Education Desk

The Salt
3:18 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

What Would Jesus Drink? A Class Exploring Ancient Wines Asks

An illustration depicts Jesus Christ transforming water into wine during the wedding at Cana (John 2:7).
Joseph Martin Kronheim Kean Collection/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 12:16 am

Inside the Boston Wine School, Jonathon Alsop places empty glasses and plates of figs and cheese before a small group of students. Alsop, who founded the school in 2000, is doing a test run of a new class that poses the question: What would Jesus drink?

"This is ... a cheese that Jesus might have eaten," he tells students. "It's called Egyptian Roumy — it was a cheese that was introduced to the Egyptians by the Romans. It's a sheep's milk cheese."

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NPR Ed
3:18 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Where Ebola Has Closed Schools, A Radio Program Provides A Faint Signal Of Hope

Florence Allen Jones, right, is part of the education ministry's classes-by-radio team.
John W. Poole/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 11:13 am

Florence Allen Jones used to teach in Washington, D.C., before coming back home to Liberia.

Now she's part of the education ministry's teaching-by-radio team. Working with UNICEF and another nonprofit, Talking Drum, in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, the government aims to provide lessons to children across the country, hit by the Ebola outbreak. Most schools closed this past summer and will likely remain closed for months.

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Goats and Soda
6:03 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Will The Taliban Attack Make Parents Afraid To Send Kids To School?

These Pakistani children go to a makeshift school in a clay house, located in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Last week, the Taliban attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing more than 140 people, most of them schoolchildren.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Teacher Wins $150,000 Prize — And Donates It All To Her School

Third-grade teacher Nikki Bollerman, 26, won a contest that gave her students books for the holidays. When she also won $150,000, she decided it should go to her school.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 2:43 pm

One thing's for sure: Nikki Bollerman believes in her school and the kids who go there. How else to explain Bollerman, 26, giving a $150,000 windfall to the Boston area public charter school where she teaches third grade?

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NPR Ed
7:08 am
Wed December 24, 2014

An Update On For-Profit Colleges

A person walks past an Everest Institute sign in an office building in Silver Spring, Md., on July 8.
Jose Luis Magana AP

NPR Ed is updating readers on some of the top stories we've been following in 2014.

There was lots of news coming out of the for-profit education sector this year, most of it related to regulatory action.

As we reported earlier,

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Illinois Issues - Education Desk
8:48 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

UI Faculty Association President Calls Salaita Report A Game Changer

Bruce Rosenstock

    

  Bruce Rosenstock, president of the Campus Faculty Association at the University of Illinois, said the report released today by the school’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure is a “bombshell and a game changer” that will force university officials to revisit their decision to not hire controversial professor Steven Salaita.

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Illinois Issues - Education Desk
4:43 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Report Critical Of University Officials' Dismissal Of Salaita

Steven Salaita held a press conference at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the summer.
Credit Jim Meadows, WILL

A committee investigating the University of Illinois’ handling of Steven Salaita -- a professor whose job offer with the university was withdrawn due to his social media posts -- issued a report today criticizing school officials.  Phyllis Wise, chancellor of the University of Illinois’ main campus, violated procedures when she failed to consult key academic officers before telling a controversial professor that he would not get the job he had been promised.

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Education
3:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Conquering Anatomy On The Way To A Stable Career

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 5:26 pm

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

NPR Ed
1:33 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

An Update From New Orleans

Students at KIPP Central City Primary School raise their hands during a social studies class on August 14, 2014 in New Orleans. The school's student body is nearly 100 percent black in a system that is 85 percent black.
Edmund D. Fountain for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 12:34 am

NPR Ed is updating readers on some of the top stories we've been following in 2014.

All this year, NPR Ed has been exploring the dramatic changes to the New Orleans school system, where more than nine out of ten children attend charter schools, most run by the state Recovery School District.

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NPR Ed
6:58 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Even More Secret Lives Of Teachers

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 9:21 am


Tell us about the Secret Lives of Teachers — maybe your own or a teacher you know. Or post your own Secret Life on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at #secretteachers. We're on Twitter at @npr_ed. Our Facebook page is here or you can drop us an email at NPREd@npr.org.

Education
3:44 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Groups Warn Of Dangers With Funding Of Universities By Koch Brothers

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 4:50 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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NPR Ed
6:23 am
Mon December 22, 2014

An Update On LA's iPad Program

NPR Ed is updating some of the top stories we've been following in 2014.

The 650,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District expected to be tapping and scrolling on their very own iPads by now, halfway through the school year.

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Sat December 20, 2014

12 Weeks To A 6-Figure Job

A student at the coder boot camp at General Assembly in New York City learns more than "Hello, world."
Courtesy of General Assembly

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 10:26 am

Marlon Frausto is in pursuit of the new American dream. Just a few weeks ago, he left his job, in Hispanic marketing for the legal industry, and moved to San Francisco.

Every day he wakes at 5:30 a.m., commutes 45 minutes by train, and studies until 9 or 10 at night. He's spending down his savings and says he's getting help from "my loving family."

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Law
5:06 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Troubled By Grand Jury Verdicts, Students Request More Time For Exams

Thousands gathered on the National Mall last week to protest the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Some law students say their involvement in the protests means their exams should be postponed.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:50 pm

"The dog ate my homework?" Try, "I was protesting a grand jury decision," instead.

Students at some top law schools want exam extensions for what they are calling the trauma of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions. But other law students are wondering what message that sends to future employers.

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NPR Ed
4:04 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

The Fate Of The Administration's College Ratings

Rating colleges isn't easy.
LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 1:21 am

Today, details of the Obama administration's plan known as the Postsecondary Institutional Ratings System, or PIRS, finally saw the light of day. The idea, in this incarnation, was just under three years old.

The president announced its conception during his State of the Union address in 2012.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Education Dept. Issues Framework For New College Rating System

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:59 am

Beginning next year, colleges and universities will be judged on three broad criteria when it comes to meting out federal financial aid: access, affordability and student outcomes, according to a new "framework" released by the Education Department.

The ratings plan was first announced by President Obama in August 2013, but the framework announced today is only an interim step. Public input is being sought by Feb. 17 on the proposed system.

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NPR Ed
6:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

New Federal College Ratings Will Consider Aid, Total Cost, Employment

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 4:12 pm

Today the Education Department released long-awaited details on a plan to hold colleges accountable for their performance on several key indicators, and officials said they'll be seeking public comment on the proposals through February.

"As a nation, we have to make college more accessible and affordable and ensure that all students graduate with a quality education of real value," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement.

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NPR Ed
2:59 am
Fri December 19, 2014

The Administration's College Rating System: How It Looks On Campus

Tuition, room and board at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va., costs $45,000 a year.
Parker Michels-Boyce Randolph College

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 12:23 pm

It's late afternoon. Most classes at Randolph College are done for the day but students have begun gathering in the lobby of the elegant, century-old main hall.

A student taps on a piano while he and four classmates wait for their philosophy professor. After-hours sessions like these are a key feature of this small, private liberal arts college in Lynchburg, Va.

It markets itself nationally as a "unique, nurturing community of learners," well worth the $45,000 a year in tuition, room and board.

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Illinois Issues - Education Desk
1:00 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

IIAA Teaches Life Skills Through Sports

Two teams warm up for a match in the IIAA state volleyball tournament.
Credit Dusty Rhodes

 

Watching her daughter play volleyball, April Standage sounds like any good sports mom. She keeps an eye on the refs, she encourages the players, and she keeps a mental tally of the score. And like any good sports mom, she would much rather watch the game than talk to a reporter.

It turns out that Standage has loved sports all her life. Starting in middle school, she played volleyball and basketball, threw the shotput and discus, and ran the 4-by-200 in track. Her 15-year-old daughter, however, is just now discovering sports. 

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Education Desk
6:38 am
Thu December 18, 2014

U Of I Sexual Assault Group Starts Work

Credit University of Illinois

 A University of Illinois task force on sexual assault has started meeting and plans to survey the school's three campuses to assess the situation at each.  

University spokesman Tom Hardy says the new task force met for the first time Wednesday. The group is supposed to finish surveys at the Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield campuses by the spring.  

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Education
3:39 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

'Restorative Justice' A New Approach To Discipline At School

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 8:07 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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NPR Ed
2:42 am
Wed December 17, 2014

An Alternative To Suspension And Expulsion: 'Circle Up!'

A restorative justice circle at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, Calif.
Sam Pasarow/Edna Brewer Middle School

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:27 am

One by one, in a room just off the gym floor at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, Calif., seventh-graders go on the interview hot seat.

Some 80 students have applied to be "peer leaders" in the school's new, alternative discipline program called "restorative justice."

Kyle McClerkins, the program's director, grills them on aspects of adolescent life: "What is the biggest challenge for middle school girls? What has changed about you from sixth grade to now?"

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Secret Lives Of Teachers
2:46 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Skating Out Classroom Stress As A 'Derby Dame'

Nina Park, also known as Elle L. Cool Jam, is a member of the Cosmonaughties roller derby team in the Boston Derby Dames league.
Kayana Szymczak for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:46 pm

The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Pilot? Artist? Bartender? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.

Every fall, on the first day of school, Nina Park greets her new honors English class with a game called "two truths and a lie." Her students, 10th-graders at TechBoston Academy in Dorchester, Mass. have to guess which is which.

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Education Desk
5:58 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

District 186 Reports Student Absences Up Due To Illness

Springfield public schools have seen higher than normal absences in the past week.  The district won't say if the absences are related to the flu, but local health officials say they are seeing more cases in the area.

District 186 reported last week, about 9 percent of students missed class.  The number was higher at Springfield High, where nearly 11 percent of students were out.  Lanphier had 14 percent absent.

Alternative programs in the district had the highest percentage of student absences.  

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Education
3:55 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

How To Talk To Boys About Sex And Consent

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:12 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Awkward question - how do you talk to your teenage son about sex and consent, especially given recent stories about sexual violence against women on college campuses?

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NPR Ed
3:55 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

There's No Place Like A Dorm Room For The Holidays

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 9:52 am

It's final exam week for lots of college students. No doubt they're stressed right now, but once they hand in that last paper or take that last test, they're done for the semester. Pack up the suitcase and head home for the holidays.

But for some college students — many of whom are former foster youth — that's not quite what happens.

"I have no for-certain home, that's the thing," says Trudy Greer, a 22-year-old sophomore at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich. She says she's had a lot of folks at EMU ask her where she lives, curious to know where her home is.

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Illinois Issues - Education Desk
7:08 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Springfield Schools Are Prepped for PARCC

The PARCC test is designed to be given on computers or tablets, though there is a pen-and-paper version available.
Credit Tom Woodward / Flickr Creative Commons

 

Illinois schools are preparing to implement a new standardized test based on the Common Core standards. Some school districts have pleaded with state officials to delay the implementation of the new test, but Springfield school officials say they're ready.

Educators refer to this new test as the PARCC test. That’s the acronym for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. It’s a standardized test, designed by the Pearson company, that will be given to most Illinois students beginning in March.

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Education
4:06 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Two Years Later, Still Learning From Sandy Hook

Relatives of victims of gun violence attend a press conference honoring the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 10, 2014.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 11:57 am

It's been two years since a gunman killed his mother at home and then opened fire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 first-graders, six educators and himself. People in Connecticut are still hashing out just how parents and educators should handle children like Adam Lanza.

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NPR Ed
11:03 am
Sun December 14, 2014

A For-Profit College Tries The Charter School Market

ITT Technical Institute's Early College Academy campus in Troy, MI.
Nicole Elam/ITT Technical Institute

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:14 am

Starting this past spring, parents in Indianapolis; Troy, Mich.; Jacksonville and Tampa, Fla.; and Houston, Texas, heard about a new option for their children's last two years of high school.

In each city, a charter school called Early Career Academy planned to offer students the chance to earn associate degrees, either in network systems administration or software development, alongside their high school diplomas. Students were offered laptops to work on and ebooks to use. All for free.

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NPR Ed
10:32 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Big Drop In Students Being Held Back, But Why?

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 2:24 pm

The question of when or whether it's appropriate to hold a child back in school is a heated one among teachers, parents and even politicians.

And a new study is adding some kindling to the debate.

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