Education Desk

Education Desk
7:17 am
Thu October 30, 2014

MacMurray College Scrapping Ten Programs

MacMurray College in Jacksonville is getting rid of ten academic programs due to low enrollment. 

The Board of Trustees approved the phase out of the programs, which include Elementary Education, English and History.

A statement from the school says the changes affect about 15 students.  Those currently enrolled in the programs will have opportunities to complete their degrees and no new students will be admitted.  The college says no layoffs are involved.

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Illinois Issues - Education Desk
4:33 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Illinois Provides Data On Schools Via Award-Winning Report Card

The website gives data by school, by district and for the state as a whole.

When you think of a report card, you think of a basic form that provides average test scores and little more. But the new online report cards for each Illinois public school offer more granular data, such as teacher retention and principal turnover rates, the percentage of high school freshmen deemed "on track" for graduation, and even survey results for how safe students feel at school.

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Education Desk
2:24 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Training Ambassadors For Non-Violence

Bernice King speaks with students at Riverview Gardens High School about nonviolence on Sept. 18, 2014
Credit Tim Lloyd/St. Louis Public Radio

This story is the third part of A Teachable Moment, a three-part series that profiles how issues raised by events in Ferguson are being discussed in classrooms across the St. Louis region.

In Riverview Gardens High School’s library, students have formed small groups. For many of the kids here, peaceful demonstrations and at times violent clashes between police and protesters weren’t just on TV; they were down the street, around the corner or in their backyards.

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NPR Ed
4:00 am
Wed October 29, 2014

50 Great Teachers: Socrates, The Ancient World's Teaching Superstar

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 12:45 pm

Today, NPR Ed kicks off a yearlong series: 50 Great Teachers.

We're starting this celebration of teaching with Socrates, the superstar teacher of the ancient world. He was sentenced to death more than 2,400 years ago for "impiety" and "corrupting" the minds of the youth of Athens.

But Socrates' ideas helped form the foundation of Western philosophy and the scientific method of inquiry. And his question-and-dialogue-based teaching style lives on in many classrooms as the Socratic method.

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Code Switch
4:04 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Some St. Louis Teachers Address Ferguson With Lessons On Race

Vincent Flewellen leads a lesson on Ferguson during his eighth-grade multicultural studies course at Ladue Middle School.
Tim Lloyd/St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 7:21 pm

This story is a consolidated version of a three-part series by St. Louis Public Radio that profiles how issues of race and class sparked by Ferguson are being discussed in St. Louis-area schools.

It was early September and Vincent Flewellen had just wrapped up his day teaching at Ladue Middle School, in an affluent suburb about 13 miles south of where protests erupted in Ferguson.

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NPR Ed
3:53 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

A Helping Hand To High Achievers

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was the No. 4 philanthropist in 2013, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 11:15 am

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to see more low-income high achievers graduate from college. Tuesday, his charitable group, Bloomberg Philanthropies, announced that it has partnered with several colleges and nonprofits to "expand college access and completion" for these promising students.

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Law
3:50 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Former Band Member On Trial In Florida A&M Hazing Death

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 5:30 pm

Three years after Florida A&M student Robert Champion died after a beating on a bus, a member of the university's marching band is on trial for manslaughter. Prosecutors say it was hazing. The defense says it was a tradition more akin to an athletic accomplishment — and one Champion joined in willingly.

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Education Desk
1:40 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

For Some, Ferguson Is A Matter Of Faith

Chaminade High School Theology Teacher Dan Stout talks with students about protests in Ferguson.
Credit Tim Lloyd/St. Louis Public Radio

This story is the second part of A Teachable Moment, a three-part series that profiles how issues raised by events in Ferguson are being discussed in classrooms across the St. Louis region. 

From pulpits to protests, a wide cross section of St. Louis’ religious leaders has been deeply involved with demonstrations following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9. And for some teachers at religious schools in St. Louis, talking with students about the protests in Ferguson and Brown’s death is about more than education -- it’s a matter of faith.

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NPR Ed
12:44 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

The Many, Many Secret Lives Of Teachers

Erin Pruckno, a preschool teacher in Washington, D.C. (clockwise from top left); Mei-Ling Uliasz, a second-grade teacher in Danbury, Conn.; Elizabeth Metzger, right, an educator in south Florida, with a friend at a football game; and Mathias "Spider" Schergen, who teaches at Jenner Elementary Academy of the Arts in Chicago.
Elissa Nadworny NPR (left column) and Courtesy of Mei-Ling Uliasz and Elizabeth "Biz" Metzger

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 10:29 am

Since we launched our project last week, we've heard from hundreds of you on Twitter, in email and on Facebook. And the responses are still coming in.

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

Education Desk
6:06 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Ferguson, Missouri: A Teachable Moment

Vincent Flewellen leads a lesson on Ferguson during his eighth-grade multicultural studies course at Ladue Middle School. Credit Tim Lloyd | St. Louis Public Radio

It was early September and Vincent Flewellen had just wrapped up his day teaching at Ladue Middle School.

“It was a pretty day,” Flewellen remembered. “I had a great day here at Ladue Middle School. I was really in a good mood.”

But Flewellen knew he could be in for a heavy night.

Less than four weeks had passed since Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown. And Flewellen, who is African American, was on his way to an event at Saint Louis University designed to help teachers unpack complicated issues of race and class.

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Education Desk
7:55 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Group Has A Goal Of Improving Access To Preschool In Macon County

Credit flickr: EdenJanineJim

Getting more kids into pre-school might not solve all the problems, but there is mounting evidence that it can help ensure a child gets off to a good start. 

However, some communities struggle to get more youngsters into early learning.  

The Education Coalition of Macon County has studied the issue there and found some pressing needs when it comes to early childhood education. 

Sarah Bjelland is the group's Research and Data Manager.

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NPR Ed
6:03 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Making Jewelry From Buttons And Bottle Caps

Doll's-eye necklace pendant
Courtesy of Mei-Ling Uliasz

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 2:22 pm

The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Artist? Carpenter? Quidditch player? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.

When she's not teaching second-graders in Connecticut, Mei-Ling Uliasz turns bottle caps and little tin cars and brass protractors and other found objects into whimsical "upcycled" jewelry.

Tell us about your secret life.

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NPR Ed
4:17 am
Sun October 26, 2014

A New Orleans Family's Lives Changed In An Instant

Five-year-old Kyle Romain sits on the lap of his grandmother, Barbara Romain, at a football game. Kyle lost his sight when he was hit by a stray bullet two months ago.
Eric Westervelt/NPR

Originally published on Sun October 26, 2014 3:38 pm

NPR Ed is reporting this year on the extraordinary changes in the New Orleans schools.

I was in New Orleans to report on how the city's nearly all-charter school system is handling children with disabilities and special needs.

An old friend, a veteran New Orleans reporter, told me about a family — a mother and her two youngest sons — who'd been badly wounded in a drive-by shooting just days into the new school year.

I met up with Alanna Romain at a recreation league football game at City Park. She has five children. Her oldest boy plays football.

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NPR Ed
10:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Curiosity: It Helps Us Learn, But Why?

The Limbic Reward System lights up when curiosity is piqued.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 4:42 pm

How does a sunset work? We love to look at one, but Jolanda Blackwell wanted her eighth-graders to really think about it, to wonder and question.

So Blackwell, who teaches science at Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior High in Davis, Calif., had her students watch a video of a sunset on YouTube as part of a physics lesson on motion.

"I asked them: 'So what's moving? And why?' " Blackwell says. The students had a lot of ideas. Some thought the sun was moving; others, of course, knew that a sunset is the result of the Earth spinning around on its axis.

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Education Desk
6:48 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Huge Cuts At Benedictine 3/4 Of Staff To Be Laid Off

Major cuts are coming to Springfield's Benedictine University.    The school is laying off three quarters of its full time employees, cutting out undergraduate education and getting rid of its sports programs.  The school will no longer focus on the traditional student market, but instead will make its focus on adults.    The campus issued a statement last night.    Springfield branch campus President Michael Bromberg tells WUIS that 75 of the 100 full time workers will be laid-off next year when the school ends its traditional programs for students who are just out of high school.

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Education
3:31 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

UNC Chancellor: Report Reveals 'Shocking Lack' Of Checks And Balances

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 5:35 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now a conversation with UNC's Chancellor Carol Folt. I began asking by her about the accusation you just heard - that this report is a whitewash.

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Education
3:31 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

New Details Revealed In University Of North Carolina Academic Scandal

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 5:35 pm

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

The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Report Says UNC Grade-Boosting Scandal Involved Fake Classes

University of North Carolina system President Tom Ross and UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol L. Folt talk during a special joint meeting of the UNC Board of Governors and the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees on Wednesday.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 3:51 pm

Fake classes, inflated grades and one academic department that facilitated it all. Those are all detailed in a newly released report on grade-fixing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The scandal came to light in 2011, but the report out Wednesday offers the most wide-sweeping look yet at how some school staff members boosted the grades of more than 3,000 students — nearly half of them athletes — over nearly 20 years.

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Education
4:30 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Wave Away Math Homework With An App

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 6:14 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Suppose you need the answer to 70 times five?

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's 350.

INSKEEP: Or 12 times four.

GREENE: 48.

INSKEEP: That's impressive, David.

GREENE: Well, thank you.

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NPR Ed
3:32 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

The Slide Rule: A Computing Device That Put A Man On The Moon

LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 1:54 pm

The protractor and the Bunsen burner. Playing the recorder in music class. Drawing arcs and circles with a compass in geometry. These tools of the education trade become part of our lives for a semester or two and then we move on.

Today, NPR Ed begins a new series examining these icons of the classroom. We start off with a device that once was essential to higher-level math, in school and in the workplace, but now has all but disappeared:

The slide rule.

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NPR Ed
3:35 am
Tue October 21, 2014

The Short Shelf Life Of Urban School Superintendents

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, seen in a photo taken last year, says his resignation Thursday was "by mutual agreement.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 7:16 am

If you're a 12th-grader right now in the Los Angeles schools, that means you probably started kindergarten back in 2001. It also means that, as of this week, you've seen four superintendents come and go.

As we discussed today on Morning Edition, the ouster of John Deasy last week as the head of the nation's second-largest district has renewed a long-running debate about leadership of big-city schools, and particularly the challenges of raising achievement in such a politically charged environment.

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Illinois Issues - Education Desk
6:28 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Task Force Hopes To Help Turn Students Into Good Citizens

Illinois is one of only 10 states where students are not required to take a civics course. A task force of legislators and educators now recommends that students learn not just the history of government, but how to participate in it. 

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Illinois Issues - Education Desk
6:10 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Are Computer Keyboards Killing Cursive?

Teens we showed this letter to had trouble reading because it was written in cursive.
Credit The Papers Of Abraham Lincoln

With the rise of computers and electronic communications, educators have all but written off penmanship. And kids who don’t learn to write cursive tend to have trouble reading cursive. 

Last week, I went around torturing teenagers. I handed them a copy of a letter, written on stationery from the Executive Mansion and dated April 5, 1864. The letter is addressed to Mrs. Horace Mann.

It was especially challenging for 18-year-old Edwin Robles. 

“I’m sorry, I’m really bad at cursive. Like horrible at it," Robles said. "Why? Is this like a test?”

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NPR Ed
12:32 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

The New Vocabulary Of Urban Education

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 9:32 am

Once upon a time, most kids attended things called schools to get an education. And, in those schools, these kids were called students.

Well, times are changing — especially in urban areas with lots of charter schools. In New Orleans, where just about every school receiving public funding is now a charter, we asked a bunch of adults where they had gone to school.

Their answers: Newton Elementary and Newton High School, Warren Easton High School, Epiphany School, Folsom Elementary School, Valena C. Jones School and the Moses Brown School.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Fri October 17, 2014

LA Schools Superintendent Steps Down, Defends Tenure

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, seen in a photo taken last year, says his resignation Thursday was "by mutual agreement."
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 9:12 am

Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy has stepped down as head of the nation's second-largest school system after a controversial tenure that saw him at odds with the teachers union and unable to push through a plan to get an iPad in every student's hand.

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Around the Nation
6:08 am
Fri October 17, 2014

LA Schools Superintendent To Leave After iPad Controversy

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 7:53 am

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

NPR Ed
6:03 am
Fri October 17, 2014

New Research Suggests Small High Schools May Help After All

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 3:05 pm

Findings from a new long-term study of small high schools in New York City show the approach may not only boost a student's chances of enrolling in college but also cost less per graduate.

The city began an intensive push to create smaller learning communities in its high schools in 2002. That year, the city's education department rolled out a districtwide lottery system for high school admission.

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Education Desk
3:56 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Decatur Schools Say Employee Who Visited Africa Poses No Ebola Threat

Decatur Public Schools issued a statement today saying a staff member at MacArthur High, who traveled to Africa, has been cleared by a doctor.   The announcement came after concerns from parents over potential exposure to Ebola.  

The district says the individual was in South Africa, outside of the region where Ebola has been concentrated.  

The statement released says the staff member was deemed not to be at risk and after seeing their personal physician, was cleared to return to work. 

The district's statement follows:

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Religion
3:26 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Interfaith Chaplains Revitalize An Old Role On College Campuses

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 5:35 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Education
3:26 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

In Crisis, Philadelphia Public Schools Revoke Teachers' Contract

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 5:35 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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