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.

Courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh has not been named as part of the nation-wide admissions cheating scandal under federal investigation, but that hasn't precluded the school from taking a look at its own admissions policies. Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher called the scandal a teachable moment on Tuesday's episode of The Confluence

'Hard' And 'Soft' School Safety Solutions On Display At Western PA Conference

Mar 18, 2019
Danny Johnston / AP

Before he began his presentation, Pennsylvania state trooper Clifford Greenfield gave a disclaimer: "Please note that the information contained herein is not designed to scare, produce unforeseen paranoia or cause undue worry." 

Min Xian / Keystone Crossroads

Kathy Wells started her career early. She didn’t get a chance to go to college after graduating from high school in rural, Northwestern Pennsylvania.

In her words, she grew up in a “large family, small area.”  

“Basically, you work,” Wells laughed. “You don’t go to school.”

Collin Binkley / AP

A week after the Art Institute of Pittsburgh abruptly closed, students are left with few local options.

As of January, 230 students attended the Strip District location while nearly 2,000 took courses online, according to the for-profit college.

COLLIN BINKLEY / AP

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh abruptly closed its doors on Friday, leaving faculty and staff unemployed, and students with uncertain futures. 

Abby Cartus / Submitted

University of Pittsburgh graduate students are one step closer to having union representation. 

VIRGINIA ALVINO YOUNG / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Diocese says the wounds created in the church from decades of clergy sexual abuse against minors need healing. Bishop David Zubik released a plan for that process Monday.

Courtesy of Allies for Children

Researchers focused on the state of school breakfasts in Allegheny County report a combined participation rate of 57 percent for free or reduced cost breakfast, just shy of Gov. Tom Wolf’s statewide goal of 60 percent participation by 2020. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

This is one of two parts of our hour-long special, airing at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 1, looking at translation services in western Pennsylvania school districts. The other part is available here.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

This is one of two parts of our hour-long special, airing at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 1, looking at translation services in western Pennsylvania school districts. The other part is available here

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Longtime Penn Hills resident Eugene Berry said he recently advised his daughter and son-in-law to not buy a home in the Penn Hills School District.

He told a room full of more than 200 other community members that he was concerned about the impact the school district’s financial condition would have on the municipality.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

School districts are federally required to provide translation services for all families. But they're also becoming increasingly diverse. WESA reporters Sarah Schneider and Virginia Alvino Young look at how well school districts in western Pennsylvania are doing and what's at stake. 

Hear our hour-long education special Friday, March 1 at 9 a.m. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Wednesday that Wilkinsburg School District entered a bad agreement to collect delinquent taxes in 2013, increasing financial difficulties for the already cash-strapped district. DePasquale said the unsuccessful deal lost the district more than $1.2 million; he likened the situation to gambling with public money. 

PA Private School Scholarship Program Considered For Major Expansion

Feb 25, 2019
Emily Cohen / for NewsWorks/WHYY

A tax-break program that routes millions to Pennsylvania private schools could grow much larger if a new bill becomes law.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Investigators hired by the Pittsburgh Public School District say there isn’t enough evidence to determine who signed the name of board representative Kevin Carter on a letter attempting to lure Amazon's HQ2 to Pittsburgh.

 

Bastiaan Slabers / Keystone Crossroads

During a candid budget hearing Thursday, lawmakers heard a bleak tale of Pennsylvania’s system of higher education.

Gettysburg College Trustee Quits Over Nazi Uniform Costume Photo

Feb 20, 2019
Spectrum/Gettysburg College via AP

A Pennsylvania college trustee apologized and announced his resignation Tuesday after a student found a 1980 yearbook photo in which the trustee wore a Nazi uniform costume.

Gettysburg College President Janet Morgan Riggs said in an email to the college community that Bob Garthwait decided to step down from the board of trustees.

Garthwait is a financial donor to the college and helped found the Garthwait Leadership Center on campus.

A student brought the photo to the attention of a faculty member last week, and the administration was contacted.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Less than 20 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the last four Pittsburgh school board elections, according to a coalition of 17 groups trying to get out the vote in the second largest school district in Pennsylvania.

School Threat System Fields Thousands Of Tips In First Month

Feb 18, 2019
Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A threat reporting system now required for all Pennsylvania schools fielded more than 4,900 tips in its first month, about a third of them considered serious enough to pass along to local police and school officials.

The goal of the Safe 2 Say Something program, which funnels tips to an around-the-clock call center at the attorney general's headquarters in Harrisburg, is to respond to troubling behavior, unsafe school situations and anything else tipsters deems appropriate to report.

PA Teachers Fight Against Arming School Staff Despite Court Ruling

Feb 15, 2019
Matt Smith / Keystone Crossroads

A Schuylkill County judge says she needs more information from the Tamaqua Area Education Association before ruling on a policy that would allow some staff to carry firearms in school.

The Death Of Cyber Charter Schools In Pennsylvania?

Feb 15, 2019
Pat Wellenbach / AP

A proposal with potentially dire consequences for Pennsylvania’s cyber charter schools re-emerged in Harrisburg this session.

Ted S. Warren / AP

The Pittsburgh school district is offering a deal to some students caught with marijuana — a shorter suspension in exchange for drug counseling.

District officials say the goal is to get more students into counseling and reduce the amount of time they're out of the classroom.

Brennan Linsley / AP Photo

Colleges and universities have to better align the skills they teach to what employers say are needed, according to a new report from the RAND Corporation.

The findings are built on a previous study that surveyed more than 80 colleges and 60 employers in the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. The new report released this month surveyed five colleges in those states that have collaborated in a public-private partnership with regional employers in the oil and gas industry.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Rason Conner has almost exclusively been taught by white, female teachers.

Matthew Craig / Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh

Preserving historical buildings and landmarks “can be a force for a renewal of spirit,” according to Matthew Craig, executive director of Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh.

Google Maps

The Penn Hills School District’s financial position is “catastrophic,” according to an Allegheny County grand jury report released Tuesday.

Collin Binkley / AP

A for-profit college located in the Strip District could close its doors at the end of the current term, leaving hundreds of students to figure out how to continue their education.  

Collin Binkley / AP

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh has undertaken mass layoffs of administrative staff, sources told WESA. Those who lost their jobs include everyone working in admissions and career services. The human relations and information technology departments were also hard hit. 

PA School Districts Stressed Over Pensions Costs, Special-Ed And Charters

Jan 29, 2019
Brad Larrison / WHYY

Many school districts across Pennsylvania say that budget stress is causing them to raise property taxes and cut school programs, according to an annual survey released by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials and the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.

Courtesy of Clarion University

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education's internal review found all 14 state-owned universities are facing fiscal challenges and ever-declining enrollment.

Daniel Greenstein, the new chancellor of PASSHE, says those concerns track with schools across the country. As student needs and interests evolve, state-run universities will have to adapt, he says, potentially downsizing, eliminating majors or refocusing efforts in specific programs better able to cater to Pennsylvania's future workforce.

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