Education

Ways to Connect

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At first glance, the scene probably looked familiar to many people in Phoenix: tens of thousands massing outside Chase Field on a bright Thursday afternoon in April, clad in red and rippling with anticipation. But that scene, if it were typical, would feature fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks — not the teachers who gathered near the baseball stadium with quite another event in mind.

There are now well over 1,000 colleges and universities that don't require SAT or ACT scores in deciding whom to admit, a number that's growing every year. And a new study finds that scores on those tests are of little value in predicting students' performance in college, and raises the question: Should those tests be required at all?

As the wave of teacher walkouts moves to Arizona and Colorado this week, an NPR/Ipsos poll shows strong support among Americans for improving teachers' pay and for their right to strike.

Our series "Take A Number" looks at problems around the world — and the people trying to solve them — through the lens of a single number.

At the tiny public library in Winterport, Maine, 43-year-old Robert Hartmann bends over The Little Engine That Could and slowly sounds out the first line.

"Ch-chug, right?" he asks his volunteer tutor, Sandy DeLuck. "Yup," she encourages him. He presses on: "Puh-puff ... puff ... puff. Ding ... ding-dong?"

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported an unusual discovery on Monday. The founder, editor and columnist of a website that bills itself as a resource for student loan news does not exist.

Like most other American high school students, Garret Morgan had it drummed into him constantly: Go to college. Get a bachelor's degree.

"All through my life it was, 'if you don't go to college you're going to end up on the streets,' " Morgan said. "Everybody's so gung-ho about going to college."

So he tried it for a while. Then he quit and started training as an ironworker, which is what he is doing on a weekday morning in a nondescript high-ceilinged building with a concrete floor in an industrial park near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

"I will never be fired," professor Randa Jarrar taunted critics after she blasted Barbara Bush as a racist not an hour after the former first lady's death was announced last week.

And the president of California State University, Fresno, has confirmed that she will keep her job.

An NCAA commission is calling on the NBA to reopen its draft to athletes who are 18 and have not attended college, citing problems with the "one-and-done" system that sees elite players jump to the pros after their freshman year.

Created last fall after a federal investigation put an exclamation point on a growing list of crises and conflicting priorities in the sport, the Commission on College Basketball issued its recommendations on Wednesday.

It's been nine weeks since teachers in West Virginia walked out of their classrooms to protest low wages and rising health care costs. That sparked a movement that has spread to a handful of other states where teachers have fought — or are fighting — not just for higher wages but also increased spending, more pay for support staff and, in some cases, to stop proposed changes to their pensions.

In fact, so much has happened in the past two months that we thought we'd put together a refresher, state by state.

"I thought this just happened to me."

That's the refrain from dozens of teachers who reached out to NPR — via email and social media — in response to our investigative story about serious problems with a federal grant program that, they say, have left them unfairly saddled with thousands of dollars of debts they shouldn't have to pay.

We're crazy in love with all the education news — from Coachella to new findings on screen time.

Beyoncé brings HBCU pride to Coachella performance

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Meeting your college roommate used to be one of the anxieties of the first week of school. But these days, many freshmen meet in advance online and arrange to room together.

Now, some schools have decided to bring back largely random pairings in the interest of broadening their students' horizons. Duke University announced their change earlier this year.

At schools across the country today, students are getting up from their desks and walking out when the clock strikes 10 a.m. They're participating in the National School Walkout, part of the movement that has taken hold among students to call for action to end gun violence.

Today marks 19 years since the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in which two high school students shot and killed thirteen people.

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