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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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Can Andre Agassi and a Team of Investment Bankers Improve Education (and Turn a Profit)?

The tennis legend is launching a for-profit venture that hopes to leverage $750 million in assets to build 75 charter schools nationwide.

The latest investor in charter schools isn't a tech billionaire or a venture capitalist, it's tennis great Andre Agassi. He's teamed up with an investment banking group to create the Canyon‐Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, a for-profit venture that hopes to leverage $750 million in assets to fund the construction of 75 charter schools nationwide over the next few years.

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Why Can't Hollywood Get Education Right?

The real problems in America's schools are hard to dramatize, so the entertainment industry gives us Cameron Diaz's breasts instead.

If the slate of upcoming movies and TV shows is any indication, the education drama may be the new cop drama. Several new films and series about teachers and schools are set to be unleashed on the masses. Unfortunately, the entertainment industry isn't exactly known for its accurate portrayals of American schools.

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Your Favorite Public Education Reformer Probably Went to Private School

Many of today's prominent education reformers attended private school. Their policies for public schools are a far cry from that experience.

What do some of the nation's most prominent public education reform advocates—Michelle Rhee, Jeb Bush, Bill Gates, President Obama, and Davis Guggenheim—all have in common? They received their K-12 education at private schools. "In Public School Efforts, a Common Background: Private Education" from this Sunday's New York Times spotlights this phenomenon and raises important questions about the discrepancy between the well rounded education these reformers received at elite private schools like Exeter and Sidwell Friends, and what they recommend for other people's children.

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Are You Wearing Red Today for Public Education?

If you support public education, pull your favorite red outfit out of the closet.


Bashing public education became a national sport in 2010, but 2011 is starting out with a show of solidarity for the system and its hardest workers: teachers. Pull your favorite red clothing out of the closet because today, January 4, 2011 is national “Wear Red for Public Ed” day.

In an ironic twist, backlash against Florida’s new Republican Governor Rick Scott inspired the call for the campaign. Led by former Washington, D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, Scott’s education transition team has proposed a slew of controversial ideas-some of which may not even be legal-including reducing school property taxes, ending teacher tenure, and expanding charter schools and voucher programs.

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A 50-state report from the Schott Foundation for Public Education has come to a dispiriting conclusion: public education is failing black male students. Nationwide, the graduation rate for this demographic of students is a paltry 47 percent. And in some major cities, it's perilously low—in New York City and Philadelphia, for example, only 28 percent of black males complete high school on time.

New York state has the worst overall graduation rate for black males at 25 percent. On the other end of the spectrum, amongst states with at least 100,000 black male students in their public schools, New Jersey is able to get nearly 70 percent of these kids through high school on time.

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