A look at education issues around Virginia.

Creative Commons

The nation's eighth graders are scoring poorly in history, geography and civics. The National Assessment of Educational Progress tested eighth graders in 2010 and again last year with about 50% of the students scoring "basic" in the three subjects. Between one-quarter and one-third scored below and only 1 to 3% of the 29,000 students scored in the advanced range.

In South Sudan, there’s a saying:  When Elephants fight, the grass gets trampled.  More than fifty years of war has kept the young nation from finding its own footing.  But an effort by Virginia Tech aims to plant seeds of change there.

South Sudan won independence from the Republic of Sudan in 2011.  Much more than the grass was trampled and aid groups came in to help rebuild the region. But lasting change depends on the ability of local people to solve local problems and that means training teachers.  

Culinary Challenge Leads to Learning New Languages

Apr 27, 2015

Learning a foreign language can be fun – especially when it involves stories, food and adventures.  That’s the word from students at St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville.  They’ve created an app that proves the point.

French teacher Karine Boulle hoped to inspire students when she crafted this year’s biggest assignment. Her eighth graders were asked to write a story about food and the people who make it.

“What’s in a dish is not just food but it comes with a story, and it comes with passion.”

Environmental’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.