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.



Sat July 16, 2011
The End Of The Space Shuttle Era

Post-Shuttle, NASA To Keep Students Looking Up

Seventh-graders Sophie Maloro (left) and Unity Bowling "fly" a mission to Mars, part of a summer program at the MathScience Innovation Center in Richmond, Va.
Larry Abramson NPR

A child born today will never see an American space shuttle blast off from the Kennedy Space Center. The end of the shuttle program worries educators who say that human space flight is a great recruiter for future scientists and engineers. Don't worry, NASA says, its education mission won't slow down when this final shuttle flight lands.

Keeping A Captivated Audience

Read more


Sat July 2, 2011

School Trains The Blind On Life With A Guide Dog

Guide Dogs Acting President Morgan Watkins with his guide dog, Will.
Courtesy of Guide Dogs For The Blind

Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, Calif., has been teaching students how to adapt to life with an animal at their side since World War II.

The training process lasts about a month, and recently, about half-dozen blind students were preparing for their second class. Some are here for the first time and have to learn everything from scratch, like how to put on that harness. The school serves about 300 people a year.

Read more


Thu June 23, 2011

Math Videos Go From YouTube Hit To Classroom Tool

Fifth graders (from left) Reese Toomre, Lucas Nguyn and Michael An race through the Khan Academy's Trigonometry Challenge. The program allows more advanced students to race ahead, while other students can proceed at their own pace.
Larry Abramson NPR

Part 2 of a two-part report.

A lot of struggling math students have found comfort in the mathematical stylings of Salman Khan.

A few years back, Khan started creating videos to help tutor his cousin in math. Those videos became so popular, he quit his job with a hedge fund to work on them full time. Now his online Khan Academy offers more than 2,100 videos and attracts scads of teachers and students. Now, some adventurous school districts are trying to bring Khan's approach into the classroom.

Working At Your Own Pace

Read more


Wed June 22, 2011

Schools Blend Computers With Classroom Learning

Kindergartners at KIPP Empowerment Academy in South Los Angeles work on laptops while in another corner of the room, a group of students do an activity with a teacher.
Larry Abramson NPR

Part 1 of a two-part report.

Many school districts are reluctantly cutting staff and dropping courses in a desperate effort to respond to tighter budgets. But some educators are looking at ways to save money and improve instruction at the same time.

The answer for some schools: blended learning, which is part computer lesson, part classroom instruction.

Read more


Mon June 20, 2011

In Detroit, Low-Performing Schools Get A Makeover

Michigan's governor announced a new reform program for Detroit schools Monday. The program creates a mini district for the city's lowest performing schools — and it works with university and private partners to improve schools and offer guaranteed college scholarships for city students. Detroit's long-troubled school system has been beset in recent years by financial mismanagement and declining enrollment. The district has already embarked on a plan to turn nearly half of its schools into charter schools.