Around the Nation
12:25 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Teenage Mischief Can Lead To Jail Time In Tennessee

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 3:58 pm

Teenagers get in trouble for skipping school, breaking curfew or buying cigarettes, but in one Tennessee county, that can mean jail. Susan Ferriss reported on this for the Center for Public Integrity.

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State Capitol
11:27 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Oklahoma House Committee Approves Common Core Repealer

Credit comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

The bill that would repeal use of the Common Core state standards in Oklahoma was signed out of the House Common Education Conference Committee Wednesday.

State Rep. Jason Nelson (R-Oklahoma City), who presented the bill for House Speaker Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview), said the bill would prohibit implementation of Common Core and sets up a “firewall” that would cease federal or private control of education.

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9:54 am
Thu May 22, 2014

'Mischievous Responders' Confound Research On Teens

Not all kids lie on research surveys. But enough teenagers make up answers that it can significantly skew the results.

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 12:30 pm

Teenagers face some serious issues: drugs, bullying, sexual violence, depression, gangs. They don't always like to talk about these things with adults.

One way that researchers and educators can get around that is to give teens a survey — a simple, anonymous questionnaire they can fill out by themselves without any grown-ups hovering over them. Hundreds of thousands of students take such surveys every year. School districts use them to gather data; so do the federal government, states and independent researchers.

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Oklahoma Watch
8:45 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Social Media Reaction To House, Senate Override Of Fallin’s Reading Retention Veto

Oklahoma House of Representatives

Gov. Mary Fallin's veto to changes in Oklahoma's third grade reading retention law was short-lived Wednesday.

Both the House and Senate voted to override the veto, a move that paves the way for parents to work with teams of teachers and reading specialists to determine if their child will advance to fourth grade if they failed the third grade reading test.

Reaction of the override quickly flooded Twitter:

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meeting with steve green of hobby lobby
6:19 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Emails Reveal Public Meetings Law Avoided By Mustang School Officials

Credit George Bannister /

Emails to school board members and school administrators in a district that approved a Bible-based curriculum show that they broke into small groups for meetings with the program's chief backer to circumvent a law requiring government bodies to meet in public.

The emails obtained by The Associated Press show that the April 14 meetings with Steve Green and other members of the Museum of the Bible curriculum team, the president of the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store chain, occurred just hours before the Mustang School Board approved the course as an elective.

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Allows team to determine to advance 3rd graders
4:14 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Oklahoma House And Senate Override Fallin's Veto

Credit bungasagadua /

A bill that makes it easier for children to advance to the fourth grade even if they may not be reading at grade level will become law despite the governor's veto.

The Republican-controlled House and Senate both voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to override Fallin's veto. The House voted 79-17, while the Senate voted 45-2. The override required a three-fourth's vote of both chambers.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Japanese School Says It Won't Be Kinki Anymore

An image of the Kinki University website. The school plans to change its name, citing possible misunderstandings by English speakers.
Kinki University

In an effort to broaden its international appeal, a Japanese college is phasing out its titter-inducing name. Osaka's Kinki University is named for its home region in south-central Japan. But school officials say the name is distracting; they note that foreigners who attend conferences there often make jokes about their visit to the Kinki school.

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8:39 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Commencement Mashup: The Speech In 8 Easy Steps

Dick Costolo, Amy Poehler and Neil deGrasse Tyson all appear in NPR's commencement speech mashup.

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 1:59 pm

A noble institution? A good show? A tedious quarter-hour of lame jokes told under the hot sun? The American commencement address can be all of these things.

We skipped and slogged through 50 of the most popular commencement speeches on YouTube - looking for inspiration, wisdom, amusement, corny jokes and clichés - to bring you this mashup of highlights and lowlights.

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"setting up that child for failure"
6:00 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Fallin Vetoes Bill That Would Have Helped Third Graders With Reading Problems

Credit Carissa Rogers /

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill that would have made it easier for school districts to promote third graders who may not be reading at grade level.

Fallin vetoed the bill on Tuesday, saying that allowing students who can't read to advance to the fourth grade is "setting that child up for failure."

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3:37 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Anatomy Of A Great Commencement Speech

Comedian and actress Amy Poehler addresses Harvard University's graduating class of 2011 on the school's campus, in Cambridge, Mass.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:20 am

It's that time again — graduation season. And that means next week or last week or right this very minute, some 7 million students in the U.S. and lots of doting parents have to sit through a commencement speech.

If you're stuck listening to a particularly bad one — or just need an inspiration infusion — the NPR Ed Team has sifted through hundreds of past speeches (going all the way back to 1774) and built an online database of the very best.

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