Education

We cover how our residents are growing and learning, starting from pre-K, through higher education, and beyond, into adulthood. 

Coverage of education in western Pennsylvania on 90.5 WESA is supported by a generous grant from
The Grable Foundation.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Where a child goes to school shapes their educational experience, and that educational experience in turn shapes their future.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

Woodland Hills School District, which was accused of creating a culture of verbal abuse and excessive force that allowed resource officers to shock students with stun guns and body slam them, reached a settlement Tuesday in a civil rights lawsuit.

Martin Abegglen / Flickr

Dyslexia is a disability that hinders the brain’s ability to match sounds with letters. This affects reading, writing and spelling.

Provided by the University of Pittsburgh

Luddy Hayden remembers meeting only one African-American instructor while he was an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

A state senator from western Pennsylvania says there will be $154,000 in state grants going toward improving safety in local schools.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Author and education researcher Karin Chenoweth spent a decade in public schools where low-income students perform at high levels. She calls them “unexpected schools.”

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools’ board members will vote on whether to arm the 22 police officers the district employs later this month. 

90.5 WESA

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board is slated to hold hearings this week on whether University of Pittsburgh graduate students have the right to hold a vote to form a union. 

Lou Corsaro / Point Park University

 

It’s been almost three years since The McKeesport Daily News published its final edition, and a pilot program out of Point Park University aims to fill at least a portion of that media void. 

Kevin Gavin / 90.5 WESA

Shaler Area Elementary School teacher Michael Penn is heading to Antarctica.

A New One-Stop-Shop For Pennsylvania Education Data

Sep 24, 2018
Jessica Kourkounis / Keystone Crossroads

If you’re looking for an education-related figure, number, data point, or variable, chances are the new Pennsylvania School Data Project has you covered.

Philly's $40,000 Cab Ride, And What It Says About Modern, Urban Education

Sep 24, 2018
Emily Cohen / WHYY

If you squint just right, Roberta Bellamy looks like she’s living in a public school paradise.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet says district-wide reform is a marathon, not a sprint.

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The superintendent of the Beaver Area School District paused before the start of Monday’s school board meeting and told a packed auditorium that she is gay.

Jacqueline Larma / AP

After a rash of incidents that saw prison staff sickened by unknown substances and prompted a 12-day lockdown, Pennsylvania's Corrections Department has changed many of its rules related to inmate privileges--including where and how they're allowed to get books.

A federal judge ruled this week that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' delay of a key student borrower protection rule was improper and unlawful.

"This is such an important win for student borrowers and anyone who cares about a government that operates under the rule of law," says Toby Merrill, of Harvard Law School's Project On Predatory Student Lending. The judge is expected to order a remedy in the next week.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

During the first mass of the school year, two students at St. Bernard Elementary School stood in front of the congregation and lead their classmates in prayer.

U.S. Department of Education / Flickr

Public schools in Pittsburgh will dismiss two hours earlier than scheduled Tuesday due to expected high temperatures.

Pittsburgh Public Schools spokeswoman Ebony Pugh says the early release is intended to provide relief to students and staff, especially those in schools without air conditioning.

Middle and high school athletics will continue at the discretion of head coaches. Schools will contact families if practices or games are canceled or rescheduled. All other after-school activities are canceled. Central administration offices will remain open.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Public Schools

 

From the beginning, Pittsburgh Public Schools' Superintendent Anthony Hamlet says it's been his goal to improve students' mental health, address racial disparities and close the district's historically troubling achievement gaps. 

Among his 137-point strategic plan, Hamlet, who's responsible for 25,000 students across 54 schools, points to implementing restorative discipline, minimizing school suspensions and offering more time to staffers for collaborative learning and development.

Courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law started this academic year with a new leader at its helm. Amy Wildermuth took over in July after working as a professor at the University of Utah.

Many law schools have struggled in recent years to maintain enrollment, leading some to change admissions requirements

Seth Wenig / AP

For some, free college is still an outrageous idea, but legislation introduced in June aims to supply just that.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Andrew Brooking’s future at Philadelphia’s Blaine Elementary seemed uncertain.

After four years teaching there, he was vying to become an assistant principal at the end of last school year, and figured that would mean an assignment elsewhere in the city.

But a conversation with a parent from the school’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood — one home to deep poverty and violent crime — helped him understand why he needed to stay.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Monday is the first day of school for a new Pittsburgh Public Schools early childhood classroom located in the Carnegie Science Center. The classroom will serve 20 children who were chosen through a randomized lottery, according to PPS.

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

The Woodland Hills School Board on Thursday voted unanimously to renew two controversial security contracts.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Black students in Allegheny County are suspended at more than seven times the rate of their non-black peers. 

New PA School Safety Funding On Track For March 2019

Aug 16, 2018
Dana DiFilippo / WHYY

Pennsylvania state lawmakers say they’re awaiting feedback from the state’s 500 school districts and 300 private school entities before they can disburse the first wave of funding to improve school safety. They expect to distribute the money by March 2019.

The funds are part of Act 44, a bipartisan bill signed into law in the months after the Parkland, Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.

Forget 'Kumbaya:' Camp Kids Help Fight Spotted Lanternfly

Aug 13, 2018
PA Dept. of Agriculture

Summer camp is a place for friendship bracelets, nature walks and bug juice.

But at one program in southeast Pennsylvania, children were given a whole new experience.

They were taught how to find, then crush the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that has become enemy No. 1 in the state.

The weeklong program, themed Hunt for the Spotted Lanternfly, was created by Centro Cultural Latinos Unidos, a Pottstown group, in partnership with other organizations.

About 27 children and their families participated in the program that ended on a recent Friday.

Education Forums, Sept. 2018

Aug 10, 2018

90.5 WESA hosted a series of forums on topics related to elementary and secondary education in Western Pennsylvania in September, 2018.

The four events were free and open to the public, and were generously supported by The Grable Foundation.

Sep. 4, 2018: Schools & Immigration
What are the needs of immigrant and refugee students in Western PA? What challenges do their families face? What is a school's responsibility in regard to educating immigrant students? How can schools better support immigrant students?

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale will begin a performance audit this month of transportation contracts and costs in the Pittsburgh Public School District.

The last audit of the district from his office was released in 2015 and did not cover transportation.

PPS has a dozen transportation contracts, something he said could be justified, but is concerning.

“One of the things we’re going to see is would it make sense to have only one vendor or potentially do it in-house,” he said. “Or to see maybe if that could be paired down.”

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The Wolf administration is touting a new approach to coordinating with schools on the district level around the state.

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