Parenting and Family Life

Grab A Notebook. We're Taking You Back To School

NPR's 'Tell Me More' kicks off its September back-to-school education series.
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We're back in full swing around here after the holiday weekend. (Our staff did manage to exhale a bit and take in some of the extended weekend, but only after feeding the Tell Me More machine with some Labor Day-friendly content – we still had a Monday program to produce. We hope you enjoyed it.)

As far as planning goes, Labor Day is an important marker for us. It unofficially signals the end, editorially speaking, of our side focus on all things summer – when you hear a little more from us about good reads, good eats, diverse explorations far and near, and creative ways to keep kids on-track while on break from the classroom. And life post-holiday transitions our attention to those behemoth calendar items always waiting to stare us in the face come fall, such as Congress resuming from recess, the debut of a new fiscal year, new TV choices in primetime and, of course, the turbo-charged back-to-school rat race for pupils young and old.

We’re tackling the latter in the first big series of conversations on our fall radar.

Throughout the month of September, Tell Me More will tell you more about issues in education. As kids across the country head back to school, we’ll bring you a series of reports on what is outstanding, what needs improvement … and what remains incomplete in the quest to strengthen the nation’s schools and offer children from all backgrounds the best education possible.

You can expect to hear wisdom and courage from big dreamers and big thinkers. And, in line with the original mandate of Tell Me More, you’ll be exposed to differing perspectives from both the movers and the shakers, as well as the moved and the shaken. We’re brewing (and feverishly brainstorming) seasoned dialogue on issues focusing on Native American teachers in classrooms on Indian reservations, parent-teacher language barriers faced by some U.S.-born Latino children, and an uptick in homeschooling among African-American households, to name a few, in addition to other newsmaker items that will tell you more about how traditional and not-so-traditional learning in this country is evolving – some of it for the better, some of it worthy of a critical look.

In the meantime, as we probe these conversations here behind the scenes and churn them out one-by-one for your enlightenment … we also want you to get in the game and tell us more (in the space below).

What education-related thoughts are hard-pressing on your mind these days? What troubles you most — as a parent, educator, school nurse, crossing guard, professor, or big man/woman on campus? And if you had a seat before this nation’s top policy shapers, what concerns or praise would you convey?

Tell us what’s working best in your community along with what education issues have clearly been ignored.

Well, that’s what’s cooking here behind the curtain. Now, back to work … and back to school.

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