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APS dismantles anti-bullying program to save money

By John Higgins Published: May 30, 2012

The Akron school board approved the five-year forecast Tuesday at a special noon meeting to sign off on the budget projections before they're sent to the state. Included in the document was a detailed listing of staff cuts and I noticed that the jobs of the anti-bullying program will be cut next year. I wrote about the program in 2010 here and here.

My story in today's Beacon Journal is here.

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Fewer Akron students missing out on graduation because of OGT

By John Higgins Published: May 22, 2012

In 2007 when passage of the Ohio Graduation Test became a requirement for a high school diploma, 95 APS seniors missed walking across the stage with their classmates. This year, only 10 will miss the ceremony because of the OGTs. Read the story here.

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Air Bear trumps touch-a-truck any day

By John Higgins Published: May 18, 2012

Akron Children's Hospital offered Case elementary school an ambulance to show kids on the school's Big Truck Day Thursday. Then the hospital offered its medical helicopter, Air Bear. Would the school like them to send the helicopter?  Uh, yes. Please send the helicopter. Teachers hope to create moments that kids will remember fondly at their 20th high school reunions. The teachers at Case hope their students will start a conversation like this some day: "Remember when the helicopter landed at our elementary school? Wasn't that awesome?" My Story in ABJ today.

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Tarle's third act: founding an Akron charter school

By John Higgins Published: May 17, 2012

I've got two front page stories today on former Akron city councilman Ernie Tarle's mission to open a charter school in Akron. Click here for the main story. Click here for a sidebar about some recent research of the "no excuses" approach Tarle hopes to emulate. The research is interesting because it takes advantage of the lottery system some charters use for admission to create a natural "control" group (kids who weren't chosen in the lottery) to test charter school effectiveness against traditional district schools. Click here for the MIT study I refer to in the story.

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Best. Field. Trip. Ever.

By John Higgins Published: May 16, 2012

Six Rankin elementary school third-graders got the field trip of a lifetime when LeBron James had them flown to Miami last Saturday to sit in the audience while he received the NBA's Most Valuable Player trophy. Here's my ABJ story. Oh yeah, he gave them the 2013 Kia Sorento, too ( the program gets the car, not the third-graders).

See the whole ceremony on YouTube here. Around the 20 minute mark he mentions Wheels for Education and his committment to Akron Public Schools.

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