Education

loveiswritten via Flickr Creative Commons

Statistically speaking, American foster children face a steep uphill battle. A 2010 study showed nearly 25 percent of foster care children end up homeless at some point after exiting the system, and teen girls in foster care were more likely to become pregnant than to get adopted. One fledgling foster care experiment has done away with the foster family system in favor of a mutually supportive group-home. The San Pasqual Academy is a $14 million dollar nonprofit based in San Diego that houses 180 foster kids. Natasha Vargas-Cooper is a freelance journalist who wrote about San Pasqual for Pacific Standard.

Part of the effort to curb child obesity in the US has been to rethink vending machines – in particular, those offering sugary drinks at schools. The theory is that students make healthier choices when they have healthier options in front of them.

And new research from Dartmouth College shows the contents of those machines are changing – less sugar, more bottled water. But not every school is changing in the same way.

New Hampshire is among some forty states to adopt this more rigorous set of standards for math and language arts in public schools. But just as this bi-partisan effort becomes reality, the system is facing some backlash from both the right and left. We’ll find out more about Common Core and the challenges it faces getting off the ground.

Guests:

Cheryl Senter

The Great Bay Stewards work to preserve and protect the Great Bay estuary through education, land protection and research. Sharon Musselman, one of the educators, is recently a retired teacher who often brought her own classes here to explore this ecosystem.

"I'm excited to be here at Great Bay Discover center," Musselman said. "I brought my first grade class to Great Bay for 15 years because it is such a great experience for first graders."

lernstift.com

People often lament that handwriting is a lost art. But if the creators of a new educational tool have their way, calligraphy will never die out completely. The Lernstift – or “learning pen”– is a working computerized pen which uses vibration to help improve handwriting, and is projected to go into production this fall.   Word of Mouth’s Molly Donahue spoke with Daniel Kaesmacher who helped develop the Lernstift, to learn a little bit more about it.

California University of Pennsylvania via Flickr Creative Commons

Most people’s understanding of the economy comes from the explanations given by economic experts on the evening news. This may be supplemented by a vaguely remembered college course called ‘Econ 101,’ where we learned the most basic principles behind economics. These simplified explanations may help people to feel as though they understand what is happening in the marketplace, but are they an accurate description of economic theory? Robert Atkinson and Michael Lind think not.

Michael Lind co-wrote the article, “Econ 101 Is Killing America,” for Salon.com. He’s here to discuss why a basic understanding of economic theory may actually hurt more than it helps.

Ellingwood

The Cornucopia Project teaches kids to grow food -- and to make a lifetime of healthy eating choices. Susan Ellingwood and her third-graders in Dublin are old hands in their school garden -- which was established with help from the Cornucopia Project.

Courtesy of The Raymond Coalition

The Raymond Coalition for Youth is committed to helping kids make healthy choices and form positive habits. Through its "Youth Action" program, the Coalition empowers teenagers, like Kirsten Roman, to involve themselves in community outreach. "I was really interested in helping out the community more, and to help my peers make good choices," says Roman. "We focus on positive choice: not doing drugs or alcohol; eating healthy and exercising."

This is a time of year when educators and students are turning their minds toward graduation or summer plans.

In Exeter, though, many people are focusing on something more troubling: three teachers at Exeter High School have been accused of misconduct. All three have resigned, including one of them today.

avinash1936 via Flickr/Creative Commons

All week, NHPR Education reporter Sam Evans Brown has been looking at a massive transition underway the Granite State, a new set of school standards known as the Common Core.  Educators nationwide have been shifting toward this new system. We’ll find out kind of discussions are taking place at our local schools among teachers, principals and students. 

Guests

Taking Stock of STEM

Jun 3, 2013
Shyam Subramanian via Flickr Creative Commons

The subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math are all the rage these days among politicians, business and education leaders who say we need more emphasis on these subjects to compete globally. But others say we’re going overboard on STEM and that society benefits from a broader approach that includes the arts, communication, and critical thinking.

Guests:

Fred Kocher: President of the New Hampshire High Tech Council and founder and president of Kocher and Company, a marketing and communications firm.

By the 2014-2015 school year, the new Common Core State Standards are set to be in full effect.

  • What are the Common Core standards?
  • Where do they come from?
  • Why the push for new educational standards at all?
  • What arguments are critics making against it?
  • What exactly will change for students & teachers in the classroom?
  • How will the new standardized testing affect school curriculum?

In a week-long series, NHPR education reporter Sam Evans-Brown answers all these questions and more on the Common Core.

New Hampshire is among some forty states to adopt this more rigorous set of standards for math and language arts in public schools. But just as this bi-partisan effort becomes reality, the system is facing some backlash from both the right and left. We’ll find out more about Common Core and the challenges it faces getting off the ground.

Guests:

Cybrarian 77 via Flickr/Creative Commons

Professionals who dream of changing careers and becoming teachers have been doing so with the help of the Upper Valley Educators Institute since 1969.

candrews via Flickr Creative Commons

Junior high school can be an awkward, unsettling experience for anyone. Especially for teachers; imagine having survived it once, then witnesses cavorting teens finding their way over and over again. Jessica Lahey is an English, Latin, and Writing teacher at Crossroads Academy in Lyme, New Hampshire. She also writes about education and parenting for the New York Times and other publications, and on her blog, Coming of Age in the Middle. Her article, “A Dress-Code Enforcer’s Struggle for the Soul of the Middle-School Girl” was recently published in The Atlantic and she joins us to discuss the worry over dress codes and the chaotic middle years.

Tara R. via flickr Creative Commons

According to the Department of Education, the number of kids being homeschooled nearly doubled between 1999 and 2007. A large a majority of parents who choose this route, say they do it for religious or moral reasons. Now, the first generation to age out of the Christian homeschooling movement that first took root in the 1980’s are speaking out about their experiences. On the website Homeschoolers Anonymous, former homeschoolers blog about traumas suffered upon them by radical homeschooling. Michelle Goldberg, senior contributing writer for Newsweek and the Daily Beast, wrote about the topic earlier this month.

In 2009, Governor Lynch signed a law making it illegal to drop out before the age of eighteen. Last month, state officials touted a report ranking the state among those with the lowest dropout rates. But all is not rosy. There are certain areas where that number is a lot higher, especially in Manchester. We’ll look at what’s working and what’s not for our dropout rate.

Guests:

YES Prep Public Schools, via PRX

More people are going to college than ever before, but a lot of them aren't finishing. Low-income students, in particular, struggle to get to graduation. Only 9 percent complete a bachelor's degree by age 24. Why are so many students quitting, and what leads a few to beat the odds and make it through? In this documentary, American RadioWorks correspondent Emily Hanford introduces us to young people trying to break into the middle class, teachers trying to increase their chances and researchers investigating the nature of persistence.

Battling Bullying

Apr 10, 2013

Although long an unfortunate part of childhood, many feel it’s become more serious and more complicated, given expanded opportunities through the internet and social media.  But there’s also more scrutiny, tougher policies, and anti-bullying campaigns out in force.  We’ll get the latest from Granite Staters involved in this issue.

Guests:

Cheryl Senter / NHPR

At the Seacoast Science Center at Odiorne Point in Rye, visitors learn about the science and beauty of marine life and the Gulf of Maine. Myra Sallet is a 13-year-old volunteer who particularly likes working with younger kids who come to explore.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

A team of Nashua High School students is trying to create a bacteria-powered battery that runs off a composter. The team is one of 16 around the country that received up to 10-thousand-dollars in seed money from the Lemelson-MIT Program.

Andrew Tolland

Community college teachers demonstrated in Manchester this morning to highlight ongoing negotiations between school administrators and adjunct faculty. 

Around 15 teachers and supporters picketed in front of Manchester Community College to call attention to what they say is unfair treatment of part-time teachers by the Community College System of New Hampshire.

The adjuncts’ chief concerns are health insurance, job security, and compensation.

angelamaphone via flickr Creative Commons

In his first term, President Obama boosted Pell grants and reformed federal financial aid in hopes of increasing college access for low-income students.  Despite these efforts, there is another problem preventing the less privileged from getting an education – a disconnect between poor families, and the arcane bureaucracy surrounding the admissions process.

Sarah Carr is author of the new book Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America’s Children.”  An excerpt from that book featured in The Atlantic tells the story of one New Orleans high school’s efforts to bridge the admissions process gap.

After more than three decades working in higher public education, New Hampshire University System Chancellor Ed Mckay is stepping down this week. We’re talking to him about challenge during his term, as well as what awaits his successor.

Guest:

  • Ed MacKay - Chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire. Previously, he served in the office for 30 years - as vice chancellor, treasurer, and in senior capacities in budgeting and financial planning.

This week is Catholic Schools Week. For students in New Hampshire Catholic schools, that means some unusual classroom activities, from food drives to snowman making festivals.

For faculty, though, it’s a chance to reflect on the state of the school district – and some of the challenges it faces, from enrollment issues to school safety to teaching Catholic positions on social issues that may no longer be held by the majority of Americans.

A New Hampshire schoolteacher is one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year.

Heidi Welch is director of the music department at Hillsboro-Deering High School. She is one of just four nominees in the country for that award.

She talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about how she teaches literacy through music and how overcoming challenges growing up in Manchester helps her reach students who could benefit from joining band and chorus.

A State Senator is withdrawing plans for legislation that would amend the constitution to alter New Hampshire’s education funding formula.

State Senator Nancy Stiles says lawmakers already have enough on their plates this session, starting with crafting a two-year budget.

That’s part of the reason she is postponing for a year a proposal to change the state constitution to allow for targeted aid to needy school districts.

Stiles says putting the issue off until the 2014 session also gives lawmakers time to craft the right amendment.

Every year, more than a million kids drop out of school. Without a diploma, they will have a tough time succeeding. But the problem starts much earlier than high school. This hour, we'll ask the big question: What works? Originally Every year, more than a million kids drop out of school. Without a diploma, they will have a tough time succeeding. But the problem starts much earlier than high school. This hour, we'll ask the big question: What works?

A L via Flickr

The latest round of international testing shows mediocre results for American students, compared with many other countries.  Meanwhile, states including New Hampshire are adopting a more rigorous approach, and the Granite State is also considering more math coursework in high school. We’ll explore what’s in store for math students.

Guests:

Geoff Forester / NHPR

In the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, it’s only natural for New Hampshire residents to ask if our schools are safe.

State and local officials say they have made the right moves over the years to keep students and staff safe – but they say school safety is not a simple task.

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