Every year more than one million students fail to graduate from high school on time. But we rarely explore what happens next. What are these students’ lives like 10, 20, even 40 years after they leave the classroom? Do they ever get a second chance?

An elementary school in Nashua is reminding parents and students that playing "tag" violates the school's longtime "no contact" rule for recess games.

A new report attempts to get to the bottom of why student debt is so high among New Hampshire colleges and universities.

The report’s conclusion?

There is no one single answer.

The report, commissioned by Granite State Management and Resources, cites several key reasons, including the lack of low-cost public colleges.

Research Brian Gottlob says New Hampshire also has a higher average income, which leads to families receiving less need-based aid.

University of New Hampshire

Television producer Marcy Carsey has given $20 million to her alma mater, the University of New Hampshire.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Today New Hampshire’s Education Commissioner Virginia Barry announced the winner of the 2014 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year award.

Joe Lee teaches social studies at Pinkerton Academy in Derry; he also coaches the school's golf and hockey teams, and serves as advisor to the China exchange program.

He spoke about the award and his job with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson.

Dan Pancamo via flickr Creative Commons

Those of us who went to public school in New Hampshire will likely recall hopping on the school bus for a visit to the Museum of Science in Boston or Sturbridge Village. For decades, schools have embraced field trips as positive and popular learning experiences.  Today, museums, cultural institutions and the American Association of School Administrators report a steep drop in the number of field trips, and more than half of American schools did away with learning excursions altogether in 2010.

But what are kids losing with the cutting of field trips? Jay Phillip Greene is endowed chair and head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Local Kids Stalk Birds Of Prey...For Science!

Sep 24, 2013

Here in Concord, flocks of fourth graders are boarding school buses to get a glimpse of something you definitely won’t see in a classroom: falcons.  Right now, birds of prey are migrating in massive numbers from their breeding grounds in the north to their wintering grounds down south. Independent producer Jack Rodolico met up with a group of kid scientists on a field trip at the Carter Hill apple orchard, and filed this report. 

Emily Hanford / American RadioWorks

Today's workers need more education and skills than ever before. But 39 million adults in the United States don't have even the most basic credential: a high school diploma. Many hope their ticket to a better job is passing a test called the GED. But critics say the test is too easy and hardly the equivalent of a high school education.

Emily Hanford / American RadioWorks

Researchers have long known the best way to learn is with a personal tutor. But tutoring is expensive. Providing the benefits of tutoring to everyone hasn't been possible. Now, experts say technology creates new ways for schools to customize education for each student.

N.H. High School Asks Parents To Join 'Molly' Conversation

Sep 12, 2013
tanjila via Flickr Creative Commons

A New Hampshire high school has sent out an email to parents asking them to talk to their children about the party drug "Molly," which has been linked to two college student deaths.

School officials said they have not seen any evidence of Molly, considered a slang reference to the drug Ecstasy, on campus at Pembroke Academy. But they said they want the parents of their 875 students to know more about the drug.

Indiana Public Media via Flickr Creative Commons

Like most touchy issues, few people agree on precisely how to cope with America’s public school system.  Proposed solutions for some failing districts include switching to charter schools, installing fresh leadership, stricter curriculum, and more.  Union City, New Jersey has defied the odds – once on the brink of being shut down, Union City has become a model district simply by going back to the basics, and sticking with them.  David L. Kirp, is a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and author of eighteen books on education and urban issues. His latest is Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America’s Schools.

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.


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."

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 He’s here to discuss why a basic understanding of economic theory may actually hurt more than it helps.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.