Education Desk

Education Desk
7:25 am
Mon September 15, 2014

100 Groups Join Together To Push For Illinois Education Revamp

Credit flickr/LizMarie_AK

Nearly 100 organizations are joining together to push
Illinois lawmakers to pass a school funding reform proposal in the spring.
 
 Funding Illinois' Future members include community foundations, civil rights organizations, school officials, and business and education reform groups statewide. All support the passage of a school funding proposal sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill.
 
 The legislation would overhaul Illinois' dated school funding formula, first put in place in 1997. While there's wide agreement that the state's funding

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NPR Ed
10:09 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

Q&A: Why Teaching Music Matters

Margaret Martin (right) poses with student Jose Correa during a Harmony Project open house at the Ramon C. Cortines School for Visual and Performing Arts in Los Angeles.
Esteban Rael Harmony Project

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 1:07 pm

I went to Los Angeles to report a story on brain science. A new study had just been released, exploring how music instruction helps kids process language. The children the researchers studied were all participants in a community music program run by the nonprofit Harmony Project.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Sat September 13, 2014

San Diego School District's New 18-Ton Armored Vehicle Creates Stir

The school district has released two renderings of what the MRAP might look like after its tan military color is painted over. In one version, it's police blue; another depicts it as more of an ambulance, white with a red cross.
San Diego Unified School District

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 10:40 am

News that San Diego Unified School District has acquired an MRAP, or mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, is adding a new facet to discussions about the practice of giving surplus military equipment to civilian agencies.

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Education
6:40 am
Sat September 13, 2014

International Students Save N.Carolina Academy From Shutdown

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 11:47 am

Copyright 2014 WUNC-FM. To see more, visit http://wunc.org.

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

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Education Desk
4:17 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Unloaded Gun Found At Southeast High

Credit District 186

An unloaded gun was discovered at Southeast High School today.   District officials say the gun was not found on a person, but suspects have been detained.   An investigation is continuing.  

The district also says the discovery came after a tip was given to the school.  That prompted what's known as a soft lock down as a precaution.  

Increased security is planned for tonight.  Southeast hosts Chatham Glenwood in a football game this evening.
   
It was just over two weeks ago that a Lanphier student was arrested for bringing a loaded gun to school.

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NPR Ed
8:03 am
Fri September 12, 2014

For Teachers, Many Paths Into The Classroom ... Some Say Too Many

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 12:16 pm

Hey, you there. You have a college degree? How'd you like to be a teacher?

Indiana has just approved a license that clears a new pathway to the teaching profession. It allows anyone with a bachelor's degree, a B average and approximately three years of related work experience to become a middle or high school teacher in a subject such as math, science or music, provided they pass a content test.

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Higher Ed
6:58 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Trustees Adopt Slightly Higher Budget For U of I

Credit UIS.EDU

University of Illinois trustees on Thursday approved a $5.64 billion budget for the current fiscal year. That's an increase of $11.1 million, or .2 percent.  

University President Robert Easter said the small increase reflects in part of the university's hope that it can keep students costs from rising too rapidly. A year on campus at the flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign costs a student more than $20,000.  

The vote by the Board of Trustees approving the new spending plan was unanimous and made without comment.  

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StoryCorps
2:35 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Giving Every Kid Equal Standing In The School Lunch Line

Students Dakota Gibson (left) and Gary Barber with school volunteer Kenny Thompson after their StoryCorps interview in Houston, Texas.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 12:03 pm

Until recently, some students in the Spring Branch Independent School District in the Houston area dreaded lunchtime. The cafeteria meant humiliation, because their parents couldn't afford a hot lunch.

The alternative for these kids was a cold cheese sandwich; anyone seen leaving the lunch line with one was marked as being poor.

Until school volunteer Kenny Thompson saw it happen.

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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, WILL

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 Fri January 16, 2015 2:26 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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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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