Education

When principal Kelli Hoffman ran into her students at a McDonald's during summer break, she knew they weren't there for the McNuggets.

The two rising eighth-graders at French Middle School had invested in a Coke to unlock a bigger prize: free Wi-Fi. They sat logged into their school-provided Chromebooks studying exercise ideas from their sports coaches.

Hoffman's district, Topeka Public Schools in Kansas, is one of a rising number of systems that are letting students take their school-issued devices home over the summer months.

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!"

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Jon Strelecki

How many times have you watched an athlete make an amazing play or turn in an unbelievable performance and ask yourself “How in the world do they do that?”

Is it because the athlete is in superb condition or has practiced the routine over and over again? Or is it because of what’s going on in the mind of that athlete?

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.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

There's a good chance something you've bought online has been in the hands of a "picker" first. These are the workers in warehouses who pick, pack and ship all those things we're ordering.

This year’s annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention got heated over a resolution that demanded the official denouncement of white nationalism and the alt-right. The resolution was put forward but not actively considered until outcry picked up, and a revised resolution was ultimately accepted.

Rachel Morello

School is no longer in session – but families are encouraged to come to a special lesson in Milwaukee Monday night.

Leaders from the state Department of Public Instruction will be in town to talk about how they plan to implement a new federal education law.

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.

The land border crossing between Tijuana, Mexico and San Ysidro, Calif. is one of the busiest in the world. Every day 25,000 people cross the border on foot. Among the crowd are students whose families live in Tijuana. Each morning their families commute many hours to bring the children to school in the U.S.

Juan and his mom, Maria, wake up at 5:30 a.m. each day to make the trek from their home in Tijuana to Juan's high school in San Ysidro. Some mornings, crossing the border can take up to an hour and half.

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.

Alaska is home to about 18,000 fishermen who harvest nearly 6 billion pounds of seafood each year. Salmon dominates the catch, five species in all: chum salmon, sockeye, king, coho and pink.

For a taste of Alaska fishing life, we head out with a father-daughter fishing team as they go trolling for king salmon in the waters off Sitka, in southeast Alaska.

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