Education

Education
4:18 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Student Debt Weighs Down Women More. Blame The Wage Gap

It's probably not a surprise, but women are more burdened by student loan debt than men are. It starts right after college, when the wage gap begins.
Emma Innocenti Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 3:31 pm

When Kristine Leighton graduated from a private college five years ago with a degree in hospitality, she owed $75,000 in student loans. Each month, she paid the minimum amount of $450 and lived at home with her parents on Long Island, N.Y.

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Education
2:38 am
Thu April 3, 2014

First Test For College Hopefuls? Decoding Financial Aid Letters

Colleges send each prospective student a letter detailing a financial aid award package — but many families say the letters are difficult to understand.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 9:43 am

Around the country, millions of parents of prospective college freshmen are puzzling over one big question: How will we pay for college?

The first step for many families is reviewing the financial aid award letters they receive from each school. But often those letters can be confusing. Some are filled with acronyms and abbreviations, others lump scholarships and loans together. And because they're often very different, they're also difficult to compare.

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Education
3:33 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

As Texas Gets More Diverse, Educators Grab The Bull By The Horns

Students participate in orchestra practice at Dr. John Folks Middle School in suburban San Antonio. The school is brand new and was built with explosive growth in mind — the student population is expected to double to 1,200 within five years.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 4:45 pm

Texas is in the midst of a population boom and demographic sea change. It's grown faster than any other state and has more than doubled its population in just 40 years, from 11 to 26 million people.

And overwhelmingly, the fastest growth is among Hispanics who now make up 38 percent of the state's population and will be the largest single group in Texas by 2020.

Majority Minority State

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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.

__________

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 Fri May 16, 2014 10:16 am

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.

__________

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

If you want to get an earful about paying for college, listen to parents from states where tuition and fees have skyrocketed in the last five years. In Arizona, for example, parents have seen a 77 percent increase in costs. In Georgia, it's 75 percent, and in Washington state, 70 percent.

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