Eric Westervelt http://wesa.fm en Q&A: A Union Leader On Tenure, Testing And The Common Core http://wesa.fm/post/qa-union-leader-tenure-testing-and-common-core The American Federation of Teachers <a href="http://aft.org/index.cfm">(AFT)</a> is holding its <a href="http://www.aft.org/convention/">annual convention</a> in Los Angeles through this weekend. For the AFT's more than 3,500 national delegates descending on LA, there is a lot on their plate and big challenges ahead for the nation's second-largest teachers union: <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/05/27/307755798/the-common-core-faq">the Common Core</a>, tenure and fierce debate about testing, to name a few. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 32448 at http://wesa.fm Q&A: A Union Leader On Tenure, Testing And The Common Core From Calif. Teachers, More Nuanced Views On Tenure http://wesa.fm/post/calif-teachers-more-nuanced-views-tenure In the weeks since a California judge overturned the state's rules governing teacher tenure, the political noise has only grown louder. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 32373 at http://wesa.fm From Calif. Teachers, More Nuanced Views On Tenure Giving Boys A Bigger Emotional Toolbox http://wesa.fm/post/giving-boys-bigger-emotional-tool-box <em>This story is part of the </em>"<a href="http://www.npr.org/series/323986426/men-in-america" target="_blank">Men In America</a>"<em> series on All Things Considered.</em><p>Is America's dominant "man up" ethos a hypermasculine cultural construct, a tenet rooted in biological gender difference or something in between?<p>Educator Ashanti Branch doesn't much care or, more accurately, doesn't have time to care.<p>He's too busy trying to make a difference in boys' lives.<p>Boys in American public schools are suspended from and drop out of school at higher rates than girls. Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:15:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 31574 at http://wesa.fm Giving Boys A Bigger Emotional Toolbox A High School Band Where Everyone's Voice Can Be Heard http://wesa.fm/post/high-school-band-where-everyones-voice-can-be-heard <em>(This is Part 2 of a two-part report. Read the full piece <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/06/11/320882414/ipads-allow-kids-with-challenges-to-play-in-high-schools-band">here</a>.)</em><p>On the surface, the PS 177 Technology Band looks like a typical high school orchestra. But there are two big differences. First, while they use traditional instruments, they also play iPads. And all of the band members have disabilities. Some have autism spectrum disorders.<p>"I'm Tobi Lakes. I'm 15 years old. I'm in ninth grade. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 20:36:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 30751 at http://wesa.fm A High School Band Where Everyone's Voice Can Be Heard iPads Allow Kids With Challenges To Play In High School Band http://wesa.fm/post/ipads-allow-kids-challenges-play-high-school-band Tablet computers and a creative teacher have helped open doors for some kids with serious learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. The P.S. 177 Technology Band is in Queens, N.Y. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=iPads+Allow+Kids+With+Challenges+To+Play+In+High+School+Band&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDAxODg3MTg0MDEyMTg2NTY3OTI5YTI3ZA004)"/></div><p> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 13:10:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 30720 at http://wesa.fm iPads Allow Kids With Challenges To Play In High School's Band http://wesa.fm/post/ipads-allow-kids-challenges-play-high-schools-band There's a steady stream of hype surrounding the pluses and pitfalls of classroom tablet computers. But for a growing number of special education students tablets and their apps are proving transformative. The tablets aren't merely novel and fun. With guidance from creative teachers, they are helping to deepen engagement, communication, and creativity.<p>In a typical red brick public school building in the Fresh Meadows section of Queens, New York, one creative and passionate music instructor is using tablet computers to help reach students with disabilities. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 10:57:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 30713 at http://wesa.fm iPads Allow Kids With Challenges To Play In High School's Band California Teacher Tenure Ruled Unconstitutional http://wesa.fm/post/california-teacher-tenure-ruled-unconstitutional A California judge today ruled the state's laws governing teacher tenure and the firing of public school teachers unconstitutional, saying they interfere with the state's obligation to provide every child with access to a good education.<p>The plaintiffs in the case, <em>Vergara v. California</em>, argued that the tenure system for public school teachers in California verges on the absurd, and that those laws disproportionately harm poor and minority students. In his ruling, Judge Rolf M. Tue, 10 Jun 2014 20:33:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 30683 at http://wesa.fm California Teacher Tenure Ruled Unconstitutional As More Speakers Get The Boot, Who's Left To Send Off Graduates? http://wesa.fm/post/student-protests-force-string-commencement-speaker-shake-ups Graduation Season? Wed, 14 May 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 29225 at http://wesa.fm As More Speakers Get The Boot, Who's Left To Send Off Graduates? In Tulsa, Combining Preschool With Help For Parents http://wesa.fm/post/tulsa-combining-preschool-help-parents At preschools in Tulsa, Okla., teachers are well-educated and well-paid, and classrooms are focused on play, but are still challenging. One nonprofit in Tulsa, the Community Action Project, has flipped the script on preschool. The idea behind its Career Advance program is simple: To help kids, the group believes, you often have to help their parents.<p>The program combines Head Start for children with intensive training for their parents, designed to help them find well-paying jobs. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:23:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 28030 at http://wesa.fm In Tulsa, Combining Preschool With Help For Parents One Approach To Head Start: To Help Kids, Help Their Parents http://wesa.fm/post/one-approach-head-start-help-kids-help-their-parents President Obama has called repeatedly on Congress to help states pay for "high-quality preschool" for all. In fact, those two words — "high quality" — appear time and again in the president's prepared remarks. They are also a refrain among early childhood education advocates and researchers. But what do they mean? And what separates the best of the nation's preschool programs from the rest?<p>NPR found one answer to those questions in Tulsa, Okla. The city is known as a national leader in early childhood education. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:03:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 28023 at http://wesa.fm One Approach To Head Start: To Help Kids, Help Their Parents Maze Of College Costs And Aid Programs Traps Some Families http://wesa.fm/post/maze-college-costs-and-aid-programs-trap-some-families In the past 20 years, the average burden for a four-year college graduate in the U.S. has gone from about $9,000 to nearly $30,000 today. The percentage of students carrying debt has shot up from less than half to nearly 70 percent these days.<p>At a large public high school in Freemont, Calif., southeast of San Francisco, Alyssa Tucker and Thao Le sit on a metal table. Both come from families with modest incomes.<p>Both are 17 and facing college this fall with anxious excitement. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 09:11:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 26420 at http://wesa.fm Maze Of College Costs And Aid Programs Traps Some Families College Applicants Sweat The SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't http://wesa.fm/post/college-applicants-sweat-sats-perhaps-they-shouldnt With spring fast approaching, many American high school seniors are now waiting anxiously to hear whether they got into the college or university of their choice. For many students, their scores on the SAT or the ACT will play a big role in where they get in.<p>That's because those standardized tests remain a central part in determining which students get accepted at many schools. Tue, 18 Feb 2014 08:29:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 24574 at http://wesa.fm College Applicants Sweat The SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't A Push To Boost Computer Science Learning, Even At An Early Age http://wesa.fm/post/push-boost-computer-science-learning-even-early-age <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC5FbmsH4fw</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaW3PAzHxCU</p> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 08:39:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 24531 at http://wesa.fm A Push To Boost Computer Science Learning, Even At An Early Age Political Rivals Find Common Ground Over Common Core http://wesa.fm/post/backlash-grows-against-common-core-education-standards Supporters of the new Common Core <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/01/19/169798643/new-reading-standards-aim-to-prep-kids-for-college-but-at-what-cost">education standards</a> adopted by 45 states say the standards hold American students to much higher expectations, and move curriculum away from a bubble-test culture that encourages test preparation over deeper learning.<p>But there's growing backlash to <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/07/05/198442307/education-reform-learns-lesson-from-old-standards">Common Core</a>, and conservatives and liberals increasingly are voicing similar concerns: t Tue, 28 Jan 2014 10:30:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 23468 at http://wesa.fm Political Rivals Find Common Ground Over Common Core Teacher Job Protections Vs. Students' Education In Calif. http://wesa.fm/post/teacher-job-protections-vs-students-education-calif Transcript <p>RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: <p>To California now where a polarizing lawsuit goes to trial tomorrow. At issue, whether job protections for public school teachers undermines students' constitutional rights to an adequate education. The students and parents who filed the lawsuit say it could provide a model for challenging teacher protection laws in other states. Sun, 26 Jan 2014 14:41:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 23385 at http://wesa.fm The Online Education Revolution Drifts Off Course http://wesa.fm/post/online-education-revolution-drifts-course One year ago, many were pointing to the growth of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as the most important trend in higher education. Tue, 31 Dec 2013 21:46:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 22174 at http://wesa.fm The Online Education Revolution Drifts Off Course To Make Science Real, Kids Want More Fun http://wesa.fm/post/make-science-real-kids-want-more-fun-and-fewer-facts Are American kids<strong> </strong>being adequately prepared in the sciences to compete in a highly competitive, global high-tech workforce? A majority of American parents say no, <a href="http://media.npr.org/documents/2013/dec/rwjf_npr_harvard_edpoll.pdf" target="_blank">according to a poll by NPR</a>, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.<p>Nearly one-quarter of all parents said their child's school today doesn't put enough emphasis on science curricula. Tue, 17 Dec 2013 08:04:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 21500 at http://wesa.fm To Make Science Real, Kids Want More Fun Parents Say School Security Has Increased Since Newtown Massacre http://wesa.fm/post/parents-say-school-security-has-increased-newtown-massacre Most parents of elementary school-age children say their schools boosted security following last year's <a href="http://www.npr.org/series/167276841/shootings-in-newtown-conn">massacre</a> at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., according to a poll from NPR in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.<p>The poll was the <a href="http://media.npr.org/documents/2013/dec/rwjf_npr_harvard_edpoll.pdf">first national survey</a> since the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/12/14/167276746/schools-have-become-more-secure-sinc Sat, 14 Dec 2013 10:11:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 21375 at http://wesa.fm These Days, School Lunch Hours Are More Like 15 Minutes http://wesa.fm/post/these-days-school-lunch-hours-are-more-15-minutes It's lunchtime at Oakland High School in Oakland, Calif., and that means fence hoppers. Several kids wear mischievous grins as they speedily scale a 12-foot-high metal perimeter.<p>In theory, anyway, Oakland High is a "closed campus." That's done in the interest of safety and security and to cut down on school-skipping. It means kids can't leave during school hours without parental consent, especially at lunchtime. Wed, 04 Dec 2013 22:05:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 20835 at http://wesa.fm These Days, School Lunch Hours Are More Like 15 Minutes Charter Schools In Philadelphia: Educating Without A Blueprint http://wesa.fm/post/charter-schools-philadelphia-educating-without-blueprint <em>This is final story in a three-part report on Philadelphia schools in crisis.</em><p>Shayna Terrell is in a good mood: It's report card night at the Simon Gratz Mastery Charter high school in North Philadelphia, and parents are showing up in good numbers.<strong> </strong><p>Terrell, Mastery's outreach coordinator, welcomes parents. Her goal on this night is to get 40 percent of Gratz parents to come to the school, meet teachers face to face, and get their child's report card. Fri, 22 Nov 2013 07:58:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 20226 at http://wesa.fm Charter Schools In Philadelphia: Educating Without A Blueprint Unrelenting Poverty Leads To 'Desperation' In Philly Schools http://wesa.fm/post/unrelenting-poverty-leads-desperation-philly-schools <em>This is the second in a three-part report on Philadelphia schools in crisis.</em><p>Philadelphia's Center City area sparkles with new restaurants, jobs and money. After declining for half a century, the city's population grew from 2006 to 2012.<p>But for people living in concentrated poverty in large swaths of North and West Philadelphia, the Great Recession only made life harder.<p>The overall poverty rate in the city dipped slightly in 2012 to 28 percent. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 23:11:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 20222 at http://wesa.fm Unrelenting Poverty Leads To 'Desperation' In Philly Schools Duncan Apologizes For 'Clumsy' Common Core Remarks http://wesa.fm/post/duncan-apologizes-clumsy-common-core-remarks Education Secretary Arne Duncan is in some hot water over remarks he made last week suggesting that opposition to Common Core of Standards was coming from "white suburban moms." He has since pulled back from those remarks. Tue, 19 Nov 2013 22:54:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 20108 at http://wesa.fm For The Tablet Generation, A Lesson In Digital Citizenship http://wesa.fm/post/tablet-generation-lesson-digital-citizenship <em>This week on All Tech, </em><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/10/28/240783313/on-the-air-this-week-were-exploring-digital-childhood-kids-and-technology">we're exploring kids and technology</a><em> with posts and radio pieces about raising digital natives. Fri, 01 Nov 2013 07:18:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 19095 at http://wesa.fm For The Tablet Generation, A Lesson In Digital Citizenship A School's iPad Initiative Brings Optimism And Skepticism http://wesa.fm/post/schools-ipad-initiative-brings-optimism-and-skepticism A growing number of school districts across America are trying to weave tablet computers, like the iPad, into the classroom fabric, especially as a tool to help implement the new <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/07/05/198442307/education-reform-learns-lesson-from-old-standards">Common Core state standards</a> for math and reading.<p>One of California's poorest school districts, the Coachella Valley Unified southeast of Los Angeles, is currently rolling out iPads to every student, pre-kindergarten through high school. Fri, 25 Oct 2013 21:18:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 18764 at http://wesa.fm A School's iPad Initiative Brings Optimism And Skepticism More Angst For College Applicants: A Glitchy Common App http://wesa.fm/post/more-angst-college-applicants-glitchy-common-app For many high school students this year, the already stressful process of applying to college has been made far worse by major technical malfunctions with the Common Application, an online application portal used by hundreds of colleges and universities.<p>"It's been stressful, to be honest," says Freya James, a senior in Atlanta applying to five schools — all early admissions. The Common App has been a nightmare, the 17-year-old says.<p>"No one likes applying to college anyway, and this is supposed to help and it's made it worse," she says. Wed, 16 Oct 2013 21:17:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 18260 at http://wesa.fm More Angst For College Applicants: A Glitchy Common App