FOCUS/midwest

Founded in 1962 by Charles L. Klotzer

Archive for July 2009

“Cairo is a town forgotten”

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This year marks the 40th anniversary of a boycott of white-owned businesses by the United Front of Cairo. The protest was met with violent opposition from local merchants and police — and, for the most part, indifference from state officials.

By 2000, the town’s population had fallen to 3,632; of those, 33.5 percent lived in poverty.

The town’s decline continues today. As a resident of Cairo wrote recently to The State Journal-Register, the capital city’s daily newspaper: “I guess the saying is true that ‘the state of Illinois stops at Carbondale,’ because anything south of that doesn’t matter!”

This piece was published in a special edition of FOCUS/Midwest. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 25, 2009 at 1:30 pm

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Charter schools aren’t making the grade, study says

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old classroomStudents who attend charter schools perform worse academically than students who go to public schools, says a new study from Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes.

Commissioned by pro-charter school groups, the CREDO study found, in “unmistakable terms,” that charter schools nationwide are falling short of their promise.

Researchers based their conclusions on a review of test results from 2,403 charter schools, accounting for more than 70 percent of the nation’s charter-school students.

In five states — Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Colorado — the story was different. There, CREDO found “significantly higher gains for charter school students than would have occurred in traditional public schools.” Read the rest of this entry »

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July 2, 2009 at 8:00 am

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