At preschools in Tulsa, Okla., teachers are well-educated and well-paid, and classrooms are focused on play, but are still challenging. One nonprofit in Tulsa, the Community Action Project, has flipped the script on preschool. The idea behind its Career Advance program is simple: To help kids, the group believes, you often have to help their parents.
President Obama has called repeatedly on Congress to help states pay for "high-quality preschool" for all. In fact, those two words — "high quality" — appear time and again in the president's prepared remarks. They are also a refrain among early childhood education advocates and researchers. But what do they mean? And what separates the best of the nation's preschool programs from the rest?
The board president of the Springfield School District says there's no chance a tax referendum will get on the November ballot.
A community group is pushing an idea to raise property taxes, and the board's vice president is pushing for a county-wide sales tax hike. Both would benefit district 186, though the county sales-tax hike would help all schools in the county and most the money would have to go to facility costs.
Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 12:37 pm
America may have a shot at rejoining the world's most educated nations by 2025, according to a report released Monday by the Lumina Foundation.
The Indianapolis-based foundation's annual report finds some encouraging data to counter the familiar story of a nation that is famed for its colleges and universities but trails many other countries when it comes to the percentage of people with a degree beyond high school.
Springfield public schools may start classes later once per week, beginning next school year. But the district is going to garner more public feedback before making a final decision. After district officials spoke with a group of parents, it was clear some are against the original plan of pushing back the start of the school day. Now another option is on the table: early dismissal. Either way - it'd be a redistribution of hours slated for professional development.
The federal government spends almost $8 billion on preschool programs across the country, mostly on low income 4-year-olds. States spend billions more. But with at least 30 states planning to expand access to pre-K and President Obama promoting "preschool for all," what constitutes a quality preschool program?
For years, President Obama has been a vocal booster of early childhood education. In his past two State of the Union addresses, he has called on Congress to help fund preschool for every child in the country.
"Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child's life is high-quality early education," Obama told Congress in January.
I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. This spring, along with NPR's Morning Edition, we're helping you navigate the higher education money maze with our "Paying for College" series.
We've heard about how college got so expensive and how families and students are taking on massive loans to pay for it. But today, we want to talk more about an effort to make college not just affordable, but free.
Illinois lawmakers are considering a major change to the way local schools get money from the state. But information about how individual school districts would fare in the new system won't be ready until just before the end of the spring legislative session.
Illinois' schools are primarily funded by local property taxes, which means that there's a big disparity in how much money is spent on a student depending on her zip code.
Now we turn to a campaign to recognize Muslim religious holidays in the New York public school system. Roughly 10 percent of New York City's public school children are Muslims. And their parents are asking that schools close for the most sacred Muslim holidays. They argue that Christian and Jewish students get their most important holidays off already. Current New York Mayor Bill de Blasio endorsed the idea during his campaign. Take a listen.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School. That day, two students opened fire and killed 13 people.
The investigative journalism group ProPublica, with reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, has just completed a yearlong project, Segregation Now, exploring the re-segregation of schools in the U.S., with a particular look at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Public schools are not allowed to forbid students' right to freedom of speech, unless it disrupts education. But that wasn't necessarily true until a court case from Iowa made its way to the Supreme Court back in the 60s. John Tinker was behind the case, known as Tinker v. Des Moines. He and other students went to school wearing black arm bands to protest the Vietnam War. They were kicked out and told not to come back to class unless they removed the bands and the rest as they say, is history.
New data suggests just how big a hit most school districts would take if Illinois' income tax rate rolls back as scheduled at the end of the year.
Illinois' budget could play out a lot of different ways. But under one scenario -- the one Gov. Pat Quinn says will be the case if tax rates aren't kept at five percent -- kindergarten through high school classrooms across Illinois will get $450 million dollars less from the state.
NPR's been looking at how American families are paying for college and the huge debt some students are racking up. Some states are experimenting with a new idea. It's called Pay It Forward and here's how it works. The state pays for students' tuition. After they graduate and get jobs, the students are expected to repay it.
Charter schools have long been a divisive issue. Supporters say they allow schools to teach kids free of burdensome regulations. Opponents say they take money away from traditional schools. In Illinois this year, those views are colliding. In the final installment of our series, we find out about the fight at the statehouse and what it might mean for charters:
Nearly two decades ago when the state legislature paved the way for charter schools, Republicans were in control and touted them as an innovative way to improve education by removing many rules and regulations. Now there are about 145 charter school campuses across the state, the vast majority in Chicago. Supporters say they are the change an ailing education system needs, but it's a contentious topic. In this report, the first of a two-part series, we visit a charter school and explore the differing opinions about them:
After decades on the decline, the number of "stay at home" moms in the U.S. has risen, with 29 percent of women with children under 18 saying they don't work outside the home, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center.
The figure from 2012 is up from 23 percent in 1999.
Online degree programs are proliferating – and many cost a fraction of the price of a traditional, on-campus degree. Massive Open Online Courses, known as MOOCS, are also catching on in the U.S. and around the world.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. This spring, we're joining our colleagues at Morning Edition to take a closer look at paying for college. So far in this series, we've talked about navigating the mountains of paperwork, whether working during school is a good idea, and if so, how much is too much. And we've also talked about the huge debt that many students face after graduation. But imagine if all those worries went away.
From research to art projects, it's all on display.
"It's an extremely supportive environment," said senior Brianna Werner. "Both from faculty and other students. Students come and do class projects at the (symposium). They'll take pictures with you. Take pictures of your posters."