Education

The confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, the billionaire philanthropist who is President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of education, has been delayed for almost a week.

DeVos' hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, but late on Monday night, the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions announced it had been delayed until Jan. 17, next Tuesday.

school hallway
Mark Urycki

Donald Trump’s choice for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, promises a free market approach to education. That theory of opening up schools to competition from for-profit businesses already has a foothold in Ohio.

A break in the way teachers are trained may also be coming.

Counselors play a big role in helping students succeed: They help with scheduling, college applications and with issues like mental health.

Since 2015, first lady Michelle Obama has honored a school counselor of the year in a ceremony at the White House. Friday, the honor goes to Terri Tchorzynski of the Calhoun Area Career Center in Battle Creek, Mich., where she works with 11th- and 12th-graders drawn from 20 public high schools in Calhoun County.

Esther Honig

For many students at Columbus City Schools, Wednesday was the first day back to class after the holiday break. For the students at the Columbus Africentric Early College, it was their first day in a completely new building. 

"Free" is a word with a powerful appeal. And in the past year or so it has been tossed around a lot, followed by another word: "college."

Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton spent a lot of time talking about free tuition. And this week, the promise has been taken up by one of the largest public university systems in the country: New York state's.

The 24 juniors and seniors in the astronomy class at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Va., sink into plush red theater seats. They're in a big half-circle around what looks like a giant telescope with a globe on the end. Their teacher, Lee Ann Hennig, stands at a wooden control panel that has enough buttons and dials to launch a rocket.

We all experience stress at work, no matter the job. But for teachers, the work seems to be getting harder and the stress harder to shake.

A new report out this month pulls together some stark numbers on this:

2016 started with a shift in the tide when it comes to accountability and transparency for charter schools in Ohio. But the year ends with some big questions marks remaining about what standards online charter schools should meet. Here is a look back on the biggest news in education.

Time to get together the transcripts and the test scores and put the final touches on those personal essays. It's college application season, again.

To a lot of students, the process seems wrapped in a shroud of mystery. What exactly happens when you send your application out into the unknown only to ... wait?

Well, here's a glimpse behind the curtain at one school.

High up in the mountains of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, Delphine Gatewood teaches special education at the Crystal Boarding School. She's dreading this winter, like she dreads every winter, because temperatures can slip into the negative digits which the school building just can't handle.

"You have a boiler system that regulates heat at one certain temperature so you can't turn it down," she says. "It gets so hot in the classroom and you have to open the windows in the dead of winter."

school desk
Flickr Creative Commons

The Republican leader of the House Education Committee says he has a plan to overhaul the way Ohio funds its public schools.

Ohio’s Sherrod Brown is among a group of Senate Democrats urging President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary to pay the $5.3 million fine her political action committee owes Ohio. 

It's been a good season not just for the Ohio State football team, but also for vendors inside during the stadium's first season of beer sales during Buckeye games. Fans, it seems, have been drinking to the Buckeyes' success.

Part 3 of our series "Unlocking Dyslexia."

A mother who spent years coaching and encouraging her dyslexic son recalls his childhood with one pervasive feeling: "It was really scary."

One father told me his home life was ruined. Trying to do homework with his struggling daughter, he says, felt like "a nightmare every night." Optimism and determination would inevitably descend into tears and anxiety. The culprit: dyslexia.

The state’s largest e-school is fighting to keep up to $60 million that it could lose because of an enrollment audit that the school says was improperly conducted by the state. 

Part 2 of our series "Unlocking Dyslexia."

Our ancient ancestors were able to speak long before they were able to read or write. That history is etched in our brains.

The human brain naturally picks up spoken language. Not so for reading.

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state’s auditor is sending a message to all of Ohio’s school districts to beware of the pitfalls that can come with open enrollment, which can cost schools up to $1 million.

Part of our ongoing series exploring how the U.S. can educate the nearly 5 million students who are learning English.

Brains, brains, brains. One thing we've learned at NPR Ed is that people are fascinated by brain research. And yet it can be hard to point to places where our education system is really making use of the latest neuroscience findings.

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.

When it comes to sentence structure, Rocky, a sea lion, was a stickler.

"It really mattered to her, what's going to be the direct and indirect object," says Kathy Streeter, an animal trainer.

For Sierra, it isn't the grammar that interests her. It's the vocalizations. This California sea lion loves experimenting with her vocal range, and she hates being interrupted.

daytondailynews.com

A member of the State Board of Education has resigned because he's leaving Ohio and has used his departure to voice concerns about problems that he says will continue to plague the state's schools.

Cornell University Press

The first Thanksgiving is a sweet myth of Indians and colonists sharing a meal, but as we now know, the real story is much more grim.

An acclaimed book written by Ohio State University professor Margaret Newell captures what happened to some Native Americans who were enslaved by the colonists.  

A new report suggests a high school graduation crisis could be coming in Ohio. More than a third of the state’s high schoolers have not yet scored what they need to in order to get their diploma. Education leaders and teachers believe the clock is ticking down to that potential disaster, and are begging for help.

When the Obama administration announced last year that it would overhaul the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, prospective college students (and their parents) cheered.

"Today, we're lending a hand to millions of high school students who want to go to college and who've worked hard," said Arne Duncan, who was at that time U.S. secretary of education. "We're announcing an easier, earlier FAFSA."

And it is both.

There's been lots of chatter on social media and among pundits, warning that the treatment of immigrant kids and English language learners is going to "get worse" under a Donald Trump presidency.

Some people on Twitter are even monitoring incidents in which Latino students in particular have been targeted.

But I wonder: When were these students not targeted? When did immigrant students and their families ever have it easy?

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