Larry Abramson

Larry Abramson is the Education Correspondent at NPR. Abramson covers a wide variety of issues related to education, from federal policy to testing to instructional techniques in the classroom. In 2006, Abramson returned to the education beat after spending 9 years covering national security and technology issues for NPR. Since 9/11, Abramson has covered telecommunications regulation, computer privacy, legal issues in cyberspace, and legal issues related to the war on terrorism. During the late 1990s, Abramson also was involved in several special projects related to education. He followed the efforts of a school in Fairfax County, Virginia, to include severely disabled students in regular classroom settings. He joined the National Desk reporting staff in 1997.

From 1990 to 1997, Abramson was senior editor for NPR's National Desk. His department was responsible for approximately 25 staff reporters across the United States, five editors in Washington, and news bureaus in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. The National Desk also coordinated domestic news coverage with news departments at many of NPR's member stations. The desk doubled in size during Abramson's tenure. He oversaw the development of specialized beats in general business, high-technology, workplace issues, small business, education, and criminal justice.

Abramson joined NPR in 1985, working as a production assistant with Morning Edition. He moved to the National Desk, where he served for two years as Western editor. From there, he became the deputy science editor with NPR's Science Unit, where he helped win a duPont-Columbia Award as editor of a special series on Black Americans and AIDS.

Prior to his work at NPR, Abramson was a freelance reporter in San Francisco and worked with Voice of America in California and in Washington, D.C. He has a master's degree in comparative literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Abramson also studied overseas at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and at the Free University in Berlin, Germany.

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11:40am

Tue November 8, 2011
Education

Does New Orleans Welcome Disabled Students?

Originally published on Tue November 15, 2011 5:56 pm

Noah Fisher, 10, and his full-time aide, Daniel Thomas, at Lafayette Academy, a charter school housed in a former district school building in New Orleans.
Larry Abramson NPR

New Orleans has become the center of an education revolution, where more than 70 percent of students attend a charter school.

The number of students taught in traditional district-run schools is shrinking fast. That's because parents in post-Hurricane Katrina can pick and choose from a smorgasbord of schools with different approaches and cultures.

By many measures, this educational marketplace has improved student achievement. But as this experiment moves ahead, it's led to questions about whether the district is truly open to the most challenging students.

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10:30pm

Wed November 2, 2011
Education

College Students' Borrowing Hits An All-Time High

College students who graduated in 2010 carried 5 percent more debt than in the previous year, according to new data. In this photo from last December, a student fills out an application for a chance to win a scholarship worth $30,000, at a Cash for College event organized by the California Student Aid Commission.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Students are borrowing more money to pay for college than ever before. New data shows that students who graduated in 2010 carried 5 percent more debt than in the previous year. And education debt is expect to grow in the coming years, as students struggle to pay higher tuition costs.

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12:34pm

Wed October 19, 2011
Education

Why Is College So Expensive?

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 4:16 pm

Sproul Plaza at the University of California, Berkeley. Tuition at U.C. Berkeley was about $700 a year in the 1970s. Today, families pay over $15,000 per year to attend.

Eric Risberg AP

Many of the protesters occupying Wall Street and other places say they are upset about the rising price of going to college. Tuition and other costs have been going up faster than inflation, and family incomes can't keep up. Despite public outrage about the problem, there's little sign these costs will drop anytime soon.

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12:55pm

Tue October 11, 2011
Education

No Child Left Behind Waivers Worry Some Advocates

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 5:02 pm

Mill Creek Middle School Principal Rebecca Bowen says her school is "by no way, shape or form a failing school." But it is according to federal and state standards because its low-income, special education students were about 10 points behind the goals set on standardized tests.

Larry Abramson NPR

The Obama administration wants states to focus more of their attention on the lowest-performing schools, where large numbers of students are failing state tests year after year.

So the Department of Education is inviting all states to apply for waivers from the No Child Left Behind law.

The waivers could win relief for schools where a small number of students are falling short of federal requirements.

But advocates for minority and special education students worry their students will be ignored.

The 'Failing School' Stigma

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2:00am

Wed October 5, 2011
Education

Thieves Scam Aid From Online Education Sites

The Department of Education says that as distance learning has grown so has fraud. An inspector general's report found that scam artists are taking advantage of the popularity of online education to steal federal education money.

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