Education

A look at education issues around Virginia.

Environmental ethics...it’s the balance between nature and human interaction, and it can be a weighty topic.

The Roanoke City School system is among those divisions starting the discussion early, getting 2nd graders to think about natural resources. They’re doing it with the help of a book, written back in 1942.

The Little House, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton, tells the story of a house built on the top of a hill, far out in the country. Eventually, Walt Disney turned Burton’s story into an animated short film.

Center for Public Integrity

A new report from the Center for Public Integrity shows Virginia sending more students to court, per capita, than any other state – often because school resource officers arrest them for minor offenses like kicking a trash can, fighting on the playground or swearing.

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Lumpkin’s jail in Richmond was once the largest slave-trading facility outside of New Orleans. Known as the ‘Devil’s Half-Acre,’ it was sold to a Baptist minister in 1867 in hopes of establishing an all-black seminary…and would soon be referred to ‘God’s Half-Acre.’ That seminary laid the foundation for a school that thrives today - and, along with the conclusion of the Civil War, has just celebrated its 150th anniversary.

This week’s rain was good news for farmers and gardeners, but at the University of Mary Washington, it was a bit - upsetting.  More than 80 students are living outside this week - in cardboard boxes and makeshift tents - learning how it might feel to be poor. 

“We may need another tarp  but we also need twine, and we need something to prop the middle of the tarp up.” 

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Many universities offer students a chance to study abroad, but Virginia Commonwealth University is offering a whole different travel experience - sending a handful of students to jail. 

As a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, David Coogan had heard of the school to prison pipeline:

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