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Students Who Get Better Career Guidance Remember College More Fondly

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LA Johnson/NPR

Of all of the departments universities cultivate, career services could be the most important.

A new survey of 11,483 college graduates, for the Gallup-Purdue Index, found graduates who reported “very helpful” campus career-services experiences were 5.8 times more likely to say their university prepared them for life after college, 3.4 times more likely to recommend their school and 2.6 times more likely to donate to their alma mater than graduates who found their campus career help “not at all helpful.”

So who found career services helpful and who didn’t? Those who studied humanities were the most likely to report disappointment — 22 percent said campus career-services were not helpful. That’s compared to 4 percent of engineering students.

And in a breakdown by race, the survey found white students were the least likely to use these services — 50 percent, compared to 65 percent of black students and 64 percent of Asian students. White students were also the least likely to report the services they got were “very helpful.”

Not surprisingly, the survey found that students who have high loan debt sought out career services in big numbers. But those deeply indebted students also reported very low levels of satisfaction with the services they received.

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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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Education

National Science Test Scores Are Out, But What Do They Really Tell Us?

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The National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, is called The Nation’s Report Card for good reason; the tests are administered the same way year after year, using the same kind of test booklets, to students across the country.

That allows researchers and educators to compare student progress over time. NAEP tests serve as a big research project to benchmark academic achievement in subjects like science, math, reading, writing, civics, economics, geography and U.S. history.

Science results were out Thursday for 4th, 8th, and 12th graders.

Among seniors, achievement was flat, and performance gaps by race, ethnicity and gender persisted.

But fourth- and eighth-graders showed modest progress: each up four points since 2009.

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Education

Race, School Ratings And Real Estate: A ‘Legal Gray Area’

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With her infant son in a sling, Monique Black strolls through a weekend open house in the gentrified Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C. There are lots of factors to consider when looking for a home — in this one, Monique notices, the tiny window in the second bedroom doesn’t let in enough light. But for parents like Black and her husband, Jonny, there’s a more important question: How good are the nearby schools?

It’s well known in the real estate industry that highly rated schools translate into higher housing values. Several studies confirm this and even put a dollar figure on it: an average premium of $50 a square foot, in a 2013 national study.

In Chappaqua, N.Y., an affluent bedroom community for New York City, the town supervisor recently went so far as to declare that, “The schools are our biggest industry — whether you have kids in the school or not, that’s what maintains our property values.”

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Education

School Nurses Can Be Mental Health ‘Detectives’ But They Need Help

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This story is part of our NPR Ed series on mental health in schools.

Patricia Tolson has some visitors.

Two 5-year-old girls, best friends, hold hands in her office at Van Ness Elementary School in Washington, D.C., one complaining she doesn’t feel well. Tolson, the school nurse, asks, “How long has your stomach been hurting?”

It just started, but this little one says her head hurt last night, too. Tolson knows she has a history of fevers, so she checks her temperature and asks her more questions: What did she eat? Has she gone to the bathroom? Does her head still hurt?

Schools function as the mental health system for up to 80 percent of children who need help, according to the American Association of Pediatrics.

And school nurses? They play a critical role in identifying students with mental health disorders.

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Education

Push Grows For A ‘Scarlet Letter’ On Transcripts Of Campus Sexual Offenders

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Two states now require that academic transcripts note that a student has been punished for campus sexual assault.

Christopher Leigh/Imagezoo/Getty Images

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.

“There was a male figure over top of me,” she recalls. “And my arms were being held down by his arms.”

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