Education

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.

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Giving Matters: Kurn Hattin Provides Space For Kids

Jun 28, 2014

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.

alamosbasement / Flickr/CC

The original legislation to allow charters schools in New Hampshire passed way back in 1995, but it would take another ten years before the first of these publically funded independent learning facilities was opened.  Since then charter school have had their ups and downs in the state: many had a hard time getting off the ground, a few had to close their doors, some have been criticized for not being alternative enough from their public school counterparts. There was even a moratorium on new facilities for two years.

Empowering Kids At The Boys And Girls Club

May 16, 2014

The Boys and Girls Club is more than a place to simply do homework or hang out with friends. Brittany Wheeler joined the Concord chapter four years ago, during her first year of high school. The club fosters a sense of community among the participants of its after-school program. As Wheeler says, it’s a place where kids “can feel safe after school and not get into trouble.”

Charlotte Albright for VPR

Every three, four, and five-year-old  in Vermont will be eligible for state-subsidized preschool, under new legislation  that Governor Shumlin has promised to sign into law. Many school districts already offer early education programs, but they vary widely in structure and quality. So a lot of details have to be worked out as the state sews together what is now a patchwork of programs.  

Cloudtail via flickr Creative Commons

Have a taste for variety? From human-like bonobos to beauty pageants, we offer the variety you crave. Join us for our Tuesday show and share comments and suggestions on Twitter and Facebook! (Praise also welcome).

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

Via UNH website

A 2013 report says 3,095 international students pursued higher education in New Hampshire; that was up 6.3 percent from the previous year. That report also estimates the foreign student expenditure in the state at $103 million dollars. To get an idea about the trend and what it means for schools both here and nationally, I spoke with Karin Fischer, a senior writer at the Chronicle of Higher Education. She covers international education issues.  

A construction company and school officials say the new elementary school in Unity, New Hampshire, is expected to open Sept. 2.

The project had been delayed due to various problems. Earlier this year, residents approved a $2.75 million bond to complete it.

The Eagle Times reports Ron Bauer, executive vice president of Trumbull-Nelson, the construction company, said things are on track. He said most of the dry wall is now up, framing changes have been completed and installation of windows should be done at the end of the week.

Certifying Teachers In The North Country

Apr 19, 2014

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.

Belmont Students Aim To Change 'Red Raider' Mascot

Apr 17, 2014

Three Belmont High School students are taking on an issue few adults would tackle these days.

Student Council members Andre Bragg, Taylor Becker and Ashley Fenimore led a forum Wednesday night where they asked the community to consider whether the school’s mascot – “Red Raider” – was offensive to Native Americans.

The issue came up recently in a Social Studies class and the Council thought the question was significant enough to begin a public dialog.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The former superintendent of the Manchester School District has died following a cancer diagnosis made just weeks after stepping down from the post last year.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Voters in the town of Newmarket have turned down a controversial new school building.  The $45 million dollar new school would have replaced the existing junior and senior high school, part of which is 90 years old.

Newmarket Principal Christopher Andriski  says the building isn't modern enough to accomodate what he calls "twenty-first century learning." It also violates fire and safety codes, as well as requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Andriski says he’s disappointed with the results:

EasternMennoniteUniversity / Flickr Creative Commons

We finish a two-part series on the teaching profession, with a look at how we prepare our teachers.  After criticism claiming credentialing standards in the U.S. are lax, many states, including New Hampshire, are trying to raise the bar and turn out more qualified teachers. Some say more in-classroom experience is key. But there are challenges to such changes, including the expense.  

GUESTS:

rbcullen / Flickr Creative Commons

Today, defining a good teacher has become far more complex than we might remember from our own schooldays. Many states now rely on student test scores as a major way to assess teacher quality, while others also use classroom observations, student evaluations, and lesson plan reviews. Backers of tougher assessments argue that since U.S. students as a whole are lagging behind other industrialized nations, something needs to be done.  But others worry that these data-driven judgments diminish what’s really important:  teachers using their skills and creativity to engage with students .

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

The House Education committee continued a hearing Thursday on legislation that would require New Hampshire to pull the plug on implementing the Common Core standards.

Keene State College president Anne Huot says her focus since starting in the position last summer has been on listening – hearing what’s been on the minds of students, faculty and staff, business and community leaders and public officials.

Anne Huot joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson to talk about some of what she’s heard and what she hopes to bring to Keene State in the coming years.

Esther Vargas via flickr Creative Commons

Today on Word of Mouth, we take a trip to the land of Trebek for a lesson on Jeopardy theory. And who doesn't love a good Netflix binge? But what if that Netflix binge takes a year and a half and covers 20 years worth of episodes? We hear from the man who watched 456 episodes of Law & Order to document the use of computers in the show.

Next, we head over to Sad YouTube, a project meant to highlight humanity in a sea of negative YouTube comments.

Our last two segments bring us back to reality. First, a look at sexism in the Philosophy department of University of Colorado-Boulder. And finally, NHPR's Amanda Loder visits the NH ski club of a US Olympian. 


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