Education

Ways to Connect

Texas, joined by a number of other states, has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration in response to its directive that public schools allow students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

The plaintiffs include Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Georgia, the governor of Maine and the Arizona Department of Education.

Andrew Schwegler

It's high school graduation season. That means there are a lot of proud parents across Georgia this week. And some of them are also hurting for cash after senior year fees cleared the bank. It can be expensive to be a high school senior these days – from graduation robe rental to yearbooks to class trips. So when does a free education stop being free? 

We talk about the price of earning a diploma these days with Patricia Seaman, senior director of the National Endowment for Financial Education, and counselor Dawn Mann of Harrison High School in Cobb County.

Grit has been on NPR several times recently, not to mention front and center on the national education agenda.

Copyright 2016 WMFE-FM. To see more, visit WMFE-FM.

"I'm giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them."

In one of the many experiments cited in Paul Tough's new book, Helping Children Succeed, a group of middle school students received this message on a Post-it note, attached to a paper their teachers were handing back.

The message of support and high expectations had a small positive effect on white students.

The commencement speech season is underway and grads are soaking up advice and wisdom all over the country.

And since it's an election year, it's hard for speakers to resist stepping onto the soapbox.

Last weekend, President Obama spoke at Rutgers University in New Jersey, one of the nation's oldest higher ed institutions. He appeared to take a jab at Donald Trump — though he didn't call him out by name.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In a basement office at Purdue University in Indiana, associate professor of engineering practice Brad Duerstock has designed a special space.

Let's pretend I asked you to run a mile as fast as you can.

Now let's pretend I asked you to run a mile as fast as you can, and if you broke nine minutes, you'd get $90.

Which mile do you think would be faster?

A new study suggests that students taking a test behave like you or me: They do better with a little incentive. Dollars and cents, that is.

When it comes to sexual assault of students, some say private secondary schools are still being a little too private about how they handle misconduct.

"This is an intolerable situation," Sen. Lamar Alexander said last week in a heated speech on the Senate floor.

The Tennessee Republican is chairman of the Senate's education committee, and he is furious with the Education Department. He even gave states some remarkable advice:

"If the regulations are not consistent with the law, I don't believe [states] should follow them," he said. "If the department persists, then the state should go to court to sue the department."

Exactly 62 years ago, on May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that segregated schools were unconstitutional.

The Brown v. Board of Education decision was historic — but it's not history yet.

Just this week, a federal judge ordered a Mississippi school district to desegregate its schools.

The Texas Supreme Court just doesn't want to get involved in how the state pays for its public schools. That was the signal the nine justices sent Friday when they unanimously ruled the state school funding system, which historically has been one of the country's most controversial, constitutional.

Linda Chen/GPB News

An online petition wants Emory University to offer American Sign Language classes as a foreign language credit. Currently, the university offers ASL courses for no credit through its independent study program. But students argue this program lacks the proper structure to efficiently learn the language.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The U.S. Education Department said this week it will make Pell Grants available to 10,000 high school students who are enrolled in courses at 44 colleges.

It's an ambitious experiment aimed at closing the attainment gap between rich and poor students in higher education. The Obama administration wants to give students a head start on college.

The new program will allow high school students in 23 states to access up to $20 million in federal money to pay for a semester of college credit.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's almost cram time for anyone taking that dreaded law school entrance exam next month: the LSAT. Simon Brick, who just graduated from the University of Arizona and has an interest in international law, says he's been studying for the test for months.

Brick hasn't ruled out the possibility of going to law school at Arizona, where he was in a pre-law fraternity. "I know that it is a very good law program," he says. "Right now I'm keeping my options open."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's a perennial story: An older student returns to the classroom education he'd long set aside, finally finishing his studies and graduating years later. Typically, that story includes detours like service in war or a family tragedy.

Bobby Ellerbee's story, however, is not exactly typical. He took four decades to get his undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Georgia — but it wasn't an obstacle that caused the delay. Instead, it was a successful — and remarkably diverse — career, which began even before he stepped foot in a college classroom.

An unlikely class of college graduates will walk the stage on Saturday. They're the product of intensive three-year bachelor's degree program in computer science called CSin3. We first told you about it when it launched three years ago.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Career and technical education in high schools has gotten lots of attention and lip service in recent years. Business and industry see it as a long overdue focus on preparing students for the world of work. Educators say CTE — once called vocational education — is an alternative path for high school graduates who don't plan to go to college, at least not right away.

It has also come under scrutiny from researchers who say it's just not working as well as it should. It's poorly funded and often viewed as a "second rate" education.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Sughra Hussainy makes her own watercolors — which she uses to paint intricate miniatures in the traditional Persian and Afghan styles. Her favorite hue is blue — made from powdered lapis lazuli gemstones.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In addition to the letter today to the nation's school districts urging them to protect the rights of transgender students, the Education Department provided a long report on states and districts it says are already doing so.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Pages