Education News » November 2016

Monthly Archives: November 2016

Education

When The Students On Campus Have Kids Of Their Own

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The young women in this story have labels. Three labels: Single, mother, college student. They’re raising a child and getting an education — three of the 2.6 million unmarried parents attending U.S. colleges and universities.

Getting a degree is hard enough for anyone, but these students face extra challenges. And when it comes to helping out with their needs, Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa., is considered one of the best in the country.

It’s a liberal arts school with 1,100 students. There’s a large farm, an equestrian program, and 15 students in the Single Parent Scholars program. This year all are moms, though men are welcome too.

They live in apartments that once were dorm rooms. And they are easy to notice on campus.

“We have children running around the dining hall while everyone else is trying to eat,” says Heather Schuler. She’s 25, a sophomore psychology major and the mother of a 2-year-old son.

Schuler is sitting outside the dining hall with her friend Michelle Rogers, who has a 4-year-old daughter. Rogers, 27, a senior environmental studies major, says being a parent and a student requires some adjustments.

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Education

Freedom To Explore: 2 Schools Where The Students Call The Shots

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An 8-year-old named Ben is sitting quietly by himself in a bean bag in a classroom in Mountain View, Calif. He’s writing in his journal, an assignment he created himself.

“This one was, ‘What I Wish We Would Have More Of,’ ” Ben says, reading to me from his notebook. “I hope we have more field trips.” He stops and looks up. “I have more entries, but I don’t want to share them.”

That’s cool; it’s your journal, Ben.

I ask him, What is it you like about your school?

“You can move at your own pace,” he says. “You don’t have to be with everyone else. I like that.”

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Education

Lack Of Child Care Rating Systems Leaves Parents In A Bind

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There are rating systems for hospitals, nursing homes and doctors. So why is it so hard to compare providers of child care?

Part of the reason is that there are no nationally agreed-upon standards for what determines the quality of child care. The standards that do exist are formulated in each state, and they vary widely.

For example, some states require that child care workers have a teaching certificate. Others require certain college courses. Some have strict ratios of how many caregivers are required per child.

But all of these criteria are important in assessing the quality of a child care facility, says Susan Hibbard, director of Build Initiative, which works with states developing early childhood programs.

What’s needed, she says, is a tool that makes it easier for parents to evaluate and compare the child care options in their communities.

“So you know that if you see 3 stars out of 3 stars, your child is going to have teachers who are nurturing, have experience, understand child development and know how to work with children and help them thrive,” she says.

Education

How A Happy School Can Help Students Succeed

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Every day at Weiner Elementary School starts with a dance party, usually to Best Day of My Life by American Authors — and that’s before the 7:50 a.m. bell even rings.

Then comes the morning assembly, where all 121 students and the staff gather for 20 minutes in the cafeteria of the school in Weiner, Ark. They sing songs and learn about an artist, a musician and an international city of the week.

They celebrate birthdays. A lucky student is crowned Student of the Day. And Pam Hogue makes it her goal to be an educator instead of a principal.

That assembly — and the many other things this school does to create a sense of community and happiness — is part of what experts call school climate.

“It’s a feeling in a building,” Hogue explains. “When you walk in here, it just feels right. It looks like a place where learning is happening.”

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Education

Schools Hustle To Reach Kids Who Move With The Harvest, Not The School Year

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Teacher Sarah Ross and students (from left to right) Ximena, age 4, Yareli, age 3, and Kendra, age 2 at the Indiana Migrant Preschool Center, a free preschool for migrant children ages 2 to 5. The school teaches students in English and Spanish with the goal of preparing migrant children for kindergarten, wherever it may be.

Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting

If you’re carving a jack-o-lantern tonight, take a minute to think about who picked that pumpkin.

Maybe it was Anayeli Camacho, one of the country’s estimated 3 million migrant farm workers, and mother of two. For part of the year she rents a trailer on farmland in Oaktown, Indiana where she works in the fields, harvesting pumpkins and other crops.

But as the fall harvest comes to a close, she and her family will head back down south for the winter, following seasonal work. This is what Camacho has done for the last decade, traveling north and south, from Florida to Indiana, bringing her family, which now includes 4-year-old Ximena, along with her.

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Education

After Nearly 2 Decades, Californians Revisit Ban On Bilingual Education

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Alice Callaghan watches as students practice their English at Las Familias Del Pueblos in Los Angeles.

Morgan Walker for NPR

Alice Callaghan has spent decades working with mostly Mexican and Guatemalan families out of a tiny office near Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. It doubles as a school for a few dozen 4- and 5-year-olds.

After the Pledge of Allegiance, children scamper to their seats to work on phonics exercises, blended words, vocabulary and reciting classroom rules. Not a word in Spanish is spoken, heard or written on the posters and word puzzles hanging on the walls, and many of the children’s names have been anglicized.

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