Eye on Education

Amy Hansen

Broadcast Reporter

Amy Hansen is an education reporter/producer for StateImpact Ohio. Amy previously was an enterprise reporter for The Beaver County Times in Western Pennsylvania, where she covered in-depth community issues such as hunger and homelessness. Amy has also worked for WGBH’s FRONTLINE and The Boston Herald. The Pittsburgh native holds an M.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College, where she was the 2013 Journalism Graduate Student of the Year, along with a B.A. in Mass Media Communications from The University of Akron.

  • Email: amy.hansen@ideastream.org
  • Twitter: @_AmyHansen

Discussing Race in The Classroom

NPR’s Education Team spoke with H. Richard Milner, director of the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh, on his new book, Rac(e)ing to Class: Confronting Poverty and Race in Schools and Classrooms, and how teachers can takeaway some context on how to approach race issues in the classroom.

“I believe most educators in general have great intentions, but I do believe they are grossly underprepared for the types of complexity they face every day in school. So, until we get race right, until we get class right, until we get the intersection of race and class correct, we’re going to reap the consequences of it.”

Open up the newspaper or turn on the news these days, and you’ll find plenty of talk about race and racism. But it’s a different story in many classrooms. Some teachers don’t consider race germane to their math or English syllabus. Others strive for colorblindness in the classroom, wanting to believe we live in a post-racial society.

Read more at: www.npr.org

Private Colleges May Be A Good Fit for Low-Income Students

New research says the small class sizes and more personal attention offered at small private colleges may be a better fit for low-income and first generation students, EdWeek reports. Graduation rates, along with higher levels of overall satisfaction, are higher for small school graduates compared to their public school counterparts, the Council for Independent Colleges study points out.

First-generation and low-income students can find the nurturing environment they need to be successful at small private colleges, but too often overlook them as an option, according to a new report released on Wednesday.

Read more at: blogs.edweek.org

Two State Colleges Placed on Fiscal Watch

Central State and Owens Community College are each on the state board of regents’ fiscal watch list, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reports.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Central State University near Dayton and Owens Community College near Toledo have been placed on fiscal watch by the Ohio Board of Regents due to financial problems. It is the first time any public college has received the designation that signifies serious financial problems since a law was passed in 1997 requiring the regents to monitor the fiscal health of the state’s two- and four-year campuses.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

The Politics Behind The Selection of Commencement Speakers

A new season is upon us in higher education–commencement speaker season. As Inside Higher Ed reports, some schools are choosing to shy away from controversial speakers and “play it safe” this year.

When Rutgers University invited Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state, to speak at its commencement ceremony last year, a group of students protested the choice by staging a sit-in on campus. Rutgers’s faculty council passed a resolution urging the university to rescind its invitation to Rice, calling her a “war criminal.”

Read more at: www.insidehighered.com

“I Wish My Teacher Knew” Notes Goes Viral

A Colorado teacher proposed a relatively simple request to her students, prompting them to reveal something they’d like their teacher to know. As ABC News reports, she called some of the responses “heartbreaking,” including one that read “I wish my teacher knew I don’t have pencils at home to do my homework.”

Kyle Schwartz teaches third grade at Doull Elementary in Denver. Although she says her students are a pleasure to look after, the educator of three years adds that many of them come from underprivileged homes. “Ninety-two percent of our students qualify for free and reduced lunch,” Schwartz tells ABC News.

Read more at: abcnews.go.com

The Stories Behind Brutus

It’s one of the most recognizable collegiate mascots, especially here in Ohio: Brutus the Buckeye. The Columbus Dispatch spoke with a few former students who portrayed the mascot, along with the lessons they learned.

Emily Williams has two lasting memories from her years serving as Ohio State University mascot Brutus Buckeye – one that happened on a football field and the other on a deathbed. “Being on the field when we won the 2002 national championship was exhilarating,” Williams said.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

Former Cleveland Schools CEO Under Federal Investigation

Following a seven year stint as the CEO of Cleveland Metropolitan School District and a similar position in Detroit, Barbara Byrd-Bennett became CEO of Chicago Public Schools in 2012. Now, federal investigators are looking into the circumstances surrounding a $20.5 million contract given to a business that she used to work for, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Federal authorities are investigating Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and a $20.5 million contract the district awarded on a no-bid basis to a training academy that formerly employed her, sources said. The ongoing federal investigation follows a long-running probe by the district inspector general’s office into the contract given to the SUPES Academy.

Read more at: www.chicagotribune.com

Teach For America’s Recruitment Struggle

Since its inception in 1990, Teach For America has placed more than 33,000 educators in low-income districts across the country. But now, as PBS Newshour reports, the program is struggling to recruit new candidates.

Since the organization began in the 1990, Teach For America has sent more than 33,000 participants to lead classrooms in low-income, high-need communities. The competitive program has been a top choice for college grads, but recently it’s had more trouble with recruiting.

Read more at: www.pbs.org

Cleveland Schools CEO Talks the Cleveland Plan, Charters, And The Future

Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon

Bill Rice

Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon

At the annual State of the Schools address last fall, Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon called 2013-14 the “year of disruption that yielded tangible results.”

The majority of that speech centered around the progress of the district’s plan to transform the city’s schools, also known as the Cleveland Plan.

We checked in with Gordon earlier this week for a conversation that included a refresher on the cornerstones of the plan, the district’s relationships with charter schools, and what type of work still needs to be done.

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