Education Desk

Education
3:44 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

New Orleans Enters The Charter School Era

Ninth graders at George Washington Carver Collegiate Academy learn to shake hands and greet each other during the first day of school in New Orleans.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 11:25 am

On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and gutted most of its public schools. Even before the storm, the district was one of the most troubled in the nation.

Today, the New Orleans school system is unlike any other anywhere in the U.S. More than 9 in 10 students this fall are attending charter schools run by dozens of private, nonprofit organizations. Families choose the schools their children will attend, and the neighborhood school is a thing of the past.

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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Fri August 29, 2014

California Lawmakers Pass 'Affirmative Consent' Sexual Assault Bill

California state Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) urges lawmakers to approve his measure aimed at curbing sexual assault on campuses on Thursday in Sacramento.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:57 pm

California is one step closer to becoming the first state to require colleges and universities "to adopt a standard of unambiguous consent among students engaging in sexual activity," The Los Angeles Times reports.

The California Senate gave the bill unanimous approval on Thursday, and it is now headed to the governor's office.

The Times adds:

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Education
3:28 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Want To Widen Your Worldview? A Random Roomie Helps

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:28 pm

Melissa Block talks to Jesse Singal of New York Magazine, about his article titled "In Praise of the Rando Freshman Roommate." Research shows that when students are paired with roommates from different backgrounds, they tend to develop more tolerant attitudes.

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

Transcript

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NPR Ed
1:59 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?

LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 2:46 pm

Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Education Desk
6:08 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Illinois Schools In Pension Limbo

Credit WFIU/flickr

It’s expected to be some time before the courts decide whether Illinois can trim retirement benefits for public school teachers, university workers, and state employees. But the uncertainty continues to affect the credit outlook of schools and community colleges across the state.  

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Around the Nation
3:09 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Meet The Squirrel Whisperer Of Happy Valley

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 6:29 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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NPR Ed
2:32 am
Wed August 27, 2014

The LA School iPad Scandal: What You Need To Know

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy exchanged multiple emails with executives at Pearson PLC about the potential for working together.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 10:32 pm

A massive expansion of classroom technology has come to a grinding halt in Los Angeles.

The LA Unified School District had planned to buy some 700,000 iPads for its students and teachers. The Apple tablets would include learning software built by publishing giant Pearson. But Superintendent John Deasy announced earlier this week he is canceling the contract and restarting the bidding process.

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District 186
5:22 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Student Brings Gun To Lanphier High School

There will be heightened security at Lanphier High School Wednesday after a student brought a gun to class on Tuesday afternoon. The weapon was apprehended without incident and the 16 year old male student was arrested. Police say he allegedly had the gun for protection and at no point displayed or threatened to use it. Superintendent Jennifer Gill says there will be more police officers at the high school in the coming few days:

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Is Google's Free Software A Good Deal For Educators?

LA Johnson/ NPR

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 10:55 am

Kaitlin Morgan says, this year, her school district is going "full Google."

Morgan teaches U.S. and world history and advises the yearbook at Woodlake Union High School in California's Central Valley. At Woodlake, "full Google" means a plan to have one Google Chromebook for every two students by the spring, running Google Apps.

The Chromebook is a relatively cheap, stripped-down laptop. It's become popular in the education world, with 85 percent of its U.S. sales last year going to the ed market.

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Around the Nation
4:06 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Student Activists Keep Pressure On Campus Sexual Assault

Dana Bolger, who says she was raped in 2011 while a student at Amherst College, co-founded a group that seeks to educate students about their rights under Title IX.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 10:47 am

For Georgetown University freshmen, orientation this week included a new activity: mandatory small-group discussions on sexual assault.

"For a lot of the kids, this might be the first time they ever actually talk about sexual assault or what consent means in an environment with their peers," says Chandini Jha, a junior who helped lead several discussions and who's been pushing administrators to do this for two years.

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NPR Ed
5:25 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Turnitin And The Debate Over Anti-Plagiarism Software

LA Johnson/ NPR

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 6:53 pm

Students are heading back to campus. And when they finish writing that first paper of the year, a growing number will have to do something their parents never did: run their work through anti-plagiarism software.

One company behind it is called Turnitin. And the database it uses to screen for potential plagiarism is big. Really, really big.

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Shots - Health News
12:34 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Pediatricians Say School Should Start Later For Teens' Health

About 40 percent of high schools start before 8 a.m., which contributes to chronic sleep deprivation among teens, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Chris Waits/Flickr

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 8:44 am

Many parents have pushed for a later start to the school day for teenagers, with limited success. But parents just got a boost from the nation's pediatricians, who say that making middle and high schoolers start classes before 8:30 a.m. threatens children's' health, safety and academic performance.

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Education
6:55 am
Sun August 24, 2014

University Tackles Sexual Assault Before The Parties Start

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 12:41 pm

Copyright 2014 Vermont Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.vpr.net.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Education
4:37 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Budget Cuts Threaten A Unique Alabama Prison Education Program

Inmates from several Alabama state prisons take a math class at J.F. Ingram State Technical College. The campus becomes a medium-security facility when the students arrive.
Dan Carsen WBHM

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 10:48 am

In a small classroom in Alabama's Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, a dozen women sit at long gray tables. They all wear the same coarse white jumpsuits as a projector shows tips on "responding to anger" and "developing a positive self-concept."

This prompts 34-year-old Tamara Kirkwood to reflect on her past.

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NPR Ed
9:08 am
Fri August 22, 2014

A Picture Of Language: The Fading Art Of Diagramming Sentences

The design firm Pop Chart Lab has taken the first lines of famous novels and diagrammed those sentences. This one shows the opening of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis.
Pop Chart Lab

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 4:25 pm

When you think about a sentence, you usually think about words — not lines. But sentence diagramming brings geometry into grammar.

If you weren't taught to diagram a sentence, this might sound a little zany. But the practice has a long — and controversial — history in U.S. schools.

And while it was once commonplace, many people today don't even know what it is.

So let's start with the basics.

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StoryCorps
2:35 am
Fri August 22, 2014

When Living Out Of A Car, It's Hard To Feel At Home

Erika Kalberer (left) and her mother, Kris. Their family has been living in their car. Kris tells her daughter, "I don't think sometimes you know how strong you are."
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 7:25 am

About a decade ago, Kris Kalberer left her job as a retail manager to raise her kids and care for her elderly mother. For a while, the family did well on her husband's income. Then he lost his job.

Their finances spiraled out of control. They lost their house in March 2011, and since then, their lives have become transient. They stayed in motels, or with friends. Currently they live in their car.

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Education Desk
12:18 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Chatham Schools Supt. Talks Growth & Planning

Supt. Carrie Hruby
Credit chathamschools.org

Chatham school district is growing at a steady pace, adding about 75 to 100 students each year. That means changes are on the horizon and schools are undergoing much-needed construction in order to expand. Meanwhile, as is the case in many other school districts in the state, it's a challenge to keep the budget balanced. In this interview, Superintendent Carrie Hruby speaks to WUIS about this and more, including school lunches and a mentor program started by a student...

    

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NPR Ed
6:16 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Notebooks And Pencils And Pens, Cha-Ching!

On the left, supplies on the back-to-school list for third-graders in Arlington, Texas; on the right, the items fifth-graders need in Palmer, Alaska.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 8:12 am

Millions of families are heading to Target or Wal-Mart this month to make sure their kids have what they need for the first day of school. And, as many parents know, those glue sticks and gym clothes can really add up.

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Education Desk
5:53 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Next U Of I President To Make More Money

Credit flickr/creative commons I love butter

An employee of the firm helping the University of Illinois search for a new president says the school should expect to pay a salary in line with its status as a top university.

Data that Laurie Wilder of Parker Executive Search presented Wednesday to members of the university's search committee made clear that will likely mean paying more than current President Bob Easter earns.  

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Shots - Health News
8:23 am
Wed August 20, 2014

What Kids' Drawings Say About Their Future Thinking Skills

Researchers asked 4-year-olds to draw a child. Here's a sample of their artwork.
Twins Early Development Study/King's College in London

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 7:54 am

At age 4, many young children are just beginning to explore their artistic style.

The kid I used to babysit in high school preferred self-portraits, undoubtedly inspired by the later works of Joan Miro. My cousin, a prolific young artist, worked almost exclusively on still lifes of 18-wheelers.

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Education Desk
6:26 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Illinois Sees Slight Gains On ACT Scores

Credit Eastern Kentucky University

The Illinois State Board of Education says Illinois' high school graduating class of 2014 earned a composite score of 20.7 on the ACT.  

The score on the four-subject test is slightly higher than the class of 2013's score of 20.6. The national average is 21.  

Board officials say Illinois had the second-highest composite score among the 12 states that tested 100 percent of graduates, next to Utah.  

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NPR Ed
2:34 am
Wed August 20, 2014

A Tale Of Two Polls

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 10:52 am

Two new polls this week attempt to quantify the public's feelings for the Common Core State Standards. The K-12 benchmarks in English and math were little known this time last year. But they've since become the subject of a high-profile political fight. Now a majority of the public opposes them.

Or do they?

Poll No. 1, out today, puts support for the Core at just 33 percent. But Poll No. 2, released yesterday, puts it at 53 percent. That's a big difference.

Which one is wrong? Or can they both, somehow, be right?

PDK/Gallup

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Education Desk
4:12 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Free Lunch For All District 186 Students

Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

All Springfield public school students will get free lunches this year. Most schools in the district already were part of a free meal program that qualified students automatically, no matter their household income. This year, all schools in the district will participate. Iles and Ball Charter Elementary schools were added along with Lincoln Middle School and Springfield High.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Ferguson Teachers Use Day Off As Opportunity For A Civics Lesson

Teachers with the Jennings School District pick up trash Tuesday on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., the scene of nightly police clashes. Jennings and the neighboring Ferguson school district have canceled class due to ongoing unrest.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 7:30 pm

Chaos and unrest overnight have kept the National Guard in the suburban town of Ferguson, Mo., for a second day, and the local school district has canceled classes for the week. After two nights of violent clashes this week, neighboring Jennings School District is out of class, too.

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Education Desk
9:09 am
Tue August 19, 2014

WUIS Education Desk: Springfield Mayoral Candidates Talk District 186

The mayor of Springfield has no authority over the public school district.  But with so many campaign promises dependent on growing the city's tax base and population, District 186's image is pertinent in the race.

Those who have announced a bid for mayor include the incumbent Mike Houston, Sangamon County Auditor Paul Palazzolo and City Treasurer Jim Langfelder.

The WUIS Education Desk asked all three candidates about their views of the district, including how to deal with revenue problems.  

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Education Desk
8:00 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Springfield Supt. Previews Coming School Year

Jennifer Gill
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

District 186 students are back in the classroom on Monday.  They will see some changes,  including all Springfield public schools observing a one hour early dismissal every Wednesday. Bus routes will run an hour early and after-school programs are available on those days. The district also has a new superintendent, Jennifer Gill. She joined us for this interview about how budget cuts will affect students, why she's hoping to focus on the district's drop-out rate, and more: 

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Education Desk
7:02 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Illinois Colleges To Be Smoke Free

Illinois' public colleges are going smoke-free _ indoors and out _ starting next summer.  

Gov. Pat Quinn says he's signed a law that bans indoor and outdoor smoking at all state-supported colleges and universities.  

The bill makes exceptions for smoking inside privately owned vehicles traveling through campus and some activities under the federal American Indian Religious Freedom Act.  A companion bill signed by Quinn also allows smoking on campus inside parked, non-state-owned vehicles.  

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Shots - Health News
2:51 am
Mon August 18, 2014

The Power Of The Peer Group In Preventing Campus Rape

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:34 am

Many forces can drive a male college student to commit sexual assault. But one of the most important may be the company he keeps.

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Sun August 17, 2014

Why The Atlanta Testing Scandal Matters

One study found that teachers under high-stakes testing spent more time teaching "bubble kids" who were close to passing, at the expense of students elsewhere on the bell curve.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 2:04 pm

Once, in a sauna at a Korean spa in Queens, I overheard what sounded like two teachers discussing the cheating practices of a third. "You know how she does it," one said. "She'll lean over a student about to put a wrong answer and whisper, 'Check your work.' "

"Yes, and her finger will just happen to be on the right answer," said the other one.

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NPR Ed
10:10 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Helping Students Make Sense Of A Young Black Man's Death In Missouri

The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., is likely to raise questions for kids at home and playing in parks, but also in classrooms where students and teachers are heading back for the first day of school.

The 18-year-old's death Saturday — and the circumstances surrounding it — have laid bare the intersections of race and class and social justice, not just in the 70 percent black suburb, but in the national response to it.

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