March 1, 2011 Host Melissa Block talks to NPR's David Schaper. Schaper discusses Gov. Scott Walker's budget address in Wisconsin on Tuesday, which he made before a joint session of the Legislature. His plan cuts $1.5 billion in aid to governments and public schools
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March 1, 2011 The recent suicide of a student in suburban Washington, D.C., after being suspended from school has sparked a fierce debate on disciplinary policies. Angry parents say "zero tolerance" rules are too harsh on kids. And a recent report by a Philadelphia youth advocacy group says "zero tolerance" policies are particularly harmful to minority students. But administrators and teachers argue that strict rules are necessary to keep students safe.
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February 28, 2011 Education historian Diane Ravitch says the teachers on the front lines of labor rallies in Wisconsin reflect growing anger among educators nationwide. Teachers are sick and tired, she says, of being blamed for the ills of America's public schools.
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Scrollworks offers music lessons and instruments for children, free of charge.
Patrick Barry /State of the Re:Union
February 26, 2011 To this day, Birmingham, Ala., is dealing with the aftermath of a brutal civil rights history. Many programs in the city seeking to heal lingering wounds by crossing racial and economic barriers. One of them is called Scrollworks. Through it, children are offered music lessons and instruments to practice on, free of charge.
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Rhee talks to a student at a school in Washington, D.C.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
February 26, 2011 Michelle Rhee became one of the most controversial figures in education reform when she tied pay increases to merit and fired hundreds of teachers who she said were underperforming. Now, she's heading up a group to advocate on behalf of children — not special interests groups like teachers unions.
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A PS22 Chorus member reacts to news that their glee club will perform at the Academy Awards.
February 26, 2011 The Academy Award show is Sunday night, and excitement is growing. There is one group performing you've probably never heard of: The PS22 Chorus, a fifth-grade glee club from Staten Island.
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The Fisk University Jubilee Quartet in 1909, from left: Alfred G. King (first bass), James A. Myers (second tenor), Noah W. Ryder (second bass) and John W. Work II (first tenor).
Courtesy of Doug Seroff
February 25, 2011 Vocal ensembles at Nashville's Fisk University have existed for about as long as the campus itself. But the songs performed there today could have sounded very different if it hadn't been for the efforts of one of the school's first music directors.
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February 25, 2011 In Rhode Island, the Providence school board has sent termination notices to every teacher in the financially troubled city, sparking outrage in the teachers' union. The city's mayor says the firings are meant to give "maximum flexibility" in addressing its deficit.
February 23, 2011 Paying kids to get better grades doesn't work. But paying them to do other things — like reading books — does seem to boost achievement.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker speaks at a news conference inside the Wisconsin State Capitol on Monday.
Eric Thayer/Getty Images
February 21, 2011 Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker again rejected a proposed compromise Monday to end a political stalemate over collective bargaining rights that led to 14 Senate Democrats skipping town and motivated tens of thousands of people to march on the Capitol in protest for more than a week.
February 20, 2011 In a controversial move, the Wake County School board in North Carolina voted to end its "busing-for-diversity" program in favor of sending children to schools in their own neighborhood. Host Liane Hansen talks with Superintendent Tony Tata, a military brigadier general and the former COO of the D.C. school system.
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While the legislative process stalls, politics by other means continues in the streets and in the Capitol's hallways.
Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images
February 20, 2011 Demonstrators are keeping up their nearly weeklong protests in Madison, Wis., amid anger about a plan by Republican Gov. Scott Walker to take away collective bargaining rights for many public employees. Legislators have abandoned the Capitol, and so has the governor, turning the building into something of a giant performance space.
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February 18, 2011 The Wisconsin state Assembly intends to vote on Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to strip collective bargaining rights from nearly all state employees. Thousands of teachers and others have descended on the Capitol, forcing schools to close due to high absences. Dozens of people have spent the night in the Capitol as a sign of protest. Host Michel Martin speaks with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter, Jason Stein, who's s covering the story.
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February 18, 2011 In a week when much of the talk in Washington has centered on the release of President Obama's budget, some are asking whether Congress will be able to find a compromise on which cuts to make. Host Michel Martin speaks with freshman Reps. Allen West, a Florida Republican, and Frederica Wilson, a Florida Democrat.
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February 18, 2011 Federal stimulus money is running out and that leaves education in a hole. Florida Gov. Rick Scott says it was wrong for the state to accept the funds in the first place, and he's not going to try to replace them in the budget. That immediately cuts more than $2 billion from schools.
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