Education

Chad Brown, WCTC

Update: President Trump has signed an executive order designed to expand apprenticeship opportunities across the country. 

Growing up, Kelly Jenkins spent his spare time playing sports. He was an all-star player on the baseball team at his school in the mountains of east Tennessee. And sometimes, he wore lipstick to practice.

As he grew up, Jenkins felt like he wanted to become a teacher.

"Everybody told me it was a horrible idea," Jenkins remembers. "They said, 'Nobody will ever hire you as a transgender woman.' "

Waylon Faulkner, a 12-year-old from Jersey City, N.J., is headed off to a sleepaway camp in upstate New York this summer.

By 2025, two million jobs will be unfilled because U.S. companies won’t be able to find the skilled labor they need. Many of these jobs provide a middle-class salary — some pay six figures annually — and don’t require a four-year-degree.

Neuroscience isn't on many elementary school lesson plans. But this spring, a second grade class at Fairmont Neighborhood School in the South Bronx is plunging in.

Sarah Wechsler, an instructional coach with wide eyes and a marathoner's energy, asks the students to think about the development and progress that they've made already in their lives.

The opportunity to go to college for free is more available than ever before. States and cities, in the last year especially, have funded programs for students to go to two-year, and in some cases, four-year, schools.

Tennessee has taken the idea one step further. Community college is already free for graduating high school students. Now Tennessee is first state in the country to offer community college — free of charge — to almost any adult.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Hello, and welcome to another excitement-filled edition of our weekly news roundup!

Questions about federal law and discrimination for DeVos

On Tuesday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appeared before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, and Democrats pounded her with questions about civil rights protections, particularly for LGBTQ students and those with disabilities. After facing similar questions in a House subcommittee appearance last month, DeVos this time took a new tack, repeating the same answer at least 14 times:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made it clear, appearing before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Tuesday, that she sees no connection between school funding and school performance. As evidence, she criticized the Obama Administration's $7 billion grant program to improve struggling schools, an effort that yielded no significant impacts in test scores or graduation rates.

The Medical College of Wisconsin hopes a big gift to the institution helps it establish new methods of training doctors. The money will be used to create a new curriculum that a half dozen schools across the country will adopt. The College is getting $38 million from the Kern Foundation.

The school will use the funds to create the Kern Institute. Its goal will be to determine how to best educate students in the art of compassionate care.

“More on the integrated aspect of how we relate to each other as people and how physicians relate to their patients." 

Jon Strelecki

For many years, the City of Racine has struggled with a high rate of infant mortality.

At one time Racine’s black infants died nearly 4 times more often than white infants. While there has been improvement, today if you are a black mother in that city - your infant is still 3 times more likely to die before their first birthday when compared to that of a white infant.

According to the latest Pew Research data, college graduation rates are up for Americans in nearly every racial and ethnic group.

Last year, former President Barack Obama spoke about how crucial this is for the U.S. economy.

In the West African country of Burkina Faso, nearly 50 percent of children do not attend school. The reported cost of getting them there would be close to $182 million, and yet the small, francophone country received only $17 million in education aid in 2012.

This comes from a new policy paper released this week by UNESCO's Global Education Monitoring Report, which found that the countries most in need of education funds aren't getting them.

Rachel Morello

For kids, the school day has traditionally started with homeroom or morning announcements. But a few Milwaukee schools are trying something different: they call it “morning motivation.”

The goal at Stellar Collegiate, a brand-new charter school on the city’s south side, is to turn every student into a “morning person.”

Over and over again, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos deflected a barrage of pointed questions with one answer:

"Schools that receive federal funds must follow federal law."

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