Education

To Test Your Fake News Judgment, Play This Game

Jul 3, 2017

Fake news has been on Maggie Farley's mind further back than 2016 when President Trump brought the term into the vernacular.

Farley, a veteran journalist, says we've had fake news forever and that "people have always been trying to manipulate information for their own ends," but she calls what we're seeing now "Fake news with a capital F." In other words, extreme in its ambition for financial gain or political power.

"Before, the biggest concern was, 'Are people being confused by opinion; are people being tricked by spin?' " Now, Farley says, the stakes are much higher.

About exactly a year ago we brought you the story of Shawn Sheehan, Oklahoma's 2016 Teacher of the Year.

At the time, he and about 40 other educators were running for office in the state, wanting to make a change because, as Sheehan puts it, lawmakers weren't prioritizing education. Funding for schools in the state has been cut tremendously over the past decade and teachers in Oklahoma are some of the lowest paid in the country.

Hello and welcome to our weekly education news roundup.

DeVos "presses pause" on for-profit college regulation

Two weeks ago, we reported that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was rolling back the "gainful employment" rule intended to rein in for-profit colleges. On Friday, she took a further step back.

Summer Reading For The College-Bound

Jun 30, 2017

Madison Catrett, 18, grew up in south Georgia — in a town about 30 miles from Tallahassee. Her high school was mostly white, Christian, and conservative — a place "where education is not as important as football," says Catrett.

She's bound for Duke University in the fall — and she's a little nervous to go somewhere new, somewhere so different from her hometown.

Luckily, she and other Duke freshmen have a built-in conversation starter: the reading they've all been assigned — Richard Blanco's Prince of Los Cocuyos.

Jon Strelecki

If you’re one of those people who like to play video games, you have a lot of company.

It’s estimated more than 150 million Americans play video games. Worldwide nearly 2 billion people make those games a part of their lives.

When Trayvon McKoy moved to Washington, D.C., from Maryland about two years ago, he'd never played drums before in his life. Then, when he enrolled at Ballou High School, he says he didn't have much choice.

"I didn't even want to be in the band. My parents forced me." They also played in the band at Ballou when they were students here. "And it's probably one of the best things that's probably ever happened to me," he says.

Rachel Morello

What do you want to be when you grow up? Gender might determine what images come to kids’ minds.

So many fields are dominated by one gender or another that Wisconsin has a name for this trend: “non-traditional occupations.” Those are fields that employ 25 percent or less of one gender. The state keeps track, and publishes a list every few years.

Leaders at schools like MATC say it’s their mission to shorten that list.

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Alex Groth

It's summer and yet a group of girls have opted to spend time in classroom and labs in Milwaukee, to study engineering.

Statistically, some of them will face challenges in becoming engineers, but right now, members of this group are determined. 

One of the girls is Claire Kasier, an incoming freshman at Hamilton High School in Sussex. She says this environment is different than engineering classes at school. It's quieter.

"I think it's pretty cool, because in my tech class there were only five girls out of a class of 26," she says.

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Did you like this comic? Let us know! Email npred@npr.org.

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

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that taxpayer-funded grants for playgrounds available to nonprofits under a state program could not be denied to a school run by a church.

"The consequence is, in all likelihood, a few extra scraped knees. But the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and cannot stand," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority.

It's summer vacation season and many families will be lucky enough to be heading off for at least a few days. At least half of parents say quality time together is the most important reason to take a family vacation, according to a national survey by the rental car company Alamo.

Updated at 10:04 a.m. ET with Louisiana study

It is the education debate of the Trump era. With the president and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos using policy and the bully pulpit to champion private school vouchers, supporters and critics have tangled over the question:

Do low-income, public school students perform better when they're given a voucher to attend a private school?

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