Closures signal perfect storm for public schools
Protesters march in Chicago, where 48 public elementary schools are being closed this summer.
June 7th, 2013
11:46 AM ET

Closures signal perfect storm for public schools

By Nova Safo, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @nova_safo

Chicago, Illinois (CNN) - When Chicago students return to school after summer break, they will do so in 48 fewer elementary schools. The city is closing a record number of schools to deal with a $1 billion budget shortfall.

The closures are just the latest in a string of public school closings around the country, according to Emily Dowdall of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Dowdall has been looking into the causes of public school closures:

[4:08] "And those are a decline in the school-age population, the rise in charter school enrollment, and finally, tight budgets that are forcing districts to act."

In Chicago, the schools that are being closed are in mostly African-American neighborhoods, where the recession has hit hard. Lack of jobs and rising crime have driven out many middle class families, and their school-aged kids have gone with them. FULL POST

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Filed under: Education • Soundwaves • Stories
April 4th, 2013
01:07 PM ET

Atlanta schools head looks beyond cheating scandal

By Tommy Andres, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - This week, 35 former Atlanta Public Schools (APS) teachers and administrators, including the former superintendent, Beverly Hall, turned themselves into police. They were indicted on charges ranging from racketeering to theft, all tied to a district-wide cheating scandal dating back to 2009 test scores.  It's been described as the largest school cheating scheme in the history of the United States.

The teachers are accused of erasing and changing standardized test answers to improve scores. Those scores are tied closely to state and federal funding as well as teacher bonuses.

The arrests were another step towards closure of a three year saga that's left an indelible mark on Atlanta.

Errol Davis took over as superintendent when Beverly Hall resigned in 2011. It was only days before the cheating scandal became public.

CNN Radio interviewed Davis about his journey through the scandal and about changes he's made on testing security at Atlanta's public schools.

[3:03]  "We have put in clear expectations, we have trained people, we have put in testing protocols, we have automatic triggers now for investigations when we see test scores go in one direction or another."

Davis also started mandatory annual ethics training for all APS employees. He makes no excuses for the cheating scandal and when asked where the responsibility lies, he told CNN:

[4:07]  "It's a very simple mantra. All failures  are leadership failures and what I see in this entire milieu is failure at every level"

Before becoming superintendent of APS,  Davis was chancellor of  the University System of Georgia.  He had also been a Chairman of the Board at Alliant Energy Corporation.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

CNN Profiles: Bully Proof 2013
A still from "The Bully," a 1952 instructional film about how to handle bullying. Sixty years since, Emily Bazelon writes that we need to redefine what bullying really is to better deal with it.
March 8th, 2013
11:11 AM ET

CNN Profiles: Bully Proof 2013

Hosted by Michael Schulder

Follow Michael at: www.wavemaker.me

Editor's Note: Listen to the full interview in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - When the CNN Profiles guest booking producers recommended we interview Emily Bazelon about her new book on bullying I was reluctant.

Sure, Bazelon is a household name to those of us who read Slate – which is not a household name.

And she has great credentials, not limited to her law degree from Yale.

But I have bully fatigue. There has been so much news coverage of the issue these past few years.

Nevertheless, I read Bazelon's "Sticks and Stones" and it changed my perspective on bullying, whether it's encountered  in person or online.


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Filed under: Behavior • CNN Profiles • Culture • Education • Voices
January 28th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

NYC hit with huge wave of homelessness

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @SkastenbaumCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – New York City is experiencing its largest wave of homelessness since the Great Depression.

The spike started following cuts to a government rent subsidy program. Ironically, the impact of having to provide shelter to more than 20,000 homeless children each night is costing the city more money than the cost of the subsidies.

[3:37] “It costs $36,000 a year to shelter a homeless family in New York City. In comparison, a rental voucher is $10,000 a year. So it’s more than three times more expensive to have that family in shelter than it is to give that family permanent housing,” said Patrick Markee, a policy analyst at the non-profit Coalition for the Homeless.


College rapes: the new rules
Campuses across the nation are thinking though how to implement new Title IX guidelines about sexual violence.
December 4th, 2012
10:44 AM ET

College rapes: the new rules

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

Editor's note: Listen to our podcast in the above player to hear the complete story.

(CNN) - Georgia Turner grew up in a small town in eastern Kentucky. She studied hard, she played played soccer and she didn't even consider going to a party until she got to college.

The petite sophomore recalls her excitement to start classes at the University of Louisville. She even paid to move in early. Then, one August night two years ago, she went to a party, her first, with some people she'd just met. That's all she remembers from the night. The next morning she felt awful.

[2:30] "I had bruises all over my body. I really knew, it's just a feeling you know and I knew I'd been raped."


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Filed under: Education • Justice • Stories
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