Education

Jason Rieve

It is one of the largest and most complex organs in the human body. With billions of nerves and trillions of connections, the human brain is a marvel.

arinahabich, flickr

Believe it or not, school starts next week for some kids in the Milwaukee area – and MPS students, parents and staff have a few notable changes on the horizon as kids head back to class.

Led by Superintendent Darienne Driver, the struggling district has implemented a number of reforms that leaders hope will spur gains in student achievement.

Steven Isaacs — @mr_isaacs on Twitter — is a full-time technology teacher in Baskingridge, N.J. He's also the co-founder of a new festival that set the Guinness World Record for largest gathering dedicated to a single video game.

The game that cements both halves of his life together? Minecraft.

When People With Autism Encounter Police

Aug 8, 2017

With guest host John Donvan.

Missed social cues are awkward. But what happens when poor communication is a matter of life and death?

People with autism are significantly more likely to have an encounter with law enforcement over the course of their lives. Now, more police officers are being trained to better understand their interactions with men, women and children on the autism spectrum.

It's a fall tradition: Students don college sweatshirts and their parents, meanwhile, sweat the tuition bills.

One flash-in-the-pan movie this summer even featured a couple, played by Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, who start a casino to cope with their kids' college costs.

Annual tuition hikes have been pretty much a given in higher ed, but recently, there are signs that the decades-long rise in college costs is nearing a peak.

The cubist revolution, now in its eighth year, is thriving.

That's Minecraft cubes, of course.

The game where you build virtual Lego-like worlds and populate them with people, animals and just about everything in between is one of the most popular games ever made; it's second only to Tetris as the best-selling video game of all time. There's gold in them thar cubes: More than 120 million copies have sold since Minecraft launched in 2009.*

So what's behind the game's enduring appeal?

Betsy DeVos was back in western Michigan last week. It was her first public visit to the area where she grew up since being named education secretary. She visited a science-focused summer learning program and Grand Rapids Community College, and she met privately with superintendents from across the state.

Brian MacDonald was looking for a new home several years ago in the wealthy city of Pasadena, Calif. He says when he told the real estate agent that he had five school-aged children, she told him not to enroll in Pasadena's public schools.

That was pretty surprising to MacDonald. He's the school district's superintendent.

"Her recommendation was Arcadia, or even Glendora," two nearby cities, he says. "She thought that it was OK to tell me that I should put my kids in another district. I mean, I couldn't believe it. My jaw dropped."

LA Schools And Charters

Aug 6, 2017

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

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

For students starting medical school, the first year can involve a lot of time in a lecture hall. There are hundreds of terms to master and pages upon pages of notes to take.

But when the new class of medical students begins at the University of Vermont's Larner College of Medicine next week, a lot of that learning won't take place with a professor at a lectern.

The school has begun to phase out lectures in favor of what's known as "active learning" and plans to be done with lectures altogether by 2019.

The Justice Department confirms it is looking into a complaint that accuses Harvard University of discriminating against Asian-American applicants. The probe raises questions about whether college admission policies in general may come under scrutiny by the Trump Administration.

A coalition of more than 60 organizations accuses Harvard of holding Asian-American applicants to higher standards than black and Latino applicants.

Swan Lee of Brookline is an organizer of the coalition.

HELAINE HICKSON

Foxconn, one of the world's largest electronics manufacturers, has signed a memo of understanding with Governor Walker for a $10 billion factory in southeastern Wisconsin.

UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone says the university can play a major role in providing skilled graduates to that and other companies planning an expansion in the state.

Also, the chancellor discusses how the leadership team has been working this summer to develop actions for strategic opportunities developed by university wide teams.

If you've ever driven south into Kansas on Interstate 35, past rolling prairies and wheat fields, eventually you'll run into the town of Emporia, population 25,000 and home to the National Teachers Hall of Fame.

I took that drive recently, curious about what I would find but also wondering, why Emporia?

"Why not Emporia?" asks Jennifer Baldwin, the administrative assistant of the National Teachers Hall of Fame.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

A legal motion the Department of Education filed yesterday could have big ramifications for half a million teachers, social workers, police officers and other public servants. The motion asserts that there has been no final decision on whether these people will have their student debt forgiven, as they had believed.

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