By the time today's K-12 students grow up, the challenges posed by climate change are expected to be severe and sweeping. Now, for the first time, new nationwide science standards due out soon will recommend that U.S. public school students learn about the climatic shift taking place.
Mark McCaffrey of the National Center for Science Education says the lessons will fill a big gap.
Each week, Assignment: Radio brings you stories on a different theme. Last time we took you to some interesting events in the community. This week, we focus on hard news topics like environmental conservation and the drug war.
Assignment: Radio is KGOU's student-produced public affairs program focusing on issues and events on the University of Oklahoma campus.
In the New York City prison system, the outlook for juvenile offenders is bleak. They're falling through the cracks, being arrested repeatedly, and being re-released onto the same streets only to be picked up again.
The criminal justice system is failing these 16- and 17-year-olds, says Dora Schriro, the commissioners of the city's Department of Corrections.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis speaks outside Mahalia Jackson Elementary School in Chicago about the planned closing of 54 public schools. Opponents say the plan will disproportionately affect minority students in the nation's third-largest school district.
Credit Scott Olson / Getty Images
Juan Carlos Ordonez, 5, gets a hug from his mother at Chicago's Jean De Lafayette Elementary School, one of 54 schools slated for closure. Ordonez attends a special education program for students with autism or severe and profound disabilities. About 170 of Lafayette's 480 students are in the program.
In Chicago, officials have released a long-feared list that places more than 50 schools on the chopping block. The public school district faces a $1 billion shortfall, and the mayor says many of the city's school buildings are half empty. Some angry parents and teachers say the plan will harm children and they'll fight to keep the schools open.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. A school occupies an important place in a community. It becomes an integral part of many families' lives. So it's no surprise there's controversy - even outrage - today in Chicago. That's where students, parents and teachers at about 50 public schools are finding out their schools are on the list to be closed this summer.
We'd like to turn to a surprisingly emotional and difficult issue in education right now. It's the debate over closing schools. Cities across the country are talking about this, especially in areas where budgets are tight and there is pressure on educators to achieve better results.
Ever since the Newtown, Ct., school shooting, there's been a raging debate over how to keep America's schoolchildren safe. National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre proposed stationing an armed guard in every school in the country. Critics said that idea was impractical and would be too expensive to carry out.
But many schools and school districts already have armed police officers. Since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, about one-third of the schools in the U.S. have added some kind of armed security, according to federal data.
Xavier University of Louisiana has a number of distinctions. It is the country's only historically black, Catholic University. Plus, it's one of the leading universities when it comes to sending African-American students on to medical school. And at 45 years, no other university's president has served longer than Xavier's Norman Francis.