepreneurs are on a 10,000-mile journey to learn how they can best help schools before giving money.

Can four guys touring the nation in a yellow school bus help raise awareness of the problems facing public education, and fund projects for schools along the way? That's the goal of the Educate Responsibly Tour which is visiting 15 cities and 20 schools across America during the month of April.

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Will States' Varying Expectations Imperil Common Standards?

The gap between stats' expectations of student performance dwarfs the achievement gap.


To date, 38 states have adopted the proposed Common Core State Standards Initiative put forth by the National Governors Association. A new report (PDF) from the American Institutes of Research (AIR) shows how important getting the last 12 states to sign on is by pointing out the vast gulf between the student performance expectations that currently exist between states.

According to its methodology, which sought to evaluate states' standards against international ones, only Massachusetts and South Carolina expect world class performances of their students. Massachusetts is comparable to Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong in fourth-grade reading; on par with Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Russian Federation, and Canada in fourth-grade math; and competitive with South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong in eighth-grade math. South Carolina maintains world class standards in fourth-grade math and eighth-grade reading.

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