Education

Kenneth Starr, known for leading an investigation of President Bill Clinton, says he has resigned as Baylor University's chancellor.

The private Texas university has been rocked by an independent report that found the university mishandled allegations of sexual harassment and assault. Last week, the university stripped Starr of the presidency and suspended head football coach Art Briles.

courtesy Paul Tough

Education writer Paul Tough attracted a lot of attention for his 2012 book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. In that book, Tough traveled around the country and visited children from a variety of demographic backgrounds, and in a variety of life circumstances to learn the commonalities that led to success.

What made Mozart great? Or Bobby Fischer? Or Serena Williams?

The answer sits somewhere on the scales of human achievement. On one side: natural talent. On the other: hard work. Many would argue that success hangs in some delicate balance between them. But not Anders Ericsson.

It was a year ago, that Zashonda Alexander celebrated her oldest daughter's graduation from eighth grade.

High hopes turned into anxiety, though, after Alexander found out that her daughter, Junta, tested positive for lead poisoning. Tests for lead in the family's home proved negative, says Alexander, and she believes the culprit may be the drinking water at Tanner Elementary, a school on Chicago's South Side.

Attacks on the press carry a long and distinguished lineage in the rhetoric of American political campaigns.

Donald Trump, however, is a natural, a true once-in-a-generation talent. Even though he relies on media exposure more than most to make his case, Trump appears intent on further degrading a press already undermined by changes to the industry and a steep drop in public esteem.

Backed into a corner over questions about his efforts to raise money for veterans groups, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee on Tuesday came out swinging at a press conference.

Gilbert Sargent is a jolly, loquacious 74-year-old. For nearly everybody in the small suburb of Versailles, Ky., he goes by "Sarge."

For 25 years, Sarge has been working on and off as a school bus driver. Today he drives for Woodford County Public Schools, a district just outside Lexington. Sarge was meant to drive a school bus, he says, because of his love for children.

He drives bus No. 7.

2:35 p.m. Sarge heads out for his first afternoon pickup at Simmons Elementary School.

Just across the train tracks from U.S. Route 321, in the town of North, S.C., nestled among mobile homes covered with red roses, sits the one-story brick campus of North Middle/High School.

Robert Gordon strides forward in the school's entryway to shake my hand. He's slim, dressed neatly in khakis, loafers and a striped polo shirt, with a pleather portfolio under one arm.

"It's been a stressful morning," he says, explaining that one middle school boy stabbed another with a pencil.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Mel Atkins has spent most of his life with Grand Rapids Public Schools in Michigan. He graduated from Ottawa Hills High, where he played baseball. But his real love was bowling. He says he's bowled 22 perfect games.

He's been a teacher and principal in the city's public schools. And now he works for the district, overseeing just about everything related to students.

One more thing you need to know about him: Mel Atkins is a number-cruncher.

Three years ago, the superintendent came to him with a question: Does Grand Rapids have an issue with chronic absenteeism?

On San Jose State University's lush inner-city campus, students in their graduation gowns pose with their families in front of ivy-covered buildings.

They're the lucky ones.

Just 10 percent of students graduate from this public university in four years. After six years, it's only a bit more than half.

Think about that — of 100 students who enrolled four years ago, only 10 will walk across the stage this year.

That sounds low, but you can find these kind of numbers at lots of universities in the U.S.

UW System

Gov. Scott Walker came under fire by UW System administrators and others last year, after his proposed biennial budget suggested altering the mission of the UW System.

For more than 100 years, the Wisconsin Idea has been in place. The mission, which is described in state statutes, says, in part, that the public university system must "extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campuses." The statement also says that inherent in the UW System's mission is "public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition."

The Kansas Supreme Court has rejected lawmakers' attempt to fix the state's education-funding problem. The court has said that schools will have to close if the Legislature does not correct inequity in the system by the end of June.

After reviewing the lawmakers' changes, the justices concluded, "Disparities among the districts remain inequitable and unconstitutional."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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