Education Desk

NPR Ed
8:28 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Is This Any Way To Pick A College?

This dog went to a top-ten college...for dogs.
Martha T Flickr

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 2:31 pm

There are more than 7,000 colleges in the U.S., and 21.8 million students enrolled in them. That's potentially 21.8 million opinions about what makes a school "the best."

The penalty for a bad choice can be huge. The cost of a degree continues to soar, graduation rates vary widely from college to college, and a growing body of evidence suggests that picking a supposedly "top" school doesn't necessarily pay off later in life.

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NPR Ed
5:03 am
Mon May 19, 2014

What We Learned From The Best Commencement Speeches Ever

Conan O'Brien's 2011 commencement address at Dartmouth College was one of those speeches that was so good it drew news coverage.
Jason R. Henske AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 7:32 am

Something funny has happened to the familiar commencement address in the past 10 years. That something is YouTube. Steve Jobs' 2005 address at Stanford, to take just one example, has been viewed upwards of 20 million times.

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NPR Ed
5:03 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Why Education Is The Most Important Revolution Of Our Time

Everything I needed to know about learning, I learned in preschool?
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 11:37 am

Learning is something people, like other animals, do whenever our eyes are open. Education, though, is uniquely human, and right now it's at an unusual point of flux.

By some accounts, education is a $7 trillion global industry ripe for disruption. Others see it as almost a sacred pursuit — a means of nurturing developing minds while preserving tradition. Around the world, education means equal rights and opportunity. People risk their lives for it every day.

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Sports
4:00 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

Softballers Face A Fielder's Choice: When To Wear A Face Mask?

Ferris High School softball player Kylee Fowler stands beside the dugout, face mask on and ready.
Lauren Silverman KERA News

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 5:28 pm

In Texas, it's playoff time for high school softball teams. While softball is one of the safest high school sports in the state, concussions remain a real risk for players — especially those who frequently field line drives from batters. That's partly why this year, fans and spectators can expect to see more girls wearing face masks than they have in the past.

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Interviews
9:30 am
Sun May 18, 2014

A First Black Professor Remembers Her Segregated Education

Hortense McClinton graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C., in the 1930s and became the first black professor at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Courtesy of Howard University

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 3:25 pm

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Hortense McClinton has lived with a remarkable sense of determination — for 95 years.

Her father's parents were slaves, and McClinton grew up in a completely segregated society, the all-black town of Boley, Okla.

"I didn't realize how segregated everything was," she tells NPR's Lynn Neary. That changed after a visit with her uncle in Guthrie, Okla.

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Simon Says
4:39 am
Sat May 17, 2014

A School Lunch Denied Prompts Powerful Action In A World Of Words

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 10:29 am

If someone is outraged these days, they often blog about it, or post a tweet in righteous indignation. Parents urge children to use their words, and in the news business, we certainly believe in the power of words and information.

But you may wonder these days if some people confuse posting with taking action. Pretty or pungent rhetoric can grasp a few seconds of attention, then — just evaporate.

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Race
3:01 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Segregation: Six Decades Dead In Court, But Still Alive In Many Schools

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 7:00 pm

Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, black and white children still attend segregated schools in many parts of the country. Majority black schools are less likely to have good teachers, and kids there are more likely to be poor. That, experts say, is the single biggest obstacle to their academic success.

Education
11:11 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Does It Matter if Schools Are Racially Integrated?

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:05 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's turn now to a significant moment in the life of this nation. Tomorrow will mark 60 years since the day the Supreme Court issued its ruling in the landmark school desegregation case, Brown versus Board of Education. Advocates hoped the suit would level the playing field for all students, but it would take years of court orders, protests and, in some cases, the National Guard for some school districts to stop deliberate enforced segregation.

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Code Switch
2:39 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Before 'Brown V. Board,' Mendez Fought California's Segregated Schools

Sylvia Mendez was a young girl in the 1940s when her parents fought for Latinos to have access to white schools in the California court case Mendez v. Westminster. They won in 1947.
Shereen Marisol Meraji NPR

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 9:51 pm

Sylvia Mendez says the only reason she wanted to go to an all-white school in California's Westminster District in the 1940s was because of its beautiful playground. The school that she and other Latino students were forced to attend didn't have monkey bars or swings.

"I was 9 years old," she says. "I just thought my parents wanted us to go to the nice-looking school."

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Code Switch
3:05 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

At A New Orleans High School, Marching Band Is A Lifeline For Kids

The Edna Karr High School marching band had fewer than 40 members four years ago. Today, more than 80 students march in the band.
Keith O'Brien NPR

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 2:31 pm

Editor's Note: This is a story about a high school band. It is a story that demands to be heard, even more so than read. Please click on the audio player, above, to listen. Audio will be available around 6:30 p.m. EDT.

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Education
10:37 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Educating Girls: Big Payoff For $45 A Year

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 11:37 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Nigeria has been in the news a lot lately. That's since the militant Islamic organization Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls on April 15. Professed to be against Western education, Boko Haram took the girls away from their books and their teachers and have threatened to sell them as wives and slaves.

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Around the Nation
10:34 am
Thu May 15, 2014

The Pact That Turned A Juvenile Delinquent Into A Medical Doctor

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 11:37 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Our friends at All Things Considered have been collecting stories of moments when people's careers took off. It's called My Big Break.

They recently spoke to Dr. Sampson Davis who grew up in the rough parts of Newark, N.J. He talked about how doing a stint in juvie put his life in perspective.

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Digital Life
6:13 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

In Kansas, Professors Must Now Watch What They Tweet

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 2:17 pm

The Kansas Board of Regents gave final approval Wednesday to a strict new policy on what employees may say on social media. Critics say the policy violates both the First Amendment and academic freedom, but school officials say providing faculty with more specific guidelines will actually bolster academic freedom on campus.

The controversial policy was triggered by an equally controversial tweet posted last September by David Guth, an associate journalism professor. Reacting to a lone gunman who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., he wrote:

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Education Journalist Wanted
3:45 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Multimedia Journalist - Education

Credit Dan LoGrasso / WUIS

Category: Academic Professional 
Title: Multimedia Journalist-Education at WUIS 
Location: Springfield 
Close Date: 05/30/2014  

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Education
3:00 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

As More Speakers Get The Boot, Who's Left To Send Off Graduates?

Several high-profile commencement speakers have resigned in the wake of student protests this graduation season.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 6:59 pm

Graduation Season? More like Disinvitation Season.

As students across the country prepare for pomp and circumstance, college and university administrators are grappling with a series of commencement speech boondoggles.

This year alone, nearly a dozen big-name commencement speakers — including the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — have been invited to speak at graduation ceremonies, only to withdraw or have their invitations rescinded in the wake of campus protests.

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University of Illinois
2:46 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

UI Board Makes No Decision On Former 'Terrorist' Professor

University of Illinois adjunct professor James Kilgore speaks to the U of I's Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday in Springfield. Kilgore's contract was not renewed after his criminal history came to light.
Credit Hannah Meisel/WUIS

  The teaching career of former radical James Kilgore remains in doubt. He says one of his contracts with the University of Illinois expires Thursday. But the Board of Trustees ended a meeting Wednesday without taking action on his case.

Kilgore was a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, a group best known for kidnapping Patty Hearst in 1974. He was convicted of murder for his role in a bank robbery the group carried out the next year.

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Education Desk
11:05 am
Wed May 14, 2014

WUIS Engage: Chris Farrell Discusses The Impact Of Education On The Economy

Chris Farrell
Credit Marketplace

On May 2, WUIS held an engagement event at the Hoogland Center for the Arts.  It featured Chris Farrell, Economics Editor for the Marketplace programs and Business Week. 

He touched on several education related topics and gave his views. 

"I think education and local economic development are two sides of the same coin," Farrell said. "When someone says what should we do to grow our economy, simply say education."

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NPR Story
4:03 am
Wed May 14, 2014

More School Districts Rethink Zero-Tolerance Policies

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 6:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Earlier this year, the Obama administration asked schools across the country to rethink how they discipline students. Now, instead of automatic suspensions and other tough punishments, more schools are considering alternatives.

Laura Isensee, of Houston Public Media, takes a look at one of those alternatives.

LAURA ISENSEE, BYLINE: Two teenage girls come into the assistant principal's office at the Academy of Choice in northwest Houston. They used to be friends. But now they're fighting. It's time for a serious sit-down.

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Education
10:19 am
Tue May 13, 2014

What Drives Protests On Campus?

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 12:05 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. It's commencement season. You might be headed to one this weekend. And while you're probably most concerned with seeing your loved one get that piece of paper, these days many students and faculty are showing new interest in who offers those often banal but still widely noted commencement remarks.

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Education Desk
5:10 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Pre-K Teacher Named Educator Of The Year

Dee Dee Duffy
Credit Horace Mann

Dee Dee Duffy has been teaching in District 186 for 25 years.  Monday she was honored as the 2014 Horace Mann Educator of the Year.  Duffy is an Early Start Pre-Kindergarten teacher at the Early Learning Center. 

Also, Nichole Heyen, principal of Lincoln Magnet Middle School, was named Administrator of the Year. She's been in District 186 for 14 years.

Both were honored at a luncheon ceremony. 

The program has been in existence since 1998.  An independent panel makes the selections. 

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

A Prom Like Any Other — But With A Few Exceptions

Two of the students who participated in the Multnomah Education Service District's Special Needs Prom this past weekend.
Lucy Ohlsen OPB

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 4:56 pm

An "Aloha Prom" was held in Oregon this past weekend, complete with leis and a huge punch bowl. Tailored for students with special needs, the dance was organized by the state's reigning teacher of the year.

Just a few years ago, the students didn't have a prom to go to.

Brett Bigham, who is the first special ed teacher to be named Oregon's teacher of the year, started the Special Needs Prom five years ago, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.

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Education
11:07 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Asian-Americans Are Successful, But No Thanks To Tiger Parenting

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 11:24 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. This is Asian-American and Pacific Islander heritage month. That's a time set aside to acknowledge the contributions of people from these backgrounds to the bigger American story. Undeniably, when many Americans look for role models for educational achievement, many find them in Asian-American homes.

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Education
12:17 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Why Aren't Teens Reading Like They Used To?

British Library of Political and Economic Science Flickr

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 9:21 am

Harry Potter and The Hunger Games haven't been big hits for nothing. Lots of teens and adolescents still read quite a lot.

But a roundup of studies, put together by the nonprofit Common Sense Media, shows a clear decline over time. Nearly half of 17-year-olds say they read for pleasure no more than one or two times a year — if that.

That's way down from a decade ago.

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Around the Nation
6:10 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Veterans' Success At Home: More Than Just Landing Any Job

Veterans leave the service with high-level skills, like combat medicine, but it's often not easy to turn those skills into credentials for a civilian job.
Brennan Linsley AP

The federal government has spent billions helping veterans get the training and education they need to re-enter the civilian workforce.

Despite the effort, the unemployment rate for vets remains higher than the national average. Aside from dealing with the psychological transition, veterans also have to navigate how to transfer their military skills into civilian ones.

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Education
6:34 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Beating The Odds To Become First Female Chief Nuclear Officer

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 10:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So that's the picture in academic science, but we wanted to get a sense of whether the issues are similar in the science industries away from academia. To talk about that, we called on one of the highest-ranking women in the nuclear field. Her name is Maria Korsnick. She works for Exelon Nuclear, one of the largest power-generating companies in the U.S. She was the first woman in this country to hold the title of chief nuclear officer. I started by asking her to just explain what that title means.

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Education
6:34 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Gender Imbalance in Academic Science

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 11:55 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Science has a gender problem. Although men and women tend to enter science in relatively equal numbers, women are vastly underrepresented at the top of the ladder. To help sort out why, we're joined by our NPR science correspondent Joe Palca, who's been looking into the apparent imbalance, especially in academic science. He joins me now to talk about what he's found. Hey, Joe.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Hi there.

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Education
5:08 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Under Restructured Rules, Kansas Teachers Lose Tenure

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 7:45 pm

Kansas lawmakers have passed a bill to make it easier to fire teachers. The legislation will take away some of the employment protections offered to teachers. Supporters say school administrators need the flexibility to remove teachers who aren't performing, but as Kansas Public Radio's Stephen Koranda reports, teachers argue this will allow them to be fired for unfair reasons.

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Planet Money
9:11 am
Fri May 9, 2014

What's Your Major? 4 Decades Of College Degrees, In 1 Graph

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 9:28 am

In honor of college graduation season, we made a graph. It answers a few questions we had: What is the mix of bachelor's degrees awarded today, and how has the mix changed over the past several decades?

Hover over the graph to see how the popularity of each category changes over time. Click or tap to see a category individually.

A few notes:

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Education
2:43 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Books With Gay Themes Put S.C. Colleges' Funding At Risk

Protesters at the College of Charleston rally against proposed state budget cuts on April 21.
Alice Keeney Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

House lawmakers in South Carolina have voted to slash funding for two of the state's largest public colleges in retaliation for the introduction of books with gay themes into the schools' freshman reading programs.

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School funding
5:17 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Springfield Schools Would Get More Money With Funding Overhaul

Credit Wikimedia Commons

  Spring is budgeting time for schools in Illinois. Over the past few years, school officials in poorer districts have had to cut staff and programs in order to balance their checkbooks.

Declining state funding, coupled with decreased property values have resulted in a double-whammy shortfall, especially in districts that aren't property-wealthy to begin with.

Many local school districts would be 'winners' under a plan to overhaul how schools are funded in Illinois. That includes Springfield District 186.

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