This is the first in a three-part report on Philadelphia schools in crisis.
Sharron Snyder and Othella Stanback, both seniors at Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin High, will be the first in their families to graduate from high school. This, their final year, was supposed to be memorable. Instead, these teenagers say they feel cheated.
"We're fed up with the budget cuts and everything. Like, this year, my school is like really overcrowded. We don't even have lockers because it's, like, too many students," Sharron says.
Zach Baliva says it's become the norm for students to attend college with the help of hefty loans, and all that debt is becoming a serious obstacle for students and graduates. With the film 'Deferred' Baliva, a local documentarian, hopes to explore these issues. He recently joined us to talk about what inspired the movie and plans to get it off the ground:
The first satellite ever developed by high school students to make it to space is believed to be orbiting Earth after getting a ride aboard a U.S. military rocket Tuesday night from Wallops Island, Va.
Fittingly, perhaps, you can send it a text message.
The satellite, using a voice synthesizer, is built to transform that text into an audio message that can be heard over certain radio frequencies around the globe, and in different languages.
District 186 says it's working hard to hire more minority teachers and administrators. Still, the percentage of minorities in those roles is only half of what it should be according to a decades old desegregation order. And the Springfield branch of the NAACP says it's preparing for a potential lawsuit.
It was 40 years ago today that the Supreme Court accepted what became a landmark case about school desegregation. The case was controversial because it involved busing student between a largely African-American city — Detroit — and its white suburban areas. The ruling helped cement differences between urban schools and suburban neighborhoods.
The University Of Illinois Springfield continues to kick around the idea of a new school mascot. The Chancellor's office paid for a consultant whose suggestions include the Springers, Sabers, Mammoths and the Stampede. Aaron Mulvey is the president of the Student Government Association at UIS. He says some students are confused by the Prairie Star nickname and the mascot, a masked boy named Cozmo. Others say they just don't like either.
Many veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are taking advantage of the post 9/11 GI bill to pay for higher education. They often end up at large state schools or for-profit, online universities.
Gloria Hillard reports that a scholarship program in California is opening the doors for veterans who may be better suited for smaller and more expensive private liberal arts colleges.
GLORIA HILLARD, BYLINE: Cory Bloor is giving me a tour of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll tell you about the late night talk show called "Totally Biased." Never heard of it? That might be why it was canceled. But we'll also hear why so many critics are up in arms that it was canceled. That's later this hour.
Springfield-area residents have a chance to get a taste of all things international on Friday. UIS hosts its annual International Festival with food, booths from area groups, entertainment and more. Erica Suzuki and Sarah Jome with UIS's International Student Services joined us for this interview about it:
The University of Illinois Board of Trustees dismissed an engineering professor who had a 50-year career at the state's flagship school Thursday. Administrators say it's the first time a tenure decision went to the board.
Louis Wozniak was charged with harassing a student, improperly obtaining and publishing grades and sending an email to students that included a sexual reference. He apologized for that email the next day, though has claimed he did nothing wrong.
Wozniak was suspended with pay from his $85,000-a-year job in 2010 after the email.
In the developing world, millions of children are either not in school or attending classes where learning to read or write is far from guaranteed. Recently, several for-profit companies have started opening low-cost private schools in Africa aimed at families living on less than $2 a day.
NPR's Jason Beaubien looks at the largest, a new chain of low cost schools in Kenya.
Host Michel Martin continues the conversation surrounding Missouri's controversial school transfer policy with Don Marsh of St. Louis Public Radio; Ty McNichols, who leads the city's Normandy School District; and Eric Knost, Superintendent of Mehlville School District.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We are in St. Louis, Missouri today for a special broadcast from St. Louis Public Radio. We're going to be giving you a bit of St. Louis flavor. In a few minutes, we will talk about one of the city's biggest bragging rights. Hint, it has nothing to do with swinging a bat or throwing a ball.
It's recess time at Ruby Bridges Elementary School and a third-grader is pummeling a plastic tetherball with focused intensity. He's playing at one of more than a half-dozen recess play stations on the school's sprawling cement playground — there's also wall ball, basketball, capture the flag, sharks and minnows, a jungle gym and tag.
The "school-to-prison pipeline" is what many activists call education policies that push troubled kids out of class, and into the criminal justice system. Broward County has taken steps to address those concerns by moving away from "zero tolerance" rules of discipline. Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses the new program with Marsha Ellison of the Broward County NAACP, and Michael Krezmien, a professor of student development at University of Massachusetts Amherst.
There's a nationwide search underway to find former students who don't know they've already done all or most of the work needed to earn a credential that might help them land a better-paying job.
In Michigan, several hundred community college dropouts were recently surprised to learn they had enough credits to qualify for an associate degree. There are also ex-students who apparently didn't know they're just a few credits shy of a two-year degree.
About five hundred Springfield students were forced out of the public schools last month for failing to have required physicals and immunizations. The number has since dropped to 87 kids missing classes. The deadline was October 15th. School board member Mike Zimmers says the policy should be changed for next year to have the deadline before school gets underway.
"Parents just need to plan, you know when they start thinking about ... we need to get school clothes or school supplies -- in your mindset just think, we need to get physicals, we need to get shots,” said Zimmers.
Tomorrow in Colorado, voters will decide on an ambitious ballot measure that would overhaul the state's public education system. It could become the first state to combine an income tax hike with education reforms all in one proposal. From Colorado Public Radio, here's Jenny Brundin.
Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:34 pm
This is the final report in a four-part series on adult education.
Low literacy rates for adults can have wide-ranging effects on those around them. They may rely more heavily on government services; their children may not get that extra hand with schoolwork; their families may not get sufficient financial support.
But for the millions of adults with low literacy, the ability to read, write and speak English might offer them the most important opportunity of all: a chance to emerge from the shadows and participate as equals in society.
And now we'll continue with this theme of using hip-hop to teach. When legendary lyricist and DJ MC Lyte first appeared on the national scene 1988, she wasn't thinking about education. This is her hit song, "Lyte as a Rock."
This is the third report in a four-part series on adult education.
Adults wanting to go back to school have the odds stacked against them. They juggle many responsibilities, there are long waitlists for classes and often there isn't a connection between what they learn in class and the skills they need to get a job.
Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 8:14 am
Education is necessary if democracy is to flourish. What good is the free flow of information if people can't make sense of it? How can you vote your own interests if you don't understand the consequences of policy choices? How can you know what's best for you or your community?
The University of Illinois plans to open an office in China later this year.
Pradeep Khanna is associate chancellor for corporate international relations at the school. Khanna tells The News-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1ahCsrT) that the university plans to hire up to three employees for the new office in Shanghai.
A delegation of University of Illinois alumni is traveling to Beijing and Shanghai next week. The group of about 50 people will meet with alumni and visit companies and universities that have partnerships with UI.
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.