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Philissa Cramer is managing editor of Chalkbeat. She previously co-founded GothamSchools, now Chalkbeat New York, and was its bureau chief until 2014.
choice for most
2 days ago
14 percent of U.S. schools accepting vouchers have anti-LGBT policies, according to new investigation
The story’s analysis and conclusions map closely to those of an investigation we published this summer into how Indiana schools that accept vouchers treat LGBT students.
Follow the money
December 4, 2017
What does the federal tax bill mean for schools and families? These stories can help you understand
These changes include a provision to allow families to use 529 savings accounts to pay for K-12 private schools.
November 24, 2017
Gracious students, baking adventures, and kindergarten babies: what Chalkbeat readers say they’re appreciating this year
For people who mark their lives by the school-year calendar, Thanksgiving comes at exactly the right moment to pause and appreciate everything that's going right.
October 30, 2017
Coming soon (and hiring now): Chalkbeat in Chicago and Newark
We have some exciting news: After hearing from community leaders across the country, we’ve selected the next two places where we’ll launch Chalkbeat coverage.
Detroit week in review
October 27, 2017
Week in review: The future coming into focus for Detroit’s schools
Enrollment in the Detroit district is up, but charter leaders call for more collaboration between their institutions and the city district
October 19, 2017
School-by-school TNReady scores for 2017 are out now. See how your school performed
Nearly six months after Tennessee students sat down for their end-of-year tests, all of the scores are now out. State officials released the final…
October 16, 2017
To promote virtual schools, Betsy DeVos cites a graduate who’s far from the norm
Just days after Politico published a scathing story about virtual charters' track record in Pennsylvania, DeVos was touting their successes.
October 11, 2017
Read these 4 great education stories by new ‘Genius’ grant winner Nikole Hannah-Jones
Hannah-Jones later added: "Very few things in life leave me speechless. Getting this call did."
October 2, 2017
These 5 New York City charter networks are getting $23M from the feds to expand
The five New York City winners are Ascend Learning, East Harlem Tutorial Program, Family Life Academy Charter Schools, Great Oaks Foundation, and Success Academy.
September 28, 2017
Six New York City schools get ‘Blue Ribbon’ designation for their high test scores
The designation does not bring any financial rewards, but it is considered a feather in the cap for schools that earn it.
that was weird
September 17, 2017
The D.C. school system had a pitch-perfect response after John Oliver made #DCPublicSchools trend on Twitter
The hashtag was officially trending less than a minute after Oliver urged viewers of the Emmys to use it.
a chalkbeat cheat sheet
September 17, 2017
In new memoir, Eva Moskowitz offers a look behind the curtain at Success Academy — and tries to reshape her reputation
It’s clear that the goal for Moskowitz, who runs New York City’s largest, most controversial network of charter schools, is not just score-settling.
devos on tour
September 14, 2017
The tiny Nebraska private school Betsy DeVos visited today offered some quiet protest
When DeVos stopped by the Omaha school Thursday as part of her “Rethink School” tour, she encountered a bit of resistance.
September 8, 2017
The plot (to buy a Detroit school building) thickens: Efforts to keep sold property from housing charter schools might have become illegal
Any restriction might have been rendered void in a law that took effect in July.
September 5, 2017
Teachers protected by DACA launch a new school year under a threatening cloud
“Many of our teachers if not all showed up to school this morning because they know they have a responsibility to their students."
August 13, 2017
How the education world is reacting to racist violence in Charlottesville — and to Trump’s muted response
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stood out on social media for criticizing what happened but not placing blame on anyone in particular.
Detroit week in review
August 11, 2017
Week in review: A hurry-up-and-wait moment for Detroit’s landmark education lawsuit and more in this week’s school news
If the suit does move forward, it’s likely to take years to have any real effects on local schools.
August 10, 2017
Lawsuit over poor conditions in Detroit schools gets its first day in court, as state officials seek to end it
It could be a month before a judge rules whether the lawsuit can proceed over Gov. Rick Snyder's objections.
change over time
August 9, 2017
Why do New York City educators not get paid family leave? A teacher’s petition reignites a fight
Teachers union members must use their own accrued sick days to take time off after having a child.
August 4, 2017
Here’s Detroit’s slimmed-down testing schedule, which Vitti says is only a first step in reducing pressure
High school students will see the greatest impact of the changes this year, but more changes could come to schools in the future, Vitti said.
August 2, 2017
An unexpected effect of the Common Core: facilitating Jared Kushner’s political awakening
Kushner said hearing criticism of the Common Core on the campaign trail made him "explore my positions."
July 28, 2017
A new study helps explain why parents who were once in prison are less involved in their kids’ schools — and what could make a difference
The new study finds that the effects of incarceration can extend long after parents are released.
money money money
July 27, 2017
New York City teachers get news they’ve been waiting for: how much money they’ll receive for classroom supplies
New York City teachers will each get $250 this year to spend on classroom supplies — more than they've ever gotten through the city's reimbursement program before.
July 27, 2017
Tennessee high schoolers post higher test scores, but some subjects remain a struggle
The increases were modest on average, but sharp for some of the students who have historically struggled most.
July 10, 2017
Meet Bene Cipolla, who’s inaugurating a new Chalkbeat chapter as our first-ever executive editor
Executive editor is a position we were once too small to need, but now find ourselves too big to live without. And we’ve found the perfect person for the role in Bene.
Week In Review
June 30, 2017
The week in review: Goodbye, EAA and master teachers. Hello, Alycia Meriweather and Big Sean
Long-struggling schools in a special turnaround district are returning to Detroit’s district — just as new schools chief Nikolai Vitti shakes up the central administration.
access to what
June 27, 2017
This new report underscores a big challenge facing New York City’s college graduation aspirations
A new report looking at what happened to students who graduated under Bloomberg raises questions about Mayor Blasio's approach to getting more students to college.
June 3, 2017
Coming soon: a new mega-study on community schools and an award for NYC
The study from the Learning Policy Institute will summarize 125 other pieces of research about the approach, which floods schools with resources to meet their students' personal needs.
May 17, 2017
Report: Trump education budget would create a Race to the Top for school choice
The Trump administration appears to be going ahead with a $1 billion effort to push districts to allow school choice, according to a report in the Washington Post.
A new way
May 17, 2017
Tennessee considers a new approach for getting local schools to improve: working with them
The State Department of Education is eyeing Chattanooga for Tennessee's first foray into a “partnership zone” approach.
Compare and Contrast
May 16, 2017
Two states, two free-college programs. New York’s has more fine print and less support
What can New York learn from Tennessee's experience? The New York Times offered some insights, and we add others.
as goes memphis
May 12, 2017
Memphis’s new municipal districts reflect a broader trend: school district secessions
When six suburban school districts pulled out of the newly merged Shelby County Schools district in 2014, they joined a much broader trend.
April 28, 2017
Three Indianapolis schools recognized for diversity, but local efforts to integrate are still underway
Among this year's 244 "National Magnet Schools of Distinction" are Center for Inquiry Schools 2, 27, and 84, all part of the Indianapolis Public Schools district.
van wert alert
April 19, 2017
Four things to know about Van Wert, the tiny Ohio school district where DeVos and Weingarten will form an uneasy duo
A small city in rural Ohio will host a high-stakes education summit on Thursday.
April 7, 2017
Detroit school board pushes special meeting to discuss superintendent off until Thursday
When the Detroit school board on Thursday scheduled a special meeting for next week, it seemed like a sign that a vote for superintendent was near.
devos on divides
March 29, 2017
Another Indianapolis school gets Betsy DeVos’s seal of approval, this time for being diverse
School choice can produce school diversity, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Wednesday — citing an Indianapolis private school as evidence.
March 15, 2017
Before Trump speaks in Nashville, here are five things to know about school choice in Tennessee
Tennessee is a battleground state in the debate over school tuition vouchers, and has seen steady growth in its charter school sector since 2003.
March 14, 2017
Yes, Congress scrapped Obama-era education rules. But states say little is changing
What is changing? A requirement for states to get input from community members. But that doesn't mean input is being scrapped, either.
March 13, 2017
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says Indianapolis’s ‘innovation schools’ should be a national model
In Betsy DeVos's dream world, more schools would operate the way one in Indianapolis hopes to.
March 9, 2017
Former Indiana school choice official lands in Betsy DeVos’s education department
Neil Ruddock joined the department in early February after several years working at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's foundation, according to ProPublica.
February 27, 2017
#PublicSchoolProud has its Oscar moment as ‘La La Land’ songwriter shouts out his schools
The acceptance speech: "I was educated in public schools, where arts and culture were valued and recognized and resourced."
February 21, 2017
A 60-year-old group that places volunteers in New York City schools is shutting down
Learning Leaders' executive director: "We regret the vacuum that will be created by our closure."
February 16, 2017
Betsy DeVos’s first week at the U.S. Education Department: What you need to know
She’s having trouble getting into schools, inspired some people to jump into public service, and is still attracting attention far beyond the usual education audience.
school for love
February 14, 2017
Long hours, shared goals, and unbelievable stories: Why so many teachers fall in love with each other
According to recent U.S. Census data, the most common marriages in America are between two grade-school teachers.
school for love
February 13, 2017
A three-year secret relationship, three TFA marriages, and other love stories from school
This Valentine’s Day, Chalkbeat is looking at the love stories that launch in teachers’ lounges, training sessions, and after-school happy hours every year.
school for love
February 10, 2017
School sweethearts: Stories of true love between teachers, drawn from America’s classrooms
This Valentine’s Day, Chalkbeat is looking at the love stories that launch in teachers’ lounges and after-school happy hours every year.
February 7, 2017
Worried Betsy DeVos could ‘destroy’ public education? Here’s what you should know
Here’s what you should read to start getting a handle on the possibilities.
Rise & Shine
February 3, 2017
While you were waking up, the U.S. Senate took a big step toward confirming Betsy DeVos as education secretary
The unusual early-morning vote to "invoke cloture" is meant to end a pitched debate that has swayed two Republicans against DeVos.
January 9, 2017
What we’ll be listening for at the confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education pick
Where she stands on education policy issues beyond school choice, for one.
the next four years
December 8, 2016
Trump says he’ll ‘work something out’ for Dreamers, adding to uncertainty for undocumented teachers
"To me that's someone gambling with my life and my future, and emotionally it is so difficult."
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