Educators are debating how to address studies that have repeatedly shown that boys are lagging girls in reading skills -- and perhaps overall academically -- writes Bard College assistant professor Michael Sadowski. Some point to wider achievement gaps based on race and income as they question whether a "boy crisis" exists, while others suggest the gender gap may be at least partially attributable to a lack of "boy-friendly" content in curricula. Sadowski suggests that working to help all struggling readers may ultimately be the best way to close achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates promoted charter schools as an important model for improving education, but urged charters to be accountable for the success of their students. "The deal that allowed for the autonomy really has to be a real deal," Gates told attendees of the National Charter Schools Conference. "The freedom to perform in new ways meant that if you don't perform that things are shut down after being given a chance."
More than 1,000 Chicago students in public high schools received diplomas this year with the help of an online credit-recovery program. The program allowed students to make up required credits at their own pace -- rather than retaking the courses at school with the same teacher -- and kept them on track for graduation. An online mentor provided through the district guided students through the program.
An arbitrator ruled that some 600 teachers in 22 Cleveland public schools will not have to reapply for their jobs as part of a school-transformation plan being implemented by schools chief Eugene Sanders. "This decision does not derail the transformation plan, but it does help to ensure a smoother school opening for Cleveland's students," said Cleveland Teachers Union President David Quolke. A district spokesman said, however, that many teachers will be reassigned because of the closure of 16 schools.
Amazon has released the newest version of its Kindle DX e-reader, cutting the price from $489 to $379. The device has gotten mixed reviews as a textbook replacement in education. At one university, students complained about the lack of a touch screen and said that any device should have a browser built in. An executive from a textbook publisher said he does not expect e-readers to replace textbooks soon. "When you take away color from a biology textbook, it sort of kills it," he said.