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What Former Employees Say ITT Tech Did To Scam Its Students

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Chelsea Beck/NPR

When he first moved to Miami, Waltter Teruel says, working as a recruiter for ITT Technical Institute was a welcome change from his life in New York where he had been selling antiques and life insurance.

As a recruiter, Teruel says, ITT Tech took care of the pitch to potential students for you. Recruiters used scripts set out in detailed PowerPoint presentations and got long lists of prospective students to call. But soon the welcome change faded. “Most of these students, they were looking for a job,” not more school, says Teruel.

When ITT Technical Institute closed, employees began to share tightly designed sales tools, like those PowerPoints, that offered a glimpse into the strategy that helped the company grow to more than 130 campuses across the country.

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Why Busing Didn’t End School Segregation

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Oak Hill Middle School students say goodbye to METCO students heading back to Boston on the bus.

Kieran Kesner for NPR

America’s desegregation era is long gone, but one voluntary school busing program in Boston has persisted for nearly 50 years.

The program is known as METCO — the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity — and buses students of color from the city into more affluent, mostly white suburbs for school.

I know the program because I did it in the ’80s — traveling nearly an hour back and forth between home and school every day. I recently returned to Boston to check in on the program and traveled on that same route with Bryan Bailey, a 13-year-old who goes to school in Newton, Mass.

Bryan is one of nearly 3,300 students this year that participate in the state-funded, 18 million dollar program that pays out roughly 5,000 dollars per kid to the suburban towns that take part.

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Education

A History Lesson: When Math Was Taboo

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That’s not from a disgruntled student. It’s from a textbook.

The author, 16th century mathematician Robert Recorde, nestled the line just after his preface, table of contents and a biblical quote citing God’s command to measure and number all things.

Recorde didn’t believe in math’s awfulness — quite the opposite. He was simply reflecting popular opinion on his way to a spirited defense of math. Why?

Mathematics was associated with banking and trade and so “was shunned among the upper classes and the educated classes in Europe,” explains Houman Harouni of Harvard University.

Recorde’s math textbook — published in 1543 — is far from unique.

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Education

Green Eggs, Ham And Metaphysics: Teaching Hard Ideas With Children’s Books

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What is language? What is beauty? Who gets to decide?

Philosophers have grappled with these questions for centuries, and they’ve generated a pile of long (and often tortured) books in their efforts to answer them.

But for Tom Wartenberg, some of the best books about philosophy are much shorter and a lot more colorful: Frog and Toad Are Friends. Horton Hears a Who! The Paper Bag Princess.

Every spring at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., Wartenberg offers Philosophy 280: Philosophy for Children. Once a week, he loads his students into a bus and drives them to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School of Excellence in nearby Springfield.

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Education

So We Know Students Are Stressed Out … Now Let’s Talk About It

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LA Johnson/NPR

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.

But despite all these activities, she still worries about failure, getting into a good college and making family members proud. And these have led to chronic stomach pain that she says her doctor has linked to stress.

Since 2013 teenagers have reported stress levels that exceed those of adults. And traditionally, parents have underestimated what their kids are feeling. This became apparent in 2009 when a Stress in America survey showed that parents had no idea the level of stress their kids were under. But parents are finally starting to notice.

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Education

Why Educate “Whole Children?”

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I was recently a finalist for a superintendency in a nearby district, and while responding to questions that were posed to me by the middle school staff during my site visit, I shared a story with them about some students at my current school.

During the meeting with these educators, I told them that I was not an “MCAS driven” principal.  MCAS is the state test for Massachusetts, and like many other states that have mandated,  standardized tests, it’s primarily used for accountability purposes.  My staff and I also use it to try and inform ourselves on where we can celebrate successes with students and where we can make improvements.  Over the course of six years that I have been a principal in Lexington, very little has come from my office related to MCAS, other than the minimal reminders for parents and students to get a good night’s rest and eat a good breakfast, along with our annual report card that I am required to share with the public.

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