Education

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

As students return to school, the national dialogue on controversies surrounding teacher tenure, salaries, the core curriculum, testing and teacher competence will get more fervent.

In her new book, The Teacher Wars, Dana Goldstein writes about how teaching became "the most controversial profession in America," and how teachers have become both "resented and idealized."

Gov. Bobby Jindal suspended state testing contracts in June to block the implementation of Common Core -- a set of benchmarks for what students should know at each grade level. State District Judge Todd Hernandez issued a ruling late Tuesday lifting that suspension.

But, wrangling continues over just which tests Louisiana students will be taking this year. 

A Tale Of Two Polls

Aug 20, 2014

Two new polls this week attempt to quantify the public's feelings for the Common Core State Standards. The K-12 benchmarks in English and math were little known this time last year. But they've since become the subject of a high-profile political fight. Now a majority of the public opposes them.

Or do they?

Poll No. 1, out today, puts support for the Core at just 33 percent. But Poll No. 2, released yesterday, puts it at 53 percent. That's a big difference.

Which one is wrong? Or can they both, somehow, be right?

PDK/Gallup

UPDATE: Judge Todd Hernandez issued a ruling late Tuesday in favor of Common Core supporters. The written ruling lifts Gov. Bobby Jindal's suspension of the contracts for tests to be administered this school year. Read the ruling

A group of parents and educators — later joined by the state school board — sued the Jindal administration last month after the governor suspended contracts for test materials aligned with Common Core education standards. A state judge heard arguments in the case Monday. 

Why The Atlanta Testing Scandal Matters

Aug 17, 2014

Once, in a sauna at a Korean spa in Queens, I overheard what sounded like two teachers discussing the cheating practices of a third. "You know how she does it," one said. "She'll lean over a student about to put a wrong answer and whisper, 'Check your work.' "

"Yes, and her finger will just happen to be on the right answer," said the other one.

In a preliminary hearing Friday, a state judge has rejected a bid by 17 state lawmakers to immediately halt implementation of Common Core in Louisiana. 


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Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Every year, more than 20 million students apply for federal financial aid to help pay for college. Five years ago, Mandy Stango was one of them.

To get there, though, Stango felt confused and woefully unprepared. That confusion started with the very first step in the process, as she and her family had to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA.

"I sat there, I read the directions, and crossed my fingers and hoped I was doing the right thing," says Stango, who's now 23.

Education is historically considered to be the thing that levels the playing field, capable of lifting up the less advantaged and improving their chances for success.

"Play by the rules, work hard, apply yourself and do well in school, and that will open doors for you," is how Karl Alexander, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist, puts it.

But a study published in June suggests that the things that really make the difference — between prison and college, success and failure, sometimes even life and death — are money and family.

When Kids Start Playing To Win

Aug 5, 2014

This week, NPR Ed is focusing on questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.

It's a playful word that's developed something of a bad reputation: "competition." The fear among some parents is that, once children start playing to win, at around 5 years old, losing isn't just hard. It's devastating.

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