Education

For Many Schools The Recession Never Ended

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The Great Recession technically ended in June of 2009, but many of America’s schools are still feeling the pinch.

A new study of state budget documents and Census Bureau data finds that the lion’s share of spending on schools in at least 23 states will be lower this school year than it was when the recession began nearly a decade ago.

This analysis looked specifically at what’s called general formula funding, which accounts for roughly 70 percent of the money states spend in their K-12 schools.

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Education

Texas May Be Denying Tens Of Thousands Of Children Special Education

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LA Johnson/NPR

When Rosley Espinoza’s daughter was very young, in preschool, she started acting differently. She seemed distracted and would get in trouble at school.

“Lack of interest, teachers’ notes coming home with behavior notes,” Espinoza says, speaking in Spanish.

She says she asked school officials to evaluate her daughter, Citlali, for special education, but they didn’t.

Every year, Espinoza says, Citlali’s behavior got worse. Last year, in second grade, “she stopped paying attention in class … [she was] harassing other children. On some occasions she would scream, yell.”

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Education

5 Stories To Read For International Day Of The Girl

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Elissa Nadworny/NPR

Today is International Day of the Girl. Don’t know what that is? That’s alright; it’s pretty new. The day was created by the United Nations five years ago to spread awareness and spark discussion about the unique challenges confronting the world’s 1.1 billion girls.

Those challenges are many, and education is a common theme. Millions of girls around the world aren’t in school, and nearly two-thirds of the world’s illiterate people are female, according to a recent UNESCO report. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are a few NPR stories from the last few years — both in the United States and abroad — to get you thinking about what girls have to go through to get an education.

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Education

Trace The Remarkable History Of The Humble Pencil

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A class of fifth-graders from Green Acres Elementary in Lebanon, Ore., asked us to find out how pencil lead is made. That quest took us all the way back to the dawn of the universe and then all the way up to a factory in Jersey City, N.J.

In the process, we learned that pencil lead (actually not lead at all but a mineral called graphite) has a storied past.

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Education

No Teachers Strike; Classes As Usual For Chicago Public Schools Students

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A tentative contract was reached between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools. But just in case things didn’t work out, stacks of picket signs were ready for pick-up outside the union’s strike headquarters on Monday.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Teachers in the Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest school district, had been working without a contract since June 2015, and they were prepared to strike.

The Chicago Teachers Union had told its some 28,000 members to report to the lines Tuesday morning — unless plans changed.

But negotiators reached a tentative contract agreement minutes before a midnight deadline. Talks had been taking place throughout the holiday weekend.

The last time Chicago teachers walked off the job was in 2012, and that strike lasted for seven school days.

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