Education Desk

Education Desk
6:38 am
Thu December 18, 2014

U of I sexual assault group starts work

Credit University of Illinois

 A University of Illinois task force on sexual assault has started meeting and plans to survey the school's three campuses to assess the situation at each.  

University spokesman Tom Hardy says the new task force met for the first time Wednesday. The group is supposed to finish surveys at the Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield campuses by the spring.  

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Education
3:39 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

'Restorative Justice' A New Approach To Discipline At School

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 8:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NPR Ed
2:42 am
Wed December 17, 2014

An Alternative To Suspension And Expulsion: 'Circle Up!'

A restorative justice circle at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, Calif.
Sam Pasarow/Edna Brewer Middle School

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:29 am

One by one, in a room just off the gym floor at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, Calif., seventh-graders go on the interview hot seat.

Some 80 students have applied to be "peer leaders" in the school's new, alternative discipline program called "restorative justice."

Kyle McClerkins, the program's director, grills them on aspects of adolescent life: "What is the biggest challenge for middle school girls? What has changed about you from sixth grade to now?"

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Secret Lives Of Teachers
2:46 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Skating Out Classroom Stress As A 'Derby Dame'

Nina Park, also known as Elle L. Cool Jam, is a member of the Cosmonaughties roller derby team in the Boston Derby Dames league.
Kayana Szymczak for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:42 am

The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Pilot? Artist? Bartender? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.

Every fall, on the first day of school, Nina Park greets her new honors English class with a game called "two truths and a lie." Her students, 10th-graders at TechBoston Academy in Dorchester, Mass. have to guess which is which.

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Education Desk
5:58 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

District 186 Reports Student Absences Up Due To Illness

Springfield public schools have seen higher than normal absences in the past week.  The district won't say if the absences are related to the flu, but local health officials say they are seeing more cases in the area.

District 186 reported last week, about 9 percent of students missed class.  The number was higher at Springfield High, where nearly 11 percent of students were out.  Lanphier had 14 percent absent.

Alternative programs in the district had the highest percentage of student absences.  

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Education
3:55 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

How To Talk To Boys About Sex And Consent

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:12 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Ed
3:55 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

There's No Place Like A Dorm Room For The Holidays

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 9:52 am

It's final exam week for lots of college students. No doubt they're stressed right now, but once they hand in that last paper or take that last test, they're done for the semester. Pack up the suitcase and head home for the holidays.

But for some college students — many of whom are former foster youth — that's not quite what happens.

"I have no for-certain home, that's the thing," says Trudy Greer, a 22-year-old sophomore at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich. She says she's had a lot of folks at EMU ask her where she lives, curious to know where her home is.

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Illinois Issues - Education Desk
7:08 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Springfield Schools Are Prepped for PARCC

The PARCC test is designed to be given on computers or tablets, though there is a pen-and-paper version available.
Credit Tom Woodward / Flickr Creative Commons

 

Illinois schools are preparing to implement a new standardized test based on the Common Core standards. Some school districts have pleaded with state officials to delay the implementation of the new test, but Springfield school officials say they're ready.

Educators refer to this new test as the PARCC test. That’s the acronym for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. It’s a standardized test, designed by the Pearson company, that will be given to most Illinois students beginning in March.

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Education
4:06 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Two Years Later, Still Learning From Sandy Hook

Relatives of victims of gun violence attend a press conference honoring the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 10, 2014.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 11:57 am

It's been two years since a gunman killed his mother at home and then opened fire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 first-graders, six educators and himself. People in Connecticut are still hashing out just how parents and educators should handle children like Adam Lanza.

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NPR Ed
11:03 am
Sun December 14, 2014

A For-Profit College Tries The Charter School Market

ITT Technical Institute's Early College Academy campus in Troy, MI.
Nicole Elam/ITT Technical Institute

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:14 am

Starting this past spring, parents in Indianapolis; Troy, Mich.; Jacksonville and Tampa, Fla.; and Houston, Texas, heard about a new option for their children's last two years of high school.

In each city, a charter school called Early Career Academy planned to offer students the chance to earn associate degrees, either in network systems administration or software development, alongside their high school diplomas. Students were offered laptops to work on and ebooks to use. All for free.

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NPR Ed
10:32 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Big Drop In Students Being Held Back, But Why?

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 2:24 pm

The question of when or whether it's appropriate to hold a child back in school is a heated one among teachers, parents and even politicians.

And a new study is adding some kindling to the debate.

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Shots - Health News
4:02 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

U.Va. Looks At Ways To Curb Drinking At Its Frat Houses

The University of Virginia is trying to crack down on excessive and underage drinking at fraternities.
Jay Paul Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 12:58 pm

The University of Virginia is renegotiating its contract with fraternities, which were suspended after a Rolling Stone article described a frat house gang rape. Even though that article has been called into question, U.Va.

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Education
7:30 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Community College Programs Can Lead To Big Payoffs — In The Right Fields

Dental students use practice dummies Aug. 27 in a newly renovated section of Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Mich. Health care is one field for which a recent study found that a community college degree produced a strong financial return.
Zach Gibson MLive.com/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:54 pm

When it comes to higher education, we've all heard the talking points: More people than ever are pursuing four-year degrees — despite skyrocketing tuition costs — because they don't have many other choices if they want to be competitive in the workforce.

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The Salt
4:52 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

From Potatoes To Salty Fries In School: Congress Tweaks Food Rules

When it comes to salty french fries or pizza served at lunch, schools may get more time to dial back sodium content, thanks to a provision in the federal spending bill headed for a vote on Capitol Hill.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:00 am

The gargantuan budget bill that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are expected to vote on Thursday does more than dole out federal dollars to keep the government running.

It also tweaks federal nutrition rules.

For starters, the bill — aka, the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill — includes a provision that will give school food directors more flexibility when it comes to adopting 100 percent whole grain items, such as pasta and biscuits, in school breakfast and lunch meals.

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Around the Nation
3:46 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

National Fraternity Leader Says Suspending Frats A 'Knee-Jerk' Reaction

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 8:38 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Secret Lives Of Teachers
2:33 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

From Grading Tests To Mixing Beats

On Mondays, Monica Shah is the DJ for a fitness class in Washington, D.C.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 8:50 am

The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Artist? Carpenter? Quidditch player? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.

Monica Shah opens her classroom door as first period social studies class is about to start. She's barely taller than the middle school students who shuffle down the hallway. "What up, DJ Shah?" a student calls out as he passes.

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NPR Ed
2:49 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Why Math Might Be The Secret To School Success

There's a real lack of math learning in pre-K. In one study, in fact, just 58 seconds out of a full preschool day was spent on math activities.
Kaylhew Flikr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 1:01 pm

Little children are big news this week, as the White House holds a summit on early childhood education on Wednesday. The president wants every 4-year-old to go to preschool, but the new Congress is unlikely to foot that bill.

Since last year, more than 30 states have expanded access to preschool. But there's still a lack of evidence about exactly what kinds of interventions are most effective in those crucial early years.

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The Two-Way
4:43 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

America's Highest-Paid Private-University President Made $7.1 Million In 2012

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson holds 2005 commencement exercises in Troy, N.Y. Jackson is one of three dozen presidents of private colleges and universities who made more than $1 million in 2012.
Tim Roske AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 6:16 pm

It's a pretty good time to be president of a private college, at least financially. The Chronicle of Higher Education just released its annual roundup of executive compensation for private college presidents, and it reports that Shirley Ann Jackson of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute earned $7.1 million in 2012 alone. (2012 is the latest year federal tax documents with this information are currently available.)

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Around the Nation
3:58 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Fallout From 'Rolling Stone' Story Changes Conversation At UVA

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 9:49 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

End Fraternities' Suspension, UVA Urged Amid 'Rolling Stone' Fallout

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:00 pm

Three national organizations are calling on the University of Virginia to reinstate fraternities and sororities after an acknowledgment last week by Rolling Stone magazine of "discrepancies" in its story on gang rape.

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NPR Ed
8:25 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Kids' Drawings Speak Volumes About Home

Examples of a family drawing assessment: A drawing from a child scored with minimal indicators of family dysfunction (top), and one from a child scored with elevated levels of family dysfunction (bottom).
W. Roger Mills-Koonce

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 11:10 am

When children reach 6 years old, their drawings matter.

Not because of those purple unicorns or pinstripe dragons but because of how kids sketch themselves and the very real people in their lives.

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Q&A: J Is For Jihad

Columbia University Press

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 7:21 am

Letter M (capital M and small m): (Mujahid): My brother is a Mujahid. Afghan Muslims are Mujahideen. I do Jihad together with them. Doing Jihad against infidels is our duty.

These words come from a textbook written to teach first-graders Pashto, one of the two official languages of Afghanistan. In the primer, eight of the 41 letters of the alphabet contain similar references, to guns, swords and defending the homeland against infidels.

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Around the Nation
3:47 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

'Rolling Stone' Walks Back On Sexual Assault Story At UVA

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 5:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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50 Great Teachers
12:03 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

What The Movies Taught Us About Teaching

Denzel Washington in The Great Debaters.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:09 pm

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Around the Nation
2:35 am
Fri December 5, 2014

A Miami School Goes From Blank Canvas To Mural-Covered

Leza One paints a mural on a wall of Jose de Diego Middle School in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood. It's a project that coincides with the citywide Art Basel fair.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 12:07 pm

Miami's Jose de Diego Middle School, like many schools in South Florida designed to provide hurricane protection and energy efficiency, has few windows and large expanses of facade almost begging for decoration.

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NPR Ed
4:06 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Teachers Go Door-Knocking In Nashville

Teachers in Nashville, Tenn., are knocking on doors to recruit students for public school.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 1:41 pm

It's Saturday in East Nashville, Tenn., and LaTonya White finds herself knocking on a stranger's door. It's awkward. Someone peers out at her through the window. White looks away, pretending not to notice. After an uncomfortable few seconds, the door finally cracks open. White seizes her chance:

"My name is LaTonya White. I'm the principal at Rosebank Elementary School. How are you doing?" she asks, glancing at the clipboard in her hands. On it: a list of families in the area with soon-to-be kindergartners. "Yes, you should have a child ready to come to school soon."

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NPR Ed
3:29 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

In Rural Alabama, Fighting HIV With A Game

The local middle school plays its annual homecoming football game at Wilcox Central High in Camden, Alabama.
Dan Carsen WBHM

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 9:34 am

HIV was once considered an urban problem. Now, parts of the rural South — where the stigma is strong but health resources and education are not – has some of the highest rates in the nation.

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The Salt
3:08 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Hey, College Kids: You Really Can Minor In Craft Beer Studies

Nicholas Komninos (from left), Anthony Pernisi and Ashlee Doele are among the 25 students who signed up for the first suds-specific class in Paul Smith's College's new minor in craft beers. It's a three-credit course in brewing, replete with labs and lectures.
Joe Conto Courtesy Paul Smith's College

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 3:52 pm

You've heard it before — that quip to describe crazy college days: "I minored in beer studies."

Well, now you can.

Paul Smith's College, a small, isolated campus in the northernmost reaches of upstate New York's Adirondack Mountains, is among a handful of higher education institutions tapping the ever more potent keg of the craft beer explosion.

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Illinois Issues - Education Desk
6:21 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Illinois Set To Test Common Core Standards

Christopher A. Koch, superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education, says opting out of PARCC is not an option.
Credit isbe.state.il.us

Illinois students are scheduled to take the new Common Core test this spring, despite a growing chorus of parents and educators opposing it. 

To get some idea of how controversial the test is, consider this: The number of states that have legalized marijuana use -- 23 -- is double the number of states that have agreed to use this test -- just 11. Of those 11, only eight have agreed to use both the elementary and high school portions of the test. Illinois is one of these states.

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The Salt
2:42 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Of Carrots And Kids: Healthy School Lunches That Don't Get Tossed

Samples of carrots cooked three ways are placed on a table for the kids at Walker-Jones Educational Campus, in Washington, D.C., to sample after they have finished lunch. The crowd favorite will later end up on the school lunch menu.
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 9:50 am

You can lead a child to vegetables, but can you make her eat them?

A child, for instance, like Salem Tesfaye, a first-grader at Walker-Jones Educational Campus in Washington, D.C. Tesfaye picked up a lunch today that's full of nutrition: chicken in a whole-wheat wrap, chopped tomatoes and lettuce from local farms, a slice of cantaloupe and milk.

But, she confesses, sometimes she throws her lunch out. I ask her what she did today. "I threw all of it away," she says softly.

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