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Finding Words in Paint: How Artists See Dyslexia

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Six artists who have dyslexia find their words in art.

NPR

“I understand things visually, by finding them in paint. I don’t know if my dyslexia causes me to be this way, but I have a feeling it does.” — Rachel Deane, painter.

We know lots of facts about dyslexia: It’s the most common reading disorder. It changes the way millions of people read and process information.

But we know much less about how it feels to people who have it. How it shapes your self-image, your confidence and how people see and react to you.

And so I reached out to some really creative people — artists who have dyslexia — to talk about this.

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Education

Trump’s Pick For Education: A Free Market Approach To School Choice

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Betsy DeVos, nominee for education secretary.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call,Inc.

The unofficial motto of a public charter school co-founded by Betsy DeVos — President-elect Trump’s choice to lead the Department of Education — could be “No Pilot Left Behind.”

Nearby a small maintenance hangar that’s part of the West Michigan Aviation Academy, one of the school’s two Cessna 172 airplanes chugs down the tarmac of Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The school is based on the airport’s grounds, just outside Grand Rapids.

Besty DeVos and her husband, Dick DeVos, led the effort to create this charter high school and got it off the ground — literally — in 2010. They donated the first Cessna. Delta Airlines’ foundation donated the second.

But few other Michigan charters have billionaire founder patrons and A-list connections. The school’s annual fundraising gala has included Apollo 13 astronauts as well as former president George W Bush and other luminaries.

The school’s principal, Patrick Cywayna, says there’s a long waiting list to attend this tuition-free, nonprofit high school. “I think the word choice says it all,” he says. “The philosophy of our school from Dick and Betsy, obviously, is to provide opportunities for all kids. So the word opportunity and choice to me go hand in hand.”

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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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Education

Video Chat Your Way Into College: How Tech Is Changing The Admissions Process

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Before he arrived in Omaha as a doctoral student in computer science, Jason Jie Xiong says, “I didn’t even know there was a state called Nebraska.”

Jie Xiong, 29, who hails from a small city outside Shanghai, had landed a full scholarship at the University of Nebraska to teach and do research. He says he only knew “more famous states like California and New York.”

He admits he found the program initially “by randomly checking information,” but he’s quick to add that he’s happy there.

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Education

Helping students overcome nonacademic barriers

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Nonacademic barriers such as poverty, parental issues, family illnesses, bullying and child abuse can seriously impede a students’ ability to concentrate on instruction and can manifest as behavioral issues. Since teachers and administrators may be the first — or only — line of support for students who are experiencing these issues, it is important for districts to have a plan in place to help students overcome them. More districts are mandating training around these nonacademic barriers so educators can recognize these behaviors and help students in need. Additionally, districts are providing more resources and programming for struggling students.

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