Education

Stories related to teaching on all levels, from pre-K through college.

At the end of Angela Kohtala's leadership skills course, her high school students have to plan and carry out a community service project. Maybe it's fixing up their school courtyard, or tutoring younger students in an afterschool program.

Afterwards, they create a PowerPoint with pictures of the project. This isn't just a nice way to develop presentation skills — it's mandatory to prove that they really weeded that garden or sat with those kids in the first place.

You see, Kohtala's students are spread across the state of Florida, while she herself lives in Maine.

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New standardized tests are coming to Louisiana classrooms in March.  The exams are aligned with Common Core education standards.  Some parents oppose their children taking the new tests.  They believe the design of the PARCC exam would be harmful due to Common Core curriculum.

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Chairman Chas Roemer is encouraging participation despite the objection. "It's important for a district's accountability, and it's also important to assess where the child's strengths and weaknesses are at this point in time," Roemer said.

For the past two weeks, in a little corner of the Internet, renowned but reclusive Japanese writer Haruki Murakami has been fielding questions from his fans.

The best-selling author of works such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood and 1Q84 rarely gives interviews, which is why his fans were so excited about Mr. Murakami's Place.

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Here's something you probably know about David Duchovny: He played one of the 1990s' most iconic roles, FBI agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

The annual ranking of college fundraising is out, and it's a shocker. The Council for Aid to Education found a massive upswing in money going to big universities last year. Stacy Palmer writes for the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The baby boomers are getting older: This year, 4 million people in America will turn 65.

In her new book, The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America, author Ai-jen Poo says that means the country is on the cusp of a major shift.

"The baby boom generation is reaching retirement age at a rate of 10,000 people per day," she tells NPR's Arun Rath. "What that means is that by 2050, 27 million Americans will need some form of long-term care or assistance, and that's the basis for this book."

'Happy' Isn't So Happy, But It Packs A Punch

Feb 1, 2015

Every now and then, you find a book that's thinly plotted and has a slightly confusing, almost infuriating structure — but it's impossible to put down. The French writer Yasmina Reza has achieved exactly that with Happy are the Happy, a collection of twenty short, interconnected stories that crackle with emotion and playfulness.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

What comes to mind when you think of Scandinavia? Great education systems? The world's happiest people? Healthy work-life balance?

One man, a British transplant living in Denmark, sought to set the record straight about his adoptive homeland.

Michael Booth is the author of The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia. He tells NPR's Rachel Martin about how culturally different Scandinavian countries really are.

If you know any college seniors, now might be a good time to send them some encouraging words. The class of 2015 can't be blamed if they're feeling a little worried: They're facing one of the most important transitions of their lives.

In a matter of months, they're about to launch from the relatively protected confines of college into the so-called "real world," where they have to find a sense of purpose — not to mention a paycheck. It's not hyperbole to say the decisions they make now will shape the rest of their lives.

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