Education

We cover how our residents are growing and learning, starting from pre-K, through higher education, and beyond, into adulthood. 

Coverage of education in western Pennsylvania on 90.5 WESA is supported by a generous grant from
The Grable Foundation.

Author Isobel Coleman Discusses the Role of Women in the Middle East

Apr 1, 2013

Isobel Coleman is the author of "Paradise Beneath her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East" and is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Harvard professor of political philosophy Michael Sandel asks how we can elevate the terms of public discourse and reach for a new politics of the common good. Sandel is the author of "Justice," "The Case against Perfection," "Public Philosophy" and "What Money Can't Buy."

The Pennsylvania Campaign for Achievement Now (PennCAN) has released report cards for every public school in the state as well as lists of the state’s top elementary, middle and high schools.

The education reform organization graded schools in five categories: student performance, subgroup performance (minority and economic status), achievement gaps (how student performance compared to subgroup performance), performance gains and high school graduation rates.

The House of Manna faith community gathered on Friday morning for its fourth annual “Prayer 4 Peace March” in Homewood-Brushton.

The march went through Homewood to the site of the future New Renaissance Center, a $2 million building donated by Dollar Bank that's expected to become a community center.

Spiritual leaders led community residents, city officials and various organizations and businesses to celebrate hope and to declare God’s power in the growing effort to revitalize Homewood-Brushton.

Financial Literacy Month: Why Are You Scared to Budget?

Mar 29, 2013
Alan Cleaver / Flickr

  In 2012, 56% of Americans admitted that they do not keep a budget, including more than 1 in 5 who say they don’t have a good idea of how much they spend on housing, food, and entertainment. So what keeps you from budgeting and saving better? What difficulties do you have with financial planning?

Financial Literacy Month starts Monday and each week through the month of April we’ll be tapping into your financial concerns. Debbie Tawney Newsom is the Operations Field Coordinator for NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania. She teaches community financial education classes and joins us to address your questions about budgeting and saving.

Jared Adkins / 90.5 WESA

Racism isn’t gone — it has just changed form. That’s according to Yale sociology professor Elijah Anderson, who spoke at the University of Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

“It’s a civil society," he said. "People can be quite parochial, ethnocentric, even racist. But under the canopy they typically present themselves as civilly. They can be white; they can be black; they can be Native American. They can be of various ethnicities — you can be ethnic, without being ethnocentric.”

President Taft at Rodef Shalom

Mar 26, 2013
Wikimedia

  On May 29, 1909, a Shabbat, President William Howard Taft became the first American President to speak  from the Bimah of a Jewish Congregation while in office. The Rodef Shalom Congregation, in Pittsburgh played host to the touring President. Archivist Martha Berg joins us to talk about Taft's visit to Pittsburgh and the importance of his speech.

Retired Diplomat Nicholas Burns on US Policy Toward Iran

Mar 26, 2013

Retired diplomat Nicholas Burns believes there are three basic choices the U.S. could make in foreign policy regarding Iran. The first two, he said, are so "absurd" that they shouldn't be taken seriously. The third, though, is the path he believes in, because it's "practical and right in the middle."

After Years of Debate, Keystone Exams Get Passed

Mar 25, 2013

After more than four years of debate and revision, the Keystone Exam will more than likely be coming to schools across Pennsylvania.

After receiving approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the regulations will now go to the House and Senate Education committees and Independent Regulatory Review Commission for consideration.

The exam plans however, come with some new regulations — the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards. These new requirements must be implemented across the state in English, arts and mathematics by July 1.

Jared Adkins / 90.5 WESA

The March 1 sequestering of approximately $85 billion could hit national early education program Head Start as early as next week.

In response to the pending cuts, One Pittsburgh, an organization focused on getting big companies to pay their “fair share” of taxes, held a rally at the BNY Mellon building in downtown Pittsburgh Friday to protest the effect cuts will have in the Pittsburgh region.

The Future of the Catholic Church with Bishop Zubik

Mar 21, 2013
Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

The Catholic Church is in a state of change. With a new Pope comes a fresh perspective. So what is the potential future for the Roman Catholic Church? What's the future of the church in Pittsburgh? Bishop David Zubik of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh shares his perspective.

What questions do you have about the state of the Catholic Church and its future?

Pittsburgh Public Schools

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane has been awarded a three-year contract extension.  

Lane, who was appointed as superintendent in December 2010, will see her salary increase to $220,000 effective September.

Terry O’ Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, was in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to tour STEM education facilities at Community College of Allegheny County, deliver a speech and participate in a panel discussion with women who work in STEM-related fields.

O’Neill said STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education is important not just for women but also for the competitiveness of the country.

With a special board vote on Wednesday, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) finalized new contract agreements with roughly 6,000 educators and 400 coaches across its network of 14 state-owned universities, ending a saga of negotiations lasting nearly two years.

The employees had been working without contracts since midway through 2011. In the autumn of 2012, the union authorized a strike, but no action was taken.

Undocumented students gathered at the state Capitol Tuesday to urge lawmakers to grant them in-state tuition at Pennsylvania’s 18 state-owned and state-supported universities, citing their struggles to advance their education after high school without the same help afforded their peers.

Carina Ambartsoumian, 25, said her parents came to the United States from the former Soviet Union in 1993, fleeing religious persecution and hoping to attain refugee status. She said her family’s papers were not recognized by the newly independent Ukraine after the Soviet Union dissolved.

Pittsburgh Children's Museum

Your friendly neighbors at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum will waive admission fees on Wednesday, March 20 — just tell 'em Mister Rogers sent you.

The “State of the Library” along with other issues surrounding the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP), such as 2012 accomplishments as well as plans for 2013, will be discussed at a meeting with the general public as part of their community engagement strategy.

Library spokeswoman Suzanne Thinnes said to expect a few surprise announcements at the meeting.

Memorial Planned For Seton Hill Lacrosse Coach

Mar 16, 2013

A road trip by a college women's lacrosse team came to a horrifying end Saturday when the team bus veered off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and crashed into a tree, killing a pregnant coach, her unborn child, and the driver, and injuring numerous others, authorities said.

Seton Hill University team players and coaches were among the 23 people aboard when the bus crashed just before 9 a.m. No other vehicle was involved, and police could not immediately say what caused the accident.

Charter school groups are giving bad grades to legislative proposals that would reduce what they receive in funding from their local school districts.

One of the more tense exchanges in a recent state House committee hearing on proposals that would mean less funding for charter and cyber charter schools came during a back and forth on the quality of the education provided at the publicly-funded, privately-run schools.

As state lawmakers consider proposed changes to funding cyber charter schools, larger problems with how public education is funded are drawing attention. 

Quarter Million Taken From Butler Catholic Church

Mar 14, 2013

A former secretary and bookkeeper at Holy Sepulcher School in Butler has been formally arraigned today on theft of funds charges. Officials at the Diocese of Pittsburgh said forensic audits found that as much as $250,000 was taken from the school by Lynn Tomlinson over a six-year period.

“With the assistance of diocesan auditors, we undertook a thorough financial investigation. Major diversions of school tuition, receipts and scrip purchases were revealed,” wrote Father Gizler, pastor of Holy Sepulcher, in a letter sent Thursday to parishioners and school parents. 

Choosing a New Pope

Mar 13, 2013
Aibdescalzo / Wikipedia

It was white smoke and a new Pope Tuesday evening. The Pittsburgh Tribune Review Middle East correspondent, Betsy Hiel has been covering the historic event from Vatican City. She talks about reactions in Rome to the selection of Pope Francis.

And Pope Francis decided to adopt the name of the patron saint of the environment and animals--St Francis of Assisi. Catholic nuns who have devoted their lives to living in the way of St Francis were over the moon when the announcement was made. Our content partners at the Allegheny Front talked with the Sisters of St Francis of the Providence of God Convent in the White Hall section of Pittsburgh about the 12th century saint.

Then, Protocol and ceremony are always part of the selection of a new Pope. So what goes on behind the scenes in the Conclave? What went into the selection of Pope Francis, the first Latin American Pope? What's next for him? Duquesne University Law Professor and Canon Law Scholar, Nicholas Cafardi  talks about the conclave and the papacy.

Bishop Zubik Welcomes New Pope

Mar 13, 2013
Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA

Pittsburghers are quickly reacting to the word that a new pope has been chosen including Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Bishop David Zubik who said he "prayerfully and joyfully" welcomes Pope Francis I.

“Our new Holy Father brings with him the experience of a dedicated pastor who has served the Church so well in his many years of ordained ministry,” said Zubik.  “That experience – and the rock-steady faith that has guided him – will be his comfort and strength in the challenging days ahead.”

Marion Doss

  

  Beginning this summer La Roche College will offer a first of its kind - two week training program for people interested in working in Humanitarian and Emergency Aid. We'll talk with the program's instructors Jeff Ritter, Department Chair of Communication and Astrid Kersten, Professor of Management. Then Angela Garcia, Deputy Director of Global Links medical relief and development program talks about the real world application of this training.

Duquesne University Focuses on Africa

Mar 11, 2013

Duquesne University's Center for African Studies is hosting three days of events starting Tuesday, which will explore student and faculty connections to Africa.  All events begin at 4:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.  

CCAC Program Aims to Turn Credits into Credentials

Mar 10, 2013

Monday marks the kick-off of a Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) initiative that highlights the benefits of earning college degree over college credits.  The Commit to Complete program is part of a larger challenge stemming from the White House and several national organizations including the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

State System Teachers Approve Contract

Mar 8, 2013
Kyle Wagaman / Flickr

Unionized faculty members at Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities have overwhelmingly endorsed a new four-year contract.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) said Friday that 95 percent of the faculty members who voted supported the pact.

Duquesne University Focuses on Africa

Mar 8, 2013

Duquesne University's Center for African Studies is hosting events from March 12-14 which will explore student and faculty connections to Africa.  All events begin at 4:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.  On Tuesday, March 12, in the Pappert Lecture Hall at the campus' Bayer Learning Center, Emory University professor Dr. Dianne Diakite will speak on "Mother Symbol and Africana Women's Religious Practices of Peacebuilding."  Responses from different perspectives will be offered by law professor Dr. Susan C. Hascall and English professor Dr. Emad Mirmotahari.

CCAC Teachers get a Raise

Mar 8, 2013
CCAC North Library

The Community College of Allegheny County has approved a three percent raise for about 330 faculty union members.  The deal with Local 2067 of the American Federation of Teachers is for one year only.

The trustees of the school unanimously approved the plan on Thursday night. The deal comes with a price tag of $650,000 in the 2013-14 school year.

CCAC spokesman David Hoovler said annual salaries across the bargaining unit average $65,000.

Although Pittsburgh City Council voted on Wednesday to fund a police education program at the Community College of Allegheny County, at least one Council Member raised questions about the necessity of a rule that requires all Pittsburgh police officers to have 60 college credits before joining the force - particularly for military members.

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