Teenagers face some serious issues: drugs, bullying, sexual violence, depression, gangs. They don't always like to talk about these things with adults.
One way that researchers and educators can get around that is to give teens a survey — a simple, anonymous questionnaire they can fill out by themselves without any grown-ups hovering over them. Hundreds of thousands of students take such surveys every year. School districts use them to gather data; so do the federal government, states and independent researchers.
In the runup to this week's launch of NPR Ed, our team spent a lot of time talking about who we want to be and what kind of stories we want to tell. Stories about learning, stories about teachers and professors and students and principals and parents. Stories that take place in classrooms and communities.
Students at high schools across the country are wrapping up the school year, finishing special projects and studying for finals. A new study asks why many of them will never graduate. And the report, released today by America's Promise Alliance and the Center for Promise at Tufts University, found no easy answers to the nation's dropout crisis (more on the crisis itself in just a minute).
More than 700 miles separate Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Topeka, Kansas. But about one in three black students in the Alabama city today attend a school that could just as easily be in the Jim Crow days of the 1950s, ProPublica reported on Saturday.
Reporters visited two Tuscaloosa high schools — one all black, one integrated — and asked journalism students to document race and education through photos and six-word essays.