Education

Education
2:20 am
Fri November 1, 2013

What It Takes (And Means) To Learn English As An Adult

Millions of adults who grew up speaking a language other than English are still held back by their language skills.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:33 pm

This is the second report in a four-part series on adult education.

Ana Perez never made it to high school. Her education ended after the sixth grade, when war broke out in her native El Salvador. She says she's "desperate" to learn English, but she gets nervous trying to speak it.

Immigrants like Perez see English as the key to a better life. Many hope learning the language will help lift them out of poverty and integrate them into American society. But gaining English proficiency is a difficult task amid everyday obligations.

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All Tech Considered
2:18 am
Fri November 1, 2013

For The Tablet Generation, A Lesson In Digital Citizenship

Coachella Valley High School math teacher Eddie Simoneau uses iPads with his students.
Matt Hamilton Coachella Valley Unified School District

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 5:46 am

This week on All Tech, we're exploring kids and technology with posts and radio pieces about raising digital natives. Look back at the stories and share your thoughts and ideas in the comments, by email or tweet.

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Education
4:08 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Turning The Page On Illiteracy, Adults Go Back To Class

Marilyn Block tutors Jason White at a local library during a one-on-one session that is part of the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, in Maryland.
Kavitha Cardoza WAMU

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:33 pm

This is the first report of a four-part series on adult education.

The national debate around education usually focuses on children in school. But there are 30 million adults in the U.S. who have trouble with basic literacy — they struggle to read a menu, a pay stub or a bus schedule.

It also means it's difficult for them to get and hold onto the most basic jobs.

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Education
6:00 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Grade Deflation On School Report Cards

Illinois schools and school districts get report cards Thursday. Many will appear to have suffered a significant drop in student achievement. But state officials say that’s just because they’ve changed how students are evaluated.

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NPR Story
10:41 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Teachers Share Their Top Safety Concerns

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 1:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we'll head into the Beauty Shop, where our panel of women commentators and journalists take on some hot topics of the week, including adult Halloween costume dilemmas. And we'll ask if Jay-Z has another problem to add to his 99 - we promise we'll explain all that.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Penn State To Pay Nearly $60 Million In Abuse Settlement

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves court in handcuffs after being convicted in his child sex abuse trial on June 22, 2012.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 2:24 pm

Penn State has reached a $59.7 million settlement with 26 young men who accused former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse, the university confirmed Monday.

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Education
7:07 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Is The SAT Creating A Generation Of Bad Writers?

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 10:19 am

Want to do well on the essay portion of the SAT? Just make it up! Or at least that's one professor's view. Host Scott Simon speaks to English professor Anne Ruggles Gere of the University of Michigan, who says that the college entrance exam is turning out a generation of bad writers who are fast and loose with the facts.

All Tech Considered
4:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

A School's iPad Initiative Brings Optimism And Skepticism

Students at Coachella Valley Unified School District use iPads during a lesson. The district's superintendent is promoting the tablet initiative as a way to individualize learning.
Coachella Valley Unified School District

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

A growing number of school districts across America are trying to weave tablet computers, like the iPad, into the classroom fabric, especially as a tool to help implement the new Common Core state standards for math and reading.

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U.S.
2:26 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Newtown Residents Demolish A School, And Violent Memories

In June, people gathered in Newtown, Conn., to remember the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 8:55 am

Demolition has begun at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman killed 20 students and six adults last December. Bricks will be pulverized, steel melted down and a new school built at the same location.

Allison Hornak attended Sandy Hook Elementary School as a kid. After college, she returned home to Newtown, Conn., and opened an art gallery that's within walking distance of where the mass killing took place.

Hornak says she has a lot of fond memories of Sandy Hook — like a teacher who let her chew gum in class, and the pathways through the school.

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Code Switch
4:29 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Football Player Boycott At Grambling Highlights Budget Woes

A sparse but enthusiastic crowd watches Jackson State during a scrimmage at homecoming. Jackson State filed suit against Grambling State for lost revenue after a boycott by Grambling players prompted Jackson State's homecoming game to be canceled.
Charles Smith AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 4:57 pm

If you're not a big college football fan, you may have missed the story of an unprecedented player revolt.

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District 186
4:28 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Superintendent Search Draws Feedback From Springfield Community

Scott McFarland
Credit sps186.org

A search firm hired by district 186 to help in the hunt for a new Springfield public schools superintendent recently shared its findings after turning to parents, teachers, and the community at large for feedback. Board member Scott McFarland joins us to discuss some of the findings, and talk about the profile of qualities being sought after in a superintendent candidate: 

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Code Switch
10:28 am
Wed October 23, 2013

It Takes A Classroom To Learn The Family Language

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 3:32 pm

Call it a linguistic identity crisis.

Growing up in Westchester, N.Y., 25-year-old Danielle Alvarez says, she and her two siblings didn't have much need for Spanish. With few other Hispanic families around, she got by with the few phrases she had picked up from her Mexican-born father: good night, put a coat on, be careful.

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Education
9:15 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Interview With Education Coalition of Macon County

Data shows only 40% of 3rd grade students in Macon County are reading at grade level.  That same percentage applies to those in 11th grade.  1 of every 4 students also fails to graduate high school.  

The alarming statistics are similar to what many areas are facing.  The Education Coalition of Macon County is an initiative reviewing the problem and tying to find solutions.   That includes taking different approaches to what has become the standard for education.

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District 186
12:15 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Parents Urge186 Board To Pose Property Tax Referendum

A group of parents who have students in Springfield public schools took their push for a property tax increase before the District 186 board last night. They’re pursuing the issue - despite the fact the school board vice president recently proposed the idea of a 1% county-wide sales tax increase. Supporters of the property tax idea say it would benefit the general education fund while the sales tax hike, by law, would be used for building needs.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Tue October 22, 2013

NCAA Won't Ban Miami Hurricanes From Bowls Over Booster's Gifts

The University of Miami's athletic director, Blake James, walks to an NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing in Indianapolis in June. The school's failings "enabled a culture of noncompliance," the NCAA said Tuesday, in announcing penalties for the school and its football and men's basketball coaches.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 2:14 pm

The University of Miami "lacked institutional control" and didn't notice multiple violations by a booster who for years gave cash and gifts to athletes, the NCAA said. But the organization says the school's football team can play in the postseason, stopping short of the harshest punishment available.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Teacher Who Died Trying To End Shooting Remembered As A Hero

A Sparks Middle School student cries with family members after a fellow student killed a math teacher and himself Monday in Sparks, Nev.
Kevin Clifford AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 11:46 am

Michael Landsberry, the 45-year-old middle school math teacher and Afghan War veteran who was killed Monday trying to talk down a student shooter at a Nevada middle school, is being remembered as a hero.

Witnesses at Sparks Middle School in the city of Sparks, near Reno, described how Landsberry approached the armed 13-year-old boy and tried to get him to surrender a semi-automatic pistol he had used to shoot two fellow students. The boy then turned the weapon on Landsberry, fatally shooting him, before using the pistol to take his own life.

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Around the Nation
2:46 am
Tue October 22, 2013

West Point Women: A Natural Pattern Or A Camouflage Ceiling?

At the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., the graduating class has been about 16 percent female since the institution first accepted women more than 30 years ago.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:53 am

At the 200-year-old U.S. Military Academy at West Point, tradition dictates everything. That includes the habit of having freshmen stand in the yard everyday and call cadets to lunch. It's also tradition that the overwhelming majority of the graduating class will be white and 84 percent male.

Some say those rates are due to natural patterns of matriculation.

"Women will naturally matriculate — or, they have naturally matriculated — into the academy at about the 16 to 17 percent rate," says West Point admissions director Col. Deborah McDonald.

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Higher Education
7:58 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Bradley Univ. To Again Have Mascot

Credit Bradley University

Bradley University has a new mascot for the first time in more than 20 years.  
The Journal Star reports (http://bit.ly/16gYekk) the school said in a news release Friday that it has chosen the gargoyle as its new mascot. The Peoria school will keep the nickname ``Braves.'' School officials have said Bradley stopped using a mascot at some point before 1990 as pressure to drop American Indian mascots increased.  

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Education
5:44 am
Sat October 19, 2013

With Major Debt, Philadelphia Schools Cut Back On Nurses

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 6:40 am

Philadelphia Public Schools have been facing a funding crisis. There have been a series of layoffs, including assistant principals, school nurses and counselors. Some funding has come through to rehire hundreds of staffers, but not any new nurses. Host Scott Simon speaks with Eileen DiFranco, who has been a school nurse in the city for more than 23 years, about the situation.

Education
12:28 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Governor Suspends Charter School Group's Funding

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has again suspended state funding to the United Neighborhood Organization, the state's biggest charter-school operator.  
Quinn spokeswoman Sandra M. Jones told the Chicago Sun-Times the final $15 million of a $98 million state school-construction grant the Illinois Legislature promised UNO in 2009 is being withheld.  
Quinn previously suspended funding for UNO in April, after reports the organization gave $8.5 million of business to companies owned by the brothers of then UNO executive Miquel d'Escoto.  

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Education
9:24 am
Fri October 18, 2013

ISBE Warns Of School Funding Cuts

Credit flickr/LizMarie_AK

School administrators in Illinois are being warned to prepare for even less state funding for the next fiscal year.  
The Springfield Bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports (http://bit.ly/16g1Hjd ) the Illinois State Board of Education is telling school districts to prepare to receive about 85 percent of the normal general state aid payments.  
This year, the qualifying districts are getting 89 percent of the money.  

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District 186
7:00 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Search Firms Tells 186 School Board It's Uniquely Political

District 186 needs to warn superintendent candidates of the highly political atmosphere that’s become business-as-usual for the Springfield school board.

That’s what the search firm the board hired to help find a new superintendent is telling them, based on feedback the firm gathered from members of the community and staff. 

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Code Switch
2:08 am
Fri October 18, 2013

The Whitest Historically Black College In America

Deirdre Guyton, the school's director of alumni affairs, is proud of Bluefield State College's history and wants to preserve it. Here, she holds up a photo of the school's football team from 1927 to 1928, when it was the best black college team.
Shereen Marisol Meraji NPR

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 4:13 pm

It opened in the late 19th century as the Bluefield Colored Institute, created to educate the children of black coal miners in segregated West Virginia. Although it still receives the federal funding that comes with its designation as a historically black institution, today Bluefield State College is 90 percent white. The road that separates those realities is as rocky as any story of racial transition in post-World War II America.

We went to the campus of Bluefield State to see what campus life was like at this unusual college.

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Movies
11:11 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Tough Love And Lessons From 'American Promise' Film

The black male achievement gap has always been a hot-button topic. But a new film - 13 years in the making - attempts to address that issue by chronicling the experiences of two black boys as they navigate a prestigious private school. Host Michel Martin speaks with filmmakers and parents, Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson, and their son Idris Brewster, about the film American Promise.

Technology
3:54 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

More Angst For College Applicants: A Glitchy Common App

Thousands of students apply to college each year using the online Common Application. But a flawed overhaul of the system has left many students and parents frustrated.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 5:39 pm

For many high school students this year, the already stressful process of applying to college has been made far worse by major technical malfunctions with the Common Application, an online application portal used by hundreds of colleges and universities.

"It's been stressful, to be honest," says Freya James, a senior in Atlanta applying to five schools — all early admissions. The Common App has been a nightmare, the 17-year-old says.

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Research News
3:11 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Why College Freshmen May Feel Like Impostors On Campus

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 10:47 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Tens of thousands of freshman have just finished their first month in college. They've signed up for classes, met a bunch of other people and, if history is any guide, asked themselves a question: What am I doing here? Everyone else is smarter and better adjusted than I am. And for some, that question totally changes the college experience, may even cause them to drop out, which is why a researcher was determined to intervene. He told his story to NPR's Shankar Vedantam, who's here to tell it to us. Hi, Shankar.

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Code Switch
4:03 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Is Pitbull 'Mr. Education'? Rapper Opens Charter School In Miami

Pitbull is one of a growing list of celebrities who have opened their wallets or given their names to charter schools.
Jeff Daly AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 8:52 am

Rapper Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez) is the latest in a long list of celebrities lending their star power to the flourishing charter school movement. Alicia Keyes, Denzel Washington, Shakira, Oprah — all support or sponsor charter schools.

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Parenting
10:57 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Dodge Ball: Causing Harm Or Teaching Resilience?

A New York school has taken soccer balls, footballs — and maybe even the fun — out of recess. Officials say hard balls are a safety concern, but critics say they're being too cautious. Tell Me More's parenting roundtable weighs in.

Education
1:49 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Silicon Valley Trailer Park Residents Fight To Stay

Palo Alto middle school student Jennifer Munoz Tello (right) stands outside her family's trailer in Palo Alto with her mother, Sandra, and 2-year-old sister, Cynthia.
Eric Westervelt NPR

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 10:37 am

Sunny Palo Alto, Calif., is awash in multimillion-dollar homes, luxury Tesla electric cars and other financial fruits from a digital revolution the city helped spark. The Silicon Valley city is home to Stanford University, at least eight billionaires, and one mobile home park.

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Law
1:48 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Supreme Court Returns To Affirmative Action In Michigan Case

People wait in line for the beginning of the Supreme Court's new term on Oct. 7.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 9:12 am

The U.S. Supreme Court takes up the issue of affirmative action again Tuesday, but this time the question is not whether race may be considered as a factor in college admissions. Instead, this case tests whether voters can ban affirmative action programs through a referendum.

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