PROGRAMS

13:34Middle School MomentJul. 17, 2012
17:59Educating Sergeant Pantzke Jun. 28, 2011
53:47Football HighApr. 12, 2011
21:24Money and March MadnessMar. 29, 2011
+ MORE PROGRAMS

STORIES

A Note from Dropout Nation’s Marco: “I Love My Life”

Marco is now a paratrooper in the U.S. Army, and wrote in to FRONTLINE with some advice for would-be graduates.

For-Profit Colleges Under Scrutiny, Again

When FRONTLINE viewers last saw Sgt. Chris Pantzke, he was struggling to deal with the fallout from signing up for courses at a for-profit college that he couldn’t complete.

Live Chat 3:30 pm ET Thursday: Assessing Rhee’s Reforms

Join a live chat on “The Education of Michelle Rhee” with the film’s correspondent, John Merrow, and a panel of leading journalists and experts. You can leave a question now.

The Battle over Education Reform

The debate over how to improve K-12 public education in America has long been highly charged and contentious, but in recent years, it’s taken on a polarizing either or mentality.

After Michelle Rhee: What Happened Next in D.C.’s Schools

Kaya Henderson, Rhee’s protégé and successor, has maintained a lower profile while continuing many of Rhee’s controversial reforms.

How Do You Measure Success in School Reform?

Michelle Rhee has taken her education reform agenda nationally, yet supporters and critics alike continue to wrestle with the same questions that dominated her tenure in Washington. For example, how do you turn around a struggling school? What makes a good teacher? Three experts weigh in.

Education Department Finds No Evidence Of Widespread Cheating On D.C. Exams

A Department of Education investigation has found no evidence of widespread cheating in the Washington, D.C. school system in response to a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former principal.

Michelle Rhee: “The Bee Eater”

As a young elementary teacher in Baltimore, Michelle Rhee struggled to capture the attention of her students. That is, until the day she won over her classroom with a surprising move.

StudentsFirst Gives 11 States Failing Grades on Public Education

Today the education reform group StudentsFirst, led by former D.C. public schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, released a report grading states based on adherence to its platform, giving 11 states failing grades of F. The highest grade any state received was a B-.

Dropout Nation’s Marcus Finally Gets to Play Ball

When we last saw Marcus, the stubborn, charismatic student in Dropout Nation, he had just punched another kid in the face two hours before the school year ended, an act that jeopardized his chance to stay in school and play football.

A Changing of the Guard at Houston’s Disciplinary School

After 15 years of pioneering a private model of disciplining public school students — and arousing persistent controversy from Florida to Texas — Community Education Partners (CEP), one of the nation’s largest private education firms, says it is closing its doors.

Apollo 20: One Man’s Plan to Fix Failing Schools

Like many of the kids who wind up in failing public schools, Harvard economist Roland Fryer grew up amid violence and drugs, and with little hope for the future.

How “Private Schools” Help Lower Texas’ Dropout Numbers

Students can get a high school diploma for a few hundred bucks and an online exam.

What Happened to Marcus?

When the school year began again, Marcus came back to Sharpstown. He had thrown away all of his school uniform polo shirts at the end of last school year, in a fit of frustration.

Live Chat Wed. 2 P.M. ET: Inside America’s Dropout Epidemic

Every year, hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the United States quit high school without diplomas — an epidemic so … Continue reading

By the Numbers: Dropping Out of High School

How costly is the decision to dropout of high school? Consider a few figures about life without a diploma.

City Year Middle School Moment Screening

Join FRONTLINE and City Year for a live screening and open conversation about new evidence suggesting that the make-or-break moment for high school dropouts may actually occur in middle school.

Senate Committee Comes Down Hard on For-Profit Colleges

Following a two-year investigation, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Labor, Education and Pensions [HELP] yesterday released a dense and damning report on the for-profit college industry.

Obama’s Shout-Out to the West Philly EVX Team

“This is the kind of thing that just isn’t going to get a lot of attention initially,” said the president, referring to the success of the West Philly High EVX team.

Live Chat Wed. 2:00 pm ET: Beating the Odds in West Philly

Join a live chat about “Fast Times at West Philly High” on 7/18 at 2 p.m. ET with Debbie Morton, the film’s producer, team director Simon Haguer and West Philly student and team captain, Azeem Hill. You can leave a question now.

Middle School Moment

Johns Hopkins researcher Dr. Robert Balfanz has uncovered a series of indicators that he says can predict how likely a student is to drop out of high school: attendance, behavior and course performance, which he describes as the “ABCs.”

The Automotive X Prize: A Primer

More on the history of the competition, the organization that sponsored it and other prizes that push the boundaries of innovation.

What is Project-Based Learning?

Background on the alternative approach to education featured in Fast Times at West Philly High.

Catching Up With West Philly’s EVX Team

An education reform advocate. A budding rapper. A history buff. What three of the students are doing today.

ARCHIVED PROGRAMS

Jul. 3, 2003

Public Schools, Inc.

(60 minutes) Ten years after "edupreneur" Chris Whittle first announced his bold plan to revolutionize the way we educate children, Whittle's Edison Schools continue to be a lightening rod for the issue of for-profit, public education. FRONTLINE and the PBS education series The Merrow Report join forces with The New York Times to investigate the intertwined fortunes of Edison Schools and its charismatic yet controversial leader, and examine whether it's possible to create world-class schools that turn a profit. (Web site »)
Mar. 28, 2002

Testing Our Schools

(60 minutes) President Bush's proposal for mandatory public school testing in grades three through eight signals the beginning of a new era in public education, one marked by increased federal involvement in schools and an unprecedented expansion in the role of tests. A business school graduate and self-styled "CEO President," Bush envisions a business model where educators set objectives, measure performance, and hold students and teachers accountable for results. But will the business model work in education? FRONTLINE correspondent John Merrow examines how the quest for higher scores is changing teaching and learning in America. (Web site »)
May. 23, 2000

The Battle Over School Choice

(60 minutes) With more students than ever enrolled in kindergarten through high school, education is now a top voter concern. What's needed to improve our public schools-better teachers, smaller classes, greater parent involvement, higher standards, more tests? Or, is privatization the answer? Democrats and Republicans differ sharply on the hot button issue of school vouchers and whether public funds should be used to pay for private or parochial schools. FRONTLINE explores the heated political debate over the reform of public education and investigates the spectrum of "school choice" options-from vouchers to charter schools to for-profit academies-and their growing popularity in troubled inner cities. FRONTLINE also interviews presidential candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush about their views on reform initiatives and looks at their track records on improving public schools. (Web site »)
Oct. 5, 1999

Secrets of the SAT

(60 minutes) How fair are standardized tests? What do they measure? And what's their impact on racial diversity on America's college campuses? FRONTLINE examines the debate over fairness in college admissions, looking at the national obsession with test scores, the multimillion dollar test prep industry, and the legal challenges to race-sensitive admissions policies. A diverse set of students are followed through the stressful college admissions cycle as they dream of attending some of the country's most prestigious universities. (Web site »)
Apr. 28, 1992

Who Cares About Children?

(60 minutes) With 410,000 children in foster-care and over half a million expected by 1995, child advocates across the country say nearly every state is in, or approaching, a crisis. Frontline examines the child-welfare crisis in Arkansas and the struggle to reform the system-a political battle that focused squarely on Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton as he launched his presidential campaign.
Jun. 12, 1990

Teacher, Teacher

(60 minutes) Frontline explores the hopes and frustrations of public school teachers in one midwestern town as they face the threat of funding cutbacks, the criticism of parents, and a growing number of troubled children from troubled homes.
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