EDUCATION

The main entrance at Westfield State University, where last semester almost two dozen incidents of bigotry were reported.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

It seems every few weeks there is a hate crime reported on a college campus in New England. The groups that keep track of these kinds of incidents say there is, in fact, a marked increase in the number of racist slurs found scrawled on campus walls and an increase in white supremacist group activity.

After Parkland, there have been many calls to make schools a "harder target" — for example, by arming teachers. But there's a decent amount of research out there on what actually makes schools safer, and most of it doesn't point to more guns.

Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor, Associate Professor of History at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Courtesy Smith College

In early February, students at Princeton University protested when a professor used the N-word in a class about hate speech. He ended up canceling the course. It’s hardly the first time this epithet has sparked a debate over racial sensitivity and freedom of speech, including last semester at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Updated at 3:37 p.m. ET

During a gathering with governors at the White House, President Trump called for strengthening school defenses and improving the "early warning" system in response to this month's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

"Our nation is heartbroken," Trump said. "We'll turn our grief into action."

President Trump repeated his suggestion to arm teachers on school campuses as a solution to protecting students from gun violence.

"We have to have offensive capability to take these people out rapidly before they can do this kind of damage," Trump told reporters in a joint news conference with the Australian Prime Minister on Friday. The president suggested staffing schools with veterans who would carry concealed weapons.

A week after 17 people were killed at a Parkland, Fla., high school, President Trump hosted survivors, parents and teachers from that and other recent school shooting tragedies for an emotional, nearly 90-minute listening session at the White House Wednesday.

taking a test
Alberto G. / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/albertogp123

Students in Massachusetts lead the nation in achievement on Advanced Placement exams. 

Holyoke Public Schools

Schools districts in Massachusetts that have been educating students recently arrived from Puerto Rico will soon be getting a portion of $15 million in state funding. 

Jeff Riley.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Jeff Riley, the superintendent and receiver of Lawrence Public Schools, is on track become the next Massachusetts education commissioner after an 8-3 vote by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Monday. 

"If something on their desk or in their pocket dings, rings or vibrates — they will lose focus."

"Students are doing so much in class, distraction and disruption isn't really something I worry about."

How should teachers — both K-12 and college — deal with the use of computers and phones by students in class?

On one hand, those sleek little supercomputers promise to connect us to all human knowledge. On the other hand, they are also scientifically designed by some of the world's top geniuses to feel as compelling as oxygen.

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