Education

First Bell
5:18 am
Mon March 31, 2014

First Bell: For Her Youngest, Learning the ABCs Wasn't Easy as A-B-C

Beverly Ortego, an interventionist at Hosanna Christian Academy, with a reading student.
Credit Sue Lincoln

The First Bell series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email amy@wrkf.org with "My First Bell" in the subject line or tweet with the hashtag #MyFirstBell.

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LaToya Johnson is the mother of three boys.

Early on, in daycare and preschool, Johnson's older two learned their ABCs and how to write.

"So by the time I got to my youngest and he got to pre-k and he wasn’t able to recognize his alphabet, I was like, ok, something was wrong." 

That turned out to be the start of a journey that ultimately led Johnson to enroll her son Micah in a private school — Hosanna Christian Academy in Baton Rouge — through the state voucher program.
 


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Education
10:52 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Does The Fight For A Cursive Comeback Miss The Point?

Loops And Swirls: You might have the best cursive handwriting in the land, but your kids probably don't. Does learning to write in cursive help kids' brains grow?
Richard Goerg iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:28 pm

When was the last time you wrote in cursive? Was it a thank-you note for that birthday sweater? Perhaps a check to the baby sitter? The fact is, you may know how to loop and swirl with the best of them, but do your kids or your neighbor's kids know as well?

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First Bell
5:41 am
Mon March 24, 2014

First Bell: It Took a Hurricane to Get this Student Reading

Chris Vasser

The First Bell series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email amy@wrkf.org with "My First Bell" in the subject line or tweet with the hashtag #MyFirstBell.

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Vasser was not a good student in 2005.

When Hurricane Katrina forced him to move out of New Orleans and transfer to Catholic High in Baton Rouge, he had to turn it around.


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Education
3:30 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Black Preschoolers Far More Likely To Be Suspended

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, right, and Attorney General Eric Holder, appeared at a Washington, D.C., elementary school and said schools need to reduce "unnecessary and unfair school discipline practices and other barriers to equity and opportunity at all levels of education."
Cliff Owen AP

Here's what the education data show: kids who are suspended or expelled from school are more likely to drop out, and those dropouts are more likely to end up with criminal records. In many places, school discipline pushes kids directly into the juvenile justice system. Take just one example: a school fight can end in an arrest for assault.

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Education
4:00 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Q&A: A Crash Course On Common Core

Cathy Cartier, a proponent of Common Core, teaches an English class at Affton High School in Missouri last month.
Christian Gooden MCT/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 3:50 pm

Confused about the Common Core State Standards? Join the club. That's not to say the new benchmarks in reading and math are good or bad, working smoothly or kicking up sparks as the wheels come off. It is simply an acknowledgement that, when the vast majority of U.S. states adopt a single set of educational standards all at roughly the same time, a little confusion is inevitable.

Below is a handy FAQ about Common Core. We'll continue answering your questions in the coming months. You can post them in the comments section, or on Twitter and Facebook using #commonq.

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Education
1:33 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Thank Your Gut Bacteria For Making Chocolate Healthful

Bacteria in your gut can break down the antioxidants in chocolate into smaller, anti-inflammatory compounds.
Meg Vogel NPR

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 1:50 pm

Boy, it's a good time to be a dark-chocolate lover.

We've noted before the growing evidence that a daily dose of the bitter bean may help reduce blood pressure. There also seems to be a link between a regular chocolate habit and lower body weight.

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Education
3:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

How The Cost Of College Went From Affordable To Sky-High

World War II veterans and other students at the University of Iowa in 1947. That year, due to federal assistance from the GI Bill, 60 percent of the school's enrollment was made up of veterans.
Margaret Bourke-White Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 12:59 pm

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First Bell
4:00 am
Mon March 17, 2014

First Bell: State Superintendent's Lunch Hour Lessons

State Superintendent John White

The First Bell series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email amy@wrkf.org with "My First Bell" in the subject line or tweet with the hashtag #MyFirstBell.

__________ 

When state Superintendent John White was playing sports in high school, he says the poverty of the kids who lived a mile or two away from him came into view.

"I think there was something always, in a way, powerful, about being in a low-income community’s home court. Because, when you come in with your nice uniforms and, you know, you practice everyday in a nice gym or on a nice field, and you play guys whose uniforms don’t quite look the way they should, or the gym’s in bad shape, and the field is also a soccer, also a baseball, also a something else field, you get a very material view of what inequity looks like."

White found the disparity was something he couldn’t turn his back on.

He now oversees the education of Louisiana’s roughly 700,000 public school students. But he started his career teaching English in a high-poverty high school in Jersey City, NJ.

He says he never considered a career in private education, even though he went to an elite all-boys school — St. Albans in Washington, D.C. — from elementary school all the way through 12th grade. And he loved it.


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First Bell
3:39 am
Mon March 17, 2014

First Bell: Resounding Experiences in Education

We have all had experiences in education that have shaped our ideas about teaching and learning, that have shaped who we are.

For state Superintendent John White, it was that moment when he came to appreciate that what happens during lunch hour is just as important as what happens during class time. For LaToya Johnson, it was the moment when she realized that learning the ABCs wasn't as easy as A-B-C for her youngest son. For Eric Reed, it was when he realized his teammates weren't cheering with the black students during a high school pep rally.

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Education
4:55 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Insight: Ideas from All Corners for Fixing EBR Schools

It seems like everyone has a new idea for how to restructure the East Baton Rouge parish school system this week.


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