Education Desk

Higher Ed
4:40 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

U Of I Trustees Reject Salaita Hire

Steven Salaita spoke earlier this week in Urbana.
Credit Jim Meadows

University of Illinois trustees on Thursday voted not to hire a professor whose anti-Israel Twitter messages were deemed anti-Semitic by some, raising the likelihood of a lawsuit and further campus protests.  

Steven Salaita, who last year accepted a job to begin teaching this fall in the university's Native American Studies Program, has threatened legal action if the university rescinded the offer. His attorneys have said if he isn't hired, they'll go to court to try to get an injunction to force the university to hire him.  

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Playgrounds For All Children: Here's How To Find One

John W. Poole/NPR

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 12:11 pm

Janna Espinoza's daughter Coraline has hearing loss, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and developmental delays. Nearly 2 years old, she can't sit up, stand, creep or use her hands as a typically developing child does.

Coraline is among an estimated 6.4 million children in the U.S. with a disability. And for these kids the simple ritual of playing outside can get very complicated.

"My daughter can't do very much at a typical playground, except watch her older sister play," says Espinoza. "Playgrounds are a depressing place for us."

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NPR Ed
3:50 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain On Music

Amir Pinkney-Jengkens, 8, is learning trombone through Harmony Project, a nonprofit that provides musical instruments and instruction to children in low-income communities. Recent research suggests that such musical education may help improve kids' ability to process speech.
Annie Tritt for NPR

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 10:55 am

Musical training doesn't just improve your ear for music — it also helps your ear for speech. That's the takeaway from an unusual new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers found that kids who took music lessons for two years didn't just get better at playing the trombone or violin; they found that playing music also helped kids' brains process language.

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Research News
4:10 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Built In Better Times, University Labs Now Lack Research Funding

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 7:01 am

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

Higher Ed
2:43 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

UIS Enrollment Hits All-Time High

Credit UIS.edu

Enrollment at the University of Illinois Springfield has surpassed 5,400 for the first time in the school's history.  300 more students are on campus this fall compared to a year ago.

The fall census of students eclipsed the previous record set four years ago with 5,431 students enrolled.  It also marks the fifth consecutive year that enrollment has topped 5,000.

 The number of international students increased more than 115 percent, to 827 this fall.  

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Education Desk
12:39 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Technology Is Changing Decatur Classrooms

MacBook Air
Credit apple.com

Students at Decatur public schools will each have their own iPad or laptop to use. That's the goal the district has set for the coming two years. Elementary schools will have 1-to-1 iPads, middle schools will have a mix of iPads and laptops, and the two high schools will use laptops. At Eisenhower High School it's already taken place - with each student having their own MacBook Air.

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NPR Ed
6:45 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Q&A: One Student's Educational Saga In New Orleans

Whitman Wilcox V, 17, stands for a portrait on Aug. 15 at his home in New Orleans.
Edmund D. Fountain for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 7:21 pm

This year, NPR Ed is reporting on the dramatic changes in the New Orleans school system.

Whitman Wilcox V attended kindergarten through second grade at a neighborhood public school in the Lower 9th Ward. He had just started the third grade when Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005. His family was forced to evacuate; he wound up at a Catholic school in Houston.

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Education Desk
6:27 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Rauner Releases Education Plan

Credit brucerauner.com

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner outlined an education reform plan Monday that touched on teacher merit pay, overhauling
tenure and changing the state's school funding formal, but the proposal didn't contain specifics on what exactly he would change or how he would accomplish
them.
 
 The venture capitalist said his ideas would help create ``world class schools''
and he vowed to increase school funding in the first year if he wins office
without raising the income tax or property taxes. He said he wanted to change

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Harvard To Get $350 Million Gift From Hong Kong Group

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 11:04 am

Harvard is set to receive $350 million — its largest-ever single donation — from a foundation run by a wealthy Hong Kong family led by alumnus and longtime benefactor Gerald L. Chan.

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Shots - Health News
2:24 am
Mon September 8, 2014

The Start Of School Is Not The Only Risky Time For Campus Rape

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 9:12 am

It's sometimes called "the red zone" — from the first day on campus to Thanksgiving break — when female students are thought to be at higher risk of sexual assault.

Students away from home for the first time with no parental supervision are trying to make friends and fit in. Add parties and alcohol, and it can be a dangerous mix.

"It's assumed the highest-risk period is at the beginning of the first semester," says Bill Flack, an associate professor of psychology at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.

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NPR Ed
7:43 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Q&A: Dana Goldstein, Author, 'The Teacher Wars'

Dana Goldstein
Michael Lionstar Dana Goldstein

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:26 pm

I recently came to the education beat after spending the better part of a decade as a foreign correspondent, mainly reporting on conflicts in the Middle East.

Shortly after turning in my Kevlar vest for chalk dust, I was struck by how intensely polarized the education reform debate is in America. I'd traded real mortar fire for the rhetorical kind: Man the barricades, incoming Common Core!

Which raises the question: How did we get here?

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Education
6:50 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Florida Polytechnic Library Goes Book-Free

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 2:11 pm

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Ed
11:58 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Lights, Camera, College? Goucher College Introduces Video Applications

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 2:45 pm

The college admissions game is intense, competitive and, some would say, out of control. Now one Maryland college is looking to make it a little bit simpler.

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NPR Ed
5:51 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

These Kids Grew Up With The Woods As Their Only Classroom

The Hewitt family at home in Vermont.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 9:24 am

On a typical morning on Ben Hewitt's small farm in Cabot, Vt., he and his wife, Penny, and their two sons wake up early. But after doing the chores and eating breakfast, Fin, 12, and Rye, 9, don't have to run for the school bus.

Instead, they spend the morning reading Gary Paulsen tales, or they strap on pack baskets they wove themselves, carrying small knives at their belts, and head out to build shelters and forage in the woods.

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Education Desk
4:27 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Statewide School Webinar Planned For Next Week

Credit SethSawyers/Flickr

An internet event next week is aimed at reaching out to parents in the state. 
The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois PTA have teamed up to offer their first Back To School webinar on Tuesday September 9.   It will feature the state superintendent and others giving parents more details about changes in schools.  That includes new learning standards and tests.

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Higher Ed
11:28 am
Thu September 4, 2014

U of I Chancellor: Hiring Process Should Change

Phyllis Wise
Credit news.illinois.edu

University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise says the faculty hiring process should change amid an ongoing controversy over the decision to rescind a job offer to one professor.  

Wise told The News-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1pNBeCb ) that new professors shouldn't be working before they've been approved by the Board of Trustees.  

The university recently decided not to hire Virginia Tech University professor Steven Salaita over a series of profane anti-Israel Twitter messages that some students and university donors say were also anti-Semitic.  

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NPR Ed
9:13 am
Thu September 4, 2014

The Myth Of The Superstar Superintendent?

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 7:01 am

At corporations, leadership matters. A lot. Think of the impact of the late Steve Jobs at Apple or Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg today, to name a couple.

CEOs often play a vital role in bolstering a company's performance, image and culture of success. (Although studies show that obscenely high CEO compensation isn't always the best incentive.)

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NPR Ed
4:01 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Gentlemen, Preschool Is Calling

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 8:06 am

Glenn Peters knew he would be in the minority when he started training to teach preschool as part of New York City's rollout of universal pre-K, the largest such initiative in the country. But he didn't realize just how rare men are in the profession until he attended a resume-building workshop for aspiring pre-K teachers.

"They couldn't find the bathroom code for the men's bathroom, so I actually had to go to the women's room while someone stood guard outside the bathroom," Peters says. "I knew at that moment that I was a bit of a unicorn."

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Education
3:19 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

North Carolina District Breaks Ties With Teach For America

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 6:04 pm

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

A Closer Look At Sexual Assaults On Campus
2:31 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Some Accused Of Sexual Assault On Campus Say System Works Against Them

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 12:12 pm

After years of criticism for being too lax on campus sexual assault, some colleges and universities are coming under fire from students who say the current crackdown on perpetrators has gone too far.

Dozens of students who've been punished for sexual assault are suing their schools, saying that they didn't get a fair hearing and that their rights to due process were violated. The accused students say schools simply are overcorrecting.

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NPR Ed
4:11 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Sounds From The First Day Of School

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 6:14 pm

The day after Labor Day is traditionally the end of summer break and the start of the school year. But for students in many parts of the country, the school year has already started.

Whether you're struggling to find your classroom or remember your locker combination, the first day is a big one for students, teachers and families.

With millions of children headed back to school, we asked reporters from member stations around the country to bring us the sounds of that first day:

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The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

John Oliver And Cookie Monster, On The News Beat

Cookie Monster and John Oliver anchor a special report on words.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 5:22 pm

Just in time for back-to-school season, funny newsman John Oliver and incorrigible consumer Cookie Monster are co-anchoring a news special on words, in a video that includes appearances by Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon and weatherman Al Roker.

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Education
1:49 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

A Lesson In How Teachers Became 'Resented And Idealized'

Dana Goldstein has reported on education for several years, including in The Atlantic and The Daily Beast.
Michael Lionstar Courtesy of Doubleday

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 3:16 pm

As students return to school, the national dialogue on controversies surrounding teacher tenure, salaries, the core curriculum, testing and teacher competence will get more fervent.

In her new book, The Teacher Wars, Dana Goldstein writes about how teaching became "the most controversial profession in America," and how teachers have become both "resented and idealized."

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NPR Ed
3:28 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Librarians Are A Luxury Chicago Public Schools Can't Afford

There aren't mass layoffs of librarians; they're just doing different jobs.
Robyn Mackenzie iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 4:26 pm

Two years ago, the Chicago Public Schools budgeted for 454 librarians. Last year, the budget called for 313 librarians, and now that number is down to 254.

With educators facing tough financial choices, having a full-time librarian is becoming something of a luxury in Chicago's more than 600 public schools.

It's not that there's a shortage of librarians in Chicago, and it's not mass layoffs. The librarians are being reassigned.

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Illinois Issues - Code Switch Illinois
12:00 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Just a Dollar: Not Since 2009 has the State Allocated Funds for Homeless Education -Well, There's $1

Marilyn Escoe and her children — Kayla, Kyla and Kyle Escoe and Kaleyah Wesley — were homeless until November.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

For Kaleyah Wesley, thoughts of her family’s life in a Chicago homeless shelter made it difficult to focus on school, particularly in math, the subject she found hardest.

The then-sixth-grader woke at 5 a.m. on weekdays to take a pair of trains from the north side Rogers Park shelter to her school in the North Lawndale neighborhood, which is on the west side. She says she had a negative attitude that rubbed off on her three younger siblings.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Race & Education: The Real Issue is About Justice

School Segregation Protesters

 

"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."

— Frederick Douglass

 The balls in this Illinois lottery bounced inside a clear bowl as the number-holders anxiously watched. I was among them in a middle school commons in Matteson, a south suburb of Chicago. Our daughter’s number was 10. But would it be our lucky number tonight? 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon September 1, 2014

New Test, New Stress: Exam Promises Headaches as Schools Adjust to Common Core's Latest Challenge

A computer lab at North Elementary School in Marshall
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

 Benjamin Churchill has been spending extra time with his daughter at the computer lately. Quinn, 8, will be taking her first state exam this school year, and unlike the tests her dad took, this one won’t require a No. 2 pencil. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Restorative Justice: Racial Bias in Expulsions & Suspensions Spur a New Look at School Discipline

This summer, Senn High School students Delvon Woods, left, and Dewayne Thomas participated in a restorative justice training program at Alternatives, a youth center in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. “Instead of getting suspended or kicked out of class for an altercation, you would take it to restorative justice,” Woods says.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

  If a student happens to have been born black, he’s three times more likely to be suspended or expelled than his white classmates. That statistic comes from the U.S. Department of Education, and it’s often repeated by people who favor changing the way students are disciplined. But as with all averages, it obscures the rough edges that become apparent only when looking more closely at the numbers, and Illinois has some of the roughest edges around.

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Education
6:50 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Miami Struggles To Embrace Unaccompanied Immigrants

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 12:31 pm

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

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Education
6:47 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Immigrants Keep Children Bilingual By Schooling Them At Home

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 11:33 am

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

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