Education Desk

NPR Ed
10:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Curiosity: It Helps Us Learn, But Why?

The Limbic Reward System lights up when curiosity is piqued.
LA Johnson NPR

How does a sunset work? We love to look at them, but Jolanda Blackwell wanted her 8th graders to really think about them, to wonder and question.

So Blackwell, who teaches science at Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior High in Davis, Calif., had her students watch a video of a sunset on YouTube as part of a physics lesson on motion.

"I asked them: 'So what's moving? And why?'" Blackwell says. The students had a lot of ideas. Some thought the sun was moving, others, of course, knew that a sunset is the result of the earth spinning around on its axis.

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Education Desk
6:48 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Huge Cuts At Benedictine 3/4 Of Staff To Be Laid Off

Major cuts are coming to Springfield's Benedictine University.    The school is laying off three quarters of its full time employees, cutting out undergraduate education and getting rid of its sports programs.  The school will no longer focus on the traditional student market, but instead will make its focus on adults.    The campus issued a statement last night.    Springfield branch campus President Michael Bromberg tells WUIS that 75 of the 100 full time workers will be laid-off next year when the school ends its traditional programs for students who are just out of high school.

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Education
3:31 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

UNC Chancellor: Report Reveals 'Shocking Lack' Of Checks And Balances

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 5:35 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now a conversation with UNC's Chancellor Carol Folt. I began asking by her about the accusation you just heard - that this report is a whitewash.

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Education
3:31 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

New Details Revealed In University Of North Carolina Academic Scandal

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 5:35 pm

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

The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Report Says UNC Grade-Boosting Scandal Involved Fake Classes

University of North Carolina system President Tom Ross and UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol L. Folt talk during a special joint meeting of the UNC Board of Governors and the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees on Wednesday.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 3:51 pm

Fake classes, inflated grades and one academic department that facilitated it all. Those are all detailed in a newly released report on grade-fixing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The scandal came to light in 2011, but the report out Wednesday offers the most wide-sweeping look yet at how some school staff members boosted the grades of more than 3,000 students — nearly half of them athletes — over nearly 20 years.

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Education
4:30 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Wave Away Math Homework With An App

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 6:14 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Suppose you need the answer to 70 times five?

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's 350.

INSKEEP: Or 12 times four.

GREENE: 48.

INSKEEP: That's impressive, David.

GREENE: Well, thank you.

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NPR Ed
3:32 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

The Slide Rule: A Computing Device That Put A Man On The Moon

LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 5:28 pm

The protractor and the Bunsen burner. Playing the recorder in music class. Drawing arcs and circles with a compass in geometry. These tools of the education trade become part of our lives for a semester or two and then we move on.

Today, NPR Ed begins a new series examining these icons of the classroom. We start off with a device that once was essential to higher-level math, in school and in the workplace, but now has all but disappeared:

The slide rule.

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NPR Ed
3:35 am
Tue October 21, 2014

The Short Shelf Life Of Urban School Superintendents

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, seen in a photo taken last year, says his resignation Thursday was "by mutual agreement.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 7:16 am

If you're a 12th-grader right now in the Los Angeles schools, that means you probably started kindergarten back in 2001. It also means that, as of this week, you've seen four superintendents come and go.

As we discussed today on Morning Edition, the ouster of John Deasy last week as the head of the nation's second-largest district has renewed a long-running debate about leadership of big-city schools, and particularly the challenges of raising achievement in such a politically charged environment.

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Education Desk
6:28 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Task Force Hopes To Help Turn Students Into Good Citizens

Illinois is one of only 10 states where students are not required to take a civics course. A task force of legislators and educators now recommends that students learn not just the history of government, but how to participate in it. 

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Education Desk
6:10 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Are Computer Keyboards Killing Cursive?

Teens we showed this letter to had trouble reading because it was written in cursive.
Credit The Papers Of Abraham Lincoln

With the rise of computers and electronic communications, educators have all but written off penmanship. And kids who don’t learn to write cursive tend to have trouble reading cursive. 

Last week, I went around torturing teenagers. I handed them a copy of a letter, written on stationery from the Executive Mansion and dated April 5, 1864. The letter is addressed to Mrs. Horace Mann.

It was especially challenging for 18-year-old Edwin Robles. 

“I’m sorry, I’m really bad at cursive. Like horrible at it," Robles said. "Why? Is this like a test?”

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NPR Ed
12:32 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

The New Vocabulary Of Urban Education

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 5:26 pm

Once upon a time, most kids attended things called schools to get an education. And, in those schools, these kids were called students.

Well, times are changing — especially in urban areas with lots of charter schools. In New Orleans, where just about every school receiving public funding is now a charter, we asked a bunch of adults where they had gone to school.

Their answers: Newton Elementary and Newton High School, Warren Easton High School, Epiphany School, Folsom Elementary School, Valena C. Jones School and the Moses Brown School.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Fri October 17, 2014

LA Schools Superintendent Steps Down, Defends Tenure

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, seen in a photo taken last year, says his resignation Thursday was "by mutual agreement."
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 9:12 am

Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy has stepped down as head of the nation's second-largest school system after a controversial tenure that saw him at odds with the teachers union and unable to push through a plan to get an iPad in every student's hand.

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Around the Nation
6:08 am
Fri October 17, 2014

LA Schools Superintendent To Leave After iPad Controversy

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 7:53 am

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

NPR Ed
6:03 am
Fri October 17, 2014

New Research Suggests Small High Schools May Help After All

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 3:05 pm

Findings from a new long-term study of small high schools in New York City show the approach may not only boost a student's chances of enrolling in college but also cost less per graduate.

The city began an intensive push to create smaller learning communities in its high schools in 2002. That year, the city's education department rolled out a districtwide lottery system for high school admission.

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Education Desk
3:56 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Decatur Schools Say Employee Who Visited Africa Poses No Ebola Threat

Decatur Public Schools issued a statement today saying a staff member at MacArthur High, who traveled to Africa, has been cleared by a doctor.   The announcement came after concerns from parents over potential exposure to Ebola.  

The district says the individual was in South Africa, outside of the region where Ebola has been concentrated.  

The statement released says the staff member was deemed not to be at risk and after seeing their personal physician, was cleared to return to work. 

The district's statement follows:

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Religion
3:26 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Interfaith Chaplains Revitalize An Old Role On College Campuses

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 5:35 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Education
3:26 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

In Crisis, Philadelphia Public Schools Revoke Teachers' Contract

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 5:35 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Education Desk
12:57 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Education Dilemma: When Local Control Loses Out To State Intervention

Credit flickr/dcjohn

Bet many of you didn’t know that the state of Illinois has the power to take over your local schools.

As in - fire school board members - even those you and your neighbors voted for. As in put a new superintendent in place. But two years ago - it did just that.

The state took over two school districts. One in East Saint Louis. The other in North Chicago...a low income and racially mixed suburb wedged between more the tony North Shore and Waukegan.

KOCH: You have to take actions when kids aren’t getting the basics. And that’s certainly what’s happening here.

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Education
11:03 am
Thu October 16, 2014

LA Schools Superintendent To Step Down Amid iPad Controversy

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 12:09 pm

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

Race
4:34 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Black Students Gather At Harvard To Watch 'Dear White People'

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 11:32 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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A Closer Look At Sexual Assaults On Campus
5:54 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Harvard Law Professors Say New Sexual Assault Policy Is One-Sided

A group of professors at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass., has slammed the school's new sexual assault policy, saying it gives victims an unfair advantage.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 9:32 am

Just a few months after Harvard University announced a new, tougher policy against campus sexual assault, a group of Harvard law professors is blasting the rules as unfair.

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Goats and Soda
11:25 am
Wed October 15, 2014

What Will Malala's Nobel Peace Prize Mean For Girls' Education?

Afghan schoolgirls take lessons outdoors at a refugee camp near Jalalabad.
Noorullah Shirzada AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 2:23 pm

When Malala Yousafzai found out last Friday that she'd won the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi, the 17-year-old Pakistani girl didn't celebrate immediately. Instead she returned to a chemistry class at her high school in Birmingham, England.

It was a fitting reaction by someone who's risked her life for the right to be educated.

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NPR Ed
9:47 am
Wed October 15, 2014

A New Credential For The Tech Industry

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 12:25 pm

A leader in the small but growing industry of "coder boot camps" announced plans today to develop a new set of credentials aimed at certifying the skills these programs teach.

The boot camps have surged in popularity to meet the demand for tech industry jobs such as software developers. That occupation is among the fastest-growing in the nation, projected to add a total of 220,000 jobs between 2012 and 2022.

Despite that demand — and a median annual salary of $93,000 — companies have struggled to fill those jobs.

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NPR Ed
1:03 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Identifying The Worst Colleges In America

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 2:22 pm

For years,Washington Monthly has been rating and ranking the nation's colleges.

But for its 2014 edition, the magazine has done something new. It has put out a list of what it says are the nation's worst colleges. That is, schools with high tuition, low graduation rates and high student debt rates.

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NPR Story
4:09 am
Tue October 14, 2014

School Facilities Strained By Boom In Petroleum Engineering

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 7:00 am

Copyright 2014 KUNC-FM. To see more, visit http://kunc.org.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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NPR Ed
6:03 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Daniel Tiger: Won't You Be His Neighbor?

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is in its second season on PBS.
PBS

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 8:06 am

Lexi Schaefers' preschoolers squeal with excitement. Their eyes are trained on an animated tiger dressed in a red hoodie and sneakers, peeking out of the TV at them.

These 3- and 4-year-olds at Shady Lane Preschool in Pittsburgh, Pa., sing along with the songs and laugh and mimic what the characters are doing onscreen.

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NPR Ed
2:23 am
Mon October 13, 2014

A New Orleans Charter School Marches To Its Own Tune

Art projects like these anatomy murals are woven into the curriculum at the Homer Plessy Community Charter school in New Orleans.
Eric Westervelt/NPR

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 8:42 am

This year, NPR Ed is reporting on the dramatic changes in the New Orleans school system.

All startups face big hurdles. But when you're a startup school in one of America's poorest cities, without deep-pocket backers, the challenges are daunting.

Oscar Brown is a New Orleans native. He grew up in the Desire housing project, a little over a mile west of his current home in a neighborhood ravaged by the storm that struck nearly a decade ago.

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NPR Ed
3:55 pm
Sun October 12, 2014

To Cut Student Debt, Florida College Cuts Off Some Student Borrowing

Students at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., attend a debt management workshop. Broward is one of 29 colleges that no longer accepts unsubsidized student loans. The effort is part of an experiment to cut down on student loan debt and defaults.
John O'Connor WLRN

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 5:52 pm

To get a student loan at Broward College, one of Florida's largest community colleges, you first have to sit through a two-hour financial lesson with Kent Dunston.

It's a little like Scared Straight, the 1978 documentary designed to keep kids from ending up in prison.

Dunston's lesson, though, is about scaring students into making good financial choices. Nationwide, student loans total more than $1.2 trillion. And schools now face punishment — even closure — by the federal government if the rate is too high.

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NPR Ed
11:57 am
Sat October 11, 2014

It's 2014. All Children Are Supposed To Be Proficient. What Happened?

President George W. Bush, seated, signs No Child Left Behind into law at Hamilton High School in Hamilton, Ohio.
Ron Edmonds ASSOCIATED PRESS

Take yourself back to those highly emotional, patriotic months after the 9/11 attacks.

In the midst of war, terrorism, fear and mourning, one bill passed 87-10 in the Senate and by a similar margin in the House — with equal support from both sides of the aisle. It was signed into law in January 2002 by George W. Bush, with the liberal lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy, by his side.

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Education Desk
5:09 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Springfield Faculty Takes Stand on Academic Freedom

Steven Salaita held a press conference at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on Sept. 9.
Credit WILL

The University of Illinois Springfield Campus Senate today/Friday passed a measure aimed at protecting academic freedom.

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