For Ross Roberts, it was a lack of resources that drove him from the classroom. For Danielle Painton, it was too much emphasis on testing. For Sergio Gonzalez, it was a nasty political environment.

Welcome to the U.S. teaching force, where the "I'm outta here" rate is an estimated 8 percent a year — twice that of high-performing countries like Finland or Singapore. And that 8 percent is a lot higher than other professions.

In a small room in Philadelphia's school administration building, Rosario Maribel Mendoza Lemus, 16, sits in a corner, rubbing sweaty palms on her jeans.

In front of her is a binder with a test she has to take before she's assigned to a new school. A counselor hovers over her shoulder, pointing to a drawing of a book.

She asks, in English: "Do you know what that is?"

The Great Recession technically ended in June of 2009, but many of America's schools are still feeling the pinch.

A new study of state budget documents and Census Bureau data finds that the lion's share of spending on schools in at least 23 states will be lower this school year than it was when the recession began nearly a decade ago.

This analysis looked specifically at what's called general formula funding, which accounts for roughly 70 percent of the money states spend in their K-12 schools.

Striking professors reached a tentative three-year contract Friday with the state of Pennsylvania. Faculty members had gone on strike Wednesday at 14 public colleges and universities across the state, according to Katie Meyers of NPR member station WITF.

When Rosley Espinoza's daughter was very young, in preschool, she started acting differently. She seemed distracted and would get in trouble at school.

"Lack of interest, teachers' notes coming home with behavior notes," Espinoza says, speaking in Spanish.

She says she asked school officials to evaluate her daughter, Citlali, for special education, but they didn't.

If there's one rule that most parents cling to in the confusing, fast-changing world of kids and media, it's this one: No screens before age 2.

As of today, that rule is out the window.

Jon Strelecki

This year UW-Milwaukee is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Each month, as part of our effort to showcase the many ways in which UWM impacts our community, we are profiling one of the university’s schools and colleges.

On this edition of UWM Today, we look at the Peck School of the Arts. Peck is the only school of the arts in the entire University of Wisconsin System. With programs in Art and Design, Theater, Dance, Music and Film, UWM’s School of the Arts has educated many of the thousands of people who work in Wisconsin’s thriving art community.

Michelle Maternowski

Like many of her fellow Milwaukeeans, Lynne Woehrle was sad to hear the news of protests and violence in Sherman Park over the summer.

Cameron Smith was a fifth-grader with straight A's when her school, Fickett Elementary, was caught up in a national cheating scandal.

The story started in 2001, when scores on statewide tests across Atlanta began improving greatly. The superintendent, Beverly Hall, was hailed as a highly effective reformer, winning National Superintendent of the Year in 2009.

It has been a crazy few days for Ryan Griffin, the guy behind the Read-to-a-Barber program we wrote about on the NPR Ed blog last week. He says the phone at The Fuller Cut in Ypsilanti, Mich., has been ringing nonstop since the story ran.

Michelle Maternowski

A new batch of data on Wisconsin schools is bringing more attention to Milwaukee’s achievement gap.

The good news: the feds say Wisconsin boasts the 6th highest graduation rate in the country.

The bad news is the state also has the biggest gap between black and white students who finish high school in four years.

Rain beats against the windows of a downtown New York City building on a soporific Friday morning. A high school teacher is reading out loud from a sample recommendation letter when she notices a few students fidgeting and texting.

"I'm not seeing all eyes ..." she says, her voice trailing off.

Naama Wrightman, who is coaching the teacher, jumps in.

"All right, pause. It's the right correction. How can you frame it positively? ... Take out the 'not.' "

"All eyes on me?"

"Exactly, give that quick scan again."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


President Obama had a number on his mind today, and it has nothing to do with politics or the election. Here he is this morning at a high school in the nation's capital.


Parents' views of child care are a little like life in Lake Wobegon — the vast majority say it's way above average.

That's just one of the findings in a poll looking at child care and health from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, released Monday.

In it, we found that a remarkable 88 percent rated their child care as "very good" or "excellent."

The high school graduation rate in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 83 percent in the 2014-2015 school year, President Obama announced today, marking the fifth straight record-setting year.

Achievement gaps have narrowed even as all boats have risen. Graduation rates range from 90 percent for students who identify as Asian/Pacific Islanders to 64 percent for students with disabilities.