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Education News Roundup: "Public Education is a Sinking Ship"

The Examined Life, Age 8 (New York Times, 4/6/10)

A few times each month, second graders at a charter school in Springfield, Mass., take time from math and reading to engage in philosophical debate. There is no mention of Hegel or Descartes, no study of syllogism or solipsism. Instead, Prof. Thomas E. Wartenberg and his undergraduate students from nearby Mount Holyoke College use classic children’s books to raise philosophical questions, which the young students then dissect with the vigor of the ancient Greeks.

Segregation in Mississippi Public Schools in 2010? (ABC News, 4/14/10)

A federal judge in Mississippi has ordered a school district in the state to change school attendance policies that he said amount to racial segregation. Federal District Judge Thomas Lee agreed with the Justice Department's claim that the school administration was transferring mostly white students out of district to a "racially identifiable white school," while the enrollment in their home district "has become predominantly black."

Students: More tax money for schools (Chicago Tribune, 4/15/10)

About 50 Chicago-area students gathered after school Thursday at Federal Plaza to encourage the government to invest more tax money in public education. They were dressed in bright orange life preservers, and they hoisted a paper boat above their shoulders with a sign that read, "Public education is a sinking ship."

Study: Physical activity can boost student performance (USA Today, 4/14/10)

Going to PE class and recess can be a win-win situation for students. Physical activity improves kids' fitness and lowers their risk of obesity. And now a government review of research shows that kids who take breaks from their class work to be physically active during the school day are often better able to concentrate on their school work and may do better on standardized tests.