Education

Ways to Connect

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It's almost cram time for anyone taking that dreaded law school entrance exam next month: the LSAT. Simon Brick, who just graduated from the University of Arizona and has an interest in international law, says he's been studying for the test for months.

Brick hasn't ruled out the possibility of going to law school at Arizona, where he was in a pre-law fraternity. "I know that it is a very good law program," he says. "Right now I'm keeping my options open."

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It's a perennial story: An older student returns to the classroom education he'd long set aside, finally finishing his studies and graduating years later. Typically, that story includes detours like service in war or a family tragedy.

An unlikely class of college graduates will walk the stage on Saturday. They're the product of intensive three-year bachelor's degree program in computer science called CSin3. We first told you about it when it launched three years ago.

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Career and technical education in high schools has gotten lots of attention and lip service in recent years. Business and industry see it as a long overdue focus on preparing students for the world of work. Educators say CTE — once called vocational education — is an alternative path for high school graduates who don't plan to go to college, at least not right away.

It has also come under scrutiny from researchers who say it's just not working as well as it should. It's poorly funded and often viewed as a "second rate" education.

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Sughra Hussainy makes her own watercolors — which she uses to paint intricate miniatures in the traditional Persian and Afghan styles. Her favorite hue is blue — made from powdered lapis lazuli gemstones.

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In addition to the letter today to the nation's school districts urging them to protect the rights of transgender students, the Education Department provided a long report on states and districts it says are already doing so.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On Friday morning, the Obama administration issued a "Dear Colleagues" letter to the nation's school districts spelling out what they can do to safeguard the civil rights of students at K-12 schools and colleges, based on their gender identity.

The administration argues that Title IX, which outlaws sex discrimination for any school receiving federal funding, covers gender identity.

The Obama administration issued guidance to schools Friday, saying they must allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

The administration acknowledges this is "new terrain" for some people and says it wants to help school districts avoid running afoul of civil rights laws.

Will there be classes at a troubled Macon charter school after all?

Last week the Macon Charter Academy announced it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A written statement from the school's attorney, Atlanta-based Joel Callins, said:

Macon Charter Academy is hopeful that the reorganization process will facilitate the removal of the school’s probation status with the State of Georgia Department of Education, and plans to resume normal recruitment and enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year.

Later in the statement, Callins writes:

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Francisco Preciado came to California from Mexico as a young child. By the early 1980s, he was raising a young family of his own in the U.S. and working as a groundskeeper at Stanford.

On a recent visit to StoryCorps, his son, Frankie, recalls, "Since I was around 9 or 10, I would come sometimes with you to help you on campus."

"I told you that one day, you were going to go here to Stanford," answers Francisco.

Gaby remembers the first time she threw up while taking a test. It was a few months ago, early on in her freshman year at Marblehead High School in Massachusetts.

She was sitting in biology class when, she recalls, she got so anxious that she excused herself to the bathroom.

Gaby typically starts her day at 6 a.m. and gets to school at 7:15. On Mondays she runs a government club called Junior State of America. She's also running for class president, sits on the women's rights awareness group, and helps out at the school's rotary club.

A federal judge's ruling in Florida has brought a new development in the various government investigations of the for-profit college industry: prison time for the school's founder.

Alejandro Amor, the founder of a college called FastTrain in South Florida, was sentenced last week to eight years in federal prison for fraud.

When it comes to punishing students for campus sexual assault, some say kicking offenders out of school isn't enough. They want schools to put a permanent note on offenders' transcripts explaining that they've been punished for sexual misconduct, so other schools — or employers — can be warned.

Survivor Carmen McNeill says it's common sense. She was a college junior nearly two years ago when, she says, she passed out on someone's bed after a party, from a mix of drinks — including one she suspects was spiked.

The Traverse City Area Public Schools in northern Michigan have a saying: "Great Community, Great Schools." The Washington Post agrees, ranking Traverse City high schools some of the most challenging in the country.

But the district of about 9,500 is losing enough students — 12 percent in the last 10 years — that last fall superintendent Paul Soma recommended closing three elementary schools.

Paula Wallace On The Spark Behind SCAD

May 11, 2016
Cindy Hill / GPB

Most twentysomethings are too bogged down in student loan repayment or first-job jitters to think about much else,  but Paula Wallace was an exception.  At age 29, she quit her job as a grade school teacher, and she started the Savannah College of Art and Design, w hich would become one of Georgia's most respected universities.

What Can Schools Do About Suicide?

May 11, 2016
Active Minds Inc.

A recent story published in the University of Georgia student newspaper The Red and Black claims the university placed a student on interim suspension after she attempted suicide. The action, according to the article, made the "situation worse by creating further isolation, depression and anxiety." Is there a better way to deal with cries for help from members of a school population?

Public schools in the U.S. now have a majority of nonwhite students.

That's been the case since 2014, and yet children of color — especially boys — still lag behind their white peers.

This story has been all over the media. It's topic No. 1 at education conferences on university campuses. Even the White House is all over it.

But what Ron Ferguson wants to know is why. And he says there's a big group of experts out there who never get asked about it: boys and young men of color.

The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, says it will not allow an admitted student to wear a Muslim headscarf. The woman's family is considering legal action, according to a Muslim advocacy group.

In a statement Tuesday, Citadel President John Rosa says, "Uniformity is the cornerstone of this four-year leader development model." Through a "relinquishing of self," the lieutenant general says, "cadets learn the value of teamwork to function as a single unit."

Obama Gets All In His Blackness At Howard

May 10, 2016

This week Hillary Clinton was in Virginia to talk about women, family and workplace issues. She met at the Mug'n Muffin coffee shop with local participants in a program called Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters.

In HIPPY, as it's called, parents receive free books, educational materials and weekly home visits to coach them on how to get their young children ready for school — for example, by reading to them daily.

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