Education

Education
12:09 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Learning To Move, Moving To Learn: The Benefits Of PE

Early physical fitness is a path to sustainable fitness for life.
LA Johnson

One of our occasional conversations with thought leaders in education.

When it comes to kids and exercise, schools need to step up and focus more on quality as well as quantity. And, says Dr. Gregory D. Myer, they need to promote activities that develop motor skills, socialization and fun.

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Education
7:03 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Fundraising Site For Teachers Illuminates Classroom Disparities

With DonorsChoose.org, teachers have an alternative to dipping into their own pockets to pay for classroom supplies.
LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 6:26 pm

What happens when a teacher wants to assign an extra book for class, but the school can't afford a copy for every student?

For Dana Vanderford, an English teacher at L.W. Higgins High School in New Orleans, the book was Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation. Buying enough copies for her class would have cost more than $800. Not an option.

"I get $80 a year to buy resources for my classroom," Vanderford says. "And I have 90 students per semester. So that $80 doesn't go very far."

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Education
9:34 am
Mon March 9, 2015

The Teacher Who Believes Math Equals Love

For her trigonometry class, Sarah Hagan (center) uses everything but the kitchen sink: a flower pot, garbage basket, rolls of tape, rubber balls, even loose spaghetti.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 7:19 pm

What makes a great teacher great? That's the question at the heart of 50 Great Teachers, from the NPR Ed Team.

Sarah Hagan has a passion for math, and the pi-shaped pendant to prove it.

The 25-year-old teaches at Drumright High School in Drumright, Okla. The faded oil town is easy to miss. Fewer than 3,000 people live there, and the highway humps right around it.

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Education
5:22 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Why Some Parents Are Sitting Kids Out Of Tests

GIRLRAY Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 12:07 pm

Meet Jenni Hofschulte, the 35-year-old mom who's one of the parents leading the charge against testing in Milwaukee.

"I have two children in Milwaukee Public Schools," Hofschulte says over coffee at a cafe near her home. "The oldest one is in eighth grade." She's interrupted by her fidgety 4-year-old son, Lachlan.

Hofschulte quiets him down, furrows her brow and begins again.

Hofschulte says that when she found out her son would have to take a diagnostic test next year that's required of all Wisconsin kindergartners, all kinds of red flags went up.

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Education
3:34 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Behold The Humble Block! Tools Of The Trade

Bing Nursery School Courtesy of Bing school

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 2:41 pm

For this series, we've been thinking a lot about the iconic tools that some of us remember using — if only for a short time — in our early schooling. Things like the slide rule and protractor, Presidential Fitness Test and Bunsen burner.

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Education
8:03 am
Mon March 2, 2015

College: I'll Only Go If I Know (That I Can Afford It)

New research shows that when students think they can afford college, they're more likely to go to college.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 3:43 pm

It's Financial Aid Week here at the NPR Ed Team (not really, but it sure feels like it). And we're kicking things off with a nostalgia nugget for all you children of the '80s.

The old G.I. Joe animated series famously ended with the phrase, "Now I know! And knowing is half the battle."

It's a catchy line and, it turns out, eerily relevant when it comes to high school seniors debating their college options.

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Education
10:54 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

Young Louisville Percussionists Love Led Zeppelin — And Jimmy Page Loves Them

David Williams (in the leopard hat) and Jonas Gordon (at right) play their xylophones with the rest of Kentucky's Louisville Leopard Percussionists.
Courtesy Tricia Williams

"Too good not to share," Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page wrote Feb. 20 on his Facebook page. "Have a rocking weekend!"

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Education
11:08 am
Fri February 27, 2015

A Glut Of Ph.D.s Means Long Odds Of Getting Jobs

Jorge Cham is the creator of PHD Comics and received his doctorate in mechanical engineering at Stanford University. PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper) is a comic strip about life (or the lack thereof) in academia. See more of his work at www.phdcomics.com.
Jorge Cham PHD Comics

Originally published on Sun March 1, 2015 2:54 pm

This week marked National Adjunct Walkout Day, a protest to gain better working conditions for part-time college instructors. Why are college professors from San Jose State University to the City University of New York taking to the streets like fast-food workers?

They say they have something in common.

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Education
3:40 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Colorado Pushes For Concealed Guns In K-12 Schools

Colorado educators take part in a concealed carry course in Englewood, Colo., on Nov. 8. The course is open to all state school employees. Participants who complete the training are eligible to apply for a permit to carry a handgun.
MATTHEW STAVER Landov

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 7:42 am

Patrick Neville was a 15-year-old sophomore at Columbine High School in 1999. He was on his way to a fast food lunch when the shooting started.

Two students, armed with guns and pipe bombs, had stormed the Colorado school, on their way to killing one teacher and 12 students — some were Neville's friends.

Neville, now a Colorado state representative, says many of Columbine's teachers and faculty acted heroically that day.

But, he says, "I truly believe that had some of them had the legal authority to be armed, more of my friends might be with me today."

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Education
7:03 am
Thu February 26, 2015

5 Lessons Education Research Taught Us In 2014

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 2:30 pm

Studies, research papers, doctoral dissertations, conference presentations — each year academia churns out thousands of pieces of research on education. And for many of them, that's the end of it. They gather dust in the university library or languish in some forgotten corner of the Internet.

A few, though, find their way into the hands of teachers, principals and policymakers. Each year the American Educational Research Association — a 99-year-old national research society — puts out a list of its 10 most-read articles.

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Education
5:02 am
Mon February 23, 2015

How We Talk About Our Teachers

For his study Professor Benjamin Schmidt culled roughly 14 million reviews from the website Rate My Professor. Blue dots represent male professors, red dots female. The farther right the dot, the more often that the word on the left was used to describe the professor.
Alyson Hurt

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 2:57 pm

Male professors are far more likely to be considered "smart" or "brilliant" by their students, according to an analysis of reviews from the website Rate My Professor.

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Education
5:58 am
Sun February 22, 2015

If Your Teacher Likes You, You Might Get A Better Grade

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 10:59 am

Were you ever the teacher's pet? Or did you just sit behind the teacher's pet and roll your eyes from time to time?

A newly published paper suggests that personality similarity affects teachers' estimation of student achievement. That is, how much you are like your teacher contributes to his or her feelings about you — and your abilities.

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Education
10:06 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Hoops By Day, Hops By Night: This Phys Ed Teacher's Got A Secret Brew

When the homebrewing gets good, the teachers turn pro. Kegs of Line 51 beer fill an Oakland warehouse.
Eric Westervelt NPR

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 9:10 am

Listen up, cub reporters. Lesson 1: Never miss an opportunity to catch a good story. I was doing important hop research at my local craft beer emporium, aka my bar.

"This red IPA is great. What is this again?" I asked the bartender.

"That's Line 51. From Oakland. The owner, P.T., does it part time. He has a day job." What's he do? I asked. "He's a schoolteacher."

Bingo! Secret teachers, you can't hide from this NPR Ed sleuth, no sir.

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Education
3:46 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Fitting In On Campus: Challenges For First-Generation Students

Danielle Boshers, Anna Garcia and Chris Reynolds say the University of Michigan could do a better job welcoming first-generation students to campus.
Jen Guerra Michigan Radio

Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 2:26 pm

Chris Reynolds will never forget his first day at the University of Michigan. He and his dad got up superearly and drove nine and a half hours from Sellersville, a blue-collar factory town in Pennsylvania, to Ann Arbor.

"My father literally just dropped me off and then left," Reynolds says.

His dad couldn't afford a hotel, so they took about an hour to unpack the car, said their goodbyes, and his dad drove off.

Chris Reynolds was officially on his own.

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Education
1:07 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Study: Black Girls Are Being Pushed Out of School

According to a new study from African-American Policy Forum, black girls and teens are disproportionately impacted by zero-tolerance policies in schools.
Terry Vine Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 5:05 pm

News surrounding a confrontation in a Baltimore school is raising new questions about the role race plays in discipline for black girls. Baltimore television station WBAL has been reporting on an October incident that led to three students at the city's Vanguard Middle School being injured, and later arrested and suspended, after an altercation with a school security officer.

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Education
6:40 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Q&A: Blocks, Play, Screen Time And The Infant Mind

Courtesy of Bing Nursery School

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 12:03 pm

Our "Tools of the Trade" series is taking a look at some of the iconic objects that form a vital part of our educational lives. For an upcoming piece, I'm reporting on how young children learn through that most basic of preschool education tools: simple wooden blocks.

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Education
11:42 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Pre-K Pays Off By Lowering Special Ed Placements

A new study finds that students who attend state-funded pre-K are less likely to need special education programs later on in school.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 4:26 pm

Attending state-funded prekindergarten substantially reduces the likelihood that students will end up in special education programs later on, according to a new study by researchers at Duke University.

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Education
11:16 am
Tue January 27, 2015

A Teacher's 'Pinch Me' Moment: Cheering The Super Bowl From The Sidelines

The Patriots cheerleaders perform in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts in the 2015 AFC Championship game.
Elsa Getty Images

The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Cartoonist? Carpenter? Dolphin trainer? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.

Most teachers will watch the Super Bowl at home, cracking open a beer maybe, or yelling at their flat-screen TVs. Lauren Schneider will be right there on the sidelines, cheering on Tom Brady and her team just feet from the action.

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Education
3:39 am
Thu January 22, 2015

The Past, Present And Future Of High-Stakes Testing

PublicAffairs Books

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 3:14 pm

After a long stretch as the law of the land, annual standardized tests are being put to, well, the test.

This week, the Senate education committee held a hearing on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law and, specifically, on testing. The committee's chairman, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has released a draft bill offering a lot more leeway to states in designing their own assessment systems.

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Education
12:08 am
Thu January 15, 2015

A New Study Reveals Much About How Parents Really Choose Schools

A painted map of the U.S. seen from inside a classroom at Homer A. Plessy Community School, a charter school in New Orleans.
Eric Westervelt NPR

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 9:13 am

The charter school movement is built on the premise that increased competition among schools will sort the wheat from the chaff.

It seems self-evident that parents, empowered by choice, will vote with their feet for academically stronger schools. As the argument goes, the overall effect should be to improve equity as well: Lower-income parents won't have to send their kids to an under-resourced and underperforming school just because it is the closest one to them geographically.

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