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Forbes ranks Pittsburgh's universities among top in nation

Forbes' annual list of the top schools and universities in the country rank five among the top 500: Carnegie Mellon (98), Grove City (145), Allegheny College (153), University of Pittsburgh (336) and Duquesne (394).

Top business schools included Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business (23) and University of Pittsburgh's Katz School of Business (51).

Read it in Forbes.

Apollo Group (aka University of Phoenix) buys Carnegie Learning for $75 million

The Apollo Group, which runs the University of Phoenix, has announced the $75 million purchase of downtown-based Carnegie Learning, makers of the highly successful online math instruction curriculum that combines classroom work with computer instruction. The program is used by 600,000 students in grades 6-12 in 3,000 schools nationwide.

Read it in the New York Times.

Seven Pittsburgh school districts rank top in the nation

Seven Pittsburgh public school districts were ranked the top in the nation for college preparedness by Washington Post's High School Challenge. The ranking was based on the total number of graduating seniors divided by the district's number of advanced placement or college level tests given in 2010. Among the districts that made the list (in the order they are listed): Upper St. Clair, Pine-Richland, Beaver Area, Mt. Lebanon, Hampton, North Hills and Taylor Allderdice.

Read the Washington Post.

Using a broader methodology--six components including graduation rates, test scores and college courses--Newsweek came out with its list of the top 500 school districts in the country. Hampton and North Allegheny both made the list. Read it in Newsweek.




Watch the winning student videos in the "Take a Shot at Changing the World" contest

View the winning videos, created by students from Mt. Lebanon High School, Hampton High School and Peters Township Middle School, who participated in the "Take a Shot at Changing the World"  contest. The contest challenged students to create their own short videos about the crippling disease of polio. Mt. Lebanon High School's Tyler Anderson's piece about a young woman's letter to her grandfather who had been afflicted with polio won the $5,000 grand prize and recognition on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation blog.

The contest was inspired by the new film "The Shot Felt 'Round the World," which documents how the medical team of Jonas Salk brought together the community of Pittsburgh to develop the polio vaccine.


Watch them here.

University of Pittsburgh makes The Princeton Review's Best Value Colleges list

The Princeton Review has released its annual list of colleges that give you the most institutional bang for your buck, and the University of Pittsburgh made the grade.  The list weighs tuition costs against student and faculty input and factors like loan accessibility, academic rankings, and resources.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Pittsburgh is the fifth most literate city in America

The results of CCSU's annual America's Most Literate Cities Survey are out and Pittsburgh scored fifth out of the 75 largest U.S. cities.  The criteria for the survey includes newspaper circulation, educational attainment, web resources, number of bookstores, and library resources.  Yinz sure read so much anymore! 

Click here to see the results.

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Cleveland wants Pittsburgh's promise

Several American cities have launched city-wide scholarship programs in recent years, one of the most famous being the Pittsburgh Promise, which has given 2,200 children the opportunity to attend four-year colleges and boosted high school graduation rates across the city.  Plain Dealer writer, Bren Larkin, wonders why Cleveland hasn't launched a similar initiative.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Kansas City looks to Pittsburgh's urban school reform successes

Kansas City's Saving 17,000 Kids site recently examined the progress over the last five years in reforming the Pittsburgh public school system.  The story points to some major improvements, spearheaded by Superintendent Mark Roosevelt, such as The Pittsburgh Promise, anti-poverty initiatives, and hikes in literacy achievement.  While Roosevelt's efforts are highly lauded, the story is careful to face the grim realities of education reform, and notes that Kansas City is at the beginning of a long road towards fixing it's scholastic problems.

Click here to read the entire article.

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More students investing in Pittsburgh higher education

According to a study by the Pittsburgh Center for Social and Urban Research, which looked at enrollment figures for 25 area colleges, enrollment rates rose by 20% from 1996-2009.  The highest increases in enrollment were at CMU and Chatham.  Researchers and administrators are viewing the figures with great optimism, as the study suggests a better educated future workforce and improved local economy.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Pittsburgh summer school programs expand, while other programs face cuts cross the country

A tight budgetary climate is forcing school districts across the country to cut back on, or even eliminate, their summer school programs.  Many researchers note that this is a particularly alarming trend, since summer learning loss contributes to as much as two thirds of the achievement gap between disadvantages students and their wealthier peers who can afford expensive summer camps.  Pittsburgh is being pointed to as a shining anomaly in the trend, where school districts are tripling their summer enrollment, and opening the free Summer Dreamers Academy.  The new program will replace past remedial education programs with new methods that rethink summer school as summer camp, with enaging activities, such as judo, kayaking, and musical theater.

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Fame! New HBO reality series Masterclass features young Pittsburgh-area artists

HBO's new documentary series Masterclass includes two young Pittsburgh-area artists, reports Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The nine-part series -- which chronicles talented high school seniors being mentored by arts luminaries -- premiered on HBO on Sunday, April 18. Abigail Adkins, a sophomore dance major at Point Park University, appears in an episode that airs May 9. Michael O'Brien of Greenfield, a playwright and poet who graduated from CAPA, is mentored by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee in the May 2 installment. The footage was filmed in 2007 and 2008 by producers and directors Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman.

Read the complete Tribune-Review article.

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Pittsburgh Public Schools ranked in top 10 for large U.S. cities

"Pittsburgh Public Schools is on the move," reports website GreatSchools.com. "A few years ago, the district -- the second-largest in the state, with 26,000 students in 66 schools -- made a commitment to improve its faltering performance, and the steady improvements in rankings and test scores are proof that its efforts are taking hold."

Thanks to is rising AYP scores and improving student performance, Pittsburgh made GreatSchools.com's rankings for the best public schools for places with populations above 300,000.

Read the complete GreatSchools.com article.

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Sparked by Mister Rogers: Technology fostering new generation of creative kids

The latest episode of WQED's OnQ shows how Pittsburgh's tech pioneers are using the newest technology to engage and educate children. Featured segments also include the Fred Forward Conference, which carries on the legacy of Fred Rogers.

View the complete OnQ episode.

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Under leadership of Saleem Ghubril, Pittsburgh Promise gains national attention

"Saleem Ghubril is relishing an early hint of success in his second year heading a college scholarship program that's attracting national attention," reports Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Because of the Pittsburgh Promise, 22 more black male graduates went to college in 2009 than the year before--113 compared with 91.

Ghubril contemplates, "At the end of the day, 'failure' for the Pittsburgh Promise will be, 10 years will have passed, and 15,000 kids will have gone to college. So if the worst thing we can do is send 15,000 kids to college, I can live with that."

Read the complete Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article.

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UPMC, University of Pittsburgh are leaders in regenerative medicine

A recent 60 Minutes story on regenerative medicine highlights progress in the field, and turns to Pittsburgh leaders for firsthand accounts of those innovations.

Correspondent Morley Safer interviews Dr. Stephen Badylak, deputy director at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, as well as Dr. Blair Jobe, associate professor of surgery in the Heart, Lung and Esophageal Surgery Institute at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC.

Dr. Badylak explains his work, with a chuckle as, "I make body parts," and describes how a material called Extra Cellular Matrix can regrow virtually every tissue in the body.

In Pittsburgh, regenerative techniques have been used to regrow esophageal lining of 76-year-old cancer patient Erwin Schmidt, and to successfully transplant a hand from a cadaver onto the arm of Marine Josh Maloney, who lost his right hand working with dynamite.

Click here to view the complete 60 Minutes video.

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