Education

Coverage of education issues both in Colorado & Nationally from KUNC, NPR & our education news partners.

Welcome to this week's edition of our national education news roundup.

DeVos appoints current student loan company CEO to head student loan agency

Wayne A. Johnson will be the new head of Office of Federal Student Aid after James Runcie abruptly resigned last month, the U.S. Department of Education announced this week. FSA is the agency responsible for administering $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loans from 42 million borrowers, plus other aid programs for millions of college students.

Today we're going to update a story we first brought you back in 2004. That September, NPR set out to document what may be the most important day in any young child's life — the first day of kindergarten. For parents it's a day filled with hope, anxiety and one big question: Is our child ready?

The answer back then, as far as 5-year-old Sam Marsenison was concerned, was, "No, no, no!"

Louisiana has become the first state to prohibit all public universities from asking applicants about their criminal history.

By some estimates, as many as 70 to 100 million Americans have some kind of criminal record.

Partha S. Sahana / Flickr

Up until this year, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE) had immunization data on only 350 kindergartners. Now, the department maintains a database with the vaccine statuses of over 850,000 children in Colorado. A 2016 Colorado Board of Health rule requires all schools and child care facilities with 10 or more children to report immunization data directly to the state.

Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado DPHE, called his department’s program “one of the greatest preventative initiatives of this century.”

Photographer and journalist Katie Hayes Luke reported throughout the year on an innovative school for homeless children in Oklahoma City, Okla. We're not using the first names of students and family members to protect their privacy.

On the last day of school, the fifth grade students at Positive Tomorrows perform last-minute rehearsals for the inaugural "Classy Awards."

The growing number of fatherless children in this country poses one of the the most serious problems in education today, according to best-selling author Alan Blankstein.

He has spent most of his life advocating for kids who struggle in school. He wrote Failure is Not an Option, a guide to creating high-performing schools for all students.

It's the weekend, and that means our rollup of education news around the country — starting this week with some rollbacks.

Freeze of for-profit college regs

The U.S. Department of Education is rolling back two regulations introduced during the Obama administration and designed to protect students, especially those at for-profit colleges.

At Yale University's commencement ceremony last month, hundreds of graduating students and their supporters staged a labor protest. The dispute pits graduate student teachers who voted to form a union in February against a Yale administration that refuses to bargain and disputes the election's validity.

Growing up, Kelly Jenkins spent his spare time playing sports. He was an all-star player on the baseball team at his school in the mountains of east Tennessee. And sometimes, he wore lipstick to practice.

As he grew up, Jenkins felt like he wanted to become a teacher.

"Everybody told me it was a horrible idea," Jenkins remembers. "They said, 'Nobody will ever hire you as a transgender woman.' "

Waylon Faulkner, a 12-year-old from Jersey City, N.J., is headed off to a sleepaway camp in upstate New York this summer.

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