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.
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.
Back in September, we told you about the Piano Lab at Winbourne Elementary. It was an experiment. O’Neill’s Music House arranged to get a bunch of cutting edge electronic keyboards to the high poverty school in North Baton Rouge. Tuesday, the pianos were rolled out of the lab and into the auditorium for the students’ first recital.
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.
Business-backed candidates secured a new 5-to-4 majority on the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board last Saturday.
FuturePAC, which is affiliated with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, put up about $50,000 for candidates in these school board elections. BRAC CEO Adam Knapp discusses what business interests are investing in.
Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:54 pm
When it comes to higher education, we've all heard the talking points: More people than ever are pursuing four-year degrees — despite skyrocketing tuition costs — because they don't have many other choices if they want to be competitive in the workforce.
Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 1:01 pm
Little children are big news this week, as the White House holds a summit on early childhood education on Wednesday. The president wants every 4-year-old to go to preschool, but the new Congress is unlikely to foot that bill.
Since last year, more than 30 states have expanded access to preschool. But there's still a lack of evidence about exactly what kinds of interventions are most effective in those crucial early years.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:04 pm
It's Saturday in East Nashville, Tenn., and LaTonya White finds herself knocking on a stranger's door. It's awkward. Someone peers out at her through the window. White looks away, pretending not to notice. After an uncomfortable few seconds, the door finally cracks open. White seizes her chance:
"My name is LaTonya White. I'm the principal at Rosebank Elementary School. How are you doing?" she asks, glancing at the clipboard in her hands. On it: a list of families in the area with soon-to-be kindergartners. "Yes, you should have a child ready to come to school soon."
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 6:54 pm
This story was reported for the radio by Eric Westervelt and for online by Anya Kamenetz.
"We, the Committee of Public Safety, find Jean Valjean guilty. The sentence is death by guillotine!"
Molly McPherson, a redhead with glasses, is dressed in a blue bathrobe — in costume as Robespierre. Her seventh-graders are re-enacting the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, with a little assist from Les Miserables.