High schools

Author discusses her new book about improving the role of high school counselors

Author discusses her new book about making school counseling reach its full potential.

New study shows widespread grade inflation in high schools

The wealthier the high school, the higher the grades.

Study finds mixed impact of dual enrollment

Texas study confirms many theories about why such programs encourage college enrollment and completion, but also identifies frustrations of both students and faculty members.

Community college enrollment rates expected to keep falling

Some researchers are warning community colleges that enrollment isn't expected to improve, even as they grapple with declines in state funding and demand for better performance and outcomes.


New York City mayor sets off new debate on testing, admissions and diversity

New front opens in battle over diversity and testing as mayor of New York City seeks to abolish use of test to admit students to some of the country's top high schools.

Ball State Control of School District Wins OK

Ball State University is officially taking over the financially challenged local school district in its home of Muncie, Ind., after the state’s governor signed a measure last week that was approved during a special legislative session.

The university’s board then voted to take on the task of running the district Wednesday. Ball State will appoint a seven-member school board for Muncie by July 1. That university-appointed board will operate Muncie Community Schools.

“They do not report to me,” Ball State president Geoffrey Mearns said, according to Indiana Public Media. “They’ll report to the public. They are a public school board -- they’ll have public meetings the way any school board would. Again, the only difference is how they get to that seat, not how they operate once they’re in that position.”

Ball State leaders had expected the plan to pass earlier this year because it was being advanced by Indiana’s Republican-controlled Legislature. It proved divisive amid concerns about local control and union rights, and time ran out on the takeover plan before lawmakers could approve it during their scheduled 2018 session, which ended in March.

The legislation that ultimately passed gives Ball State the choice between recognizing or not recognizing the existing Muncie Teachers Association as the collective-bargaining agent for teachers, The Star-Press reported. Ball State will chose one school board member from a group of three nominees chosen by the Muncie mayor and one from a group of three nominated by its city council.

Ball State’s interim provost, Marilyn Buck, will be the university’s main liaison to the school system.

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Bard College and Brooklyn Public Library open free satellite university for disadvantaged students

Bard College opens its second "microcollege" in Brooklyn Public Library. The free program, which selects ambitious applicants from underprivileged backgrounds, culminates in an associate's degree.


Institutions grapple with accreditor's changes to dual-credit instruction

States and institutions are still working out incentives and programs to get dual-credit instructors qualified to meet a change in accreditation standards.


Lawmakers Complain, Tennessee Chattanooga Fires Reporter

After pushback from Tennessee lawmakers about how a journalist handled herself while reporting on the state’s transgender bathroom access legislation, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga fired the journalist, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

The journalist, Jacqui Helbert, worked for WUTC, an NPR affiliate station that receives funding from UTC.

Earlier this month, Helbert was reporting on Tennessee’s “bathroom bill,” which would have required all students in the state, including transgender students, to use restrooms and dressing rooms that match the gender on their birth certificates. The bill failed last week.

As part of the reporting for her story, Helbert went with a group of high school students to the state capital, where they met with state senators about the bill.

At the meeting, Helbert held a 22-inch fuzzy microphone, headphones and other recording equipment in a crowd of 20 or so high school students, but she did not explicitly declare herself a journalist to lawmakers. When her story aired, the lawmakers accused Helbert of failing to abide by journalistic ethics.

“It was glaringly obvious who I was,” said Helbert, who also wore an NPR press pass openly at the event.

Lawmakers, including State Senator Kevin Brooks, said the information shared during the meeting with high schoolers was not intended to be public.

“I don’t recall anyone having recording gear at all, or anyone looking or feeling like a reporter,” Brooks said. “I was meeting with kids. These were young children.”

In a meeting the following week, lawmakers met with UTC officials to discuss a separate matter. However, during this meeting, they discussed concerns about Helbert’s story, noting that UTC receives state funding.

The Times Free Press reported that UTC provided $510,000 to WUTC in 2016.

On Friday, the university released a statement about its decision to terminate Helbert.

“The university's decision to release the employee from the station was based on a violation of journalism ethics,” the statement said. “We believe the news-gathering process must be conducted in a manner that instills trust in the public. Failure to do so undermines journalistic credibility just as much as inaccurate information. We strive to maintain the faith of our listeners and the community we serve.”

Helbert’s story has since been removed from the WUTC website.

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