Education Desk

The Two-Way
2:27 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Scripps College Honors Ex-Rep. Giffords For Public Service

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, accompanied by her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, speaks during a news conference in Manchester, N.H., in July. They were there to encourage state political leaders to have courage in the fight to expand background checks on gun purchases.
Mary Schwalm AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 3:02 am

Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was honored over the weekend for her service to the public by Scripps College. Giffords' alma mater awarded her the school's highest level of recognition: the Ellen Browning Scripps Medal.

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Education
3:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

In Push For 'Common' Standards, Many Parents Left Uneducated

The Common Core Standards establish academic expectations across states in math and English language arts.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 1:51 pm

Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, the first-ever national academic standards for students. But opposition is growing, and some lawmakers are having second thoughts about their states' support.

Meanwhile, proponents of the standards are still struggling to explain the initiative to parents, many of whom say they've never even heard of Common Core.

Looking For Direction

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Education
6:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Sad Death Of An Adjunct Professor Sparks A Labor Debate

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:19 pm

The death of a long-time, part-time professor in Pittsburgh is gathering the attention of instructors nationwide. The trend of relying on part-time faculty has been in the works for decades, and Margaret Mary Vojtko's story is seen by some as a tragic byproduct.

Last spring, months before her death, Vojtko showed up at a meeting between adjunct professors at Duquesne University and the union officials who had been trying to organize them. The professors are trying to organize a union affiliated with the United Steelworkers.

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Education
6:46 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Being Head Chef In A Theatrical Test Kitchen

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 10:34 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And now...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Five, six, seven, eight.

SIMON: In the world of American theater, there's Broadway, off-Broadway, the Goodman and the Guthrie, and then Harry S. Truman High in Levittown, Pennsylvania, where for four decades a drama legend named Lou Volpe has provided a kind of theatrical test kitchen for famous, even edgy shows before they become considered classics in high school theater programs.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSICAL, "A CHORUS LINE")

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All Tech Considered
11:13 am
Wed September 18, 2013

This Board Game Aims To Teach Preschoolers How To Code

Robot Turtles is for future programmers ages 3 to 8.
Courtesy of Robot Turtles

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 12:01 pm

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

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Education
3:49 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Should It Take 2 Or 3 Years To Earn A Law Degree?

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Law students are looking for some changes to their education. The American Bar Association plans to issue a report in the next few weeks, recommending a major overhaul of how law schools operate. And students are hoping that a recent comment from President Obama, will boost one reform in particular: cutting law schools down to two years, from three.

NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

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Race
3:27 am
Wed September 18, 2013

University Of Alabama Moves To Integrate Greek System

Judy Bonner, the University of Alabama's new president, when the school's championship football team visited the White House on April 19, 2012.
Mike Theiler UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 7:48 pm

Students at the University of Alabama and community leaders are reacting to allegations that white sororities denied access to black women because of their race.

The student newspaper in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson White, ran a story that quotes sorority members who say they wanted to recruit at least two black candidates but the students' names were removed before members could vote on them.

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The Salt
2:16 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Just What The Doctor Ordered: Med Students Team With Chefs

Fourth year Tulane medical school student Neha Solanki (far right) preps a Greek frittata during a class at Johnson & Wales.
Kristin Gourlay RIPR

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:26 am

For the past few weeks, the culinary arts students at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., have been working with some less-than-seasoned sous chefs.

One of them, Clinton Piper, may look like a pro in his chef's whites, but he's struggling to work a whisk through some batter. "I know nothing about baking," he says.

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Code Switch
3:59 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

How Slavery Shaped America's Oldest And Most Elite Colleges

An early flier for an event at King's College --” which would later become Columbia University — included an advertisement for a slave auction.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:45 pm

A few years ago, Brown University commissioned a study of its own historical connection to the Atlantic slave trade. The report found that the Brown family — the wealthy Rhode Island merchants for whom the university was named — were "not major slave traders, but they were not strangers to the business either."

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All Tech Considered
12:26 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Why Spying On Our Kids To Solve Cyberbullying Might Not Work

Cyberbullies can reach victims around the clock – before school, during school, even while lying in bed at night. And in public online spaces, everybody else finds out about it.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 2:43 pm

A school district in Southern California has hired a private firm to comb through the cyber lives of its 14,000 middle- and high-school students, looking for signs of trouble.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Glendale Unified School District is spending $40,000 to have the firm monitor social media use among the district's students. School officials want to know if the kids are posting suicidal thoughts, obscenities or comments intended to bully fellow students.

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Higher Ed
4:00 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Debt Is Crushing College Students

Credit Illinois Times

It costs more to go to college these days.  And the way many afford it is to take out loans.  Paying that money back can be more difficult that most realize. The average college student leaves school with more than $26,000 of debt and a growing number are defaulting on their loans. 

Zach Baliva wrote the cover story on the topic in the current edition of the Illinois Times.  He is also hoping to make a documentary film about student debt.

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Higher Ed
10:34 am
Fri September 13, 2013

SIU To Begin Search For New President

President Glenn Poshard
Credit siualumni.org

The Southern Illinois University system's governing board has signed off on forming an advisory committee to help search for a replacement for the university's retirement-bound president.  
The SIU board of trustees also voted Thursday to authorize its executive committee to hire an outside search firm in the quest to find a successor to Glenn Poshard.  
Poshard announced in July that he plans to retire June 30 of next year, even though his contract expires in 2015.  

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Higher Education
4:45 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

UIS And Other Schools See Larger Freshman Classes

Credit uis.edu

Many of Illinois' public universities are welcoming larger freshmen classes to their campuses this fall.  
Experts warn not to read too much into the increases. But many of the schools say higher numbers could mean that everything from the University of Illinois' strong science and math programs to efforts working to draw more students to smaller schools such as Eastern Illinois University.  
Blair Lord is provost at EIU. The Charleston school's freshman enrollment went up for the first time in four years to 1,254.  

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Higher Education
3:02 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

U Of I President Gets Pay Raise

President Robert Easter
Credit University of Illinois

The University of Illinois is giving President Bob Easter a $90,000 bonus and a pay raise.  
University trustees approved the bonus and raise for Easter at their regular board meeting Thursday in Urbana.  
The bonus is part of a new incentive-based compensation plan for Easter. The bonus was based on the three-campus university system reaching set goals for cost reduction, enrollment and other factors under Easter.  
Easter's base pay will increase 2.75 percent to $462,375. Most university employees are getting 2.75 percent raises.  

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Education
11:31 am
Thu September 12, 2013

District 186 Launches Online Survey For Superintendent Search

Residents of Springfield can provide input online as District 186 continues a search for its next leader.

School Exec Connect, the firm hired to help with the superintendent search,  has set up a web-based survey which asks about leadership qualities and goals that are a priority for the community.

School board member Scott McFarland says the survey is an opportunity to get feedback from those who weren't able to attend community meetings this summer. 

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Education
12:33 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

LLCC Foundation Launches $2.5M Endowment Fund Campaign

LLCC Foundation Director Karen Sanders
Credit Peter Gray/WUIS

The Lincoln Land Community College Foundation has launched a $2.5 million fundraising campaign following an increase of requests from students needing support for costs associated with college.

Any interest the endowment fund generates will go toward scholarships for students and other campus priorities.

LLCC Foundation Director Karen Sanders says she wants the campaign to reach its goal by the 50 year anniversary of the college, May 2017.

(CLICK HERE to learn more about the campaign)

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Higher Education
11:45 am
Tue September 10, 2013

UIS Sees Slight Increase In Fall Enrollment

Credit UIS

Fall 2013 enrollment at the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois is up by nearly 100 students compared to the previous fall semester. According to the official fall census, the total number of students enrolled at UIS after the first 10 days of classes is 5,137. This marks the fourth year enrollment has topped 5,000 students. Last fall’s enrollment was 5,048.

Overall, the number of freshmen students attending UIS jumped by 20% this semester. That makes it the largest freshman class in UIS history.

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Education
9:01 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Higher Ed Leader Says President's Plan Reflects Illinois Efforts

Dr. Harry Berman
Credit uis.edu

President Obama has plans for higher education in the U-S.  His ideas are a mix of old and new, aimed at keeping college affordable for students but also trying to raise the bar on quality of instruction.
In Illinois,  some of what the President wants is already part of the landscape.  For example, Illinois has moved toward tying a small portion of state funding to graduation rates and other metrics.  
The Illinois Board of Higher Education's Executive Director says some of the other changes the President is pushing won't be so easy.  

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Child Care
4:37 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

New Rules Proposed For Day Care Centers

Credit childcarecenter.us

Illinois is considering rules to limit what kids at day care centers can eat, how much TV they can watch and how much exercise they must receive.  It's part of an efforts to curb obesity in young children. 
Estimates show 1 in 5 children under the age of five are considered obese.  With so many kids in day care, experts say it's a good place to start developing healthy habits. 

The plan would get rid of high fat and sugary snacks, limit access to juice and ban chocolate milk.  

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Education
1:45 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Springfield Public Schools Extend Early Dismissal Through Friday Due To Heat

 UPDATE: (8:15 a.m. Wednesday, August 28)

Interim Superintendent, Robert A. Leming announces that all schools will dismiss an hour early Thursday, August 29 and Friday, August 30, 2013 of this week as a protective measure for students (with the exception of Ball Charter School). The continued cause for concern is the risk of heat related illnesses.

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Higher Education
12:59 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

U of I President Wants Annual Raises For Employees

The president of the University of Illinois says he hopes faculty and staff members will be able to get a raise next year.  
Bob Easter made his comments Thursday ahead of the start of the school year, which kicks off Monday.  
The Champaign News-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/152WQuj ) Easter spoke during a meeting with faculty from the school's three campuses. He says it's his ``goal to have a salary program next year.''  
Many U of I employees got a 2.75 percent merit-based raise this year.  

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Education
6:40 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Law Expands Sex Ed Curriculum

Credit flickr

Students in Illinois public schools that teach sex education will now be taught about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases _ not just abstinence.  
Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that requires schools to provide the information. It takes effect Jan. 1.  
Sen. Heather Steans sponsored the bill. The Chicago Democrat says it's intended to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.  

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Higher Education
1:38 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

U of I Outlines Master Plan

Administrators at the University of Illinois hope to hire 500 new faculty members in the next five to seven years, while spending $70 million to renovate classrooms.  
That's according to the school's three-year master plan that was released Wednesday.  
 The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/13nitLI ) the plan was created following nearly two years of planning.  
The school also wants to increase scholarships and revise general education requirements to encourage students to take more classes in different academic departments.  

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District 186
3:05 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Programs Address Obesity In Springfield Schools

Despite health initiatives and efforts to get kids fit and active, the percentage of obese and overweight students in Springfield's district 186 may surprise you. Locally, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine is studying those rates in certain classrooms, and helping implement a national program meant to curb the trend. We recently spoke with Dr. David Steward about it, he is the associate dean for community health and service at SIU School of Medicine:  

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Education
12:27 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Interview With UIS Chancellor Susan Koch

Chancellor Susan Koch
Credit uis.edu

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan Koch sat down for a conversation with WUIS on the show Illinois Edition.  Topics include efforts to attract international students, a major building project, possible expansion in Peoria and getting more UIS students living in downtown Springfield. 

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District 186
6:46 am
Mon August 12, 2013

In-Depth Interview: Interim Supt. For District 186, Robert Leming

Robert "Bob" Leming
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

WUIS caught up with Robert Leming on a variety of issues, including how high speed rail could affect schools in the district, his vision for changes with elementary schools, a residency requirement for school administrators, and more: 

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District 186
11:38 am
Tue August 6, 2013

186 Plans Focus Group Mtgs To Aid Search For New Supt.

The search continues for a new superintendent for district 186. So far eight people have applied for the position to head Springfield public schools. The district is currently planning a two day summit later in the month consisting of meetings among the search firm leading the effort, teachers, parents, and other community members. Board member Scott McFarland is helping plan the meetings. He says the search firm hopes to garner more applicants and then narrow down the options based on feedback from the board and the community:

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District 186
11:29 am
Fri July 26, 2013

"Sharefest" Brings Make-Overs To Springfield Schools

Called "Sharefest" - this weekend over one-thousand volunteers will gather to tear up carpet, paint walls, and generally improve the appearance of Jane Addams and McClernand elementary schools. McClernand is in the Enos park neighborhood, Jane Addams is on Springfield's north-west side.

Both were chosen to make-over based on the income level of students' families. Last year nearly 90% of students at McClernand came from low-income homes. 67% of students at Jane Addams came from low-income families. 

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Pension Reform
7:28 am
Thu July 25, 2013

As Chicago Schools Stumble, A Look At Shifting Pension Costs To Downstate Districts

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks with school district officials in this 2011 file photo
Credit cityofchicago.org

Chicago Public Schools continue to face severe budget problems.

The district is laying off staff and cutting programs.

Those reductions are due in part to its pension obligations.

Tony Arnold reports on how Chicago Public Schools’ struggling pension system could actually be used as a model for every other school in Illinois.

In this year alone - Chicago Public Schools says it’s a billion dollars in debt.

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District 186
2:29 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

The Cost Of Finding A New Springfield Schools Superintendent

Previous 186 Supt. Walter Milton

Molly Beck, Education Reporter for the State Journal Register, has been covering the search for a new superintendent for Springfield public schools. Her recent article outlined the costs associated with that search. Beck joined us to talk about that article and her findings: 

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