Blake Farmer

3:42am

Tue June 9, 2015
NPR Ed

This Summer, The Cafeteria Comes To The Kids

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 8:08 am

LA Johnson/NPR

"Chow bus! Chow bus! Chow bus!" chants Gunner Fischer, 3, as a custom-painted school bus rounds the corner and rumbles toward his apartment complex in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

About 21 million students nationwide eat free and reduced-price meals throughout the school year, but getting those same kids fed during the summer is a challenge. Only a fraction of those make it to schools or community centers for summer meals.

Read more

7:03am

Fri March 27, 2015
NPR Ed

Stretching One Great Teacher Across Many Classrooms

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 11:55 pm

At Nashville's Bailey Middle Prep, Whitney Bradley teaches her 8th-graders how to organize an essay in preparation for the writing section of Tennessee's standardized test. Most in her class trail their peers in literacy.
Blake Farmer Nashville Public Radio

A stack of research suggests that all the classroom technology in the world can't compare to the power of a great teacher. And, since we haven't yet figured out how to clone our best teachers, a few schools around the country are trying something like it: Stretching them across multiple classrooms.

Read more

5:07pm

Tue March 10, 2015
Religion

Southern Baptist Leaders Highlight Benefits Of Youthful Matrimony

Andrew Walker pushed an agenda on youthful matrimony during a recent marriage conference put on by the Southern Baptist's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Blake Farmer WPLN

Leaders of the country's largest Protestant denomination have a message for millennials: get married already.

The Nashville-based Southern Baptist Convention and its nearly 16 million members continue to resist societal trends like gay marriage and cohabitation. They also want to go against the grain on the rising marital age.

But back in 1972, Pam Blume was pretty typical. She was just a few years out of high school when she walked down the aisle.

Read more

5:06am

Thu December 4, 2014
NPR Ed

Teachers Go Door-Knocking In Nashville

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:04 pm

Teachers in Nashville, Tenn., are knocking on doors to recruit students for public school.
LA Johnson NPR

It's Saturday in East Nashville, Tenn., and LaTonya White finds herself knocking on a stranger's door. It's awkward. Someone peers out at her through the window. White looks away, pretending not to notice. After an uncomfortable few seconds, the door finally cracks open. White seizes her chance:

"My name is LaTonya White. I'm the principal at Rosebank Elementary School. How are you doing?" she asks, glancing at the clipboard in her hands. On it: a list of families in the area with soon-to-be kindergartners. "Yes, you should have a child ready to come to school soon."

Read more

8:06pm

Mon December 16, 2013
Remembrances

Country Music Legend Ray Price Dies At 87

Country music singer and songwriter Ray Price died Monday at the age of 87 at his ranch in Texas. Price was a Grammy Award Winner and who had more than 100 country hits in his decades-long career. A 1996 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, he was credited with pioneering a shuffle beat and walking bass line that became standard in Texas dance halls.

4:59pm

Mon October 21, 2013
Economy

Volkswagen Union Opposed By Tennessee Republican Officials

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:10 am

Volkswagen's car plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., is the company's only one in the U.S. It's also the only VW plant around the world without a workers union.
Volkswagen

When it comes to union organizing at an auto plant, the tension is typically between the workers and the management. But not at Volkswagen in Tennessee. There, the United Auto Workers is attempting to finally unionize the automaker's first foreign-owned plant in the South. And so far, Republican officials are the ones trying to stand in the way.

Read more

3:28pm

Mon July 8, 2013
Music News

Modern Hymn Writers Aim To Take Back Sunday

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 11:35 am

Modern hymn writers Kristyn and Keith Getty run through their song "In Christ Alone" at their home near Nashville's Music Row.
Courtesy of Stephen Jerkins

There was a time when hymns were used primarily to drive home the message that came from the pulpit. But then came the praise songs.

Read more

6:45am

Thu January 24, 2013
National Security

Women In Combat Ban To Be Lifted

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a momentous Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

We're expecting Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to make an announcement today. From now on, women will formally be allowed to serve in ground combat.

INSKEEP: To sense just how dramatic this change is, consider how many other milestones the military passed before reaching this one. The move for women comes 65 years after the Armed Forces ended racial segregation.

Read more

6:49pm

Mon September 10, 2012
U.S.

Army Aims To Use Words, Not Weapons, With Afghans

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 6:53 pm

U.S. Army soldiers learn to play khosai, Afghanistan's full-contact national pastime, at Fort Campbell.
Blake Farmer for NPR

The U.S. Army has been ramping up instruction in the languages of Afghanistan, even as troop levels in the country decrease in preparation for the U.S. troop withdrawal in 2014.

This year, key installations have added several hundred speakers of Pashto and Dari to their ranks, more than doubling the number of soldiers trained in the Afghan languages.

But it's not just the country's languages that are foreign to U.S. soldiers — it's the culture, as well.

Read more

12:01am

Mon February 20, 2012
Around the Nation

As Bear Population Grows, More States Look At Hunts

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 8:48 am

A family of bears investigates a Dumpster behind a diner in Pomona, N.Y., last fall. Black bears are becoming more common in populated areas around the United States.
Eddy Philippe AP

Wildlife officials don't usually base hunting policies on how the public feels about an animal. But the black bear seems to be different. The revered king of the forest has bounced back from near-extinction to being a nuisance in some areas. Some states are trying to figure out if residents can live in peace with bears, or if they'd rather have hunters keep numbers in check.

Read more