Education Desk

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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NPR Ed
7:08 am
Mon August 11, 2014

When Applying For Federal Aid, 'Cross Your Fingers And Hope'

The FAFSA is a confusing ritual for college-bound students.
The Bent Tree/Flickr

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 10:02 am

Every year, more than 20 million students apply for federal financial aid to help pay for college. Five years ago, Mandy Stango was one of them.

To get there, though, Stango felt confused and woefully unprepared. That confusion started with the very first step in the process, as she and her family had to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA.

"I sat there, I read the directions, and crossed my fingers and hoped I was doing the right thing," says Stango, who's now 23.

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NPR Ed
2:29 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Putting Power Tools In The Hands Of 5-Year-Olds

The Construction Kids program in Brooklyn offers hands-on workshops throughout the year.
Beth Fertig/WNYC

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 12:31 pm

Seven-year-old Penelope Day needs both hands to pick up the power drill.

"Go ahead, turn it on," says Deb Winsor, who's working with Penelope on this project. "You might want to make it go faster."

As she does, Penelope feels the rush of air from the motor. "The wind is blowing right on you," she says. "You can feel the vibration of the drill bit going in."

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Code Switch
4:41 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

At 73, Man Finally Gets Diploma Denied For Defying Segregation

Alva Earley shows off his diploma after receiving it from Galesburg Superintendent Bart Arthur.
Evan Temchin Knox College

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 4:42 pm

There was no pomp and circumstance, no procession with classmates, but on Friday a school district in Illinois finally handed Alva Early his high school diploma — more than five decades after he attended Galesburg High School.

In 1959, Galesburg banned Earley from graduating and denied him a diploma after he and other African-Americans had a picnic in a park that was unofficially off-limits to blacks.

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Author Interviews
4:15 pm
Sat August 9, 2014

'Building A Better Teacher': Dissecting America's Education Culture

Elizabeth Green is the cofounder of Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news site that covers education.
Daniel Deitch W.W. Norton

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 4:18 pm

Teacher effectiveness is a hot topic in education circles right now. How do you measure it, and how can you improve it? What type of teachers should schools keep, and who should they let go?

Elizabeth Green says that it's not, as some people assume, a question of personality or charisma. Great teachers are not born, they're made, she says — and there's much more to teaching than being "good" or "bad" at it. Her book, Building a Better Teacher, explores teaching as a craft and shows just how complicated that craft can be.

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9:42 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Remembering a friend, John Wallenstein

John Wallenstein passed away Thursday, August 7, 2014. John made a huge impact on WUIS with his quiet leadership and by explaining to his extensive contacts in the business community how supporting WUIS' mission to inform the community also benefited their business. John was proud to be the force behind making the Education Initiative possible. He raised funds for it over the past two years and headed the search committee to find the first multmedia journalist to head the education desk. Our thoughts and gratitude are with John's wife, Gracia, and their family. Arrangements pending. WUIS staff and partners know John best from his time at the radio station over the past decade. The SJ-R's Jim Ruppert shares another aspect of John's life...
John Wallenstein came to town with A. Ray Smith for the 1978 baseball season, and the one-time wandering minor league baseball executive never left. That made Springfield a better place to live.The 72-year-old Wallenstein, who died Thursday after a brief illness, was actually the anti-A. Ray Smith.
NPR Ed
3:55 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Should Kids Get A Trophy For Showing Up?

Likely this reporter's very first award for participation, found squirreled in a box in his parents' basement.
Mary Turner Courtesy of Cory Turner

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 10:40 am

Talk about a spirited debate ...

Just Google the question, "Should kids get trophies for participation?", and the first page yields headlines like "Losing Is Good For You" and "Hell YES all the little league kids should get trophies!"

I remember collecting a shelf full of participation trophies from years of playing YMCA soccer. Did they make me who I am ... or spoil me rotten?

On the 'No' Side

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The Two-Way
7:38 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

NCAA Loses Court Ruling In Athletes' Antitrust Case

Former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon, seen here in 2010, has won a court ruling in which the NCAA was told it can't forbid college athletes from being compensated for the use of their images and names.
Isaac Brekken ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 11:28 am

The NCAA violated antitrust laws when it said college athletes couldn't be compensated for the use of their names and likenesses, a federal judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken sided with a group of current and former college football and basketball players who say they're being used to help sell video games, TV broadcasts and other content without being paid. Led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon, the group filed a lawsuit in 2009.

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Education
3:35 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

A Summer School Math Problem: How To Fit A Full Year In 5 Weeks?

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 5:57 pm

It's a nightmare borne by many kids: summer school. Within five weeks, students are expected to complete a course that would otherwise be conducted over a whole year. It's a tall task for both students and teachers.

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Education
3:35 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

University President Takes A Chunk Out Of His Pay To Give Others A Boost

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 5:57 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Higher Ed
9:13 am
Fri August 8, 2014

UIC Official Demoted Over Plagiarism Allegations

Credit UIC.edu

A University of Illinois at Chicago official has lost his
position following a lawsuit alleging the official violated federal law by publicly discussing a dissertation and accusations of plagiarism.
 
 The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1ovfpkj) Lon Kaufman was demoted
from his provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs positions to tenured professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.
 
 Chicago State University interim provost and senior vice president Angela

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Education Reform Is Becoming A Celebrity Cause

Whoopi Goldberg spoke out against teacher tenure during an episode of The View.
John Shearer AP

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:25 pm

Celebrities are becoming a prominent fixture in the debate over K-12 education.

This week Whoopi Goldberg used her platform on ABC's The View to speak out against teacher tenure.

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Higher Ed
7:38 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Professors’ Panel Criticizes Reported U of I Dismissal Of Salaita

 A committee of university professors says the University of Illinois is violating academic freedom and standards of free speech, if it has withdrawn its pending appointment of Steven Salaita. 

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Tests That Look Like Video Games

A screenshot from the Posterlet game: choosing negative or positive feedback.
AAA Lab, Stanford University

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 10:21 am

This week, NPR Ed is focusing on questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.

Imagine you're playing a computer game that asks you to design a poster for the school fair. You're fiddling with fonts, changing background colors and deciding what activity to feature: Will a basketball toss appeal to more people than a pie bake-off?

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Shots - Health News
2:26 am
Thu August 7, 2014

California Experiments With Fast-Tracking Medical School

First-year medical student Ngabo Nzigira gets ready to see a patient at Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento.
Andrew Nixon Capital Public Radio

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 3:46 pm

Some doctors in the state of California will soon be able to practice after three years of medical school instead of the traditional four. The American Medical Association is providing seed money for the effort in the form of a $1 million, five-year grant to the University of California at Davis.

Student Ngabo Nzigira is in his sixth week of medical school and he's already interacting with patients during training with a doctor at Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento.

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NPR Ed
2:24 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Rich Kid, Poor Kid: For 30 Years, Baltimore Study Tracked Who Gets Ahead

A rooftop view of East Baltimore, 1979.
Elinor Cahn Courtesy of Elinor Cahn Photographs, The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 5:21 pm

Education is historically considered to be the thing that levels the playing field, capable of lifting up the less advantaged and improving their chances for success.

"Play by the rules, work hard, apply yourself and do well in school, and that will open doors for you," is how Karl Alexander, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist, puts it.

But a study published in June suggests that the things that really make the difference — between prison and college, success and failure, sometimes even life and death — are money and family.

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Economy
3:02 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Construction Industry Missing Key Tool: Skilled Workers

After laying off roughly 2 million workers during the recession, the construction industry may not have enough crews to keep up with demand for building projects.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 6:56 pm

It's a beautiful day and Jeremy Smith, the business manager for a school district in northern Wyoming, is showing off the new Tongue River Elementary School — or at least the plot of land where the school should be.

"What you're going to see when you get up here a little bit closer is you are going to just see pasture," Smith says.

The school was supposed to be under construction by now, but last month state officials said they didn't have the money.

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NPR Ed
3:00 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Play Doesn't End With Childhood: Why Adults Need Recess Too

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

This week, NPR Ed is focusing on questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.

More and more research suggests that healthy playtime leads to healthy adulthood.

Childhood play is essential for brain development. As we've reported this week, time on the playground may be more important than time in the classroom.

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NPR Ed
2:43 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 5:40 pm

This week, NPR Ed is focusing on questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.

When it comes to brain development, time in the classroom may be less important than time on the playground.

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Higher Ed
11:13 am
Tue August 5, 2014

SIU-C Owes Workers Back Pay

Credit Siu.edu

An administrative law judge says Southern Illinois University officials in Carbondale bargained in bad faith with unions and owes 1,500 current and former employees $1.9 million in back pay.

WSIU Radio (http://bit.ly/1no1Bba ) reports the university says it respectfully disagrees with Colleen Harvey's ruling and is weighing its legal options.  

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NPR Ed
2:42 am
Tue August 5, 2014

When Kids Start Playing To Win

Peri Schiavone, 13, gets some quick notes from her swim coach, Raj Verma, before hopping back into the pool at the Fairfax County YMCA in Reston, Va.
Sarah Tilotta NPR

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 9:47 am

This week, NPR Ed is focusing on questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.

It's a playful word that's developed something of a bad reputation: "competition." The fear among some parents is that, once children start playing to win, at around 5 years old, losing isn't just hard. It's devastating.

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NPR Ed
3:18 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Where The Wild Things Play

Joseph Straus, 6, rides a zip line at the Berkeley Adventure Playground, where kids can "play wild" in a half-acre park that has a junkyard feel.
David Gilkey/NPR

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 8:38 am

This week, NPR Ed is focusing on questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.

Braden Swenson wanders into a semi-rickety wooden shed on his search for gold, treasure and riches.

"Is there any tweasure in here?" he asks in the endearing dialect of a 4-year-old. "I've been looking everywhere for them. I can't find any." The proto-pirate toddler conducts a quick search, then wanders away to continue his quest elsewhere.

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NPR Ed
9:44 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Brains At Play

Play is crucial to social development.
Xaver Xylophon NPR

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:15 am

This week at NPR Ed, our series Playing To Learn will explore questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.

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Code Switch
2:04 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Forgoing School To Pay The Bills

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:12 am

Starting a career in a struggling economy is difficult, no matter what your background. But for young people in Langley Park, Md., a predominantly immigrant community near Washington, D.C., it is fraught with additional economic and family pressures.

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Education
4:04 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

In Louisville, Ky., Minecraft Teaches Math

Originally published on Sun August 3, 2014 5:52 pm

Copyright 2014 Louisville Public Media. To see more, visit http://www.louisvillepublicmedia.org/.

Education
4:04 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

Debunking Common Myths About The Common Core

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:11 am

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

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

I'm joined now by my colleague on the NPR Ed Team, Cory Turner. He's done most of our Common Core reporting, and he edited this postcard series. Cory, thanks for coming in.

CORY TURNER, BYLINE: Thanks for having me, Eric.

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Sat August 2, 2014

'You Don't Really Know Us,' Chicago Kids Tell News Media

Fifth-graders from the Bradwell School of Excellence in Chicago's South Shore area wrote an op-ed piece for The Chicago Tribune this week, explaining how they see their neighborhood.
Google

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 10:53 am

Tired of seeing their neighborhood portrayed in news reports as a desolate and violent place, fifth-graders in Chicago's South Shore area wrote what their teacher calls a "counternarrative." Their op-ed for The Chicago Tribune includes this line: "This isn't Chi-raq. This is home. This is us."

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NPR Ed
7:34 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Postcards From The Common Core Classroom

Normally, nail polish on a desk would be a sign of distraction. Not in this Common Core classroom.
Becky Vevea WBEZ

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 3:23 pm

The Common Core State Standards have become a political hot potato. In some cases, a punching bag. (Pick your cliche.) But the fact remains that, in 43 states and the District of Columbia, the standards are being used — and big changes in what we expect of young students mean many teachers are also having to rethink what and how they teach.

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Education
7:34 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Encouraging Kids To Do Dangerous Things

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 10:49 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A lot of parents these days can be protective of their children - maybe, even overprotective. They weren't always.

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Education
7:34 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Amid Criticism, States Gear Up For Common Core

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 10:49 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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