Each day more than 55 million students attend the country's 130,000 schools.
Each day, parents and guardians entrust some 7 million teachers with the education of our children.
And on a normal day, that is all we expect teachers to do – teach.
But on those not-so normal days we are reminded that for six hours a day and more, five days a week, teaching is not the only thing teachers are charged with doing. On those not-so-normal days, we are reminded that teachers are also asked to be surrogate parents, protectors, heroes.
See what Barack Obama, Toni Morrison and others had to say at this year's commencement ceremonies.
Celebrity commencement addresses usually follow a pretty predictable formula: a few jokes and a few words of wisdom, delivered by someone successful, rich or famous (often all of the above) in hopes of inspiring a new class of graduates to become equally successful (or rich, or famous) someday. Rarely do such speeches make news. But first lady Michelle Obama's recent commencement address did.
Speaking to the graduating class of historically black Bowie State University on Friday, she lamented the educational gap that is plaguing the black community, saying: "Today, instead of walking miles every day to school, they're sitting on couches for hours, playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they're fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper."
Mrs. Obama continued. "Right now, one in three African-American students are dropping out of high school; only one in five African Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 has gotten a college degree."
Boys with ADHD may be at risk for obesity later in life, according to a new study – which, if confirmed in larger studies, may have implications for more than 4 million kids in the United States living with the disorder.
Researchers at NYU's Langone Medical Center have been following more than 200 kids for four decades. They found those who had ADHD in their early years were twice as likely to be obese at age 41.
"This study was started by Dr. Rachel Klein in 1970, and it involved a number of waves of evaluation, during which the results of having hyperactivity in childhood were assessed," said Dr. F. Xavier Castellanos, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU and one of the study authors.
WASHINGTON – In nearly 4,500 minutes of arguments heard by the justices of the United States Supreme Court since October, one African-American lawyer stood before them for less than 12 minutes.
As the nation's highest court becomes more diverse – with one African-American and three women, including a Latina – the small pool of lawyers that they see tend to look alike.
The Associated Press reported that just one African-American lawyer, Debo Adegbile, a former lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, appeared before the United States Supreme Court during approximately 75 hours of oral arguments. Adegbile represented a small contingent of African-American residents of Shelby County, Ala., a jurisdiction challenging section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, a key provision crafted to guard against discrimination at the polls.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (CNN) – The class of 1963 crowded in a rectangle on the dance floor, the memories of high school fresh on their minds as the band played in a sea of pink and blue hues.
Aretha Franklin. Etta James. The Temptations. Just what you would expect to be playing at a 1960s prom. Yet the song that drew the most bodies to the dance floor was "The Wobble."
Until this hip-hop song emptied the chairs, it felt as if the auditorium had been transported back 50 years.
ATLANTA – Past, present and future came together on a thunderstorm-filled Sunday, as President Barack Obama received an honorary doctorate and gave the commencement speech at historically black Morehouse College, where the Rev. Martin Luther King and many other prominent African-Americans spent their formative years.
After opening with several one-liners, and more smiles than we've seen from him in the damage-control-filled recent weeks, Obama delivered a serious message to the class of 2013.
During a speech rife with both personal and historical references, the president invoked a past full of challenges, often resulting from racism, but noted that African-Americans need to break free from that past to succeed in a globally competitive economy.