Education

Eugene Tanner / AP

Nathan Rosswog showed his eighth grade students a photo of his grandfather, a World War II veteran. The Urban Pathways Charter School teacher told them his grandfather wasn’t at Pearl Harbor, but shared stories of friends he knew who were at the naval base during the attack.

Brian Cantoni / Flickr

A former University of Pittsburgh student who pleaded guilty to being the go-between for Chinese students who paid to have impostors take college entrance exams for them faces sentencing before a federal judge. Han Tong faces up to three years in prison on Monday, though his attorney is expected to argue for leniency. Tong is one of 15 Chinese citizens charged by federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh last year with conspiring to have impostors take the Scholastic Aptitude Test or other college...

Aaron Warnick / PublicSource

What was supposed to be a routine visit to the pediatrician with little Oren resulted in a finding that sent Katy Rank Lev and her husband, Corey, into a frenzy. Their 1-year-old had lead in his blood.

Part 1 of our series " Unlocking Dyslexia ." "It's frustrating that you can't read the simplest word in the world." Thomas Lester grabs a book and opens to a random page. He points to a word: galloping. "Goll—. G—. Gaa—. Gaa—. G—. " He keeps trying. It is as if the rest ­­of the word is in him somewhere, but he can't sound it out. "I don't ... I quit." He tosses the book and it skids along the table. Despite stumbling over the simplest words, Thomas — a fourth-grader — is a bright kid. In...

Keith Srakocic / AP

Going back to school is starting to look a lot different. Ninety-six percent of students at Pennsylvania College of Technology entertain job offers in their final semester. It's an enviable statistic, one that the college is very proud of, said Tracy Brundage, vice president of workforce development and continuing education. “Our tagline is ‘degrees that work,’” she said. But employer interest isn't limited to graduates of the Penn State affiliate's two- and four-year degree programs. Located...

Marcus Charleston / WESA

Giordan Dixon, 16, stuck to his script at the new Homewood – Brushton YMCA on Bennett Street in Homewood South. “I want to be a singer and a music producer,” he said, guiding small tours. Dixon lit up while showing off the center's recording studios, mixing boards and booths. Like a lot of teens lately, the aspiring entertainer spends hours pouring over the facility's new music education suite studying artist development and vocal training as part of YMCA's Creative Youth Center . "You can...

The National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, is called The Nation's Report Card for good reason; the tests are administered the same way year after year, using the same kind of test booklets, to students across the country. That allows researchers and educators to compare student progress over time. NAEP tests serve as a big research project to benchmark academic achievement in subjects like science, math, reading, writing, civics, economics, geography and U.S. history. Science...

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

School district enrollment levels have dramatically shifted in Pennsylvania over the past 25 years.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Classes have resumed for more than 100,000 students who attend Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities.

Rich Copeland / WITF

The union representing striking professors at 14 Pennsylvania state universities says it has reached a tentative contract agreement and is ending its walkout, now in a third day. The strike had disrupted classes for over 100,000 students. Professors walked off the job Wednesday after the union turned down what the university said was its last contract offer. Union spokeswoman Kathryn Morton said Friday it had made concessions on salary and benefits in return for the university system...

Traisaun Leake / Hazelwood Youth Media Justice

If a student misbehaves in a Pittsburgh Public School, the administrators are bound by a disciplinary code. But which reactions are punitive? Which are restorative? And what's more likely to help the student and his or her classroom culture? A multi-racial group of up to 100 young people will spend a few days discussing these and other topics at Hosanna House in Wilkinsburg this weekend as part of Youth Undoing Institutional Racism. The two-and-a-half-day event, held twice a year in different...

Rebekah Zook / 90.5 WESA

Janet Vukotich began her involvement with the South Hills Junior Orchestra simply as an “orchestra mom.”

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Professors, students and supporters are taking to picket lines at state universities around Pennsylvania, including dozens at Slippery Rock University.

Katie Meyer / WITF

F aculty members from Pennsylvania's state university system are rallying over the continuing lack of a contract agreement. The professors at the 14 state-owned schools have been without one for more than a year, and negotiations between the system and the union aren't going well. A walkout is scheduled for Oct. 19, and many think it's looking like a very real possibility. As hundreds of faculty members carried signs in front of state higher education headquarters in Harrisburg, several...

Penn State Hershey Medical Center

The National Institutes of Health is awarding a $20 million grant to Penn State Health's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine. The funds essentially aim to use scientific discoveries to make healthier communities. The money will go towards training programs for faculty, staff and students, groundbreaking research, as well as a data system that will be able to analyze information to predict and prevent disease. It will connect research done at 10 different...

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Sara Middleton and Catlyn Brooke both teach cross fit at the Allegheny YMCA on the North Side. They renovated the upstairs studio themselves. Middleton built the barbell racks, as well as a huge structure for pull up rings and high bars. “I fell in love with it and I got certified to teach,” Brooke said. Middleton is the Program Director of Healthy Living at the YMCA and leads a team of personal trainers. Brooke is the full-time aquatics director for the Y downtown. The two are in their mid...

Flickr user hradcanska

A group of Pine-Richland school district alumni is planning to protest the district’s transgender bathroom policy at tonight’s school board meeting. In early September, the board passed a resolution requiring students to use either the bathroom that matches their biological sex or a unisex bathroom. But Molly Steadman, who is organizing the protest, said that policy is akin to the “separate but equal” doctrine that kept public schools legally segregated until 1954. Steadman is an out lesbian...

Clarion.edu

A university in northwestern Pennsylvania is allowing students and workers to use nicknames on some campus records, including student identification cards and emails, in an effort to better allow them to express their identities. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Clarion University says it's the first of the state's 14 state-owned universities to implement such a policy. It became effective this fall. Officials say anyone can use a preferred first name once they apply. The policy aims to...

Duquesne University

Law school dean and legal scholar Ken Gormley has taken the helm as president of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. The 61-year-old lawyer and professor was installed Thursday as the 13th president of the 137-year-old private, Catholic school. Gormley was hired as a law professor at Duquesne in 1994 after first teaching at the University of Pittsburgh and practicing privately. He's been dean of the law school since 2010. Gormley is an expert on the Watergate scandal and its legal...

Trigger warnings, the heads-up that college professors give to students to let them know disturbing content is coming, have gotten a lot of attention as the school year has unfolded. When a University of Chicago dean wrote a letter to incoming freshmen this fall rejecting the idea of those warnings, it sparked a nationwide debate on the use of advisories in the classroom. Our colleagues at NPR Ed recently reported on their survey of more than 800 faculty members at universities around the...

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

It took some wrangling to fit nearly 30 Catholic school eighth-graders into the basement space of Most Wanted Fine Art gallery in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood where St. Bede English teacher Becky Baverso took her comic book club to see artist Marcel Walker’s exhibit. “So this show here, ‘To Tell The Troof,’ this is my first solo gallery show,” Walker told the class, pointing. “I’ve had work in gallery shows before, but this is the first time it’s all mine.” While creators of color have...

Canon McMillan School District

A public school cafeteria worker has quit over what she considers a "lunch shaming" policy in one western Pennsylvania school district. Stacy Kotiska says she quit last week after she had to take a hot lunch away from a child because their parent had fallen more than $25 behind in paying for his school lunches. The Canon-McMillan School District enacted the policy to deal with a backlog of about 300 parents who owed tens of thousands of dollars. Now fewer than 70 parents owe money, and the...

Michael Conroy / AP

When the for-profit college ITT Technical Institute ceased operations this month, officials at the Community College of Allegheny County decided to help. “This is a group of people who are just blindsided by this, they have an interest in moving forward and maybe we can help,” CCAC Provost Stuart Blacklaw said. Blacklaw said CCAC has several programs similar to ones offered at ITT. ITT Tech ran two campuses in the Pittsburgh area, in Frazer and Robinson. Students from those campuses, and ones...

This story is part of our NPR Ed series on mental health in schools. In the waning days of summer vacation, Sydney and Laney are enjoying their final moments of freedom flipping over a high bar at a playground close by their house in Spartanburg, S.C. "You've got to pull your hips into the bar," says their mom, Selena, motioning to the girls, "you've got to kick up like that!" "I tried to kick!" Laney says indignantly. "I did this – you told me not to stick out!" Both girls have been...

The good news: There's an uptick in the hiring of new teachers since the pink-slip frenzy in the wake of the Great Recession. The bad news: The new hiring hasn't made up for the teacher shortfall. Attrition is high, and enrollment in teacher preparation programs has fallen some 35 percent over the past five years — a decrease of nearly 240,000 teachers in all.
Parts of most every state in America face troubling teacher shortages: the most frequent shortage areas are math, science,...

AP

The National Labor Relations Board recently ruled a virtual charter school in Pennsylvania should be classified as a private corporation, not a public institution. The decision only directly impacts that one school, but it could have farther-reaching legal implications.

Georgetown University will be offering an admissions edge to descendants of enslaved people sold to fund the school, officials announced on Thursday. Jesuit priests connected to the private Catholic university sold 272 enslaved people in 1838, to pay off the university's massive debts. The men, women and children were sold to plantations in Louisiana; the university received the equivalent of $3.3 million, securing its survival. A working group, created last year to explore Georgetown's...

Part One in an NPR Ed series on mental health in schools. You might call it a silent epidemic. Up to one in five kids living in the U.S. shows signs or symptoms of a mental health disorder in a given year. So in a school classroom of 25 students, five of them may be struggling with the same issues many adults deal with: depression, anxiety, substance abuse. And yet most children — nearly 80 percent — who need mental health services won't get them. Whether treated or not, the children do go to...

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Wilkinsburg School District has seen a high turnover in leadership in the last several years. It’s on the state’s watch list for low academic performance which, combined with declining enrollment, led to the closure of its middle and high school in May.

WITF

All schools remain closed in a Cumberland County district while work continues to clean mold from the buildings. The school superintendent says East Pennsboro Area Middle School, East Pennsboro Elementary and West Creek Hills Elementary will be closed until Tuesday. Air quality tests found elevated levels of spores in the Middle School and West Creek Hills school. They'll be cleaned over the weekend. The first week back to school was thwarted after mold was found on ceiling tiles at the high...

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