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.

Jakob Lazzaro / 90.5 WESA

Data from a recent University of Pittsburgh study show that adult support both reduces violence and increases positive behaviors among teen boys in low-income urban neighborhoods.

While the researchers acknowledge that there is a lot of literature to support the positive impact a caring adult can have in the lives of young men, the team wanted to focus on teen boys from lower-resourced urban areas.

Courtesy of The University of Pittsburgh

On today's program: Provost Ann Cudd says Pitt’s Pell match will make the school more competitive; Pittsburgh remembers Mac Miller one year after his death; local police want to diversify their ranks; an anthology of art that uniquely reflects Pittsburgh; and the Steelers start their regular season against New England. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: Propel charter schools are prioritizing early learning benchmarks; fires in the Amazon rainforest are diminishing migratory bird habitats; a lot of Pittsburghers think they live in the Midwest; and local universities want to register more student voters ahead of the 2020 elections. 

Matt Rourke / AP Photos

A group of students will begin a new program Tuesday at the Community College of Allegheny County, created to meet the demand for workers in plastic manufacturing.

The demand for skilled workers in that area is expected to grow as baby boomers retire, and the addition of the Shell cracker plant is likely to attract more companies to the area looking for local talent.

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Parents of students who attended the recently closed Saint Raphael Elementary want to know what happened to $250,000 they raised in an effort to keep the school open. They’re also demanding increased transparency from the parish and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Under Superintendent Anthony Hamlet, district travel has increased by 179 percent, or an average of $24,250 a month, according to findings from the Pennsylvania Auditor General.

Courtesy of Vincentian Collaborative System

On today's program: Pittsburgh Public superintendent Anthony Hamlet looks ahead to a new semester; volunteers clean up illegal dumps in Allegheny County; panthers once ruled Pennsylvania; and a new program trades tech skills for free residency in a unique, intergenerational community.

Rogelio Solis / AP

Pittsburgh Public Schools will introduce a new student assessment tool this year, which officials say will cut down on the total time children spend taking standardized tests. The Measure of Academic Progress, or MAP Growth tool, from the Northwest Evaluation Association, is an adaptive test: every student starts out with an average difficulty question.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Nearly 60 percent of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh librarians, library assistants, clerks and IT professionals who cast ballots Wednesday voted in favor of unionizing.

Ryan Loew / PublicSource

On today’s program: Pennsylvania's attorney general marks one year since the release of a grand jury report exposing widespread clergy abuse; how sidewalks form an overlooked part of Pittsburgh’s transportation network; a school security expert examines the effectiveness of current protections, and a panel weighs in on the harmful effects of active shooter drills in schools.

After Years Of Gridlock, Wolf Plans Executive Action On Charter School Reform

Aug 14, 2019
Ed Mahon / WITF

After years of political gridlock on charter school reform, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said Tuesday he would use his executive power to hold charters to “the same ethical and transparency standards of public schools.”

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Shortly after the sun rose on Tuesday morning, Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Anthony Hamlet boarded a school bus on the South Side. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Twelve-year-olds Sresta Tulasi and Katie Coyne spent hours hunched over a computer diligently testing a code they wrote.

Cameras, Counselors And Yoga: How PA Schools Spent An Unprecedented Flood Of Security Cash

Aug 6, 2019
Rick Bowmer / AP

A license-plate reader. Bullet-proof vests. Yoga lessons. And lots of security cameras.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A Pennsylvania tip system created to improve school safety fielded some tips about school violence, but received far more inquiries about student mental health, according to new data.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania lawmakers will meet soon to try to find alternatives to school property taxes. The task force is far from the first effort to replace the funding mechanism.

Derek Castelliano, who goes by Saiko, can freestyle – and he does it best in front of an audience.

Raymond "Dmitri" Beljan / Flickr

Kathleen Carley had dedicated her career to studying the spread of propaganda.

“I myself have always been intrigued with how information moves between people and how the movement affects who we interact with and changes our whole lifestyle,” she said. 

Submitted / University of Pittsburgh

Suspensions among 4th-6th graders are down at Woodland Hills School District. That can be attributed, in part, to a restorative practice program created by the University of Pittsburgh, according to school district administrators. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Elayne Arrington says she knew she excelled in mathematics when she showed up a classmate in a high school geometry class.

District That Threatened Foster Care Over Lunch Debt Now Accepting Donation

Jul 25, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

A Pennsylvania school district that warned parents behind on their lunch bills that their children could end up in foster care, and then rejected a businessman's offer to pay the overdue charges, is apologizing and says it wants to accept the donation after all.

Will This Tweak In PA Law Send Student Test Scores Soaring?

Jul 22, 2019
John Locher / AP

Student test scores in Pennsylvania could spike next year — and a 90-word provision recently tucked into the state’s school code may be the reason why.

The language states that Pennsylvania will no longer count the standardized test scores of students who miss at least 20 percent of school days prior to the end of the state testing window.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Bimala Kadariya is a vibrant 15-year-old who is quick to tell you that she wants to be famous.

Oliver Morrison / PublicSource

A Pennsylvania school district is warning that children could end up in foster care if their parents do not pay overdue school lunch bills.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Penn State is keeping in-state college tuition flat across the sprawling university system for a second year and for the third time in five years.

The school's board, meeting in the Philadelphia suburb of Media, voted Thursday for a plan that will maintain full-time tuition for lower-division Pennsylvania resident undergraduates at its main campus at about $17,400 annually.

Out-of-state college students at the University Park flagship will have to pay $660 a year in additional tuition.

PA Fiscal Watchdog Calls For End Of Keystone Exams

Jul 12, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

What’s better: saving $1.2 million in taxpayer money or maintaining a test personalized to Pennsylvania?

Citing Technicality, PA School District Scraps First-Of-Kind Policy To Arm Teachers

Jul 11, 2019
Matt Smith / for Keystone Crossroads

The Tamaqua Area School District will scrap a groundbreaking policy that would have allowed teachers and staff to carry weapons anonymously on school grounds.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photos

Pennsylvania students who attend state-owned universities won't see higher tuition next year, the first such freeze in more than 20 years.

The State System of Higher Education's board on Wednesday voted for to keep in-state tuition flat at about $7,700. 

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania is in the early stages of enacting new requirements designed to reduce sexual assault on college campuses.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania is offering aid to school districts to pay for accommodations for students who are homebound while recovering from a serious injury or illness.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill last week after it passed the Legislature unanimously. 

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