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Education

Do transgender boys or girls have the right to use the restroom at school that corresponds with their gender identity? The U.S. Education Department said Monday that it won't hear complaints about or take action on this question.

Mark Seidenberg is not the first researcher to reach the stunning conclusion that only a third of the nation's schoolchildren read at grade level. The reasons are numerous, but one that Seidenberg cites over and over again is this: The way kids are taught to read in school is disconnected from the latest research, namely how language and speech actually develop in a child's brain.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It has been a year since Betsy DeVos was sworn in as education secretary, and this month marks the first anniversary of our weekly education news roundup!

Let's pause to mark those moments ... and then get on to this week's headlines.

Parents today struggle to set screen time guidelines.

One big reason is a lack of role models. Grandma doesn't have any tried-and-true sayings about iPad time. This stuff is just too new.

But many experts on kids and media are also parents themselves. So when I was interviewing dozens of them for my book The Art of Screen Time, I asked them how they made screen time rules at home.

Look up from this screen right now. Take a look around. On a bus. In a cafe. Even at a stoplight. Chances are, most of the other people in your line of sight are staring at their phones or other devices. And if they don't happen to have one out, it is certainly tucked away in a pocket or bag.

But are we truly addicted to technology? And what about our kids? It's a scary question, and a big one for scientists right now. Still, while the debate rages on, some doctors and technologists are focusing on solutions.

"In the ways that we teach and learn about the history of American slavery," write the authors of a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), "the nation needs an intervention."

Welcome to our weekly education news roundup. This week, we thought we would devote some time to President Trump's State of the Union speech, which had very little education news to round up.

In fact, that word appeared only twice in the speech, both times in passing reference while he was talking about other topics.

What the president did have to say came about halfway through the speech, in this one line: "Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential."

A new NPR/Marist poll finds that 1 in 5 jobs in America is held by a worker under contract. Within a decade, contractors and freelancers could make up half of the American workforce. In a series, NPR explores many aspects of this change.

Evelyn Piazza wears a heart-shaped pendant around her neck. It has her son Timothy's thumb print on it. When she runs her finger across it she says it's like holding his hand.

Piazza's son was a sophomore at Penn State last year, when he died from injuries suffered after fraternity hazing rituals. Now she dreads the days leading up to the first anniversary of Timothy's death on Sunday.

Patricia Fara is the president of the British Society for the History of Science and a fellow at Clare College, Cambridge, U.K. Her latest book is A Lab of One's Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War.


I've got a degree in physics, but I have not stepped inside a laboratory since I graduated from Oxford.

Mike Moran, the principal at Bryan Adams High School in Dallas, says oftentimes when students are homeless, they're too embarrassed to tell anyone.

"A lot of times it is revealed that there's a temporary living situation, they're in a motel, they're now staying with an aunt and uncle," he says.

Principal Moran has heard similar stories about 50, or so, kids at his school, just one of dozens of high schools in the district. That's why Dallas schools have put something called a drop-in center at nearly every high school in the district.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

At least 60 private schools receiving tax-credit scholarships have been given three months to comply with a state law that prohibits discriminating against applicants based on disability.

The Opportunity Scholarship Fund, a nonprofit that last year collected $5.1 million in donations to help pay students’ tuition at private schools across the state, says schools that don’t comply will be removed from the program.

Superintendent of Blanchard Public Schools, Jim Beckham, says if schools used property taxes for teacher pay, there’d be big inequities from district to district.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers have butted heads for years over how to increase funding for education, but one recurring idea has been to give schools more flexibility in spending the money they already have.

 

A new bill filed by Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate, is the most recent attempt to do this.

When we read books, why do we forget so much of what we read, in only weeks or even days after we read it?

Coming across an article on this topic by Julie Beck in The Atlantic over the weekend, I found insight and even some consolation. I'm not the only one who forgets the plots of novels I've truly loved.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now we have the story of a high school student newspaper. The students found a story so explosive it was hard to keep the story published. The editor, Max Gordon, grew curious about a mystery at Herriman High in Utah.

Oklahoma City Public Schools

Aurora Lora, superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools, resigned Tuesday, compounding the instability at the helm of the state’s largest school district.

Oklahoma City Public Schools has had 11 superintendents since 2000. Lora took the top job in 2016 after a stint as assistant superintendent under Rob Neu.

elementary school library
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

With the start of the 2018 legislative session eight days away, lawmakers have submitted a flurry of proposals related to education.

They range from the expected — proposed salary boosts and other financial compensation for teachers — to the unexpected, like bills to allow schools to sell and place ads on school buses and to permit students to apply their own sunscreen.

The intent of many other proposals is still unknown, as many education-related bills were submitted as “shell bills,” written with no substantive text and to be amended later.

Updated on Feb. 9, 2018:

We all know that teachers do way more than teach. They often go beyond their job descriptions to help young people in ways that don't involve academics or the classroom.

Some will take in a homeless student. Others have gone so far as to adopt students. Or ... well, we're hoping you'll tell us!

Copyright 2018 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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