Education

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Read more about the Common Core.

Right now, high school seniors across the country are trying hard not to think about what is — or isn't — coming in the mail.

They're anxiously awaiting acceptance letters (or the opposite) from their top-choice colleges and universities. But this story isn't about them. It's about a big group of seniors who could get into great schools but don't apply: high-achieving students from low-income families who live outside of America's big cities.

Ditching The Common Core Brings A Big Test For Indiana

Mar 12, 2015

Every eldest child knows all too well: Going first can be tough.

There's no one to help you pick the good teachers at school or give you advice on how to tell Mom and Dad about that fender bender.

Right now, Indiana is the firstborn, feeling its way through some thorny — and consequential — education decisions with little precedent to lean on.

What makes a great teacher great? That's the question at the heart of 50 Great Teachers, from the NPR Ed Team.

Sarah Hagan has a passion for math, and the pi-shaped pendant to prove it.

The 25-year-old teaches at Drumright High School in Drumright, Okla. The faded oil town is easy to miss. Fewer than 3,000 people live there, and the highway humps right around it.

This is the canary in the coal mine.

Several big states have seen alarming drops in enrollment at teacher training programs. The numbers are grim among some of the nation's largest producers of new teachers: In California, enrollment is down 53 percent over the past five years. It's down sharply in New York and Texas as well.

In North Carolina, enrollment is down nearly 20 percent in three years.

William Faulkner wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." And that's never more true than when people start arguing over how American history should be taught in school.

The current fight involves the Advanced Placement U.S. history exam. Nearly half a million high school students took the test last year, hoping to earn college credit.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A bill pending in the legislature aims to make private school accessible for more Oklahomans, but opponents say the plan robs public education of much needed funding. Reporter Emily Wendler has this story.

Positive Tomorrows is a small, very selective private school in Oklahoma City.

It’s only for homeless children.

The principal, Susan Agel, says her students require extra attention because they experience trauma on a daily basis. It’s extra care, she says, that they’d never get in a larger public school.  

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The committee tasked with creating Oklahoma's new academic standards following the repeal of Common Core met for the second time on Monday.

As KOSU's Emily Wendler reports, they are trying to learn as much as they can from other's trials and tribulations before embarking on their own journey.

The academic standards steering committee—in charge of creating Oklahoma's new educational requirements for kindergarten through 12th grade—got guidance from three experts who have excelled in creating math and English programs in their own states.

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