Education

What's happening with Louisiana's schools, colleges, universities, and ongoing education reform.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Kelly McEvers.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

This spring will mark 60 years since Brown versus Board of Education. That's the Supreme Court ruling that was intended to end segregation in America's public schools. But a year-long study by the investigative journalism group ProPublica finds that we've never gotten to that goal. In fact, America in recent decades has been moving backward.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

NPR's been looking at how American families are paying for college and the huge debt some students are racking up. Some states are experimenting with a new idea. It's called Pay It Forward and here's how it works. The state pays for students' tuition. After they graduate and get jobs, the students are expected to repay it.

First Bell: Twin Sisters, Separate Schools

Apr 14, 2014

 

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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Judging from the way that the fraternal twin sisters laugh and finish each other’s sentences, you might think Megan and Kendall Smith had never left each other’s side. 

But, as Kendall told fellow LSU student Morgan Louviere, they started going to separate schools — and leading separate lives — in the third grade. 

Megan got into a private school and Kendall didn’t. 

Megan says they didn’t really get different “educations” as a result, but getting their education “differently” did make them who they are. 

It's a Wednesday morning at the Eliot K-8 Innovation School. Teacher Jodi Doyle is working with a small group of preschool students interested in domes.

"What do you think the difference is between a dome and an arch?" she asks.

The lesson doesn't go exactly as planned. Doyle wants the kids to build their domes with wire, but she wants the children to come up with that idea themselves. The kids used wire several months ago for a related project, and she hopes they'll remember.

The Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools recently held its 8th Annual Charter School Teacher Fair. Hundreds of teachers from around the Gulf Coast came to interview for teaching positions.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

What are the two most feared — most reviled — words in the English language?

"Tax day," maybe? Or "traffic jam"?

"Pink slip" still connotes an awful brand of helplessness, even though, I assume, most Americans who get pink-slipped these days never see a pink slip.

No, my vote is for "standardized test."

That's right. You felt it, didn't you? Shivers up the spine. The stab of a No. 2 pencil. And oh! Those monstrous, monotonous bubbles. They may as well be a legion of eyes staring back at your inadequacy.

At Miami Carol City Senior High in Florida, a handful of teachers, administrators and coaches are gathered around a heavy wooden table in a conference room dubbed the "War Room," looking through packets of information about several students.

There are others at the table, too: analysts from the group Talent Development Secondary, which monitors student data; City Year, a nonprofit that provides mentors; and Communities in Schools, which connects kids with health care and social services.

 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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Parrish went to Istrouma High School in Baton Rouge during the mid ‘70s.

He was a jock with a lot of anger, caught up in the racial violence of the time.

And then he walked into Fred Shirley’s English class

Shirley was the teacher who would introduce Parrish to counter-cultural books like the Great Gatsby and Slaughter House Five.

And he showed Parrish there was a different way to be a man. 

 


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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