The Best of Our Knowledge # 871

The past two weeks, our programs have talked about many issues
involved in the middle school years. 9th grade serves as a bridge
from middle school to high school. As we will hear, 9th grade can be
a very challenging transition year. Students want to leave the younger
children behind, while trying to be more of an adult, like the
upperclassmen. More students drop out in the 9th grade than any
other year of school. At Western Guilford High School in Greensboro,
North Carolina, school administrators took a hard look at the 9th grade
and decided to try a different approach. This is part two in our ten-part documentary series about a typical high school that faces the same
problems as schools all across North America. TBOOK welcomes
you to the Freshman Academy. Subsequent stories from this series
will be broadcast in future shows.
Alison Jones reports. (8:15)

The U.S. Congressional debate about what to do with the No Child
Left Behind reauthorization bill is providing educators an opportunity
to speak out about (what they call) the crisis in America's public high
schools. These educators testifying before Congress are concerned
about the effect the nation's high dropout rate is having on the economy
and future of the country. Task forces and committees are working to
increase graduation rates and the quality of education in hopes every
student is prepared for college or the workplace. To that end, school
districts all across the country are trying to think outside the box
come up with new solutions for so-called failing schools. An example
of how one state is trying to deal with the under-performing school
issue comes from Massachusetts. State education officials there
have given some public schools wide latitude to try new approaches
for improving student learning.
Paul Tuthill reports. (3:31)

Some brand new college graduates this Spring feel even more
victorious than their classmates. That's because their academic
journey has been even more difficult. They've been living a double
life, as a student, and a mother. Everyday life for any mother, but
certainly a single mother, can be a struggle...especially when the
demands of being a college student merge with the responsibility
of being a parent. Women now far outnumber men on most college
and university campuses. For those with young children, the path to
a degree and self-sufficiency is often blocked by obstacles like housing
and child care. In fact, a study just last year from the Equal Opportunity Journal revealed that single mothers attending college face four primary challenges: time-management, child-care, finances, and institutional
climate. TBOOK explores these issues.
Tyease Levers reports. (5:12)