Education

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

Ann Marie Awad / KUNC

If you heard that 12 people were living together in a two-bedroom apartment, you might think they were a group of college students, not teachers in the Roaring Fork School District.

“They love teaching in the community, they love working with the students there, but they simply cannot afford housing,” says Amie Baca-Oehlert, Vice President of the Colorado Education Association.

Roaring Fork is in Glenwood Springs, where the median home price is more than $536,250 dollars. The mountain town’s rental scene is also extremely tight and pricey. But it’s not just there. Baca-Oehlert says she hears stories like this all the time.

Mayor Bill de Blasio this week pushed ahead with plans to make New York City one of nation's few big cities to offer free, full-day preschool for all 3-year-olds­­.

The plan would serve, when fully rolled out over several years, more than 60,000 children a year. It builds on one of de Blasio's signature accomplishments of his first term – universal pre-K for 4-year-olds.

For only the third time ever, the government released today a national report card examining the knowledge, understanding and abilities of U.S. eighth-graders in visual arts and music.

And in many ways, the numbers aren't great, with little progress shown in most categories since the last time the assessment was given in 2008. One bright spot: The achievement gap between Hispanic students and their white peers has narrowed. But Hispanics and African-Americans still lag far behind white and Asian eighth-graders.

With student debt at a staggering $1.3 trillion, many families are facing a huge financial dilemma: Their final springtime decisions about college enrollment and acceptance. The NPR Ed team teamed up with Weekend Edition to answer some listener questions about debt and degrees.

Waiting on the numbers

Marcy, from Union City, N.J. has twin girls going off to college in September.

One day Ronnie Sidney, from Tappahannock, Va., was goofing off with his classmates in math when one of them threw a paper football at the board — and it landed a little too close to the teacher. Sidney says the eighth-grade teacher, visibly frustrated, turned around and said, "None of you are going to college."

Greetings and welcome to NPR Ed's weekly roundup of education news from Washington and around the country.

Supreme Court hears a voucher-related case

Organizers of Saturday's nationwide March for Science have some pretty lofty goals: supporting science "as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity." Promoting "evidence-based policies in the public interest." Oh, and don't forget highlighting "the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world."

Whoa, that's a lot of exalted ground to cover with one cardboard sign!

Like any good fifth-grade teacher, Mike Matthews wants to make his social studies unit on the American West as exciting as possible. So he's planning a special "Wild West" evening at the school with his students.

"We're going to have good ol' cowboy-fashion hot dogs and beans, Texas Toast and beef jerky," he says. Matthews will tell stories around a mock campfire, and for added authenticity, the fifth-graders will set up a saloon.

Mariah Evans, a sociology professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, began to notice a trend in her morning classes: Her students were falling asleep.

While this would make most feel discouraged in their teaching abilities or agitated over their students' idleness, Evans instead was curious. Was there more to this than just laziness?

The crisis in Syria has displaced about 1.4 million children and teenagers from their homes. An estimated 900,000 of them are not in school.

Historically, in conflict zones, education has taken a backseat to immediate needs like food, shelter and medical care. But more recently, there has been a movement in the international aid community to provide better "education in emergencies."

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