Education

Finding enough qualified educators to teach science and math is a challenge across the nation. To ease the shortage, a team of University of Arkansas educators will use a $1.45 million grant from the National Science Foundation to prepare secondary math and science teachers to teach at high-need school districts.

Arkansas continues to struggle to get enough certified teachers in classrooms, especially in poor and rural districts. A new report from The New Teachers Project examines the causes of the shortage and outlines potential solutions.

This winter, the Walton Family Foundation released its five-year plan for working with organizations on issues of education, the environment and inclusion. We speak with Executive Director Caryl Stern about the foundation's vision in those areas.

Courtesy / Arkansas House

Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, recipients are given legal work authorization; however, students pursuing a teaching career cannot gain licensure in Arkansas even though they take the same courses and undergo the same training as their classmates. House Bill 1594, sponsored by Rep. DeAnn Vaught, R-Horatio, aims to change that.

Courtesy / Springdale School District

House Bill 1451, which was filed by Arkansas Rep. Megan Godfrey, D-Springdale, would allow schools and districts to adopt bilingual and dual immersion programs in the languages of their choosing. Arkansas is one of two states that don't provide these types of teaching models, which Godfrey says are beneficial for both English learners and native English speakers.

Courtesy / Dan + Claudia Zanes

For years, the Walton Arts Center has invited students from schools across the region to education related performances. A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Colgate Classroom Series is bringing the performances to the students, virtually.

Courtesy / LaunchCode

This fall, LaunchCode, a St.Louis-based nonprofit, began a free training course for Northwest Arkansas residents interested in computer programming. The 20-week intensive course gives students web-development and coding skills to help them find in-demand technology jobs. 

A bill to penalize schools using the 1619 Project to help teach U.S. History continues to be discussed at the Arkansas State Capitol. Roby Brock, with our partner Talk Business and Politics, asked state Rep. Mark Lowery, R-District 39, and Sen. Joyce Elliott, D-District 31, about the proposed legislation.

As the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools to in-person learning last year and school districts have offered other ways of learning this year, thousands more Arkansas students and parents have been exposed to virtual schooling, but others have been going about learning this way for years because it better suits their needs. We speak with students and a teacher at Fayetteville Virtual Academy to find out how the program compares to the virtual education some might be experiencing because of the pandemic.

Courtesy / Canopy NWA

 

Canopy of Northwest Arkansas is the only agency in the state that provides resettlement and support services to refugees. Danielle Bennett, the organization's Youth Service Coordinator, discusses how the barriers to education for many student refugees are being exacerbated by the pandemic.

 

 

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