Education

Education
3:50 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

College? Career Tech? In Nashville, Teens Do Both

John Scarborough, a fourth-year pharmacy student at Lipscomb University, talks to high schoolers during a vocational career training class.
Courtesy of Lipscomb University

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 6:16 pm

Schools don't like to use the V-word anymore — "vocational," as in "vocational education." Administrators say the word is outdated, along with the idea of offering job-training courses only to students who are going straight into the workforce.

Nashville, Tenn., is trying a new approach. The public school system there is encouraging every high school student, regardless of college plans, to take three career-training classes before they graduate.

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Education
11:33 am
Tue February 24, 2015

The Great U.S. History Battle

American boys re-enact George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River in 1776.
Jack Fletcher National Geographic

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 2:04 pm

William Faulkner wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." And that's never more true than when people start arguing over how American history should be taught in school.

The current fight involves the Advanced Placement U.S. history exam. Nearly half a million high school students took the test last year, hoping to earn college credit.

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Education
2:46 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Fitting In On Campus: Challenges For First-Generation Students

Danielle Boshers, Anna Garcia and Chris Reynolds say the University of Michigan could do a better job welcoming first-generation students to campus.
Jen Guerra Michigan Radio

Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 1:26 pm

Chris Reynolds will never forget his first day at the University of Michigan. He and his dad got up superearly and drove nine and a half hours from Sellersville, a blue-collar factory town in Pennsylvania, to Ann Arbor.

"My father literally just dropped me off and then left," Reynolds says.

His dad couldn't afford a hotel, so they took about an hour to unpack the car, said their goodbyes, and his dad drove off.

Chris Reynolds was officially on his own.

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Education
5:40 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Q&A: Blocks, Play, Screen Time And The Infant Mind

Courtesy of Bing Nursery School

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 11:03 am

Our "Tools of the Trade" series is taking a look at some of the iconic objects that form a vital part of our educational lives. For an upcoming piece, I'm reporting on how young children learn through that most basic of preschool education tools: simple wooden blocks.

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Education
10:21 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Conversations Intended As Starting Point for Healing What Ails EBR Schools

A new series of conversations about what to do with the East Baton Rouge Parish Schools has begun.

“Beyond Bricks EBR” got started in response to an effort to restructure the parish school district and allow individual schools to be more autonomous. Anna Fogle got drawn in to the search for other solutions as the head of a group representing parents of children in the Gifted and Talented Program, which was threatened by the restructuring plan.

But the conversations are much broader than just Gifted and Talented.

Rev. Robin McCullough-Bade with the Interfaith Federation, is helping to get churches and faith leaders involved.

Education
9:55 am
Fri January 16, 2015

New GED Test Means Many Have To Start From Scratch

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 9:48 am

On New Year's Eve, 2013, as people were setting up house parties around the country and Times Square workers were preparing for the ball to drop, a small few were instead rushing to their local GED testing centers. Tyron Jackson, a 24-year old resident of Washington D.C., was one of them.

He had taken a prep course in the District and, because of aggressive marketing by the GED Testing Service, knew that Dec. 31 was his last good chance to pass the old version of the high school equivalency exam. For 2014, a newer, much harder test was coming.

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Education
11:08 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

A New Study Reveals Much About How Parents Really Choose Schools

A painted map of the U.S. seen from inside a classroom at Homer A. Plessy Community School, a charter school in New Orleans.
Eric Westervelt NPR

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 8:13 am

The charter school movement is built on the premise that increased competition among schools will sort the wheat from the chaff.

It seems self-evident that parents, empowered by choice, will vote with their feet for academically stronger schools. As the argument goes, the overall effect should be to improve equity as well: Lower-income parents won't have to send their kids to an under-resourced and underperforming school just because it is the closest one to them geographically.

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Education
12:09 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Arne Duncan Wants To Drop 'No Child Left Behind' — But Keep Its Tests

Education Secretary Arne Duncan speaks with reporters after he and Attorney General Eric Holder toured the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center on Dec. 8, 2014.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 3:11 pm

In a speech Monday at an elementary school in Washington, D.C., Education Secretary Arne Duncan laid out the president's position on the nation's largest federal education law, even as debate unfolds over the law's re-authorization.

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Education
2:26 am
Fri January 9, 2015

A 'Sizable Decrease' In Those Passing The GED

Kaylin Wainwright (center) works with student Natnael Gebremariam (left) during a GED preparation class in Washington, D.C. Seated at right is student Sibusiso Kunene.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 5:54 pm

One year after the launch of a major overhaul of the GED exam — the first since 2002 — the high school equivalency program has seen a sharp drop in the number of people who took and passed the test, according to local and state educators and the organization that runs it. In addition, at least 16 states have begun offering or plan to offer new, alternative tests.

Combined, these changes represent a dramatic shift in the equivalency landscape dominated by the GED since its inception during World War II.

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Education
3:49 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Common Core Repeal, The Day After

Hugo High School, like many public schools in Oklahoma, was a battleground in the fight over Common Core.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:32 pm

What do the Common Core State Standards have in common with congressional Democrats and the Chicago Cubs?

They all had a really rough year.

Of the 45 states that first adopted the academic standards, many spent 2014 talking about repeal. In Oklahoma (as well as Indiana and South Carolina), it wasn't just talk. The Legislature voted to drop the Core in May. And Gov. Mary Fallin, a longtime champion of the Common Core, signed the repeal in June.

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