Chun Zheng has lived through a house fire, a flood and an earthquake. None of that, she says, compares to sending her infant daughter and son abroad to live with her extended family.

"It's the worst hardship I've ever had to bear," says the 42-year-old hotel housekeeper, speaking in Mandarin.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The state question that proposes raising Oklahoma’s sales tax one percent to pay for $5,000 raises for teachers could cause issues for city governments that also rely on sales taxes to pay for streets, fire stations, and other municipal projects.

Two University of Oklahoma economists – Cynthia Rogers and Gregory Burge – looked to past sales tax increases to see how municipalities were affected. They analyzed the impact of four previous Oklahoma state sales tax increases (in 1984, 1984, 1987 and 1990) on the timing of municipal sales tax rate changes.

Jozef Jason came to the Fuller Cut barbershop for one reason: the kid's mohawk. It's almost second-grade picture day, and he wants to look good. He hops up onto an antique swivel chair and asks his barber for the new 'do.

"It's high on the top and short on the bottom, and lines that go in a diagonal line where the top is gonna be," explains the 7-year-old.

5 Stories To Read For International Day Of The Girl

Oct 11, 2016

Today is International Day of the Girl. Don't know what that is? That's alright; it's pretty new. The day was created by the United Nations five years ago to spread awareness and spark discussion about the unique challenges confronting the world's 1.1 billion girls.

A class of fifth-graders from Green Acres Elementary in Lebanon, Ore., asked us to find out how pencil lead is made. That quest took us all the way back to the dawn of the universe and then all the way up to a factory in Jersey City, N.J.

In the process, we learned that pencil lead (actually not lead at all but a mineral called graphite) has a storied past.

A graphite windfall

Teachers in training at Payne Education Center at 10404 Vineyard Blvd. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Oklahoma lawmakers are in the middle of a policy fight about how to combat dyslexia.

Despite intervention from the state Capitol, teachers and administrators can’t decide how to bring dyslexia education into the classroom, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

The Oklahoma City Public Schools administration building.
Oklahoma Watch

Data presented at Oklahoma City Public Schools' Monday board meeting show many of the district’s academic goals for the year were not met. 

The goals were set last year during the Great Conversation, which was a series of community meetings where parents and school staff produced goals for the district. They also agreed on specific skills they wanted each child to leave school with.

Teachers in the Chicago Public Schools, the nation's third-largest school district, had been working without a contract since June 2015, and they were prepared to strike.

The Chicago Teachers Union had told its some 28,000 members to report to the lines Tuesday morning — unless plans changed.

But negotiators reached a tentative contract agreement minutes before a midnight deadline. Talks had been taking place throughout the holiday weekend.

After weeks of protests by South African students calling for free tuition, Monday was supposed to be the reopening of regular classes at the University of the Witswatersrand.

But marches by hundreds of protesters showed that a return to normalcy isn't on the schedule at the campus in Johannesburg.

Members of the "Fees Must Fall" movement entered auditoriums, disrupting classes and intimidating other students, Peter Granitz reported on Morning Edition.

empty classroom
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma teachers haven’t received a statewide pay raise in eight years. But this November, voters will have a chance to boost teacher pay if they approve State Question 779.

It would fund the raises through a one percent sales tax. Education advocates say this could prevent teachers from fleeing the state, or the profession for better paying jobs. But opponents argue the proposal would create an entirely different set of problems.

Last October, Goats and Soda began a series called #15Girls. The stories explored the lives of 15-year-olds who sought to take control and change their fate — despite daunting obstacles.

It's been a year, and we wanted to check back with the girls we profiled and see how their lives have changed. We weren't able to reach them all, but we did find out how five of the teens are faring in 2016.

With her infant son in a sling, Monique Black strolls through a weekend open house in the gentrified Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C. There are lots of factors to consider when looking for a home — in this one, Monique notices, the tiny window in the second bedroom doesn't let in enough light. But for parents like Black and her husband, Jonny, there's a more important question: How good are the nearby schools?

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Middle school is tough. Bodies change. Hormones rage. Algebra becomes a reality. But there are things schools can do to make life easier for students — like this big study we wrote about showing that K-8 schools my be better for kids than traditional middle schools.

But aside from re-configuring an entire school system, are there other ways to make the sixth-grade experience better?

Latinos are by far the fastest growing chunk ofthe U.S. school population. A new report by the National Council of La Raza gives a fascinating snapshot of this fast-growing population.

Here are some highlights:


  • Over the last 15 years, Latino enrollment has significantly outpaced that of whites and African-Americans.
  • Latinos under the age of 18 now total 18.2 million, a 47 percent jump since 2000.