Education

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was booed and heckled in Florida today while she gave the commencement address at a historically black university.

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Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

Betsy DeVos spoke through waves of boos and shouted protests during her commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University on Wednesday, delivering a celebratory address with what seemed at times to be grim-faced resolve.

On a back street in Osaka, the sound of schoolchildren floats out of Tsukamoto Kindergarten. A cuckoo clock and a stand of bamboo sit in front of the school building's orange facade — and Astro Boy, a cartoon figure, looks down from a window.

From its exterior, there's no visible sign that the school is at the center of a scandal on which the leader of Japan has staked his political future.

The school's owner is accused of using his relationship with Japan's first family to secure a plot of land for a new, right-wing primary school at a massive discount.

Fifty thousand signatures on protest petitions. Calls on the president of the university to resign. People on Twitter saying they're mailing back their degrees.

MPS

This week, schools in Milwaukee across the country are honoring their educators as part of Teacher Appreciation Week.

When Ted Komada started teaching 14 years ago, he says he didn't know how to manage a classroom and was struggling to connect with students.

He noticed a couple of days after school that a group of kids would get together to play chess. "I said, 'I know how to play chess. Let me go show these kids how to do it.'"

So he went across the hall and did nothing, he says, but lose game after game. "And that's when I remember being like, 'Oh, there's knowing how the pieces move, and there's playing chess.'"

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

His death was initially ruled an accident. But a grand jury that looked into the case of Timothy Piazza, a Penn State University student who died after a night of excessive drinking in February, is now calling it "the direct result of encouraged reckless conduct."

When You're Not Quite Sure If Your Teacher Is Human

May 8, 2017

A couple of years ago, Ashok Goel was overwhelmed by the number of questions his students were asking in his course on artificial intelligence.

Goel teaches computer science at Georgia Tech, sometimes to large classes, where students can ask thousands of questions online in a discussion forum.

With a limited number of teaching assistants, or TAs, many of those questions weren't getting answered in time. So, Goel came up with a plan: make an artificial intelligence "teaching assistant" that could answer some of students' frequently asked questions.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The rest of the country may be talking about health care this week, but you must be a die-hard education fan. NPR Ed has just the weekly news roundup you need. And, actually, we do have a health care note.

Health care bill would cut assistance to special education students

eggsinitiative.org

There is no question that a gender gap exists in the science and engineering fields in this country.  Despite survey data that shows almost three-quarters of girls in middle school have an interest in science, math or engineering, fewer than a third of women graduating from college seek careers in those fields.

Elmo and Big Bird have lots of experience teaching children everything from the ABCs to autism. Soon, they could be bringing smiles — and education — to millions of refugee children forced from their homes in Syria, Iraq and other war-torn countries.

It was in a school in the South Bronx a few weeks ago that I first heard about the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. The TV show, released at the end of March and based on a best-selling young adult novel, depicts a teenager who kills herself. She experiences sexual assault, cyberbullying and inadequate responses from adults, and she leaves messages for the classmates and others whom she holds responsible for her suicide.

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