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

"I went to a four-year university." "That job requires a one-year certificate." "It's a two-semester course." "She's a fifth-year senior." What do these expressions have in common? They use time as the yardstick for higher education.

Essentially, this means measuring not how much you've learned, but how long you've spent trying to learn it.

For 14-year-old Yashua Cantillano, life in New Orleans is an improvement.

But that's not saying much.

Just three months ago, Yashua was in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, dodging gang members. He says they would drive by his school, guns visible, threatening to kill him, his younger brother — Yashua's whole family.

"We'd hide all day," Yashua says, "and that kept us from going to school."

After crossing the U.S. border illegally, he came to New Orleans and ultimately enrolled at Carver Prep, a small charter school on the city's east side.

The walls are lined with robots and movie posters for Star Wars and Back to the Future. But this is no 1980s nerd den. It's the technology lab at Westside Neighborhood School in Los Angeles, and the domain of its ed-tech coordinator, Don Fitz-Roy.

"So we're gonna be talking about digital citizenship today."

When it comes to studying sexual violence, college surveys often don't include students at historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs. But one major study found sexual assaults are lower on those campuses than others.

Some question those numbers and whether HBCUs have the resolve to openly address the issue of campus rape.

Of the 100 HBCUs in the country, Morgan State University in Baltimore ranks in the top 15 for academics.

A new guide to Louisiana charter school law came out on Friday. It's geared toward a specific group: charter school board members.

We've known for a long time that inequality and systemic educational barriers are holding back many young African-Americans. President Obama has led an initiative to help close the opportunity gap for young black men.

Ann Marie Awad / WRKF News

A small group of students at Winbourne Elementary in North Baton Rouge, have been picked to be part of an experiment. The East Baton Rouge Parish School District is hoping that teaching the kids music will help them with reading and math. 

Hey, you there. You have a college degree? How'd you like to be a teacher?

Indiana has just approved a license that clears a new pathway to the teaching profession. It allows anyone with a bachelor's degree, a B average and approximately three years of related work experience to become a middle or high school teacher in a subject such as math, science or music, provided they pass a content test.

Musical training doesn't just improve your ear for music — it also helps your ear for speech. That's the takeaway from an unusual new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers found that kids who took music lessons for two years didn't just get better at playing the trombone or violin; they found that playing music also helped kids' brains process language.

This year, NPR Ed is reporting on the dramatic changes in the New Orleans school system.

Whitman Wilcox V attended kindergarten through second grade at a neighborhood public school in the Lower 9th Ward. He had just started the third grade when Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005. His family was forced to evacuate; he wound up at a Catholic school in Houston.