Education Desk

Education Desk
5:38 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Cornel West Cancels U of I Speech Over Salaita

Cornel West scrubs U of I speech over Salaita rejection
Credit npr.org

A prominent civil rights activist and academic has canceled a speech at the University of Illinois because of the school's decision to rescind a job offer to a Native American studies professor.  

Cornel West said Wednesday that he will not speak at the Urbana-Champaign campus because of the dispute between the university and Steven Salaita. West was scheduled to deliver a lecture in April.  

He called the university's decision to rescind the job offer ``a moral scandal.''  
 A university spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  

Read more
Parallels
2:58 am
Thu March 5, 2015

In Berlin, Grassroots Efforts Work To Integrate Inner-City Schools

Young fans of the German national soccer team drink iced tea in July 2010 as they watch the FIFA World Cup semi-final match Germany vs. Spain in an Arabic cafe in Berlin's Neukölln district. The neighborhood has gentrified rapidly in recent years, but many of the white families moving in leave once their children reach school age. Local groups are trying to change that.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 9:11 am

In parts of Berlin, racial segregation in schools is far from official policy, but it is often a reality. In the fast-gentrifying district of Neukölln, young, mainly white professionals usually move away as soon as their kids reach school-age.

But small, parent-led initiatives are working to change this trend and ensure their local schools better reflect the neighborhood.

Read more
NPR Ed
3:30 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

In LA, Clearing A Backlog Of Aging Instruments

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 7:29 pm

There are about 800 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and hundreds of them have music programs. There are jazz bands, choirs, orchestras and marching bands. But for a couple of years, teachers and student musicians have faced a big problem: broken strings, worn-out horns and out-of-tune pianos — a backlog of aging instruments that the district is scrambling to repair and replace.

Instruments like the violin in senior Melissa Valenzuela's hands.

Read more
NPR Ed
10:36 am
Wed March 4, 2015

The Magic Trick That Could Help Students Pay For College

The IRS and the Department of Education have the power to make the FAFSA easier without cutting questions. So why haven't they?
LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 7:29 pm

Read part one of our reporting on the FAFSA, "Shrink The FAFSA? Good Luck With That"

It's deadline time for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Better known as the FAFSA.

The daunting application — with its 108 questions — stands between many college hopefuls and much-needed financial aid.

Read more
NPR Ed
2:32 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Shrink The FAFSA? Good Luck With That

Shortening the FAFSA is a tall order.
LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 8:58 am

Look closely.

Buried deep in President Obama's 2016 budget (Page 41) is a proposal to cut up to 30 questions from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

The Obama administration has already done a lot to make the FAFSA easier — if not shorter. Online technology now allows students to skip questions that don't apply to them.

Read more
NPR Ed
1:33 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Where Have All The Teachers Gone?

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 7:29 pm

This is the canary in the coal mine.

Several big states have seen alarming drops in enrollment at teacher training programs. The numbers are grim among some of the nation's largest producers of new teachers: In California, enrollment is down 53 percent over the past five years. It's down sharply in New York and Texas as well.

In North Carolina, enrollment is down nearly 20 percent in three years.

Read more
NPR Ed
1:28 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Prepare For 'The End Of College': Here's What Free Higher Ed Looks Like

Kevin Carey'€™s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Amanda Gaines Courtesy of Riverhead

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 3:58 pm

A lot of parents start worrying about paying for college education soon after their child is born. After that, there's the stressful process of applying to colleges, and then, for those lucky enough to get admitted into a good college, there's college debt.

Read more
Intelligence Squared U.S.
12:27 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Debate: Do Liberals Stifle Intellectual Diversity On The College Campus?

Two teams face off over the motion, "Liberals Are Stifling Intellectual Diversity On Campus," at the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
Chris Zarconi Intelligence Squared U.S.

There is agreement on both the political left and right that a majority of college professors in the United States are liberal or left-of-center. But do liberals stifle free speech — particularly that of political and social conservatives — on college campuses?

Read more
Education
4:03 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Ex-Atlanta School Superintendent, Charged In Cheating Case, Dies At 68

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 11:19 am

Copyright 2015 WABE-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wabe.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
NPR Ed
2:34 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Behold The Humble Block! Tools Of The Trade

Bing Nursery School Courtesy of Bing school

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 1:41 pm

For this series, we've been thinking a lot about the iconic tools that some of us remember using — if only for a short time — in our early schooling. Things like the slide rule and protractor, Presidential Fitness Test and Bunsen burner.

Read more
Education Desk
1:50 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Foundations Help Fill School Funding Gaps

In 2014, students at Mt. Carmel High School performed "Grease." This year, they will perform "Mary Poppins."
Credit courtesy of Mt. Carmel High School

Rehearsing her students for the big spring musical, Kim Mandrell has crossed two huge worries off her list: She's decided not to have Mary Poppins fly - and this year, for the first time ever, she doesn't have to fret about the safety of the audience.

Read more
NPR Ed
7:03 am
Mon March 2, 2015

College: I'll Only Go If I Know (That I Can Afford It)

New research shows that when students think they can afford college, they're more likely to go to college.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 2:43 pm

It's Financial Aid Week here at the NPR Ed Team (not really, but it sure feels like it). And we're kicking things off with a nostalgia nugget for all you children of the '80s.

The old G.I. Joe animated series famously ended with the phrase, "Now I know! And knowing is half the battle."

It's a catchy line and, it turns out, eerily relevant when it comes to high school seniors debating their college options.

Read more
U.S.
2:58 am
Mon March 2, 2015

A Nearly Recession-Proof City Is Not Slowing Down

Lincoln has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in revitalizing its downtown, a historic area called Haymarket, to create a more culturally vibrant urban center that is helping the city keep and attract young adults.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 7:15 am

At 2.5 percent, Lincoln, Neb., has one of the lowest jobless figures in the country. But that's nothing new — the city has ranked at or near the top of the nation, with one of the lowest unemployment rates for years, even during the Great Recession.

But on a recent visit, it's clear that Lincoln is not resting on its laurels. It's working hard at keeping and drawing talent to this city of nearly 300,000.

Read more
NPR Ed
5:15 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Teaching The Holocaust: New Approaches For A New Generation

Ruth Hálová, a survivor of the Holocaust (clockwise): Ruth as a child dressed up for a play; Ruth's 1st grade class taken in 1932; Ruth and husband Milan Hala in India in the 1990's; Ruth and her mother in (the then) Czechoslovakia after the war.
Centropa Photo Archives

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 2:07 pm

Writer and philosopher Hannah Arendt once wrote that, with the German genocide of European Jews, human history "has known no story more difficult to tell."

Read more
Illinois Issues - Noteworthy
12:00 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Study Offers A Possible Answer To Why Women Are Underrepresented In Some Corners Of Academia

Women are underrepresented in some academic fields because of stereotypes that make it seem that they are not as brilliant as men, according to a recent study produced by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Princeton University.

Read more
Illinois Issues - Noteworthy
12:00 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Federal Plan To Offer Free Community College Could Cost States

President Barack Obama called for community college tuition to be free to some in his State of the Union address.
Credit The White House

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address included a proposal to grant free tuition for some community college students. Dubbed America’s College Promise, it’s the kind of idea that had a chorus of Illinois officials lining up to sing its praises.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, Longtime President Of Notre Dame University, Dies

The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, longtime president of the University of Notre Dame, was influential in reshaping Catholic higher education.
Joe Raymond AP

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 5:21 pm

The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, a former president of the University of Notre Dame who tangled with the Nixon administration, died late Thursday. He was 97.

For those who knew him, Hesburgh was simply Father Ted. But make no mistake, he was a highly influential priest who moved among presidents and popes. During his 35 years as president of Notre Dome, he reinforced the importance of a college education and urged that it be affordable and accessible to all.

Read more
Movie Interviews
4:00 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Film About Campus Sexual Assault Tells Survivors: 'You Are Not Alone'

When Annie Clark was assaulted in 2007 she said the response from her university was victim blaming: "I talked to one campus employee and she gave me this extended metaphor about how rape was like a football game and I was the quarterback in charge and what would I have done differently in that situation," she says.
Courtesy of Radius

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 7:13 pm

A warning to listeners: This conversation may contain some disturbing content.

Andrea Pino was the first person in her family to go to college. When she found out that she had been admitted to the University of North Carolina she was thrilled. "Not only was I going to college — I was going to my dream school," she says. "... I was definitely one of those students that, you know, cried and threw their laptop on the floor and couldn't believe that I was going."

Read more
NPR Ed
10:08 am
Fri February 27, 2015

A Glut Of Ph.D.s Means Long Odds Of Getting Jobs

Jorge Cham is the creator of PHD Comics and received his doctorate in mechanical engineering at Stanford University. PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper) is a comic strip about life (or the lack thereof) in academia. See more of his work at www.phdcomics.com.
Jorge Cham PHD Comics

Originally published on Sun March 1, 2015 1:54 pm

This week marked National Adjunct Walkout Day, a protest to gain better working conditions for part-time college instructors. Why are college professors from San Jose State University to the City University of New York taking to the streets like fast-food workers?

They say they have something in common.

Read more
U.S.
2:40 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Colorado Pushes For Concealed Guns In K-12 Schools

Colorado educators take part in a concealed carry course in Englewood, Colo., on Nov. 8. The course is open to all state school employees. Participants who complete the training are eligible to apply for a permit to carry a handgun.
MATTHEW STAVER Landov

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 6:42 am

Patrick Neville was a 15-year-old sophomore at Columbine High School in 1999. He was on his way to a fast food lunch when the shooting started.

Two students, armed with guns and pipe bombs, had stormed the Colorado school, on their way to killing one teacher and 12 students — some were Neville's friends.

Neville, now a Colorado state representative, says many of Columbine's teachers and faculty acted heroically that day.

But, he says, "I truly believe that had some of them had the legal authority to be armed, more of my friends might be with me today."

Read more
NPR Ed
6:03 am
Thu February 26, 2015

5 Lessons Education Research Taught Us In 2014

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 1:30 pm

Studies, research papers, doctoral dissertations, conference presentations — each year academia churns out thousands of pieces of research on education. And for many of them, that's the end of it. They gather dust in the university library or languish in some forgotten corner of the Internet.

A few, though, find their way into the hands of teachers, principals and policymakers. Each year the American Educational Research Association — a 99-year-old national research society — puts out a list of its 10 most-read articles.

Read more
NPR Ed
3:58 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Dissecting A Frog: A Middle School Rite Of Passage

This is a vintage frog dissection diagram.
Flikr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 10:30 am

For this series, we've been thinking a lot about the iconic tools that some of us remember using — if only for a short time — in our early schooling. Things like the slide rule and protractor, the Presidential Fitness Test and wooden blocks.

Read more
NPR Ed
6:08 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Preventing Suicide With A 'Contagion Of Strength'

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 9:32 am

For Whitney Bischoff, high school was tough. On the first day of her freshman year, a childhood friend committed suicide. Things weren't any better at home — her father died when she was 7 and her mom was an alcoholic with an abusive boyfriend.

She had a hard time making friends.

And when all the stress threatened to overwhelm her, she, too, considered suicide.

"I thought family was everything," Bischoff says. "I thought, if I didn't have family support – what am I going to do? Suicide seemed like the only way out."

Read more
NPR Ed
3:50 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

College? Career Tech? In Nashville, Teens Do Both

John Scarborough, a fourth-year pharmacy student at Lipscomb University, talks to high schoolers during a vocational career training class.
Courtesy of Lipscomb University

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 6:16 pm

Schools don't like to use the V-word anymore — "vocational," as in "vocational education." Administrators say the word is outdated, along with the idea of offering job-training courses only to students who are going straight into the workforce.

Nashville, Tenn., is trying a new approach. The public school system there is encouraging every high school student, regardless of college plans, to take three career-training classes before they graduate.

Read more
NPR Ed
11:33 am
Tue February 24, 2015

The Great U.S. History Battle

American boys re-enact George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River in 1776.
Jack Fletcher National Geographic

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 2:04 pm

William Faulkner wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." And that's never more true than when people start arguing over how American history should be taught in school.

The current fight involves the Advanced Placement U.S. history exam. Nearly half a million high school students took the test last year, hoping to earn college credit.

Read more
NPR Ed
2:48 am
Tue February 24, 2015

In LA, Missing Kindergarten Is A Big Deal

Hugo Villavicencio talks to kindergarten students at Lenicia B. Weemes Elementary School about the importance of attending school.
Benjamin Brayfield Southern California Public Radio/KPCC

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 2:33 pm

In kindergarten, kids are learning really important stuff. Basic reading skills. Numbers and math concepts. And to keep from falling behind, one of the major things they need to do is make it to school every day.

In Los Angeles, the nation's second-largest school district, kindergarten absence is a big problem, with some students missing 10, 20, 30 days or more. In 2012, district officials say that almost 10,000 students were chronically absent from kindergarten. Last year that number improved, but only slightly.

Read more
Education
5:54 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Advanced Placement History Test Accused Of Being Unpatriotic

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 10:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
NPR Ed
4:02 am
Mon February 23, 2015

How We Talk About Our Teachers

For his study Professor Benjamin Schmidt culled roughly 14 million reviews from the website Rate My Professor. Blue dots represent male professors, red dots female. The farther right the dot, the more often that the word on the left was used to describe the professor.
Alyson Hurt

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 1:57 pm

Male professors are far more likely to be considered "smart" or "brilliant" by their students, according to an analysis of reviews from the website Rate My Professor.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:27 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

When Pot Goes From Illegal To Recreational, Schools Face A Dilemma

Schools in Colorado are trying to find effective ways to teach the health effects of marijuana use. "When it's legal for your parents to smoke it or grow it," says one educator, "that changes the conversation."
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 10:21 am

Like many schools across Colorado, Arapahoe Ridge High School in Boulder has seen an increase in overall drug incidents since recreational marijuana became legal.

While public schools aren't required to report marijuana incidents separately from other drugs such as cocaine, evidence compiled by Rocky Mountain PBS I-News suggests more students are using marijuana.

Read more
Education
7:29 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Imagining The Future: 'Howard Project' Students Look Forward

"Howard Project" participants (left to right) Kevin Peterman, Taylor Davis, Ariel Alford and Leighton Watson in the Howard University library.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 11:36 am

In some ways, the questions young people grapple with are universal: Who are you? What's important to you? What kind of life do you want?

But at the same time, those questions are profoundly shaped by each person's experience.

As part of an ongoing conversation on Weekend Edition, four college seniors at a historically black university in Washington, D.C., are sharing insight into their experiences — both shared and individual.

Read more

Pages