Education

U.S.
4:00 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

School District Owes $1 Billion On $100 Million Loan

Students leave Miramonte Elementary, in the Clovis Unified School District in Los Angeles. School districts across California have taken out loans requiring payments that far exceed the original loan amounts.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 3:10 pm

More than 200 school districts across California are taking a second look at the high price of the debt they've taken on using risky financial arrangements. Collectively, the districts have borrowed billions in loans that defer payments for years — leaving many districts owing far more than they borrowed.

In 2010, officials at the West Contra Costa School District, just east of San Francisco, were in a bind. The district needed $2.5 million to help secure a federally subsidized $25 million loan to build a badly needed elementary school.

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Energy
3:37 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Conflicts, Errors Revealed In Positive Fracking Study

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 5:52 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A University of Texas study that says hydraulic natural gas fracturing is safe has been withdrawn, and its author has retired and left the university. From Dallas, NPR's Wade Goodwyn has the story.

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Education
4:01 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

In One School, Planning For College Starts With $100

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 5:40 pm

In the Cleveland area, there's a plan to inspire kids to start thinking about college early on by giving them seed money. Officials want to set up kindergarteners with savings accounts. Though the initial $100 deposit isn't likely to cover much, the hope is that it will inspire them to take the idea of going to college seriously.

Around the Nation
2:32 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

To Trim Down, Spelman Trades Sports For Fitness

Spelman College has dropped NCAA athletics in favor of a comprehensive fitness program. The school now offers classes like Zumba to help encourage all students to exercise more.
Courtesy of Spelman College

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 5:40 pm

For the past decade, Spelman College, a historically black women's school in Atlanta, has fielded NCAA teams in basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball and other sports. But when its small Division III conference started dwindling, college President Beverly Tatum says the school decided it was time to change focus.

"We have to ask ourselves: What is the cost of the program and who is benefiting? How many people are benefiting? Is the benefit worth the cost?" Tatum asks.

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Education
10:44 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Getting A Degree In Football?

College athletics and academics are often at odds. One professor says it's time to end the charade and let athletes major in what they love - sports. Host Michel Martin speaks with Professor David Pargman of Florida State University, about why he thinks his proposal is more honest than what colleges are currently doing.

NPR Story
4:07 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Satellite Colleges Setting Up Shop In Phoenix Suburbs

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:41 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's report, now, on the college scene in Phoenix, which is becoming more crowded. In Arizona, a private college education has long been hard to find. But that is changing now. Eight schools are setting up satellite campuses in the Phoenix suburbs. From member station KJZZ, Peter O'Dowd reports.

PETER O'DOWD, BYLINE: This is Trine University in Peoria, Arizona.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR OPENING)

O'DOWD: Not much, yet; just a door opening to an empty classroom, in an ordinary office park.

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Education
11:04 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Grading Kids On Race

Some public schools across the U.S. are setting different standards for students based on their race. The goal is to cut the achievement gap in half. Host Michel Martin speaks with Emily Richmond, of the Education Writers Association, about criticisms to this approach.

9:40 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Judge Deals Setback To Louisiana’s Voucher Program

Lead in text: 
A New York Times story by Campbell Robertson examines a Federal judge's ruling that the state's financing of the new school voucher system is unconstitutional.
Judge Timothy Kelley of State District Court ruled that the way in which the state finances its new voucher program violates the state Constitution, as it relies on money intended in "plain and unambiguous" terms solely for public schools. In a statement, Governor Jindal called the decision "wrongheaded and a travesty for parents across Louisiana" and vowed to appeal.
NPR Story
3:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Cooper Union Students Protest Threat To Free Tuition

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 8:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And a student occupation is entering its third day in New York City. It's happening at Cooper Union. The school of art, architecture and engineering is famous for not charging undergraduates tuition.

As NPR's Joel Rose reports, student protesters are unhappy about what they see as threats to that tradition.

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Education
1:35 am
Wed December 5, 2012

When The Art Of The Deal Includes Improv Training

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 8:09 am

Some top-tier business schools are offering more than just finance and marketing these days: Duke, UCLA, MIT and Stanford are all teaching improv. Professors say these techniques help students increase collaboration, creativity and risk taking.

In an improvisational leadership class at MIT's Sloan School of Management, instructor Daena Giardella coaches a scene where a hospital administrator is firing surgeons after a horribly botched operation.

Giardella, who does professional improv, boils it down to a rule known as "yes, and."

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