Education Desk

NPR Ed
3:28 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Why These Kids Love Kale

Cory Turner NPR

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 4:25 pm

A question for all you parents out there: Are your kids still working their way through a pile of Halloween candy?

Maybe you've even confiscated some, to give back as a reward for eating the healthy, green things they don't like. Things like ... kale.

Well, imagine an alternate universe, where kids talk about kale as if it is candy.

Welcome to Watkins Elementary in Washington, D.C.

"All I know is that I like to eat kale," says 9-year-old Alex Edwards. "I like it, I like it, I like it!"

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TED Radio Hour
8:45 am
Fri November 14, 2014

What Does It Mean To Be 'Articulate'?

"I think that we think that language is something neutral and not at all political" — Jamila Lyiscott
courtesy of TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Playing With Perceptions.

About Jamila Lyiscott's TED Talk

Educator and poet Jamila Lyiscott is a "tri-tongued orator." She unpacks the three distinct flavors of English she speaks with her friends, family, and colleagues.

About Jamila Lyiscott

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NPR Ed
6:03 am
Fri November 14, 2014

A Botched Study Raises Bigger Questions

John Ayers, executive director of the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane University, will resign at the end of November.
Paula Burch-Celentano Tulane University

New Orleans, where nine of 10 children attend charter schools, has perhaps the most scrutinized public school system in the country.

And since Hurricane Katrina, a major source of information about the city's schools has been the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives, a research group connected with Tulane University. The institute has been widely cited by political leaders and in the news media, including our reporting.

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NPR Ed
3:16 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Common Core Reading: The Struggle Over Struggle

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 7:16 pm

The third in our four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.

Every set of academic standards has a soul.

Yes, a soul. It's made of varied stuff: part research, part practice, part conviction of its authors.

To find the soul, follow the words that turn up again and again in the winding backwaters and byways of the standards themselves.

A search of the Common Core English Language Arts Standards turns up one remarkable word 105 times. It is "complex" (or "complexity").

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Higher Ed
2:22 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

U Of I President Gets Raise, Bonus In Final Year

Robert Easter
Credit uillinois.edu

University of Illinois trustees have voted to give President
Robert Easter a raise and a $180,000 bonus as he works his last year before
retirement.
 
The bonus and 3.5 percent pay raise were approved by trustees on Thursday at
their regular quarterly meeting in Chicago. The university says the bonus was
based on performance targets set by trustees in education, research and other
areas.
 
The raise will increase Easter's base pay from $462,375 a year to $478,558. His

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Education Desk
5:55 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Pleasant Plains Teachers Picket Amid Negotiations

Teachers in a central Illinois school district are picketing in an effort to gain parents' support as contract negotiations stall.  
 The State Journal-Register reports  teachers in Pleasant Plains held signs Wednesday that read ``Let's work together for kids'' and ``Make it better.'' The teachers have been working under an expired contract for nearly three months and negotiations over a new contract began in April. The district had 1,300 students and 88 teachers last year.  

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NPR Ed
2:46 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Common Core Reading: The High Achievers

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:29 pm

Part 2 in a four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.

Linnea Wolters was prepared to hate the Common Core State Standards.

She taught fifth grade at a low-income school in Reno, Nev., where, she says, there was always some new plan to improve things. And none of it added up to good education. But, after leading her class through a Core-aligned lesson — a close reading of Emma Lazarus' sonnet "The New Colossus" — she was intrigued, especially by the way different students reacted to the process.

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The Two-Way
10:50 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

John Doar Remembered As A Civil Rights Pioneer

John Doar in Oxford, Miss., in 1966.
AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 9:59 am

The news of attorney John Doar's death at 92 on Tuesday sent a wave of solemnity through the country, prompting multiple obituaries detailing his extensive work fighting discrimination and working for racial equality during the 1960s and '70s.

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Around the Nation
4:46 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Communities Struggle To Reach Homeless Students Living In The Shadows

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 7:24 pm

It's late afternoon and the day has just ended at a Los Angeles school. Students are making their way toward the parking lot, where a dusty 2001 Ford Taurus stands out among the shiny SUVs filled with waiting parents.

Kids walk by and stare. In the back seat of the Taurus, James, a tall 14-year-old in a checkered shirt, smiles. He is familiar with the stares.

He never told anyone that he was once homeless, but they knew. It's hard to hide homelessness from other kids, he says. They want to know why you're wearing the same shirt and why you look tired.

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NPR Ed
3:17 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Common Core Reading: 'The New Colossus'

Fourth-grader Isiah Soto digests some history during independent reading time.
Emily Hanford American Public Media

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 9:48 am

Part 1 in a four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.

The Common Core State Standards are changing what many kids read in school. They're standards, sure — not curriculum. Teachers and districts still have great latitude when it comes to the "how" of reading instruction, but...

The Core standards explicitly require students to read "complex" material, and the fact is, many kids simply weren't doing that before the Core. What were they doing?

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Asked To Stop Praying, Alaska School Won't Host State Tournament

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 2:28 pm

Alaska's wrestling tournament for small schools will be held next month — but it won't be at the private Anchorage Christian Schools, the host for the past seven years. A complaint about the tournament's introductory prayer led to a request to stop the practice, and the school refused.

The anonymous complaint came after last year's event. It prompted the national group Americans United for Separation of Church and State to complain to the Alaska School Activities Association that it was giving the state's sanction to the prayer.

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NPR Ed
6:18 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Q&A: Lamar Alexander On Education In The New Congress

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., waves after speaking to supporters on Nov. 4 in Knoxville.
Wade Payne AP

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 1:45 pm

Higher education, preschool funding, the Common Core and the future of No Child Left Behind are just a few of the education policies that will be in play under the new Republican-controlled Congress. How will these things change? We called Sen. Lamar Alexander to ask.

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NPR Ed
7:04 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Tools Of The Trade: The Abacus

"A" is for Abacus
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:30 pm

For this series, we've been thinking a lot about some of the iconic objects that some of us remember using — if only for a short period of time — in our early schooling. Slide rules, the recorder, protractors and Bunsen burners.

But when the abacus came up, we were a bit stumped.

"Does anyone still use this thing?" we wondered. "And how the heck does it work?"

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NPR Ed
8:03 am
Sat November 8, 2014

5 Great Teachers On What Makes A Great Teacher

LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 12:47 pm

When we began our 50 Great Teachers series, we set out to find great teachers and tell their stories. But we'll also be exploring over the coming year questions about what it means for a teacher to be great, and how he or she gets that way.

To get us started, we gathered an expert round table of educators who've also done a lot of thinking about teaching. Combined, these teachers are drawing on over 150 years of classroom experience:

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NPR Ed
9:38 am
Fri November 7, 2014

For-Profit Colleges Sue The Federal Government Over Student Loan Rules

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 10:10 am

A trade group representing more than 1,400 for-profit colleges has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over regulations aimed at curbing industry abuses.

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NPR Ed
7:08 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Pythagoras' iPhone: Is Listening A Lost Classroom Art?

Maryann Wolfe talks with Mawi Fasil during her AP American government class at Oakland Technical High School.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 12:46 pm

Listen and learn, the saying goes.

But are students and teachers these days fully listening to each other?

What, exactly, is good listening, and why does it matter when it comes to learning? Is "close listening" a doorway to understanding that too many of us are keeping only half-open?

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Harvard Secretly Photographed Classrooms To Monitor Attendance

People walk through the University's iconic Harvard Yard. This week, a faculty study that secretly photographed students to monitor their attendance in lectures has come under fire.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Some 2,000 Harvard undergraduates, as well as some faculty, were photographed in lecture halls at the school last spring as part of a university study into student attendance. Harmless enough, right? Well, those photographs were taken without those students' knowledge or permission. And that has some people upset.

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NPR Ed
1:03 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

When The Bell Rings, This Teacher Flies

Teacher Joshua Weinstein at the controls of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk above northern New Jersey. He says he had wanted to be a pilot since he was in first grade.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 10:00 am

Our Secret Lives of Teachers series continues as we head into the sky with a social studies teacher with a passion for flying.

Above the hum of the propeller, Joshua Weinstein calls my attention to the Boonton Reservoir, which provides water for Jersey City. We're flying about 2,000 feet above the tree-lined streets of northern Jersey, the Manhattan skyline visible through the haze in the distance.

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American Made: The New Manufacturing Landscape
2:24 am
Thu November 6, 2014

In South Carolina, A Program That Makes Apprenticeships Work

John Harris makes a weld for a test during a welding class at Spartanburg Community College in Spartanburg, S.C., on Oct. 22.
Mike Belleme for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 5:41 pm

Several years ago, South Carolina had a problem: a shortage of skilled workers and no good way to train young people for the workforce. So at a time when apprenticeship programs were in decline in the U.S., the state started a program called Apprenticeship Carolina.

"We were really, really squarely well-positioned at the bottom," says Brad Neese, the program's director.

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Sports
4:14 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Charlotte's College Of Faith Lacks A Campus But Not A Football Team

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 10:58 am

Copyright 2014 WFAE-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wfae.org.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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NPR Ed
3:16 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

From NYC's International Schools, Lessons For Teaching Unaccompanied Minors

Alexandra Starr

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 3:47 pm

Flushing International High School is like a teenage version of the United Nations. Walk down the hallway and you can meet students from Colombia, China, Ecuador, Bangladesh and South Korea.

"Our students come from about 40 different countries, speak 20 different languages," says Lara Evangelista, the school's principal.

With schools around the country scrambling to educate the more than 57,000 unaccompanied child migrants who've crossed the border this year, I came to see what lessons International Schools like this one can offer.

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NPR Ed
3:16 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Philadelphia Schools: Another Year, Another Budget Crisis

LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 5:32 pm

Trying to figure out why Philadelphia's public schools have been teetering on insolvency the past few years is no easy task.

But let's start with some basic facts. The district, the eighth largest in the nation, is entirely dependent on three sources of money: Almost half of its $2.8 billion budget comes from the city. A little over a third comes from the state. Most of the rest comes from the federal government.

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Sun November 2, 2014

A Collection Of Clues To America's Educational Past

The Allen Company alphabet board dates back to 1840.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

If you walk past Daniel Radcliffe's Harry Potter robe, ride the elevator up four floors, above the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz and a family of four visiting from Cincinnati, Ohio, you'll find yourself in a long hallway that vaguely resembles a hospital walkway.

The fourth floor of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is an assortment of offices and storage rooms.

Debbie Schaefer-Jacobs ushers me through a heavy brown door. She's the curator for the museum's education collection, and this is one of those days that people like her relish.

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News
7:11 am
Sat November 1, 2014

Jury Finds Tradition Is No Excuse For Brutal Hazing

Pam Champion (second from right) and Robert Champion Sr. (right), parents of Robert Champion Jr., listen as the guilty verdict against Dante Martin is read in an Orlando courtroom on Friday.
Red Huber AP

Originally published on Sat November 1, 2014 1:25 pm

A jury has rejected a defense argument that beatings of Florida A&M University band members were a band tradition. The panel found a former member of marching band guilty of felony hazing and manslaughter in one such beating.

Dante Martin is now looking at a possible sentence of up to 22 years in prison for his role in the death of Robert Champion. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 9.

Called "The Example" by band colleagues, Champion was an accomplished clarinetist, drum major and leader of the "Marching 100."

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Illinois Issues
1:00 am
Sat November 1, 2014

Sexual Assault: The Nationwide Campus Crisis Hits Home In Illinois

Students rallied in September to protest threats against women and sexual assault survivors by the UChicago Electronic Army. The student hacker group threatened to “rape harder” in response to an online list of alleged male aggressors. Participants tweeted about the event using #keepuchisafe.

Veronica Portillo Heap became an advocate for sexual assault survivors as a sophomore at the University of Chicago. She got an email from a group of students organizing The UChicago Clothesline Project, which offers survivors a chance to tell their stories on T-shirts in an annual art installation. Portillo Heap was not a survivor herself, but she thought getting involved as an organizer with The Clothesline Project would be worth her time.

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Law
4:04 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Former Band Member Convicted Of Manslaughter In Hazing Death

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 6:41 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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NPR Ed
6:03 am
Fri October 31, 2014

50 Great Teachers: A Celebration Of Great Teaching

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 12:46 pm

Anne Sullivan was a great teacher. Famously, she was the "Miracle Worker," who taught a blind and deaf girl named Helen Keller to understand sign language and, eventually, to read and write.

Socrates ... now there was a great teacher. More than 2,000 years after he gave his last pop quiz, we still know him for the teaching style named after him, the Socratic method. And through the writings of his most famous pupil, Plato.

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Illinois Issues - Education Desk
6:02 am
Fri October 31, 2014

"Growth" Graph Is New Gauge Of Illinois Schools

Here's a glimpse of how one local elementary school is performing as compared to the district and state averages.

Illinois new report cards on public schools become available online today. But parents hoping to find a simple snapshot of how their kids' school measures up might be in for a surprise.

Thanks to a federal waiver received in April, Illinois schools are no longer judged by whether students have achieved "adequate yearly progress" -- the standard set by No Child Left Behind.

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Education
3:57 am
Fri October 31, 2014

A $1.3 Billion Question: What's The Future Of LA's iPad Program?

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 11:42 am

This time last year, students in Los Angeles were squealing with delight as boxes of new iPads rolled into their schools. It was the first phase of what was touted as the largest technology expansion in the country.

The program has run into a host of problems since then, leading to this month's resignation of its biggest advocate, Superintendent John Deasy.

Which leaves the question: Does this mark the end of the effort?

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Education
3:40 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

New Initiative Hopes To Connect Qualified Students With College Know-How

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 5:27 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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