Education Desk

NPR Ed
2:46 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Common Core Reading: The High Achievers

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:29 pm

Part 2 in a four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.

Linnea Wolters was prepared to hate the Common Core State Standards.

She taught fifth grade at a low-income school in Reno, Nev., where, she says, there was always some new plan to improve things. And none of it added up to good education. But, after leading her class through a Core-aligned lesson — a close reading of Emma Lazarus' sonnet "The New Colossus" — she was intrigued, especially by the way different students reacted to the process.

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The Two-Way
10:50 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

John Doar Remembered As A Civil Rights Pioneer

John Doar in Oxford, Miss., in 1966.
AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 9:59 am

The news of attorney John Doar's death at 92 on Tuesday sent a wave of solemnity through the country, prompting multiple obituaries detailing his extensive work fighting discrimination and working for racial equality during the 1960s and '70s.

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Around the Nation
4:46 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Communities Struggle To Reach Homeless Students Living In The Shadows

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 7:24 pm

It's late afternoon and the day has just ended at a Los Angeles school. Students are making their way toward the parking lot, where a dusty 2001 Ford Taurus stands out among the shiny SUVs filled with waiting parents.

Kids walk by and stare. In the back seat of the Taurus, James, a tall 14-year-old in a checkered shirt, smiles. He is familiar with the stares.

He never told anyone that he was once homeless, but they knew. It's hard to hide homelessness from other kids, he says. They want to know why you're wearing the same shirt and why you look tired.

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NPR Ed
3:17 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Common Core Reading: 'The New Colossus'

Fourth-grader Isiah Soto digests some history during independent reading time.
Emily Hanford American Public Media

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 9:48 am

Part 1 in a four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.

The Common Core State Standards are changing what many kids read in school. They're standards, sure — not curriculum. Teachers and districts still have great latitude when it comes to the "how" of reading instruction, but...

The Core standards explicitly require students to read "complex" material, and the fact is, many kids simply weren't doing that before the Core. What were they doing?

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Asked To Stop Praying, Alaska School Won't Host State Tournament

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 2:28 pm

Alaska's wrestling tournament for small schools will be held next month — but it won't be at the private Anchorage Christian Schools, the host for the past seven years. A complaint about the tournament's introductory prayer led to a request to stop the practice, and the school refused.

The anonymous complaint came after last year's event. It prompted the national group Americans United for Separation of Church and State to complain to the Alaska School Activities Association that it was giving the state's sanction to the prayer.

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NPR Ed
6:18 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Q&A: Lamar Alexander On Education In The New Congress

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., waves after speaking to supporters on Nov. 4 in Knoxville.
Wade Payne AP

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 1:45 pm

Higher education, preschool funding, the Common Core and the future of No Child Left Behind are just a few of the education policies that will be in play under the new Republican-controlled Congress. How will these things change? We called Sen. Lamar Alexander to ask.

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NPR Ed
7:04 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Tools Of The Trade: The Abacus

"A" is for Abacus
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:30 pm

For this series, we've been thinking a lot about some of the iconic objects that some of us remember using — if only for a short period of time — in our early schooling. Slide rules, the recorder, protractors and Bunsen burners.

But when the abacus came up, we were a bit stumped.

"Does anyone still use this thing?" we wondered. "And how the heck does it work?"

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NPR Ed
8:03 am
Sat November 8, 2014

5 Great Teachers On What Makes A Great Teacher

LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 12:47 pm

When we began our 50 Great Teachers series, we set out to find great teachers and tell their stories. But we'll also be exploring over the coming year questions about what it means for a teacher to be great, and how he or she gets that way.

To get us started, we gathered an expert round table of educators who've also done a lot of thinking about teaching. Combined, these teachers are drawing on over 150 years of classroom experience:

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NPR Ed
9:38 am
Fri November 7, 2014

For-Profit Colleges Sue The Federal Government Over Student Loan Rules

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 10:10 am

A trade group representing more than 1,400 for-profit colleges has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over regulations aimed at curbing industry abuses.

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NPR Ed
7:08 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Pythagoras' iPhone: Is Listening A Lost Classroom Art?

Maryann Wolfe talks with Mawi Fasil during her AP American government class at Oakland Technical High School.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 12:46 pm

Listen and learn, the saying goes.

But are students and teachers these days fully listening to each other?

What, exactly, is good listening, and why does it matter when it comes to learning? Is "close listening" a doorway to understanding that too many of us are keeping only half-open?

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Harvard Secretly Photographed Classrooms To Monitor Attendance

People walk through the University's iconic Harvard Yard. This week, a faculty study that secretly photographed students to monitor their attendance in lectures has come under fire.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Some 2,000 Harvard undergraduates, as well as some faculty, were photographed in lecture halls at the school last spring as part of a university study into student attendance. Harmless enough, right? Well, those photographs were taken without those students' knowledge or permission. And that has some people upset.

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NPR Ed
1:03 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

When The Bell Rings, This Teacher Flies

Teacher Joshua Weinstein at the controls of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk above northern New Jersey. He says he had wanted to be a pilot since he was in first grade.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 10:00 am

Our Secret Lives of Teachers series continues as we head into the sky with a social studies teacher with a passion for flying.

Above the hum of the propeller, Joshua Weinstein calls my attention to the Boonton Reservoir, which provides water for Jersey City. We're flying about 2,000 feet above the tree-lined streets of northern Jersey, the Manhattan skyline visible through the haze in the distance.

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American Made: The New Manufacturing Landscape
2:24 am
Thu November 6, 2014

In South Carolina, A Program That Makes Apprenticeships Work

John Harris makes a weld for a test during a welding class at Spartanburg Community College in Spartanburg, S.C., on Oct. 22.
Mike Belleme for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 5:41 pm

Several years ago, South Carolina had a problem: a shortage of skilled workers and no good way to train young people for the workforce. So at a time when apprenticeship programs were in decline in the U.S., the state started a program called Apprenticeship Carolina.

"We were really, really squarely well-positioned at the bottom," says Brad Neese, the program's director.

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Sports
4:14 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Charlotte's College Of Faith Lacks A Campus But Not A Football Team

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 10:58 am

Copyright 2014 WFAE-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wfae.org.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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NPR Ed
3:16 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

From NYC's International Schools, Lessons For Teaching Unaccompanied Minors

Alexandra Starr

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 3:47 pm

Flushing International High School is like a teenage version of the United Nations. Walk down the hallway and you can meet students from Colombia, China, Ecuador, Bangladesh and South Korea.

"Our students come from about 40 different countries, speak 20 different languages," says Lara Evangelista, the school's principal.

With schools around the country scrambling to educate the more than 57,000 unaccompanied child migrants who've crossed the border this year, I came to see what lessons International Schools like this one can offer.

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NPR Ed
3:16 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Philadelphia Schools: Another Year, Another Budget Crisis

LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 5:32 pm

Trying to figure out why Philadelphia's public schools have been teetering on insolvency the past few years is no easy task.

But let's start with some basic facts. The district, the eighth largest in the nation, is entirely dependent on three sources of money: Almost half of its $2.8 billion budget comes from the city. A little over a third comes from the state. Most of the rest comes from the federal government.

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Sun November 2, 2014

A Collection Of Clues To America's Educational Past

The Allen Company alphabet board dates back to 1840.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

If you walk past Daniel Radcliffe's Harry Potter robe, ride the elevator up four floors, above the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz and a family of four visiting from Cincinnati, Ohio, you'll find yourself in a long hallway that vaguely resembles a hospital walkway.

The fourth floor of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is an assortment of offices and storage rooms.

Debbie Schaefer-Jacobs ushers me through a heavy brown door. She's the curator for the museum's education collection, and this is one of those days that people like her relish.

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News
7:11 am
Sat November 1, 2014

Jury Finds Tradition Is No Excuse For Brutal Hazing

Pam Champion (second from right) and Robert Champion Sr. (right), parents of Robert Champion Jr., listen as the guilty verdict against Dante Martin is read in an Orlando courtroom on Friday.
Red Huber AP

Originally published on Sat November 1, 2014 1:25 pm

A jury has rejected a defense argument that beatings of Florida A&M University band members were a band tradition. The panel found a former member of marching band guilty of felony hazing and manslaughter in one such beating.

Dante Martin is now looking at a possible sentence of up to 22 years in prison for his role in the death of Robert Champion. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 9.

Called "The Example" by band colleagues, Champion was an accomplished clarinetist, drum major and leader of the "Marching 100."

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Illinois Issues
1:00 am
Sat November 1, 2014

Sexual Assault: The Nationwide Campus Crisis Hits Home In Illinois

Students rallied in September to protest threats against women and sexual assault survivors by the UChicago Electronic Army. The student hacker group threatened to “rape harder” in response to an online list of alleged male aggressors. Participants tweeted about the event using #keepuchisafe.

Veronica Portillo Heap became an advocate for sexual assault survivors as a sophomore at the University of Chicago. She got an email from a group of students organizing The UChicago Clothesline Project, which offers survivors a chance to tell their stories on T-shirts in an annual art installation. Portillo Heap was not a survivor herself, but she thought getting involved as an organizer with The Clothesline Project would be worth her time.

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Law
4:04 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Former Band Member Convicted Of Manslaughter In Hazing Death

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 6:41 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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NPR Ed
6:03 am
Fri October 31, 2014

50 Great Teachers: A Celebration Of Great Teaching

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 12:46 pm

Anne Sullivan was a great teacher. Famously, she was the "Miracle Worker," who taught a blind and deaf girl named Helen Keller to understand sign language and, eventually, to read and write.

Socrates ... now there was a great teacher. More than 2,000 years after he gave his last pop quiz, we still know him for the teaching style named after him, the Socratic method. And through the writings of his most famous pupil, Plato.

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Illinois Issues - Education Desk
6:02 am
Fri October 31, 2014

"Growth" Graph Is New Gauge Of Illinois Schools

Here's a glimpse of how one local elementary school is performing as compared to the district and state averages.

Illinois new report cards on public schools become available online today. But parents hoping to find a simple snapshot of how their kids' school measures up might be in for a surprise.

Thanks to a federal waiver received in April, Illinois schools are no longer judged by whether students have achieved "adequate yearly progress" -- the standard set by No Child Left Behind.

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Education
3:57 am
Fri October 31, 2014

A $1.3 Billion Question: What's The Future Of LA's iPad Program?

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 11:42 am

This time last year, students in Los Angeles were squealing with delight as boxes of new iPads rolled into their schools. It was the first phase of what was touted as the largest technology expansion in the country.

The program has run into a host of problems since then, leading to this month's resignation of its biggest advocate, Superintendent John Deasy.

Which leaves the question: Does this mark the end of the effort?

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Education
3:40 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

New Initiative Hopes To Connect Qualified Students With College Know-How

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 5:27 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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NPR Ed
1:03 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

So Who Was Socrates, Anyway? Let's Ask Some Kids

Who Was Socrates?
NPR

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 11:06 am

In part two of our look at the ancient Greek philosopher, we ask students at a California school about the Socratic teaching method and the questions it inspires.

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Education Desk
7:17 am
Thu October 30, 2014

MacMurray College Scrapping Ten Programs

MacMurray College in Jacksonville is getting rid of ten academic programs due to low enrollment. 

The Board of Trustees approved the phase out of the programs, which include Elementary Education, English and History.

A statement from the school says the changes affect about 15 students.  Those currently enrolled in the programs will have opportunities to complete their degrees and no new students will be admitted.  The college says no layoffs are involved.

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Illinois Issues - Education Desk
4:33 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Illinois Provides Data On Schools Via Award-Winning Report Card

The website gives data by school, by district and for the state as a whole.

When you think of a report card, you think of a basic form that provides average test scores and little more. But the new online report cards for each Illinois public school offer more granular data, such as teacher retention and principal turnover rates, the percentage of high school freshmen deemed "on track" for graduation, and even survey results for how safe students feel at school.

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Education Desk
2:24 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Training Ambassadors For Non-Violence

Bernice King speaks with students at Riverview Gardens High School about nonviolence on Sept. 18, 2014
Credit Tim Lloyd/St. Louis Public Radio

This story is the third part of A Teachable Moment, a three-part series that profiles how issues raised by events in Ferguson are being discussed in classrooms across the St. Louis region.

In Riverview Gardens High School’s library, students have formed small groups. For many of the kids here, peaceful demonstrations and at times violent clashes between police and protesters weren’t just on TV; they were down the street, around the corner or in their backyards.

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NPR Ed
4:00 am
Wed October 29, 2014

50 Great Teachers: Socrates, The Ancient World's Teaching Superstar

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 12:45 pm

Today, NPR Ed kicks off a yearlong series: 50 Great Teachers.

We're starting this celebration of teaching with Socrates, the superstar teacher of the ancient world. He was sentenced to death more than 2,400 years ago for "impiety" and "corrupting" the minds of the youth of Athens.

But Socrates' ideas helped form the foundation of Western philosophy and the scientific method of inquiry. And his question-and-dialogue-based teaching style lives on in many classrooms as the Socratic method.

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Code Switch
4:04 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Some St. Louis Teachers Address Ferguson With Lessons On Race

Vincent Flewellen leads a lesson on Ferguson during his eighth-grade multicultural studies course at Ladue Middle School.
Tim Lloyd/St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 7:21 pm

This story is a consolidated version of a three-part series by St. Louis Public Radio that profiles how issues of race and class sparked by Ferguson are being discussed in St. Louis-area schools.

It was early September and Vincent Flewellen had just wrapped up his day teaching at Ladue Middle School, in an affluent suburb about 13 miles south of where protests erupted in Ferguson.

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