Education

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Why would she teach preschool when she could make a heck of a lot more money teaching kindergarten? It's a question I've heard over and over again reporting on education. In some places, we pay early childhood teachers less than fast-food workers, less than tree trimmers. As a country, we've acknowledged the importance of early learning and yet, when you look at what we pay those educators, it doesn't add up.

@latinacademycharterschool

Last month, the founder of the Atlanta Latin Academy Charter School was arrested after he was outed for embezzling school funds. Christopher Clemons spent over $600,000 of the school's money on cars, nightclubs, and real estate. The school has since closed under the weight of financial strain.

We talk with Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Molly Bloom about the scandal and what it means for charter school oversight in the future. 

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More local education scandals came to light last week, this time at the collegiate level. Kennesaw State University president Daniel Papp resigned suddenly after reports revealed he accepted over $500,000 in retirement benefits while he was still employed. A second audit shows that a conflict of interest in the food services department may have also cost the university hundreds of thousands of dollars more.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Janel Davis joins us to talk more about the problems at Kennesaw State University. 

When Caitlin Cheney was living at a campground in Washington state with her mother and younger sister, she would do her homework by the light of the portable toilets, sitting on the concrete.

She maintained nearly straight A's even though she had to hitchhike to school, making it there an average of three days a week. "I really liked doing homework," says Cheney, 22, who is now an undergraduate zoology student at Washington State University. "It kept my mind off reality a little bit."

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

'I Won't Feel Safe On My College Campus'

Jun 11, 2016

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's the afternoon lull at Bongo Java East, and five students from KIPP Academy are tripping over each other behind the counter of this hip Nashville coffee joint, trying to show off what they've learned. They're grinding espresso beans. They're packing the grounds. They're steaming milk.

"Let's see how this goes," 10th-grader Ayanna Holder says as she knocks a steel pot of scalding milk on the counter to keep foam from forming. She takes a freshly pulled espresso and begins pouring the latte, aiming for a quintessential leaf design on top.

It doesn't quite go as planned.

It's one of the oldest issues in school improvement: Getting kids to show up. If students miss 10 percent of the school year — that's just two days a month --research shows they are way more likely to fall behind — even drop out.

Today, the U.S. Education Department is releasing a report on the first national data set on chronic absence — defined as missing 15 or more days of school a year. The numbers come from the 2013-2014 Civil Rights Data Collection survey — an on-the-ground look from 95,000 schools.

What does helping a 3-year-old control her temper tantrums have to do with reducing global poverty? Quite a lot, says Dana McCoy.

Nine-thousand feet up in the Colombian Andes, in the province of Boyacá, a little orange schoolhouse sits on a hillside dotted with flowers.

Thirty-three students, ages 4 through 11, walk as much as an hour to get here from their families' farms. The students greet reporters in English — "Welcome! Welcome!" — and Spanish, with a song and a series of performances.

In one, an 8-year-old in a green school uniform and a colorful feather mask recites a folk tale about a terrible, tobacco-smoking monster called a Mohan.

When the U.S. government released its tally of sexual violence cases on college campuses under review in 2014, Stanford wasn't on the list. But in the new list that's out this month, Stanford has the most cases, with five.

The notorious assault that's been making headlines is not among the cases under federal review.

I'm hanging out with my 4-year-old daughter in the early evening, trying to keep her entertained and pull dinner together, when my phone buzzes.

Normally I'd feel guilty for checking it immediately, and distracted even if I didn't. But this time it's not a Twitter mention or an email from my editor. It's a timely suggestion from an app called Muse.

Here's what it says: "Try playing 'Simon Says' with L, using directional words like: behind, around, between. (ex. 'Simon Says stand between the chairs.')"

It's a rare and remarkable view into America's public schools and the challenges that continue some 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education:

The Civil Rights Data Collection survey.

Since 1968, the federal government has been sending it to the nation's schools to gauge educational access and enforce civil rights law.

Today, the U.S. Education Department released its 2013-2014 CRDC results, covering more than 95,000 schools and 50 million students.

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Students at Georgia Tech were part of a recent social experiment, but they just didn't realize it at the time. Computing Professor Ashok Goel teaches an artificial intelligence class every semester. Last semester, he did something different by adding another teacher’s assistant to his online course. Only this T.A. was A.I., operated by artificial intelligence.

At Tech Square Labs in midtown Atlanta, you'll find glass walls and high ceilings. It follows the typical design trends of today's "hip" innovation centers and co-working office spaces. It's also where 14 low-income African-American students are learning Java as part of the Code Start program.

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.

Donald Trump is intensifying his attacks on the federal judge presiding over fraud lawsuits against Trump University. On Friday the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, dismissing criticism from legal experts on the right and left, pressed his case against U.S.

Emory University Selects First Female President

Jun 3, 2016
Photo courtesy of Emory University

Atlanta's Emory University has chosen its first female president. Claire Sterk will take over for President James Wagner when he steps down in August. 

Emory’s Board of Trustees approved her appointment with a unanimous vote on Friday after a six-month search by the school’s Presidential Selection Committee.

Monica Nezzer, 22, is a full-time student studying psychology and biology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She describes herself as "fortunate." But in addition to a full course load, she's working about 30 hours a week as a campus tour guide and recruitment specialist.

"At least once a semester, I face a time where I am like, 'I am broke. I am stressed. I am exhausted.' And I don't know how I'm going to make it through the rest of the semester," said Nezzer.

When students get suspended from school for a few days, they may not be the only ones who miss out.

A report released today by UCLA's Civil Rights Project tries for the first time to quantify the full social cost of so-called "exclusionary discipline."

A coalition of Asian American groups filed a federal complaint asking for an investigation into Yale, Brown and Dartmouth for alleged racially discriminatory practices in college admissions processes.

For more on the story visit WGBH's On Campus blog

Kenneth Starr, known for leading an investigation of President Bill Clinton, says he has resigned as Baylor University's chancellor.

The private Texas university has been rocked by an independent report that found the university mishandled allegations of sexual harassment and assault. Last week, the university stripped Starr of the presidency and suspended head football coach Art Briles.

What made Mozart great? Or Bobby Fischer? Or Serena Williams?

The answer sits somewhere on the scales of human achievement. On one side: natural talent. On the other: hard work. Many would argue that success hangs in some delicate balance between them. But not Anders Ericsson.

It was a year ago, that Zashonda Alexander celebrated her oldest daughter's graduation from eighth grade.

High hopes turned into anxiety, though, after Alexander found out that her daughter, Junta, tested positive for lead poisoning. Tests for lead in the family's home proved negative, says Alexander, and she believes the culprit may be the drinking water at Tanner Elementary, a school on Chicago's South Side.

Attacks on the press carry a long and distinguished lineage in the rhetoric of American political campaigns.

Donald Trump, however, is a natural, a true once-in-a-generation talent. Even though he relies on media exposure more than most to make his case, Trump appears intent on further degrading a press already undermined by changes to the industry and a steep drop in public esteem.

Backed into a corner over questions about his efforts to raise money for veterans groups, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee on Tuesday came out swinging at a press conference.

Gilbert Sargent is a jolly, loquacious 74-year-old. For nearly everybody in the small suburb of Versailles, Ky., he goes by "Sarge."

For 25 years, Sarge has been working on and off as a school bus driver. Today he drives for Woodford County Public Schools, a district just outside Lexington. Sarge was meant to drive a school bus, he says, because of his love for children.

He drives bus No. 7.

2:35 p.m. Sarge heads out for his first afternoon pickup at Simmons Elementary School.

Just across the train tracks from U.S. Route 321, in the town of North, S.C., nestled among mobile homes covered with red roses, sits the one-story brick campus of North Middle/High School.

Robert Gordon strides forward in the school's entryway to shake my hand. He's slim, dressed neatly in khakis, loafers and a striped polo shirt, with a pleather portfolio under one arm.

"It's been a stressful morning," he says, explaining that one middle school boy stabbed another with a pencil.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Donovan Livingston is a student, an aspiring teacher and a poet. And it was with poetry that he took the stage last week at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to deliver a convocation speech to his fellow graduates.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Mel Atkins has spent most of his life with Grand Rapids Public Schools in Michigan. He graduated from Ottawa Hills High, where he played baseball. But his real love was bowling. He says he's bowled 22 perfect games.

He's been a teacher and principal in the city's public schools. And now he works for the district, overseeing just about everything related to students.

One more thing you need to know about him: Mel Atkins is a number-cruncher.

Three years ago, the superintendent came to him with a question: Does Grand Rapids have an issue with chronic absenteeism?

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