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.

Does Your Historical Site Have a Marker?

Sep 30, 2012

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is once again asking people, cities, and historical societies to nominate their historical sites for a marker.

Since 1914, PHMC made more than 2,600 of the familiar blue and gold markers designating historical events, people, and dates.

PHMC spokesman Howard Pollman said the markers help communities recognize and preserve their local history.

The Pittsburgh Promise has issued its annual report, and overall it's doing well. The first goal, to transform the quality of public education in the state, is on the right track, according to Promise Executive Director Saleem Ghubril.

“In the last six years high school completion rates in Pittsburgh went from about 62 percent, 63 percent to 71 percent, so we’re delighted by that growth,” he said, “having said that, it’s not where we want to be, we want to be at at least 85 percent.”

African American Women in Culture and History is the theme for this year's convention of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in Pittsburgh. 

The organization, which created Black History Month, will hold its 97th annual convention at the Westin Convention Center Hotel downtown from Wednesday through Sunday, September 26-30.

Sylvia Cyrus, ASALH Executive Director, says the conference will honor the impact of African American women on the black community and the nation as a whole.

Food safety regulations can determine which countries trade corn with one another. That’s according to a new study by the University of Pittsburgh that used social network modeling to determine global trade patterns. Lead Author and Pitt Associate Professor Felicia Wu said it began with looking at the way countries regulate the contaminate aflatoxin, which grows on corn.

Colleges and universities in Pittsburgh will cooperate with schools in Ireland on education, innovation, research and training.  The 10 members of the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE)  will work with the 13 members of Ireland's Institutes of Technology which according to PCHE executive director Kenneth Service have a reputation for supporting business development.

Service says the partnership will initially be student exchange between Ireland and Pittsburgh, but then will expand into other ventures.

Nearly 15,000 students from approximately 700 schools representing all 67 counties are expected to participate in this year’s Pennsylvania Envirothon. The long-standing environmental competition for high school students has received a $300,000 grant from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Curriculums Could Include Child Abuse in K-8 Classrooms

Sep 24, 2012

Pennsylvania schools could see an addition to their health class curriculum to address child abuse and exploitation.

A bipartisan state House proposal would allow public school districts to teach children, from kindergarten to eighth grade, about child sexual abuse and how to identify the common behaviors of abusers.  School districts could use that, or create their own lesson plans. But, parents would be able to review the abuse awareness curriculum, and even pull their kids out of class if they don’t approve of the material.

Concussion Rules Take Effect with New School Year

Sep 7, 2012

A law intended to reduce head injuries among student athletes in Pennsylvania is now being fully implemented as the fall sports seasons are underway.  In preparation for the start of the new athletic seasons, Pennsylvania’'s coaches had to take a class this summer on recognizing concussions.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s South Side branch is one of the oldest. It recently underwent renovations and for the first time in its 103 year history it will have air conditioning. Several other branches have been renovated in the last decade, but none have included the geothermal technology that will be in use on the South Side.

“We’ve just worked out that we were able to incorporate the geothermal technology in this renovation because we had enough space to dig the wells and the land around to do it,” said Mary Monaghan, assistant director for neighborhood libraries.

After nine months of collaboration by board, staff, and community members, the final draft of Carnegie Library’s next five-year strategic plan is ready to be shown to the public.

On Saturday, September 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in East Liberty, the Library will hold an interactive workshop on the plan.

Library spokesperson Suzanne Thinnes said the workshop will be interactive and will utilize ideas presented by the public in further sessions.

Still No Contract for Bethel Park Teachers

Sep 5, 2012

Hundreds of teachers of Bethel Park School District started teaching classes Tuesday under a contract that expired more than two years ago.

The Bethel Park Federation of Teachers (BPFT) said it will continue to negotiate with the district in a Thursday night session. The union agreed in late August to continue contract talks while teaching classes under the 2005-2010 agreement.

Steelers backup quarterback Charlie Batch spoke to students from Brentwood and Monessen High Schools on Tuesday, emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship and respect not only in high school sports, but also in daily life.

Pitt Student Club Gets $100,000 To Manage

Sep 3, 2012

It will no longer be "Monopoly money" for some University of Pittsburgh students.   Members of the Socially Responsible Investment Club (SRIC) shift this semester from theory to the opportunity to invest $100,000 in companies that are acting as responsible corporate citizens.

Construction is underway at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown on a $12 million building that will serve as the new home to nursing and STEM majors (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The building will house 11 labs for chemistry and biology as well as a nursing simulation lab.

Bob Knipple, Pitt-Johnstown Associate Vice-President for Institutional Advancement, said the building is a result of need for space on campus.

In an increasingly competitive job market, the University of Pittsburgh is trying to give its students a leg up by ensuring they can secure an internship. Starting this fall, any registered Pitt undergraduate on the Pittsburgh campus will be eligible to participate in the Internship Preparation Program (IPP).

The rising rates of infection of HIV/AIDS in the Pittsburgh area will be one of the main topics discussed Tuesday at a symposium in Oakland hosted by Educating Teens about HIV/AIDS, Inc (ETAH).

"Achieving Health Equity for Minority Boys & Young Men": Focus on Boys & Young Men Symposium, Part II” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 28 in the University Club in Pittsburgh.

Afterschool Programs in PA

Aug 27, 2012

A survey released last week by the Afterschool Alliance representing 4,947 sites serving 567,470 children painted a grim picture for the afterschool programs in the country and the commonwealth.

Penn State Board Chair: Tough Times Ahead

Aug 26, 2012

The head of Penn State's board of trustees is warning of difficult times ahead as the school tries to make changes following the child sex abuse scandal.

Board Chairwoman Karen Peetz said at a public meeting Saturday that the months ahead "may be less shocking, but they may well be more difficult as the legal ramifications of this tragedy continue to play out."

She said the board is committed to making changes and was reviewing plans to implement recommendations of a university report conducted by former FBI director Louis Freeh.

The state Department of Treasury is reminding Pennsylvanians enrolled in the commonwealth’s college savings program to contribute before next month to maximize their savings. 

The main selling point of the state’s 529 College Savings Program, so-named for its section of the federal tax code, is that anyone who kicks money into one will see his or her savings grow at the rate of inflation.

“If you have enough for one semester of college today, you’ll have enough for one semester of college tomorrow,” the saying goes at the state Treasury.

Ex-Penn State President Goes on Offensive

Aug 23, 2012

Penn State's disgraced former president is trying to convince the public he had no idea that Jerry Sandusky was a child molester — and that he most certainly did not protect one.

With a network TV appearance, a magazine interview and a news conference held by his lawyers, Graham Spanier portrayed himself Wednesday as the innocent victim of a witch hunt and a rush to judgment by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, whose university-commissioned report on the sex-abuse scandal prompted the NCAA to hit Penn State with a $60 million fine and other sanctions.

There’s an old notion that girls are not as good at math and science as boys. That thought still persists today even among teachers – according to a study by the University of Texas.  Girls and educators in the Pittsburgh region are working against that stereotype.

“Girls can do anything that guys can do, and maybe even better…especially science,” was the answer given by a group of girls at Carnegie Science Center’s Click! Camp for Girls, when asked if they thought boys were better at math and science. Cuts Wrap_Jenelle Pifer_SOC.mp3

As the school year approaches, public school officials are scrambling to find new ways to pinch pennies and Pennsylvania Democrats are insisting they shouldn’t have to.

After recently celebrating the graduation of the first class of Pittsburgh Promise scholarship recipients, the program now has another reason to smile. The Promise will benefit from a $100,000 grant to support its “Promise Coaches” initiative. The money comes from the Coca-Cola Foundation to the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The partnership aims to increase the high school and higher education rates among Pittsburgh residents.

PSU Warned by Accreditation Group

Aug 14, 2012

Penn State has been put on notice by an accrediting organization that says the university's status is "in jeopardy" based on recent developments in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.