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

Girl Scouts Louisiana East recently held its second annual STEM Extravaganza. The event is designed to get girls excited about science, technology, engineering and math — fields typically dominated by men. Girl Scouts from grades K-12 came to the event, held at Dillard University.

What We Don't Know About Summer School

Jul 7, 2014

It's a warning echoed in countless teen movies — "If you don't pass this class, you'll go to summer school!" Kids for generations have been threatened with the elusive summer school: fail this test, miss this day and kiss your vacation goodbye.

This summer is no exception, with districts around the country pulling students in for all sorts of programs. But surprisingly, it's really hard to get a head count — either nationally or at the district level — of how many kids are going to summer school.

Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an executive order last week canceling the testing contract that was meant to implement learning benchmarks once adopted by Louisiana and 44 other states.

And that has Jindal squaring off against the state superintendent and the president of the BESE board he hand-picked to push through major state education reforms in recent years.  

Melinda Deslatte, the Associated Press state capitol correspondent, discusses the clash.

The Obama administration said Tuesday that the vast majority of the 6.5 million students with disabilities in U.S. schools today are not receiving a quality education, and that it will hold states accountable for demonstrating that those students are making progress.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced what he calls "a major shift" in how the government evaluates the effectiveness of federally funded special education programs.

In the stuffy, little gymnasium at Richard Kluge Elementary in Milwaukee, 16 boys and girls are stretching, jumping and marching to music.

Two years ago, the school had no gym, art or music classes due to budget cuts. But now, Kluge students get a so-called "special" class three days a week.

Ann Marie Awad / WRKF News

Governor Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday his intent to withdraw the state from the Common Core Educational Standards.  

The nation's teacher-preparation programs have plenty of room for improvement, according to a new report.

A study released today by the National Council on Teacher Quality argues that teaching colleges are too lenient in their admissions criteria and have failed to prepare their students to teach subjects like reading, math and science.

Gates To States: No Stakes Yet For Core Tests

Jun 11, 2014

Politicians, parents and plenty of anxious teachers have long called for a free pass on next year's tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

It's not that they want out of them entirely (though some do). Most simply want to be sure teachers and students aren't judged on scores from this first generation of Core tests. And now, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation agrees:

A California judge today ruled the state's laws governing teacher tenure and the firing of public school teachers unconstitutional, saying they interfere with the state's obligation to provide every child with access to a good education.

The plaintiffs in the case, Vergara v. California, argued that the tenure system for public school teachers in California verges on the absurd, and that those laws disproportionately harm poor and minority students. In his ruling, Judge Rolf M. Treu agreed.



We wanted to figure out why college costs have been rising so much, and Anya Kamenetz with the NPR Ed team joins me now to break down the numbers.

Anya, why don't we take the example of a working-class student at a four-year public university getting no help from mom and dad? What do the numbers look like?