education

Virginia Savage lives in a part of north St. Louis, Mo., that's filled with vacant buildings, including Marshall Elementary. It has been closed for years now, and vines crawl into the building's smashed-out windows. The playground is littered with empty liquor bottles.

Savage went to school at Marshall as a young girl, and now she sees bigger problems beyond all those blemishes: "Drug dealers, drug users, eyesore. That's what I see."

In St. Louis, the student enrollment is one-fourth the size it was in the 1960s. That drop has led the district to close 30 or so schools.

Garfield High School
Flickr Photo/Don Brubeck (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A task force has overwhelmingly voted to flip the current bell schedule for Seattle Public Schools to fit with doctors' recommendations. 

But task force members acknowledged that changing the bell times could be hard on families that rely on teenagers working after-school jobs – and that some young students would be walking to school or waiting for the bus before the sun is up.  

Ilana Panich-Linsman

Sergio Gon sits in the corner of his kindergarten classroom in Giddings, Texas, reading a book to his students entirely in Spanish. He’s a bilingual teacher at the elementary school there, a town of about 5,000 people halfway between Austin and Houston. Most of his students don’t speak English.

Down the hall, Karla Monnaco, also a bilingual teacher, teaches third grade in another classroom. By the time Gon’s students reach Monnaco’s class, they’re expected to speak both English and Spanish.

Both houses of Congress have now passed versions of the bill that would update the largest federal education law, known as No Child Left Behind, for the first time since 2001. They are big, meaty and complicated, and now they have to be reconciled into one messy Dagwood sandwich of a bill to go to the president.

Courtesy of Azmat Khan/BuzzFeed News

The US war in Afghanistan has left behind a lot of statistics — many of them very grim. But one postitive number had jumped out: the number of kids enrolled in school.

The US has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decade to build schools in war-torn Afghanistan. And, according to the US Agency for International Development, with good results. USAID says that, back in 2002, fewer than a million Afghan children were enrolled in school — none of them girls.

Today, USAID says more than 8 million young Afghans are attending schools including 2.5 million girls.

In one of this year's most intense international competitions, the United States has come out as best in the world — and this time, we're not talking about soccer.

This week, the top-ranked math students from high schools around the country went head-to-head with competitors from more than 100 countries at the International Mathematical Olympiad in Chiang Mai, Thailand. And, for the first time in more than two decades, they won.

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Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Ruhy Patel, 17, lives in Doylestown, Pa. When she was 15 she was planning to run for student council office. "All the other people running were boys," she says, "and people were like, 'Well, you're not going to win.' You feel intimidated because you're the only girl in the room. It makes you question if you'd be OK in the field of politics."

Did she drop out? No.

Did she win? "I did!"

"I feel like it kind of makes you want to try harder when people say no," says Patel.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Tuesday a four-year suspension of a voter-approved class size measure. He also signed a two-year delay of a biology test graduation requirement.

Kathy Parrish, a polio survivor, gets a check-up at Seattle Children's Hospital. Health officials are puzzled at why vaccination rates have declined in the last 17 years.
Courtesy of Kathy Parrish

After an outbreak of measles last fall, Washington state health officials hoped that a small subset of parents would change their minds about getting their kids immunized.

But those parents weren’t moved.

Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

Teach a kid to code and she’ll build her own video game – and maybe not lose so much learning between school years.

That’s the idea behind a new generation of summer learning programs at the Seattle Public Library.

Jeannie Yandel talks to Jack Stripling, a reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education, about the University of Washington's search for a new president.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The 7- and 8-year-olds in this math class at Hawthorne Elementary School in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood seem oblivious to the sunshine beating down on the playground outside. They're busy lining up red, green, blue and yellow tiles in neat staircases. 

Highline senior Lesley Delgadillo's graduation is held up by one thing: the biology exit exam newly required in Washington state this year.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Washington State Senate Republicans and Democrats have agreed to delay a requirement for high school students to pass a biology exit exam this year and 2016.

This helps about 2,000 high school seniors who were supposed to graduate in June, but still hadn't met the science requirement.

One of the students is Lesley Delgadillo, whose story we brought you last month.

The Washington state Senate voted Thursday afternoon to delay a voter-approved class size measure and a biology test high school graduation requirement.

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