Right now, America's schools are in a sprint. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards. That means new learning benchmarks for the vast majority of the nation's young students â€” millions of kids from kindergarten through high school. And, for many of them, the Core Standards will feel tougher than what they're used to. Because they are tougher.
The New York Timeshighlighted new data yesterday that once again beats the drum: Despite skyrocketing costs, a college degree is a good investment. In fact, MIT economist David Autor writes in the journal Science that the value of a degree is rising. College grads made almost twice as much per hour in 2013 as workers without a four-year degree. And the lifetime value of a diploma is now around a half-million dollars, even after you factor in tuition.
How would a man in a suit of armor go to the bathroom? That inquiry into medieval sanitation is just one of many unlikely topics that have come up around Sarah Albee's dinner table. Albee, a children's book author, has been trying to get middle schoolers interested in history. Her strategy is to look at it through the lens of something that gets kids' attention, namely: things that are gross.
My first brush with professional journalism â€” and with violations of student privacy â€” came when I was a sophomore at Yale. It was 1999, and George W. Bush, a Yale alumnus, was running for president.
Brown v. Board of Education became the law of the land when it struck down de jure segregation in Topeka, Kan., on May 17, 1954, saying, "We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate facilities are inherently unequal."
Sylvia Mendez says the only reason she wanted to go to an all-white school in California's Westminster District in the 1940s was because of its beautiful playground. The school that she and other Latino students were forced to attend didn't have monkey bars or swings.
"I was 9 years old," she says. "I just thought my parents wanted us to go to the nice-looking school."
Editor's Note: This is a story about a high school band. It is a story that demands to be heard, even more so than read. Please click on the audio player, above, to listen. Audio will be available around 6:30 p.m. EDT.
WWNO continues its series â€śBehind the Testâ€ť with a look at test security. The paper booklets, and studentsâ€™ answers inside, can determine things like teacher pay or the very existence of a school. It takes a lot of effort â€” and people â€” to keep the testing materials secure through delivery, administering the test, turning them in and then scoring.
The booklets and answer sheets for Louisianaâ€™s LEAP tests come from a company called Data Recognition Corporation in Minnesota. When the Recovery School District's tests arrive they go straight to a warehouse.
WWNOÂ continues its series "Behind the Test" with a look at standardized testing through the lens of test anxiety. In the weeks leading up to the LEAP test, teachers do a lot to prepare students: drilling them on crucial skills, giving out practice tests, even holding pep rallies to boost confidence. But what about preparing students to cope with test-related anxiety?