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.


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.


  • 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.


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.

Wikimedia Commons

Imagine trying to learn astrophysics without using the word “light-year”. Or study biology without being able to say “photosynthesis”.  That’s the dilemma facing deaf students hoping to pursue careers in the sciences—where new terminology is being coined and communicated on a daily basis. 

N.H. Conference Tackles Need For More Tech Graduates

Nov 27, 2012

Representatives of New Hampshire’s community colleges, public universities and business community are gathering in Manchester Tuesday to discuss how to increase the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM graduates in New Hampshire.

Alexandre Lemieux via Credit Flikr Creative Commons

With E-book sales outpacing print books, the days of the heavyweight backpack are numbered. In New Hampshire, thirty-three public schools banded together to purchase E-books instead of textbooks. Producer Sam Evans-Brown finds out why public schools are making the switch now, and why the long wait.

Read and Listen to Sam's story here.

<a href="">gadgetdude </a> / flickr

New data released today shows New Hampshire students graduating with the highest debt loads in the nation. 

According to a report from the Institute for College Access and Success, the Class of 2011 averaged $32,440 in debt.

It’s the second year in a row New Hampshire has had the highest average load. 

Tara Payne with the NH Higher Education Assistance Foundation says the numbers send a signal to students and parents.

If there is one thing that the mobile-computing era has made clear, it's that kids love touch screens. Because those touch screens — smartphones, iPads, Kindles and the like — are an inevitable added distraction to the classroom, schools across the country are struggling to deal with the growing prevalence of the technology.

But a growing number of schools are embracing these hand-held, Internet-ready devices by creating policies that put them to use in the classroom.

James Sarmiento / Flickr

We continue our “Issue of the Week” election series…and today we find out where the candidates for Congress, Governor, and President stand on.. education. Though all agree on the importance of strong schools and universities, candidates part ways on how to achieve this aim.  We’ll take a look at how they plan to tackle the many educational challenges, from student debt to funding state universities. 


Danielle Curtis: Education reporter for the Telegraph of Nashua

Sam Evans-Brown: Education and environment reporter for NHPR

SanFranAnnie via Flickr Creative Commons

Tonight the country will get a chance to witness a quadrennial spectacle, the first of three presidential debates. There are many examples of debates that have shifted, even defined Presidential campaigns, sometimes, just because of a memorable turn of phrase.

The New Hampshire Board of Education recently announced a moratorium on aid to state-approved charter schools, a stunning development for their supporters. The state says there’s just no money there, raising questions about the future of this alternative source of public education in the Granite State. We'll look at what this may mean for the future of charter schools in New Hampshire.


Unicorns, Nessie, Big Foot...Oh My!

Sep 26, 2012
VeniceVandal via Flickr Creative Commons

A replica of Bigfoot, a display case dedicated to lake monsters, and the “mystery cat corner” are a few of the sights to see at Portland, Maine’s International Cryptozoology Museum. A little bit oddity, a little bit kitsch, it’s the type of place you might find by walking down a random alley... lucky for us, our adventurous producer Zach Nugent took that walk, and brings us this audio field trip.

The famous Patterson-Gimlin film:

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Concerned parents, teachers, and children held a rally in Manchester Saturday to protest the state of the Manchester school district. At least 200 people showed up to the rally at Veterans Memorial Park.

The event was organized by Citizens for Manchester Schools, a group formed in response to a budget shortfall that prompted the school district to lay off close to 150 teachers.

One of the group’s chief concerns is the burgeoning average class size in Manchester, with some classes reaching over 40 students.

Flikr Creative Commons / Herkie

A list of the top-ten most-read stories on and

New Hampshire is among many states seeking a waiver to the controversial federal education law, No Child Left Behind.  State officials recently submitted their plan to adopt new standards for students as well as teachers, while paying special attention to the lowest-performing schools. We’ll find out what’s being proposed, and what might be next.


Civics for Citizenship

Aug 29, 2012
adam (THEO) via Flickr Creative Commons

One goal of our schools is to prepare young people to become informed and engaged citizens. Yet there is growing concern that students are not being prepared to participate in democracy, to learn from the historical actions of American government, or – critically - to understand the U.S. Constitution. We’ll take a look at efforts to address this here in New Hampshire.


Matthew Paulson, via Flickr

This presentation was given at the Unitarian Universalist church in Peterborough, N.H. on August 5. The presentation will air on NHPR at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

From the Monadnock Summer Lyceum: