Education

Students aren't the only ones getting report cards these days. More than a dozen states now grade their public schools using the traditional A through F system. North Carolina is the latest to try it, and most of its high-poverty schools received D's and F's from the state education agency last week.

At Allen Middle School in Greensboro, N.C., nearly every student gets free or reduced-price meals. Between classes, preteens roam the bright hallways that are lined with inspirational quotes.

Jon Strelecki

People who use wheelchairs often find themselves dealing with serious shoulder injuries and pain.

Our "Tools of the Trade" series is taking a look at some of the iconic objects that form a vital part of our educational lives. For an upcoming piece, I'm reporting on how young children learn through that most basic of preschool education tools: simple wooden blocks.

She gazed at the picture and then asked, "What's an ugly stepsister?"

The concept just didn't translate. In Mali, polygamy is commonplace but divorce is not.

Robert McCloskey's Blueberries for Sal caused trouble too. The kids seemed unsure whether blueberries were real or the stuff of fantasy. Same with the bear Sal stumbles upon.

And then there was the whole question of Madeline's clothes. Why is she showing her knees? Everyone in this West African country knows knees are a private body part. We fixed the illustrations.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Last week we told the stories of our favorite teachers. We hoped that would inspire you, and we weren't disappointed.

We've heard from hundreds of people — on social media, in comments on the blog and via email. Here are a few of our favorites:

Lets start with Facebook. Here's Felix Flauta Jr. in a comment on the NPR page:

Rich School, Poor School

Feb 9, 2015

Beauty and peace radiate across the 319-acre campus of the elegant Cranbrook Schools in suburban Detroit. But in one corner of the upper school, overlooking the manicured lacrosse field, is an angst-filled office where students and their parents come to fret.

On a recent morning there, a pony-tailed soccer player was nervously fiddling with the zipper on her coat as she asked her college counselor if it was really necessary for her to do an admissions interview.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2015 WUNC-FM. To see more, visit http://wunc.org.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The main federal education law may finally get its long-overdue makeover in Congress this year, and we're going to be hearing and reading a lot about it.

Formally, it's the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA. The last time it got a major overhaul was in 2001, with President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act. But nothing much has been done with the law since 2007.

If Congress does finally get to it this year, What can we expect?

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