Education Desk

Education
7:56 am
Thu March 6, 2014

University Of Illinois Trustees To Vote On Sex-Change Insurance

Credit University of Illinois

University of Illinois trustees are expected to vote Thursday on adding coverage for sex-change operations to the health insurance plan used by many students at the flagship campus.  

Many of the Urbana-Champaign campus' more than 40,000 students use the insurance and would see costs rise by 15 percent in the proposal is approved. Undergraduates would pay $291 a semester starting next fall. That's an increase of $37.  

But university officials say most of that increase is due to the federal Affordable Care Act rather than adding sex-change coverage.  

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Education
4:49 am
Thu March 6, 2014

College Board Previews Revisions To SAT

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 7:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The College Board made a big announcement yesterday; it is overhauling the SAT. This is the second major revision of the widely used college entrance exam in nine years. Changes to the test will affect over a million college-bound high school students.

And as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, parts of the new SAT are going to be quite different.

CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, BYLINE: David Coleman, president of the College Board, which administers the SAT, says the biggest change will be obvious.

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All Tech Considered
3:35 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Post A Survey On Mechanical Turk And Watch The Results Roll In

Researchers are paying people pennies to take their surveys on MechanicalTurk.com, an Amazon site.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:42 pm

You can buy just about anything on Amazon.com — clothes, books, electronics. You can buy answers, too. College students and professors are doing all sorts of research on an Amazon site called Mechanical Turk.

Need 200 smokers for your survey on lung cancer? Have a moral dilemma to pose for your paper on Kierkegaard? Now researchers can log in, offer a few pennies in payment and watch the data roll in.

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Education
3:35 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

College Board Breaks Out Red Pen For SAT Corrections

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The most widely used measure of a student's readiness for college is getting a makeover. The College Board is changing the SAT. It's the second major revision of the test in nine years.

NPR's Claudio Sanchez joins us now to tell us what the new SAT might look like. And, Claudio, what are the biggest changes proposed here?

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Optional Essay And Other Changes Coming To The SAT

They'll need new prep books.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:43 pm

The essay is optional. Scores will return to 1,600. And there will be no penalties if you answer something incorrectly. Those are the big takeaways from the SAT changes announced Wednesday.

The College Board said the revisions, the first updates to the college entrance exam since 2005, will take effect in 2016.

Other changes announced: Certain vocabulary words will be dropped in favor of those more commonly used in school and at work, and test-takers will have the option to take the SAT on a computer.

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Teen Sues Parents, Claiming They Owe Her Money For College

Rachel Canning (right) sits with her friend Jaime Inglesino during a hearing Tuesday at the Morris County Courthouse in New Jersey.
John O'Boyle AP

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:56 am

A judge held an unusual hearing in New Jersey on Tuesday: a lawsuit brought by an 18-year-old who says her parents kicked her out of their house. Rachel Canning is seeking to force her parents to give her financial support and money for college, in addition to pay for tuition at her private school.

Superior Court Family Division Judge Peter Bogaard, who heard the case in Morristown, N.J., on Tuesday afternoon, denied Canning's requests in what's seen as the first round of hearings in the case.

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Education
3:18 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

As a Test Gets Phased Out In Chicago, Some Boycott Its Final Year

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 5:31 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's testing time in Illinois today. Hundreds of thousands of students began taking state tests in math and science but some students, parents, even teachers are refusing. At dozens of schools in Chicago, they're staging a boycott, saying the tests don't matter. As NPR's Cheryl Corley reports, it's part of a growing national debate over measuring student performance.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Boycott the ISAT. Let things be. Boycott the ISAT.

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Parenting
11:02 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Should Kindergarteners Stop Finger Painting And Start Learning French?

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 1:16 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Technology
11:02 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Can Playing Minecraft Teach Kids To Code?

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 1:16 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we'd like to talk about a popular form of entertainment - video games. And you may fall into one of two camps here - love them or at least you understand why people can spend hours playing them, or hate them and you associate them with mindless violence, sexism and or just a waste of time. Well, if you're in the hate or don't-understand-them category, you might not be familiar with Minecraft. But it's one of the most popular games out there right now. It has more than 100 million registered users.

(SOUNDBITE OF COMMERCIAL)

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Hispanics Struggle To Graduate: An Issue of School Choice?

Hispanics are less likely than other groups to enroll in four-year schools. They're also harder to find in stock photos.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 7:59 pm

Angela Barba was the first in her immediate family to graduate from high school. And when the time came for her son Robert to follow in her footsteps, she says, she found herself overwhelmed.

"I had no idea how I was going to get him into college," she says.

Angela, who had completed a two-year degree herself, says she wanted her son to be the first in the family to complete a four-year program. But she couldn't really offer any advice or guidance as to what schools to attend or how to apply for scholarships.

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Education
5:56 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Ex-'Post' Owner Raises Scholarships For Kids In U.S. Illegally

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 10:11 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Don Graham is best known as the former owner of The Washington Post. His family ran the paper for 80 years until he sold it to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos last summer. Since then, Graham has been focusing on a long time passion, helping underprivileged students pay for college.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

A few years ago, Graham identified one group in particular that needs help with tuition, students who are brought to the U.S. by their parents illegally, undocumented immigrants. They do not have access to federal assistance.

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Higher Education
11:33 am
Fri February 28, 2014

SIU: Most Missing Computers Found

Credit procurement.siu.edu

Southern Illinois University in Carbondale says it has accounted for most of the more than 250 computers that an audit noted were missing last summer.  

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan (http://bit.ly/1fvZVIg ) reports that the university's assistant provost and chief information officer says an initial search recovered 76 of the 256 computers that had been listed as missing. David Crain says another search turned up 61 more computers.  

Crain says that most of the remaining computers were found to have been transferred to surplus.  

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Barbershop
11:03 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Should The NFL Police The N-Word?

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 11:30 am

The National Football League is considering a 15-yard penalty for players using the N-word on the field. The Barbershop guys weigh in on that and other news of week.

Race
11:00 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Will President's Initiative Be A 'Game-Changer' For Young Men Of Color?

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 11:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Education
3:07 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Mind The Gap (Year): A Break Before College Might Do Some Good

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 11:43 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The idea of a gap here, postponing the start of college, has become a bit more common in the U.S. and a handful of colleges and universities are now actually encouraging accepted students to take a year break before starting classes. While the experience is still out of reach for most students, more schools are expected to support and even help pay for gap years.

From WGBH in Boston, Kirk Carapezza has more.

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Education
11:51 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Community Colleges Missing The Mark For Men Of Color

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:51 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Education
3:20 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Teachers Unions Mobilize To Delay The Common Core

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:08 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The nation's largest teachers union is calling for a delay in the adoption of the Common Core. That's the name of new math and language arts standards that are supposed to be in place next fall in 45 states. The 3 million-member National Education Association has been a strong supporter. But as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, the NEA now says teachers and students haven't had enough time to prepare.

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Education
3:20 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Fed Up With Zero Tolerance In Schools, Advocates Push For Change

De'angelo Rollins got into a fight with a fellow student at their middle school in Bryan, Texas. He was sent to the principal's office — and, later, adult criminal court.
Laura Isensee KUHF

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 2:34 pm

In 2010, De'angelo Rollins got into a fight with a bully at his new middle school in Bryan, Texas. His mother, Marjorie Rollins Holman, says her shy son reported the bullying, but the teacher didn't stop it.

Then it came to blows.

"The boy ended up hitting my son in the face first," Holman says. "My son hit him back, and they got in a little scuffle."

That scuffle landed her then-12-year-old son in the principal's office — and in adult criminal court after the school police officer wrote the sixth-grader a ticket.

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District 186
4:31 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Dist. 186 Will Look At Additional Cuts To Budget

The original list of proposed cuts as presented to the School board on 2/24/14
Credit provided by District 186

As Springfield public schools look to save around $5 million dollars, jobs and programs are on the chopping block. And yet, some say even those cuts would not save enough. 

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The Salt
2:34 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

New Rules Would Curb How Kids Are Sold Junk Food At School

Michelle Obama eats lunch with school children at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., in 2012. The first lady unveiled new guidelines Tuesday aimed at cracking down on the marketing of junk food to kids during the school day.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 2:06 pm

If you want to teach kids to adopt healthier eating habits, it's probably unwise to give them coupons for fast food chains at school.

And those advertisements for sugary sodas on the gymnasium scoreboard? Seems like another mixed message schools are sending kids.

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The Arts
11:22 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Students Compete With 'Poetry Out Loud'

Area high school students who competed in the 2014 Central Illinois 'Poetry Out Loud' Regional Contest
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Most teenagers spend more time on the internet chatting with friends than reading books - let alone poetry. However, the art form has seen a recent resurgence, and in some circles is even considered "hip." In Springfield, 14 area high school students recently competed in the regional version of the Poetry Out Loud contest to recite a wide variety of poems from memory.

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Architecture
2:38 am
Tue February 25, 2014

A College Project That Imagines A Floating City For Oil Workers

View of central crossing of the central hub island, one of dozens of man-made islands envisioned by Rice University architecture students. The islands would serve as a floating city for oil workers off the coast of Brazil.
Rice School of Architecture

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:58 am

Imagine you're in a college-level architecture class and your assignment is to come up with an idea so revolutionary that it could be considered an important advance in industrial design.

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Education
2:32 am
Tue February 25, 2014

The Business Of Frats: Shifting Liability For Trauma And Injury

Students walk past the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity house at San Diego State University after news that a student had died there on April 20, 2012.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 2:55 pm

For those of you keeping track of the headlines detailing sexual assault and hazing at frat houses, it may come as no surprise that fraternities have a dark side. Caitlin Flanagan, a writer at The Atlantic, spent a year investigating Greek houses and discovered that "the dark power of fraternities" is not just a power over pledges and partygoers but one held over universities as well.

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Planet Money
2:32 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Duke: $60,000 A Year For College Is Actually A Discount

Students attend graduation ceremonies at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Two-thirds of college students now graduate with debt, owing an average amount of $24,000.
Butch Dill AP

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 9:36 am

In 1984, it cost $10,000 a year to go to Duke University. Today, it's $60,000 a year. "It's staggering," says Duke freshman Max Duncan, "especially considering that's for four years."

But according to Jim Roberts, executive vice provost at Duke, that's actually a discount. "We're investing on average about $90,000 in the education of each student," he says. Roberts is not alone in making the claim. In fact, it's one most elite research institutions point to when asked about rising tuition.

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The Two-Way
6:19 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

USDA Tells Schools: Don't Refuse Food To Students Who Owe

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 2:29 pm

U.S. school systems should not take cafeteria lunches away from students whose parents have not paid their accounts, says the Department of Agriculture.

The agency is responding to a January incident in which a Utah elementary school served students food but threw it away when their accounts were found to have a negative balance.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Data Breach At University Of Maryland Exposes 309,000 Records

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 11:35 am

The University of Maryland said one of its databases was the "victim of a sophisticated computer security attack" that exposed the personal information of more than 300,000 faculty, staff, students and others who were issued an ID at their College Park and Shady Grove campuses.

"I am truly sorry," Wallace D. Loh, the university president said in a statement. "Computer and data security are a very high priority of our University."

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District 186
8:00 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Conference Explores Host Of Disabilities, From ADHD to Autism

Often times, the strongest advocates for students with disabilities are their parents. Dr. Holly Novak is a member of the group Springfield Parents For Students with Disabilities. On Saturday the group hosts its "6th Annual Disability to Possibility Conference" from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm at Southeast High School.

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District 186
9:30 am
Wed February 19, 2014

District 186 Moves Up Vaccination Deadline

Springfield District 186 plans to give parents and students a shorter deadline for immunizations and physicals next school year. They'll have to be completed by the 10th day of school, which means around the end of August. That's much sooner than this year's mid-October deadline. Around 500 students failed to comply and some were out of school for up to 3 weeks.

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District 186
9:24 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Parents Angry School Stayed Open, District 186 Responds

Credit Ingrid Taylar/Flickr

Monday's ice storm didn’t stop Springfield public schools from holding classes. But it also meant many school buses were late to pick up students. Parents complained of students waiting up to 45 minutes in the cold and freezing rain as buses maneuvered the slick roads. Many took to the district’s Facebook page to hurl insults about the decision to keep school open.

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Education Desk Features
8:00 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Illinois Lottery: A Shell Game For School Funding?

Lottery ads at the Hometown Pantry
Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Many people are aware that the Illinois Lottery helps fund schools. But just how much do the proceeds actually help? Well, that's what we aimed to find out:

    

Most of the money for the state's public schools K-12 come from local sources, like property taxes. The state contributes a large portion as well, and the lottery profits are part of that, but just how much? To find that out, our first stop is the Hometown Pantry at the intersection of Edwards and MacArthur in Springfield.

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