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Cincinnati Public Schools Faces Community Backlash

Anne lise Sylta

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The Cincinnati Public School Board is considering a budget plan that could merge several schools, leading to a $100 million budget shortfall. This proposal has caused a stir in the community, with parents, teachers, and residents raising their concerns and frustrations.

Community Outcry at School Board Meeting

A recent school board meeting, lasting over two hours, saw many locals speak out against the school merger plans. They were particularly worried about the potential combinations of schools in neighborhoods like Walnut Hills, Avondale, and Madisonville. Dr. Charles Dillard, an 89-year-old retired physician who graduated from Frederick Douglass Elementary, spoke about the school’s long history and its importance to the area, saying it’s “more than just a building.”

Mona Jenkins, who leads the Walnut Hills Area Council, slammed the school board for not involving the community enough when making decisions. She pointed out that the people most impacted by the merging of Frederick Douglass Elementary with Evanston Academy weren’t properly told about it.

Survey Findings and Superintendent’s Reaction

The board members answered criticism about the lack of community involvement by mentioning 17 sessions they held to engage with locals. A survey from these sessions showed that more than half supported the idea of consolidating schools. Nevertheless, CPS Superintendent Iranetta Wright was taken aback by the level of concern regarding these plans and recognized the necessity for more conversations with the community.

Budget Constraints and Federal Funding

The heated debates come at a time when there are serious money problems.

The district is facing a serious financial issue as it won’t get any more money from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. This fund gave around $98.6 million this school year. Without extra money from the federal government for next year, the district needs to find ways to manage its budget. This includes planning to cut spending by $22.9 million.

Specific Plans to Combine Schools

  • Merging Evanston and Frederick Douglass Elementary Schools might save us close to $1.5 million on staff and bus costs.
  • Putting South Avondale Elementary together with Rockdale Academy could cut our spending by about $1.4 million.

These ideas are part of a bigger strategy to fix our budget issues and also change the school district to help kids move from elementary through to high school better.

The Significance of Schools and Effects on the Community

The idea of shutting down Frederick Douglass Elementary has really hit home for people in Walnut Hills because of the school’s long history of educating Black children since before the Civil War. Local leaders are stressing just how key this school is to life in the neighborhood, and they’re worried about what merging schools would mean for everyone.

What People Think About These Changes

A big crowd of nearly 900 showed up at the school board meeting, some there in person and others online. This turnout shows that lots of folks are really into this issue and have strong feelings about it. Although some people said they’re okay with combining schools, most who spoke at the meeting didn’t like the idea at all.

What Comes Next

So far, the school board hasn’t made a final choice on whether to go ahead with joining any schools. The head of the board, Eve Bolton, says there’s going to be more talks and they’ll keep involving the community to look at every option out there. They want to make the best decisions that consider both the need to save money and what’s best educationally and historically for these areas.

Right now, the community is staying active and alert. Everyone’s pushing for a smart, open way to deal with the issues Cincinnati Public Schools are up against. We’ve got to think about money, how it affects the kids learning, and keeping our local traditions and unity.

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Education

Yale Requires Standardized Tests Again

Anne lise Sylta

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Yale University said on Thursday they’re bringing back the need for standardized test scores when you apply. This change is like what other top schools, including Dartmouth and MIT have done, and it’s a big deal for how they pick who gets in.

Why They Changed Back

The school decided to ask for your test scores again because they worried not asking might hurt students without a lot of money. They wanted to be fair at first, but realized not having test scores made it tough to tell if students could really handle the tough work at Yale.

  • Without test scores, Yale saw that their admissions people had to look harder at other parts of the application, which wasn’t great for kids who couldn’t take fancy classes or prep for tests.
  • Also, turning in a test score – even one that’s not top-notch – could help show the Yale team that a student could do well there.

The Argument Over Tests

Some folks think standardized tests aren’t fair, but recent studies show that not asking for them might actually make things worse for some students.

  • A report by Opportunity Insights found that awesome scores from students without lots of advantages could show they’re really promising, going against what some people think about these kinds of tests.
  • Yale pointed out that test scores help predict who’s gonna succeed, especially for those coming from less fancy schools.

What People Think and What’s Happening

The choice to go back to needing tests is part of a bigger thing where lots of colleges are either sticking with or ditching test-optional rules.
While some schools have started asking for scores again, the University of Michigan plans to keep its test-optional policy for good, highlighting the value of taking tough high school courses.

Still, most colleges are sticking with their choice to not require tests, realizing that standardized tests can make inequality worse.

Yale’s decision to ask for test scores again has sparked a debate about whether college admissions are fair and if standardized tests are a good way to judge what students can do. Colleges are trying to find fair ways to let students in, but making sure everyone has the same chance to get into college is still a big issue.

Additional Considerations

Yale’s move also shows wider changes in how colleges decide who gets in.

  • Recent court cases, like what the Supreme Court said about affirmative action, have made schools think over their rules for admittance.
  • Without being able to consider race, schools are looking for new ways to make their campuses diverse and welcoming for everyone.

The Role of Standardized Testing

Even though people criticize standardized tests, some say they’re an unbiased way to tell if someone’s ready for college.

  • These tests give a common ground to compare students from all sorts of schooling backgrounds.
  • Test scores add hard numbers that help alongside more subjective looks at a student’s grades.

Future Implications

The argument over standardized tests and how colleges pick students will probably keep going, affecting schools and those hoping to attend them.

  • Schools need to find a balance between treating everyone the same and finding reliable signs of who will do well academically.
  • Students now have to navigate changing rules in applying to college and find smart ways to show off what they can do.

Conclusion

In the end, Yale has decided to bring back standardized test scores. This shows there is still a lot of back-and-forth in colleges about how fair admissions are and how to best measure student ability. These schools are trying hard to figure things out because they really want everything to be fair and open to everyone. Even though folks can’t seem to agree, it’s important that colleges and the people who make the rules work as a team to help every student get a fair shot at going to college and reaching their school dreams.

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Issues at Brockton High School: Should We Bring In the National Guard?

Anne lise Sylta

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Brockton High School in Massachusetts, known for being the state’s largest, is experiencing a serious problem. There’s been a rise in fights, security problems, and students using drugs which has the whole town talking. They’re so worried they’re actually thinking about calling in the National Guard to help out. Everyone’s looking at this mess not only at Brockton but also thinking about safety in schools everywhere, how students are behaving, and if what we’ve been doing about these things is enough.

Things Are Getting Worse

In the past few months, things have gotten bad at Brockton High School with more and more violence and issues about keeping the school safe. You can see videos online of kids fighting and hear about them using drugs right on the school property more than ever before. The teachers and everyone working there are really starting to feel unsafe and they’re worried about the kids too. It’s getting harder for them to handle everything that’s going down.

What People Who Run The School Are Saying

A group of four people from the Brockton School Committee—Joyce Asack, Tony Rodrigues, Claudio Gomes, and Ana Oliver—they’re asking for some help from the National Guard. They went to Mayor Robert Sullivan and asked him to talk to Governor Maura Healey to get soldiers sent over to the school ’cause things just can’t go on like this. But even though they think we need to do this now, Mayor Sullivan isn’t too sure. He thinks there gotta be another way without getting the military mixed up in it.

Mixed Feelings and Other Ways To Fix It

The idea of the National Guard coming into a school has got folks talking. Some say it’s just not right to have soldiers in a place where you’re supposed to be learning.

Having the National Guard at Brockton High School could make things worse and hurt how well students can learn. City Councilor-at-large Winthrop Farwell doesn’t agree with this plan. Instead, he thinks that a group of classroom teachers should come together to find ways to fix the school’s problems. Farwell believes it’s important to use the knowledge and experiences of teachers who work with students every day.

The Reasons Behind the Problem and What It Means for Everyone

At the heart of the chaos and fights at the school are bigger problems that the students face. Since COVID, students are dealing with more stress, feeling alone, pressure with schoolwork, and mental health issues. These challenges, plus maybe not enough leadership or resources at the school, are making things worse at Brockton High School. There’s an urgent need for plans that not only keep everyone safe right now but also deal with why students are not interested and acting out.

How to Make Things Better

The talk about using the National Guard has shown how necessary it is to have new and better ways to make schools safe and support students. People involved, like school leaders, teachers, parents, and others in the community, must talk and work together to find and put into action steps that can change the school for the better. They must focus on creating a good place for education where kids can learn well without worrying about being hurt or facing drug problems.

For now, everyone is looking at Brockton High School to see how we can make sure it’s a safe place for students and staff to be. The community is waiting for clear actions that will lead to improvement.

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Reevaluating SAT and ACT Requirements in College Admissions

Anne lise Sylta

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The higher education scene is always changing, and the debate on whether we need SAT and ACT for college admissions is a hot topic. Big-name schools like Yale University might be rethinking their test-optional policies. This has sparked a big discussion among scholars on the best way to pick the right students.

Understanding the Controversy

The role of the SAT and ACT tests in getting into college has been argued about for years. The conversation got more heated after COVID-19 came around. Those who like standardized testing say these tests give everyone a fair shot, measuring how ready students are for college no matter where they come from. On the other hand, some folks aren’t buying it. They say these tests favor rich kids and leave out students with less money or those who don’t usually get a fair chance.

Colleges Rethink Testing Policies

Considering these issues, some top colleges are looking at their testing rules again. Schools like Dartmouth College and MIT have gone back to their test-optional ways. They think their own research shows that tests like the SAT can actually help build a diverse class. Dartmouth, for example, brought back test requirements because their studies said test scores could be helpful – especially for finding smart students who haven’t had many resources.

Diverse Student Reactions

Students have mixed feelings about this stuff. The policy changes have received mixed reactions. Some students worry that bringing back required testing could make things tougher for applicants already dealing with big obstacles, such as low-income and first-generation college students. On the other hand, some believe that having standardized test scores lets them show their academic skills in an admissions process that looks at a bunch of different talents and successes.

Impact on Admissions Landscape

How top universities are changing their stance on standardized testing might set off changes at other schools. This could either lead back to old-school testing rules or push for new ways of picking students. It’s a crucial time for colleges as they try to pick a diverse, skilled group of students while also trying to be fair in how they evaluate everyone.

Equity Concerns and Policy Implications

  • Even though some colleges are going back to testing, the movements for test-optional and test-free policies are getting more popular. People agree more and more that we need to make getting into college fairer and easier to get into.
  • The argument keeps going, backed by research that points in different directions. Some research shows that high school grades might predict college success better than test scores. This supports the idea that colleges should look at more than just test scores and consider what else students have done and been through.
  • As admission policies keep changing, it’s clear that colleges want to be inclusive and uphold high academic standards. They’re tryin’ out new methods, but their main aim is to find and support a wide mix of successful students. It’s often said that certain students will excel both in their studies and in their extracurricular activities.

Conclusion

When top universities start rethinking the need for SAT and ACT scores, it shows we’re at a turning point in how we talk about fairness and being impartial when letting students into college. As schools adjust to new trends, there’s a strong push to make the admissions process more open and comprehensive. The results of this debate won’t just change how we see standardized tests; they’ll also affect the larger goal of colleges to create student bodies that are diverse, lively, and really involved in school life.

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