September 28, 2012 With a star-studded cast and a catchy title, Won't Back Down tells a powerful story that champions charter schools, vilifies teachers unions and lionizes parents who organize to take over a bad school. But how much of the movie is accurate and how much is fiction?
September 2, 2012 City Academy in St. Paul, Minn., became the nation's first charter school in 1992. Its founders were convinced troubled students would thrive in a small school with rigorous instruction and caring teachers. The school inspired similar projects nationwide, and now there are 5,600 schools in 41 states.
August 27, 2012 The University of the People says it's the "world's first, tuition-free, online university," designed for poor students who would otherwise lack access to higher education. The institution has 1,300 students in 129 countries, but it's also struggling to maintain its "free" mission.
August 22, 2012 A Head Start program in New Haven, Conn., is trying to get absentee fathers back into the parenting game. The program offers parenting classes in the hopes that even men with troubled lives can find redemption by connecting with their children.
June 23, 2012 Title IX, which became law 40 years ago, bans sex discrimination from educational programs and activities. Vocational courses that had barred girls — such as auto mechanics and carpentry — became available to everyone. But it's still hard to find girls willing to sign up for those classes.
June 6, 2012 Growing up in the South Bronx, Juan Carlos Reyes' dream was to be a doorman in Manhattan. A college degree has helped him achieve much more, but Reyes is convinced his success is an aberration — and that few of his peers will ever achieve the American dream.