Education

On a rainy Saturday morning in June, 17-year-old Sarah Choudhury showed up bright and early at her SAT testing center in the town of Lagrangeville in upstate New York. This was her last chance to raise her score before applying for early admission to highly competitive premed programs in the fall.

As she was taking the test, she says, "chaos" struck. There was a discrepancy between the time allotted in the student test booklet for one of the sections, 25 minutes, and the proctor's instructions, just 20 minutes.

A fourth-floor balcony gave way during a party in northern California late last night, killing at least six exchange students in a building close to the University of California, Berkeley. Seven other people were injured, some of them seriously.

college.library, flickr

The battle over Wisconsin’s tenure law will soon be waged in the state Assembly and Senate. Gov. Walker proposed eliminating the law in the budget he handed legislators. 

The Republican majority on the Joint Finance Committee agreed and will soon send its plan to the full Legislature. Tenure is the longstanding practice of offering job protection to university professors. Wisconsin is the only state where tenure is written into law.

Peanut butter and jelly. Abbott and Costello. New Orleans and marching bands.

Some things are inseparable.

The city best known for hot jazz is a wellspring of talented musicians. Where do they all come from? Oftentimes it's great teachers — like Sam Venable, the band director at Langston Hughes Academy, a middle school on Trafalgar Street.

Hear the story of great teaching at the top of the page. You can also hear this clip of Venable playing at his grandmother's 90th birthday:

At around midday Monday at High Tech High School in North Bergen, N.J., about 40 students are crammed into a small classroom, anxiously waiting for Kendrick Lamar to walk into the room.

In his State of the Union address in January, President Obama had some sure-fire applause lines: "More of our kids are graduating than ever before" and "Our high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high."

Which raised some interesting questions: "Is that really true?" and "Why?" and "How do we know?" and "So what?"

A seed was planted that grew into our project this week examining that number. Our reporting shows many of the individual stories behind a single statistic: 81 percent, the current U.S. graduation rate.

We have an update on a story we reported yesterday.

The NPR Ed Team's investigation into high school graduation rates found that many states and school districts are using questionable, quick fixes to improve their grad rates.

At the top of that list was Chicago.

Jon Strelecki

There is a lot of buzz in Milwaukee about innovation and entrepreneurship.

Recently, UWM Today featured UWM students involved in getting ready to launch their own products into the marketplace through the Student Startup Challenge.

Now the good work that is taking place on this front has been recognized by the National Science Foundation. It has just awarded one of its prestigious Innovation Corps grants to UWM and four other local academic institutions.

We English-speakers take a perverse pride in the orneriness of our spelling, which is one reason why the spelling bee has been a popular entertainment since the 19th century. It's fun watching schoolchildren getting difficult words right. It can be even more entertaining to watch literate adults getting them wrong.

A little more than 10 years ago, Texas banned soda machines and deep fryers in public school cafeterias.

Now the state's current agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller, wants to do away with that ban. He believes these kinds of restrictions should be in the hands of local school boards — not state regulators. But some students are among those who aren't happy about this idea.

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