Eric Westervelt http://wutc.org en Q&A: A Union Leader On Tenure, Testing And The Common Core http://wutc.org/post/qa-union-leader-tenure-testing-and-common-core The American Federation of Teachers <a href="http://aft.org/index.cfm">(AFT)</a> is holding its <a href="http://www.aft.org/convention/">annual convention</a> in Los Angeles through this weekend. For the AFT's more than 3,500 national delegates descending on LA, there is a lot on their plate and big challenges ahead for the nation's second-largest teachers union: <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/05/27/307755798/the-common-core-faq">the Common Core</a>, tenure and fierce debate about testing, to name a few. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 40107 at http://wutc.org Q&A: A Union Leader On Tenure, Testing And The Common Core From Calif. Teachers, More Nuanced Views On Tenure http://wutc.org/post/calif-teachers-more-nuanced-views-tenure In the weeks since a California judge overturned the state's rules governing teacher tenure, the political noise has only grown louder. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 40048 at http://wutc.org From Calif. Teachers, More Nuanced Views On Tenure Giving Boys A Bigger Emotional Toolbox http://wutc.org/post/giving-boys-bigger-emotional-tool-box <em>This story is part of the </em>"<a href="http://www.npr.org/series/323986426/men-in-america" target="_blank">Men In America</a>"<em> series on All Things Considered.</em><p>Is America's dominant "man up" ethos a hypermasculine cultural construct, a tenet rooted in biological gender difference or something in between?<p>Educator Ashanti Branch doesn't much care or, more accurately, doesn't have time to care.<p>He's too busy trying to make a difference in boys' lives.<p>Boys in American public schools are suspended from and drop out of school at higher rates than girls. Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:03:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 39398 at http://wutc.org Giving Boys A Bigger Emotional Toolbox A High School Band Where Everyone's Voice Can Be Heard http://wutc.org/post/high-school-band-where-everyones-voice-can-be-heard <em>(This is Part 2 of a two-part report. Read the full piece <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/06/11/320882414/ipads-allow-kids-with-challenges-to-play-in-high-schools-band">here</a>.)</em><p>On the surface, the PS 177 Technology Band looks like a typical high school orchestra. But there are two big differences. First, while they use traditional instruments, they also play iPads. And all of the band members have disabilities. Some have autism spectrum disorders.<p>"I'm Tobi Lakes. I'm 15 years old. I'm in ninth grade. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 20:36:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 38751 at http://wutc.org A High School Band Where Everyone's Voice Can Be Heard iPads Allow Kids With Challenges To Play In High School Band http://wutc.org/post/ipads-allow-kids-challenges-play-high-school-band Tablet computers and a creative teacher have helped open doors for some kids with serious learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. The P.S. 177 Technology Band is in Queens, N.Y. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=iPads+Allow+Kids+With+Challenges+To+Play+In+High+School+Band&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDAxODg3MTg0MDEyMTg2NTY3OTI5YTI3ZA004)"/></div><p> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 13:10:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 38717 at http://wutc.org iPads Allow Kids With Challenges To Play In High School's Band http://wutc.org/post/ipads-allow-kids-challenges-play-high-schools-band There's a steady stream of hype surrounding the pluses and pitfalls of classroom tablet computers. But for a growing number of special education students tablets and their apps are proving transformative. The tablets aren't merely novel and fun. With guidance from creative teachers, they are helping to deepen engagement, communication, and creativity.<p>In a typical red brick public school building in the Fresh Meadows section of Queens, New York, one creative and passionate music instructor is using tablet computers to help reach students with disabilities. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 10:57:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 38714 at http://wutc.org iPads Allow Kids With Challenges To Play In High School's Band California Teacher Tenure Ruled Unconstitutional http://wutc.org/post/california-teacher-tenure-ruled-unconstitutional A California judge today ruled the state's laws governing teacher tenure and the firing of public school teachers unconstitutional, saying they interfere with the state's obligation to provide every child with access to a good education.<p>The plaintiffs in the case, <em>Vergara v. California</em>, argued that the tenure system for public school teachers in California verges on the absurd, and that those laws disproportionately harm poor and minority students. In his ruling, Judge Rolf M. Tue, 10 Jun 2014 19:58:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 38682 at http://wutc.org California Teacher Tenure Ruled Unconstitutional As More Speakers Get The Boot, Who's Left To Send Off Graduates? http://wutc.org/post/student-protests-force-string-commencement-speaker-shake-ups Graduation Season? Wed, 14 May 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 37485 at http://wutc.org As More Speakers Get The Boot, Who's Left To Send Off Graduates? In Tulsa, Combining Preschool With Help For Parents http://wutc.org/post/tulsa-combining-preschool-help-parents At preschools in Tulsa, Okla., teachers are well-educated and well-paid, and classrooms are focused on play, but are still challenging. One nonprofit in Tulsa, the Community Action Project, has flipped the script on preschool. The idea behind its Career Advance program is simple: To help kids, the group believes, you often have to help their parents.<p>The program combines Head Start for children with intensive training for their parents, designed to help them find well-paying jobs. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:23:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 36539 at http://wutc.org In Tulsa, Combining Preschool With Help For Parents One Approach To Head Start: To Help Kids, Help Their Parents http://wutc.org/post/one-approach-head-start-help-kids-help-their-parents President Obama has called repeatedly on Congress to help states pay for "high-quality preschool" for all. In fact, those two words — "high quality" — appear time and again in the president's prepared remarks. They are also a refrain among early childhood education advocates and researchers. But what do they mean? And what separates the best of the nation's preschool programs from the rest?<p>NPR found one answer to those questions in Tulsa, Okla. The city is known as a national leader in early childhood education. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:03:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 36540 at http://wutc.org One Approach To Head Start: To Help Kids, Help Their Parents Maze Of College Costs And Aid Programs Traps Some Families http://wutc.org/post/maze-college-costs-and-aid-programs-trap-some-families In the past 20 years, the average burden for a four-year college graduate in the U.S. has gone from about $9,000 to nearly $30,000 today. The percentage of students carrying debt has shot up from less than half to nearly 70 percent these days.<p>At a large public high school in Freemont, Calif., southeast of San Francisco, Alyssa Tucker and Thao Le sit on a metal table. Both come from families with modest incomes.<p>Both are 17 and facing college this fall with anxious excitement. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 09:11:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 35257 at http://wutc.org Maze Of College Costs And Aid Programs Traps Some Families College Applicants Sweat The SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't http://wutc.org/post/college-applicants-sweat-sats-perhaps-they-shouldnt With spring fast approaching, many American high school seniors are now waiting anxiously to hear whether they got into the college or university of their choice. For many students, their scores on the SAT or the ACT will play a big role in where they get in.<p>That's because those standardized tests remain a central part in determining which students get accepted at many schools. Tue, 18 Feb 2014 08:29:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 33787 at http://wutc.org College Applicants Sweat The SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't A Push To Boost Computer Science Learning, Even At An Early Age http://wutc.org/post/push-boost-computer-science-learning-even-early-age <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC5FbmsH4fw</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaW3PAzHxCU</p> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 08:39:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 33757 at http://wutc.org A Push To Boost Computer Science Learning, Even At An Early Age Political Rivals Find Common Ground Over Common Core http://wutc.org/post/backlash-grows-against-common-core-education-standards Supporters of the new Common Core <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/01/19/169798643/new-reading-standards-aim-to-prep-kids-for-college-but-at-what-cost">education standards</a> adopted by 45 states say the standards hold American students to much higher expectations, and move curriculum away from a bubble-test culture that encourages test preparation over deeper learning.<p>But there's growing backlash to <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/07/05/198442307/education-reform-learns-lesson-from-old-standards">Common Core</a>, and conservatives and liberals increasingly are voicing similar concerns: t Tue, 28 Jan 2014 09:58:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 32950 at http://wutc.org Political Rivals Find Common Ground Over Common Core Teacher Job Protections Vs. Students' Education In Calif. http://wutc.org/post/teacher-job-protections-vs-students-education-calif Transcript <p>RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: <p>To California now where a polarizing lawsuit goes to trial tomorrow. At issue, whether job protections for public school teachers undermines students' constitutional rights to an adequate education. The students and parents who filed the lawsuit say it could provide a model for challenging teacher protection laws in other states. Sun, 26 Jan 2014 14:41:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 32882 at http://wutc.org