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

The Common Core State Standards have become a political hot potato. In some cases, a punching bag. (Pick your cliche.) But the fact remains that, in 43 states and the District of Columbia, the standards are being used — and big changes in what we expect of young students mean many teachers are also having to rethink what and how they teach.

In Vergara v. California, lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that the state's teacher tenure system hurts poor, minority students because they are more likely to end up with "grossly ineffective" teachers. The case focused on three areas: tenure, cumbersome dismissal policies and seniority-based layoffs. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu ruled that several relevant state laws violated students' right to an education as spelled out in California's Constitution. Teachers unions have appealed.

The University of Arkansas today released what it calls a "first ever" study exploring the relationship between charter school funding and student achievement.

Many people are intensely interested in how publicly funded charter schools affect children, and that includes not just their academic achievement but their health.

Researchers from UCLA and the Rand Corp. wanted to know whether attending a high-performing charter school reduced the rates of risky health behaviors among low-income minority teenagers.

Disclosure: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a financial supporter of NPR’s education reporting.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is perhaps best known for funding global health programs, but in the U.S., it has focused largely on education.

Tuition and fees at most community colleges are pretty reasonable these days, about $3,500 a year. Which is why the vast majority of community college students don't take out loans to cover their costs. But, according to the Institute for College Access and Success, a non-profit advocacy group based in California, nearly a million community college students who do need help paying for school don't have access to federal student loans.

A federal appellate court in Texas has ruled that the state's flagship university can continue to use race as a factor in admissions.

"To deny UT Austin its limited use of race in its search for holistic diversity would hobble the richness of the educational experience," Judge Patrick Higginbotham wrote for a split panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Catholic schools across the U.S. are requiring teachers to sign morality clauses, which have gotten some educators fired for marrying same-sex partners. It's seen as a pushback among local church dioceses against changing state laws. As Sandhya Dirks of KALW reports, some parents are protesting the new requirements with threats to pull their students out of school.

A new study holds up a mirror to America's parents. A researcher at Harvard surveyed 10,000 middle and high school students in 33 different schools around the nation about what they thought their folks cared about most: that they achieve at a high level, that they are happy (defined as "feeling good most of the time"), or that they care for others. Almost 80 percent of youth picked high achievement or happiness as their top choice, while about 20 percent selected caring for others.

Teaching 4-Year-Olds To Feel Better

Jul 14, 2014

You're 4 years old, building a block tower. Another kid runs up and knocks it down. What do you do? A) Tell her that's against the rules. B) Go tell a teacher. C) Hit her. D) Start to cry. E) What did you say again?