K-12 Education

1:32am

Wed August 27, 2014
NPR Ed

The LA School iPad Scandal: What You Need To Know

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 9:32 pm

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy exchanged multiple emails with executives at Pearson PLC about the potential for working together.
Damian Dovarganes AP

A massive expansion of classroom technology has come to a grinding halt in Los Angeles.

The LA Unified School District had planned to buy some 700,000 iPads for its students and teachers. The Apple tablets would include learning software built by publishing giant Pearson. But Superintendent John Deasy announced earlier this week he is canceling the contract and restarting the bidding process.

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5:18am

Fri August 22, 2014
NPR Ed

A Picture Of Language: The Fading Art Of Diagramming Sentences

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 3:25 pm

The design firm Pop Chart Lab has taken the first lines of famous novels and diagrammed those sentences. This one shows the opening of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis.
Pop Chart Lab

When you think about a sentence, you usually think about words — not lines. But sentence diagramming brings geometry into grammar.

If you weren't taught to diagram a sentence, this might sound a little zany. But the practice has a long — and controversial — history in U.S. schools.

And while it was once commonplace, many people today don't even know what it is.

So let's start with the basics.

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5:16am

Thu August 21, 2014
NPR Ed

Notebooks And Pencils And Pens, Cha-Ching!

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 7:12 am

On the left, supplies on the back-to-school list for third-graders in Arlington, Texas; on the right, the items fifth-graders need in Palmer, Alaska.
LA Johnson NPR

Millions of families are heading to Target or Wal-Mart this month to make sure their kids have what they need for the first day of school. And, as many parents know, those glue sticks and gym clothes can really add up.

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5:00am

Mon August 18, 2014
School Food

Colorado's Farm To School Takes Root, But Challenges Still Abound

Greeley 6 school district's nutrition services director, Jeremy West, shows off one of his 40-gallon kettles used to tranform local produce into healthy food for students.
Stephanie Paige Ogburn KUNC

Inside of the Greeley school district's cavernous food services warehouse, nutrition service director Jeremy West leans over a 40-gallon kettle and turns a crank, showing how it tilts for easier access. The pot, empty now, will soon bubble with marinara sauce or maybe burrito filling – with some of those tomatoes or beans coming from farms less than 20 miles away.

West appreciates those giant pots, but said he wouldn't mind a couple more. Preparing food from scratch takes equipment and space. He's lucky to mostly have the facilities he needs. Many other schools that want to source fresh food from local farmers and ranchers are having a harder time.

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6:03am

Sun August 17, 2014
NPR Ed

Why The Atlanta Testing Scandal Matters

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 1:04 pm

One study found that teachers under high-stakes testing spent more time teaching "bubble kids" who were close to passing, at the expense of students elsewhere on the bell curve.
LA Johnson NPR

Once, in a sauna at a Korean spa in Queens, I overheard what sounded like two teachers discussing the cheating practices of a third. "You know how she does it," one said. "She'll lean over a student about to put a wrong answer and whisper, 'Check your work.' "

"Yes, and her finger will just happen to be on the right answer," said the other one.

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