Education Desk

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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NPR Ed
8:18 am
Thu August 14, 2014

The NPR Ed Mailbag: The Participation Trophy

LA Johnson/ NPR

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 8:44 am

On Saturday, for our series on learning and play, I reported a story for Weekend Edition exploring this question: Should kids get a trophy for participating in organized sports? Well, it touched a nerve: comments, tweets and emails poured in — hundreds of them. So many that we thought it worth sharing a few. Here goes.

Against

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Education
3:36 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Forget The Bake Sale: Some Of School's Funds Come From Bars And Brothels

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 8:14 pm

This month, schools across the U.S. are preparing for students to return to the classroom and looking for creative ways to supplement budgets. As Capital Public Radio's Ky Plaskon reports, one Nevada school district is turning to unlikely sources of funding: liquor and prostitution.

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A Closer Look At Sexual Assaults On Campus
3:32 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Smartphone Apps Help To Battle Campus Sexual Assaults

Circle of 6 was born out of the 2011 "Apps Against Abuse" challenge, a partnership between the Office of the Vice President, Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 7:02 am

NPR has been examining sexual assault on campus.

Dozens of U.S. colleges are being investigated over their handling of sexual assault claims.

Incoming freshman are especially vulnerable to those assaults.

The first six weeks of the semester are called the "red zone" when a student is most likely to experience rape or an attempted rape.

Amid all the concerns, there's new legislation in place for colleges, and there's hope that technology could help.

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A Closer Look At Sexual Assaults On Campus
5:02 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

How Campus Sexual Assaults Came To Command New Attention

President Obama signs a memorandum establishing the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault in January.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 10:27 am

Call it a sign of the times that right along with required writing core courses, incoming freshmen at most schools this fall will also face a mandatory crash course on the subject of sexual assault.

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NPR Ed
3:28 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Glossary: Marbles Edition

Marbles from the collection of Doug Watson. Top row from left: hand-cut agate, green slag, handmade German latticino, champion furnace swirl. Bottom row: German handmade flame-polished sulphide, aqua slag, hollow steelie, handmade flame-polished German onionskin.
Sarah Tilotta NPR

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 5:15 pm

Part of our NPR Ed series on why people play and how play relates to learning.

The game of marbles might seem simple, but behind it is an extensive vocabulary.

"After you're in it for a little while, it kind of becomes second nature to you," says Doug Watson. He's what he calls a free-agent coach, and a marble collector who specializes in early American machine-made marbles and handmade German marbles.

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All Tech Considered
1:46 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Many Women Leave Engineering, Blame The Work Culture

Respondents in a survey of women with engineering degrees said that many companies did not provide opportunities for women like them to advance and develop.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 7:57 am

From the aerospace sector to Silicon Valley, engineering has a retention problem: Close to 40 percent of women with engineering degrees either leave the profession or never enter the field.

Conventional wisdom says that women in engineering face obstacles such as the glass ceiling, a lack of self-confidence and a lack of mentors. But psychologists who delved deeper into the issue with a new study found that the biggest pushbacks female engineers receive come from the environments they work in.

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NPR Ed
10:43 am
Tue August 12, 2014

What Robin Williams Taught Us About Teaching

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 12:53 pm

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Education
4:00 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

New Orleans Charters Prepare For A Big First Day Of School

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 1:34 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Education Desk
7:37 am
Mon August 11, 2014

U of I Department Head Says Decision To Withdraw Offer Harms University Reputation

Credit University of Illinois

A week after the University of Illinois reportedly withdrew a job offer to a professor who posted controversial comments on Twitter, the head of the department overseeing that position says the decision harms the university’s reputation and ability to attract talented professors.

Robert Warrior directs the U of I’s American Indian Studies program.  He says Steven Salaita told him the university emailed a letter telling him of its decision, which came after Salaita resigned from his previous job at Virginia Tech. 

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