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Stories about education, opportunity, and how people learn. From APM Reports.

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Under Pressure: The College Mental Health Crisis

Even before the pandemic, campus counselling services were reporting a marked uptick in the number of students with anxiety, clinical depression and other serious psychiatric problems. What is a college’s responsibility for helping students navigate mental health challenges, and how well are colleges rising to the task? Read more: Inside the college mental health crisis


19 Aug 2021

Rank #1

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Fading Beacon: Why America is Losing International Students

Colleges and universities in the United States attract more than a million international students a year. Higher education is one of America’s top service exports, generating $42 billion in revenue. But the money spigot is closing. The pandemic, visa restrictions, rising tuition and a perception of poor safety in America have driven new international student enrollment down by a jaw-dropping 72 percent. Read more: The U.S. may never regain its dominance as a destination for international students. Here's why that matters.


3 Aug 2021

Rank #2

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Who wants to be a teacher? Episode 4: This very leaky pipeline

Today, more Black and Hispanic teachers enter the classroom through alternative pathways than through traditional teacher degree programs. The number of teachers of color in the United States has more than doubled since the 1980s in large part due to the growing number of preparation and certification pathways and recruitment efforts from the federal level down. But there's a catch: Many of these teachers won’t stay for long, further undermining efforts to get diversity in the teacher labor force to reflect the diversity of students in the United States. Learn more: Who wants to be a teacher?


28 Jul 2021

Rank #3

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Who wants to be a teacher? Episode 3: The trouble with grading teachers

Critics of the rise in alternative and for-profit programs will claim teacher quality, and student learning, suffers when people are fast-tracked into the classroom without comprehensive training. But it’s hard to know for certain whether that’s true. The problem is, despite decades of trying, we haven’t agreed on how to measure teacher quality. There’s a lot of research that shows having a good teacher makes a huge difference in the outcomes of students, but it’s much less clear what makes a teacher good. Learn more: Who wants to be a teacher?


28 Jul 2021

Rank #4

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Who wants to be a teacher? Episode 2: The rise of the for-profit teacher training industry

Beginning in the early 1980s, a lot of states began to open up the pathways to becoming a teacher. People who already had a bachelor’s degree in something else didn’t need to go back to college to get trained in teaching. Policymakers hoped this would solve teacher shortages by getting more people into the profession, but it’s also opened up a whole new business model in educator preparation: Online for-profit teacher training programs have proliferated, and they’re growing fast. One program in Texas has become the single largest educator preparation program in the United States by enrollment, and it’s expanding into other states. Learn more: Who wants to be a teacher?


28 Jul 2021

Rank #5

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Who wants to be a teacher? Episode 1: The teacher emergency

Every president since Eisenhower has talked about the need for more teachers, especially in certain rural and urban schools, and in subjects such as math and science. For decades, policies have been made and laws changed in order to recruit and train more and more teachers. But research shows we’ve been looking at the problem wrong, and that these efforts haven’t solved teacher shortages at all, but have created an oversize labor force with less training, less experience and high rates of turnover. Learn more: Who wants to be a teacher?


28 Jul 2021

Rank #6

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Black at Mizzou: Confronting race on campus

Lauren Brown says college was "culture shock." Most of the students at her high school were Black, but most of the students at the University of Missouri were white. And she got to the university in the fall of 2015, when Black students led protests in response to a string of racist incidents. The protests put Mizzou in the national news. But the news stories didn't match what Lauren saw. They made it seem like racism on campus was an aberration. And they made it seem like Black student organizing was new at Mizzou. What Lauren saw was "Black Mizzou," a thriving campus-within-a-campus that Black students have built over decades to make the university a more welcoming place.


14 Aug 2020

Rank #7

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What the Words Say

Everyone agrees that the goal of reading instruction is for children to understand what they read. The question is: how does a little kid get there? Emily Hanford explores what reading scientists have figured out about how reading comprehension works and why poverty and race can affect a child’s reading development. Read the full story.


6 Aug 2020

Rank #8

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Covid on Campus

The coronavirus pandemic represents the greatest challenge to American higher education in decades. Some small regional colleges that were already struggling won’t survive. Other schools, large and small, are rethinking how to offer an education while keeping people safe. This program explores how institutions are handling the crisis, and how students are trying to navigate a major disruption in their college years. Colleges on the brink The long tradition of students attending small, residential liberal arts colleges around the country was already shaky before the pandemic. Students are choosing less expensive options and more practical degrees. Experts warn that 10 percent of American colleges — about 200 or more institutions — are on the verge of going under. The pandemic is accelerating that trend. A digital divide The pandemic is making getting through college harder for students on the wrong side of the digital divide. In rural Arizona, when campuses closed, some students couldn’t log on from home, because they had no access to the internet. A local sheriff flew laptops and hotspots to community college students on the Navajo Nation. Reopening in a virus hotspot Colleges and universities are under pressure to reopen, but bringing students back on campus safely means dealing with dizzying logistics. As the virus surges in Miami, a large commuter campus gets ready.


29 Jul 2020

Rank #9

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Same Pandemic, Unequal Education (from Us & Them podcast)

The coronavirus pandemic has left West Virginia schools particularly hard hit. The Us & Them podcast from West Virginia Public Radio brings us stories of teachers grappling with virtual classes for students who don't have access to the internet and how schools are trying, still, to keep kids fed.


30 May 2020

Rank #10