Education

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Invented Languages: Klingon and Beyond

“I wanted to start teaching this course because I wanted a way to engage students in linguistics without having to actually teach them linguistics.  I wanted a kind of pop-culture back road into linguistics.  Also I’m a huge Star Trek fan.”

Ed Yourdon via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/bcz7De

Last month’s announcement that the U.S. and Cuba will restore diplomatic relations sparked waves of speculation about what the thaw means for diplomacy, trade, and tourism. On today’s show: what normalized relations mean for Cuba’s internet infrastructure.  

And we usher in awards season by going off the red carpet. We’ll celebrate some of the best films of 2014 that were not nominated for a Golden Globe.

Plus, we kick off a new series on offbeat college courses, The Uncommon Core. Today: Invented Languages: Klingon and Beyond.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

danagoldstein.com

A new book explores the tumultuous history of public education: from racial integration, to unions and teacher-tenure, to standardized tests and charter schools. We’re sitting down with writer Dana Goldstein to discuss why the profession has long been so fraught, and how it’s affected the schooling of our kids. 

GUESTS:

The Kurn Hattin Homes for Children was established in 1894 for children whose families are not able to care for them. Lyssa Jackson was such a child, born to parents with mental illness. “I lived with my mother until I was about eight and at that point, I wasn’t going to school very often. My mother was keeping out of school because she was not feeling secure with my teachers because of her own internal issues.”

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

This is the second of two stories about  New Hampshire’s Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, (VLACS) New Hampshire’s statewide online charter school. To read the first, click here.

Pauline Landrigan, an English teacher with VLACS, is touching base with one of her students, Siri Condike.

“Are you going to be together with family in a couple of days?” asks Landrigan.

“No actually I’m going to be working,” Condike responds.

VLACS By The Numbers

Dec 18, 2014
Sara Plourde / NHPR

Good Gig: Professional Science Geek Howard Eglowstein

Dec 17, 2014

Good Gig is a series of conversations with individuals who have landed their dream job.

Howard Eglowstein’s Good Gig involves working to encourage girls in the computer science and math areas for a company called Science Buddies.  They give kids ideas and guidance for science fair projects that deviate from the well-trod robotics and erupting volcano paths. Howard’s background in tinkering started with toy making, but he's always been a creator.

Three Manchester school board members have resigned from the board’s student conduct committee, protesting a decision by school officials to allow a student accused of assault back into school.

The five-member subcommittee was in the process of deciding whether to expel the student.

That’s when committee member Art Beaudry says district administrators circumvented the process, recommending to the full board last month the student be allowed to return.

The board approved that recommendation, leading Beaudry and two others to step down from the committee on Monday.

We’re talking with author Goldie Blumenstyk about her new book on the so-called “crisis” in American Higher Education. Blumenstyk  says given rising costs, student debt, and doubts about the value of a degree, crisis is a fair description -- but she also sees some exciting examples of campus innovations that may get us out of our College conundrum.

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The North Country Teacher Certification Program is a collaboration between Plymouth State University and White Mountains Community College. The program aims to increase the number of highly qualified teachers in the North Country. 

Amelia Alton was a pre-school teacher with more than 20 years of experience, who wanted to be a classroom teacher, “I always wanted to try my hand at the first and second grade level. But, I needed a different certification.” In 2010, with the help of the NCTCP, Alton went back to college and received her certification.

New federal science education standards adopted in Vermont require that students learn about climate change. So teachers are starting to create lesson plans with hands-on activities about weather patterns.

Some are getting that training deep in the woods of the Northeast Kingdom.

Brad Flickinger / Flickr/CC

As laptops, iPads, and smartphones become commonplace in kids’ lives at home and school, parents are increasingly uneasy about where to set limits, or even what counts as 'screen time.' We’ll talk about that, and then also another conundrum of the digital age: whether taking time to teach kids handwriting and cursive in school still has value.

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Geoff Forester, NHPR (file photo)

There's been no shortage of high-profile debates over the school system in New Hampshire's largest city.

In recent years there have been concerns about class sizes, academic standards and funding, to name just a few. And this week the Manchester Education Association voted against a proposed four year labor contract with the city.

Why Do So Few Americans Learn A Second Language?

Sep 28, 2014
Foreign Language @ TNCC / Flickr/CC

Even as the world becomes more globalized, and most Americans agree that learning a second language is desirable, the majority never do learn a second language beyond the requisite couple years of high school. Today we’ll look at some of the arguments for moving toward a more multilingual society, and some of the barriers to achieving that.

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We’re back in school again, and back at the polls. Seemed like a good time to listen back to this conversation on the Exchange from 2009. Laura spoke with a few members of a newly appointed task force to examine the state of civics education in NH.

Melanie Holtsman / Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Department of Education has rejected the Manchester School District’s request to opt-out of a new standardized test to be given this spring. In a letter to the school district, Education Commissioner Virginia Barry writes that if Manchester doesn’t administer the Smarter Balanced exam, it could lose nearly $17 million in federal education funds.

The Portland Public School Department plans to launch an online program this year. The district is trying to get a slice of the virtual school pie as it faces competition for students — and funding. But some educators remain skeptical of yet another online option. Portland officials say it's an important — and innovative — option for students.

The first day of school is a busy one for Portland Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk. He rides his bike to district schools to personally welcome students back.

Sheep photo: Roger Davies via flickr Creative Commons/Modification: Logan Shannon / NHPR

As college kids move back to campus, one Ivy League insider says that elite universities aren’t producing independent thinkers, but high functioning sheep. On today’s show: the downside of being among the best and the brightest. Then, we’ll find out what happens when an innocent college prank turns into a full-blown Wikipedia hoax five years later. Plus, a look at some of the best books coming out this month.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


yalepress.yale.edu

As college costs soar, many see a more vocational higher education as the best way to make the price tag worth it. Others, though, argue in favor of a broad-based education based on critical thinking and intellectual inquiry, rather than strict job preparation. We’re sitting down with Wesleyan University President Michael Roth about his new book "Beyond the University: Why A Liberal Education Matters."

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Four New Charter Schools Set To Open In New Hampshire

Aug 25, 2014
Mountain Village Charter School

Most students across New Hampshire return to school this week, including students at Mountain Village Charter School in Plymouth. The school is one of the state’s four new charter schools opening this fall.

The actual building for Mountain Village Charter School is still under construction. So for the first week, the school’s 38 elementary students will be outside.

Teachers lead the students through a Swahili song and have them bark like dogs - mostly as a way to start the school year on a fun note.

Plymouth State Drops SAT And ACT Scores For Applicants

Aug 22, 2014

Students applying to Plymouth State University will no longer be required to submit SAT and ACT scores.

The University has decided to step away from the standardized tests, and put more emphasis on a student's high school GPA. Andrew Palumbo, Plymouth's Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management, says the GPA is simply a better measure of how prepared a student is for college.

What's Next For Common Core In N.H.?

Aug 6, 2014
Thomas Favre-Bulle / Flickr/CC

We look at the Common Core and how these new education standards are being met with enthusiasm, confusion, and protest. While some states have rejected the Common Core, others are moving forward. We will get an update on this issue, including in New Hampshire, where several districts may take their own approach.

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Philippe Put via Flickr CC

For years, the fact that classical music helps little brains grow and develop has been common knowledge. It appears in books about raising kids, comes from other parents, and spurs sales of CDs with names like “Bach For Babies.” But is it actually solid advice? We spoke with Jayson Greene who wrote the article “Mozart Makes You Smarter…And Other Dubious Musical Theories." He says no, it isn’t.

gcaserotti via Flickr CC

With their shaven heads, combat boots and bomber jackets, neo-Nazis used to be pretty easy to pick out of a crowd. Today, not so much. We explore why Europe’s young hyper-nationalists are opting for a more hipster look. Plus, common sense tells us that reading to children is good for them, but it’s more powerful than you might imagine. We’ll look into the practice of interactive reading and share tricks for bringing up book worms in the age of screens and digital devices. And, not all princesses are polite and demure. We remember some princesses for their bad behavior.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


Why Law Schools Are Facing An Enrollment Problem

Jul 3, 2014
MiraCosta Community College / Flickr Creative Commons

After years of a so-called “lawyer bubble”, with firms expanding rapidly – these days, many new graduates struggle to get a job in the legal profession.  In response, law school enrollment numbers are plummeting, leading some to scale back their operations and many to re-think the best way to deliver that juris doctorate.

GUESTS:

Kurn Hattin Homes for Children was established in 1894 for children whose families are not able to care for them. Lyssa Jackson was such a child, born to parents with mental illness. “I lived with my mother until I was about eight and at that point, I wasn’t going to school very often. My mother was keeping me out of school because she was not feeling secure with my teachers because of her own internal issues.”

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The end of the school year in Nashua marks the end of the line for an after school program that organizers say was vital for the city’s middle school students.

Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

The University of New Hampshire says close to 3,400 first-year students are entering the school this fall — its largest incoming class ever.

This year's first-year class saw an increase of 7 percent in the number of in-state students over last year, up to over 1,400. President Mark Huddleston says UNH attributes that at least partially to the restoration of state funding that allowed the school to freeze in-state tuition for two years.

Previously, the largest class to enter the university was in 2006 with 3,079 students.

The first day of classes is Sept. 2.

The community college in Concord, New Hampshire, has a new president.

Susan Dunton's experience in college administration, academic affairs and student services spans three decades at Lesley College, the Harvard Divinity School and Fisher College in the Boston area; Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee; and Fontbonne University in St. Louis.

She has worked on forming partnerships between community college and four-year research and technical institutions and developed academic programs for workforce needs.

Woodley Wonderworks via Flickr CC

Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed into law a bill calling for every 3- and 4-year-old in Vermont to have access to at least 10 hours a week of publicly funded, pre-kindergarten education.

Backers of the bill say it will add about $10 million a year in costs to the state's Education Fund by 2021. But they say the measure will save much more in the long run because many of the children will be given a good enough educational start that special education and corrections costs will be reduced.

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