education

The day Ayden came home from school with bruises, his mother started looking for a new school.

Ayden's a bright 9-year-old with a blond crew cut, glasses and an eager smile showing new teeth coming in. He also has autism, ADHD and a seizure disorder. (We're not using his last name to protect his privacy.) He loves karate, chapter books and very soft blankets: "I love the fuzziness, I just cocoon myself into my own burrito."

"He's so smart but lacks so much socially," says his mother, Lynn.

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Carlos Barria/Reuters

Students from the Middle East, Asia and Latin America are growing more fearful of attending college in the US.

That’s according to a recent survey by the American Association of College Registrar and Admissions Officers. Higher education institutions have reported a decline in international student applications and, experts say, the current political climate is a factor.

The White House announced today that President Trump's youngest son, 11-year-old Barron, will attend the private St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, Md., this fall.

Barron and his mother, Melania Trump, have been living at Trump Tower in New York throughout Trump's presidency. The announcement ends speculation that they would remain in New York during the entire presidency; Barron will be the first presidential son to live at the White House since John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Pixabay

Recess has returned, but not for charter schools, and state testing will be limited to two weeks. Those are just two of the proposals lawmakers crammed into an education bill that capped off the end of the legislative session.

Education reporters Cathy Carter and Rowan Moore Gerety unpack some other education issues that made their way into the state budget now headed to the desk of Governor Rick Scott.  

When 18-year-old Hannah Vanderkooy feels extremely tired or anxious, she heads to a spacelike capsule for a nap — during school. Like many teens struggling to get good grades and maybe even a college scholarship, Vanderkooy doesn't get enough sleep.

And she's not alone. Various studies indicate that chronically sleepy and stressed-out teenagers might be the new normal among U.S. adolescents who are competing for grades, colleges and, eventually, jobs.

Read this article if you're having a rough day. This is a rare story about positive social change.

Florida Budget Includes State Employee Pay Raises, Money for Lake Okeechobee

May 9, 2017
AP

Florida’s legislative session ended Monday night, three days later than originally planned.

Lawmakers spent roughly eight hours on the day debating and passing the state’s $83 billion budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, along with approving a $90 million tax cut package and an education bill that would encourage charter schools to open up near academically struggling traditional public schools, while also allowing traditional campuses to seek funding to provide additional services to students.

According to the Florida Department of Education, nearly eighty one percent of Florida teenagers earned a high school diploma last year. That makes the state's graduation rate 20 percent higher than it was a decade ago.

It mirrors a national trend--but is the news too good to be true?  

The Florida Legislature has lined up a series of spending measures to complete the state budget.  Leaders are cramming some of the largest and thorniest issues into measures that some lawmakers will be debating for the first time.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

The Sunroom: A Place For Young Miami Poets

May 3, 2017
Priscila Serrano / WLRN

Elementary students from three Liberty City schools spent the last two months meeting once a week to write poetry, and some of it has ended up in some unusual places. Like gas stations. And buses. 

“Poetry asks kids to come up with innovative ideas. It encourages them to think outside the box instead of asking them to zero in on a definition or answer to a test question,” said Laurel Nakanishi, teacher and coordinator of the program that added poetry to the kids’ curriculum.

In the hills of southern New Hampshire, there's a stately old bell atop the Academy Building at Phillips Exeter.

With each toll, it signals passing periods between classes. The sound of the bell — much like the rest of the sprawling prep school's campus — evokes centuries of tradition. But next year, the school is trying something new.

It's all happening in an inconspicuous wood-framed building: Kirtland House. Right now, Kirtland House is a girls' dorm, but a sign on the first-floor bathroom hints at the future. It reads: "gender-inclusive restroom."

Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

On a Wednesday afternoon at Lorah Park Elementary School in Brownsville, a half dozen 4-year-olds are clustered on the carpet trying to keep up with a song on Spanish greetings.

“Y como están?,” their teacher asks once the music stops, slowing things down so they have time to enunciate.

“MUY. BIEN. GRA-CI-AS,” they reply in a chorus. “¿Y USTED?”

In another room, second graders try their hand at a series of dizzying Spanish tongue twisters—“Como poco coco como, poco coco compro.” (Since I don’t eat much coconut, I don’t buy much either.”)

This week and next is a national rite of passage for stressed-out overachievers everywhere. Nearly 3 million high school students at 22,000 high schools will be sitting down to take their Advanced Placement exams.

Created by the nonprofit College Board in the 1950s, AP is to other high school courses what Whole Foods is to other supermarkets: a mark of the aspirational, a promise of higher standards and, occasionally, a more expensive alternative.

Two years ago, when Amanda Gomez could not get financial aid for community college, she decided to enroll part time at El Paso Community College in Texas. This gave her time to work to pay for her courses.

Being a part-time student has its pros — mainly a lighter course load. But Gomez feels like she misses out on some important experiences, like being able to stay back after class to talk to her instructors, or study in libraries on campus.

She says the difference was notable when she took a semester as a full-time student.

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