Education

In a small town perched on a steep mountain in northern Israel, Ali Shalalha has managed a remarkable achievement.

Fifteen years ago, only 12 percent of seniors at Beit Jann Comprehensive School passed the exams that are the prerequisite for higher education in Israel. Last year, and the year before, every single senior passed.

Beit Jann ranks second now in the high school graduation exams, known as bagrut, for all of Israel. This year, Shalalha — the school's principal — is hoping for first.

Mark Twain Elementary second grade teacher Elizabeth Clarke staples together work from two of her second-grade students in this 2013 photo.
Chase Cook / Oklahoma Watch

For the past four months, Oklahoma educators and other stakeholders have been working on new state education standards to replace the Common Core. The Oklahoma State Department of Education published a rough draft of the new standards on their website Monday evening.

Alvin Trusty / Flickr

For a lot of schools in Oklahoma, juggling flat budgets with increasing costs means a bumpy road ahead for district superintendents. And getting teachers to work for the meager starting salary is also a struggle.

So how do they make it work? Some districts in Oklahoma pay teachers in time – four days a week, instead of five.

Ask a kid from Asher Public Schools—where they’ve been doing it for five years—and they’ll tell you it’s the best. But for parents—there are a lot of questions.

Editor's Note: We've reported on the crushing burden of student debt in the U.S., and the challenges of finding financial aid, but one area we haven't followed much is the growing number of students seeking alternatives outside the U.S.

Meet 9-year-old Q Daily, who recently finished third grade at the Brooklyn New School in New York City. Q, who was born a girl, just spent his first full school year as a boy.

And to him, that's liberating. Really, he explains, it's everything: "It feels like — instead of a dead flower — a growing flower."

It might be a feeling his peers don't totally understand, but it seems like they really don't care, either.

It's controlled after-school anarchy at the Christian-Carter household. Seven-year-old Chloe has rolled herself up in an exercise mat in the living room of the family's Oakland, Calif., home.

"Look I'm a burrito," Chloe shouts.

Her 4-year-old sister, Jackie, swoops in for a bite — and a hard push.

"Ow!" Chloe shouts. "Mom! Jackie pushed me!"

It's Sally Teixeira's job to make sandwiches at a busy deli counter in Cambridge, Mass.

Six years ago, when she was in her mid-20s, she graduated from a job program for medical administrative assistants, with the idea she'd be making at least $20 an hour by now. But, "I can't get in anywhere" she says. "It's frustrating."

Instead, she earns $11 an hour at the deli, and has $10,000 in student loan debt, from attending the now defunct Corinthian College Everest Institute. Boston has tons of hospitals, but none of them have hired her to do what she's trained to do.

I've had this phrase running through my head since we started updating our Commencement Speeches database a few weeks ago: "If you're too big for a small job, you're too small for a big job."

Who said that? It was Katie Couric at American University last year.

Who knew that a commencement address could get stuck in your head? Well, the best of these speeches have a lot in common with a great pop song. They are simple, emotional, and pack a universal message into just a few words.

The 66th floor of Panama City's Trump Tower is a fine spot to experience Panama's booming economy. Beyond the building's windows, hundreds of skyscrapers stretch the length of the capital's skyline. Inside, a hand of blackjack will set you back $200, but all-you-can-drink champagne costs just $10.

On average, economic growth in Panama has topped 8 percent in the last five years, making the country the envy of its struggling Latin American neighbors.

First rule of Brinton Elementary School run club: Keep those legs moving. Second rule of run club: Have fun.

For 13-year-old Kaprice Faraci and her sister, Kassidy, inspiration to keep moving struck one after school afternoon in the third grade. Video games and TV bored the twins. They were outside when they spotted a small pack of children chugging down their street.

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