Claudio Sanchez

Former elementary and middle school teacher Claudio Sanchez is an Education Correspondent for NPR. He focuses on the "three p's" of education reform: politics, policy and pedagogy. Sanchez's reports air regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Sanchez joined NPR in 1989, after serving for a year as executive producer for the El Paso, Texas, based Latin American News Service, a daily national radio news service covering Latin America and the U.S.- Mexico border.

From 1984 to 1988, Sanchez was news and public affairs director at KXCR-FM in El Paso. During this time, he contributed reports and features to NPR's news programs.

In 2008, Sanchez won First Prize in the Education Writers Association's National Awards for Education Reporting, for his series "The Student Loan Crisis." He was named as a Class of 2007 Fellow by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. In 1985, Sanchez received one of broadcasting's top honors, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, for a series he co-produced, "Sanctuary: The New Underground Railroad." In addition, he has won the Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award for Best Spot News, the El Paso Press Club Award for Best Investigative Reporting, and was recognized for outstanding local news coverage by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Sanchez is a native of Nogales, Mexico, and a graduate of Northern Arizona University, with post-baccalaureate studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

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NPR Ed
5:19 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Is This The Beginning Of The End For The SAT and ACT?

Carol McMullen-Pettit (right), a Premier Tutor at The Princeton Review, goes over SAT test preparation with 11th-grader Suzane Nazir in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 5:38 pm

Many high schoolers hoping to attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C., one of the top private universities in the country, breathed a sigh of relief this week.

GWU announced it will no longer require applicants to take the SAT or ACT.

The move comes after the school formed a task force to study the pros and cons of going "test-optional." GWU attracts lots of high-achieving students who do well on both exams, but the task force concluded that the school's reliance on these tests was excluding some high-achieving students who simply don't test well.

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NPR Ed
10:33 am
Fri July 17, 2015

Stop Picking On No Child Left Behind (Says One Of Its Parents)

Sandy Kress (right) an attorney from Dallas, listens to Texas Education Agency general counsel David Anderson in 2004. Kress was the chief education consultant to the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind initiative.
Harry Cabluck AP

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 12:36 pm

It's official. More than 13 years after President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law, it's now ... well, still law. But, as of Thursday, it is one big step closer to retirement.

The U.S. Senate voted 81-17 in favor of a bipartisan overhaul called the Every Child Achieves Act. The move comes just days after House Republicans voted on a rival plan, one that cleared the House without a single Democratic vote. The two bills must now be reconciled before anything makes its way to the president. Obama has already threatened the House bill with a veto.

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NPR Ed
3:30 pm
Wed July 8, 2015

How Standardized Tests Are Scored (Hint: Humans Are Involved)

We know very little about what goes into standardized tests, who really designs them, and how they're scored.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 9:58 am

Standardized tests tied to the Common Core are under fire in lots of places for lots of reasons. But who makes them and how they're scored is a mystery.

For a peek behind the curtain, I traveled to the home of the nation's largest test-scoring facility: San Antonio.

The facility is one of Pearson's — the British-owned company that dominates the testing industry in the U.S. and is one of the largest publishing houses behind these mysterious standardized tests.

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NPR Ed
11:48 am
Tue June 30, 2015

Frozen In Time, Remembering The Students Who Changed A Teacher's Life

La Johnson NPR

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 6:14 pm

Jonathan Kozol looks back on the events he wrote about 50 years ago, in Death at an Early Age.

In this short film by LA Johnson, he reads from Page 188:

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NPR Ed
10:28 am
Tue June 23, 2015

Texas Turns Away From Prosecuting Truants

Zaid Yassin and his 5-year-old daughter, Fatima, came to Travis County Court in Austin, Texas, to defend Fatima's 23 missed days of school.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 11:52 am

For two decades, Texas has treated truancy as a criminal offense. That means most cases were prosecuted in adult courts where children, along with their parents, faced jail and fines of up to $1,500 for missing school — usually 10 or more unexcused absences.

Texas lawmakers now say this policy went too far. So last week, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed a law that no longer treats truancy as a Class C misdemeanor.

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NPR Ed
4:04 am
Wed June 17, 2015

A Vision For Teacher Training At MIT: West Point Meets Bell Labs

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 5:14 pm

For decades, Arthur Levine, the former president of Teachers College, Columbia University, has tried to imagine a new kind of institution for training teachers. He envisions a combination West Point and Bell Labs, where researchers could study alongside future educators, learning what works and what's effective in the classroom. That idea is now set to become a reality.

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NPR Ed
2:31 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Biology Professor's Calling: Teach Deaf Students They Can Do Anything

Caroline Solomon is a professor of biology at Gallaudet University, the renowned school for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 5:04 pm

To get a really good sense of why Caroline Solomon is a great teacher, you have to go into the field with her. On this particular morning, that means a boat on the Anacostia River.

We're about 4 miles from the campus of Gallaudet University, where Solomon is a professor of biology. She and a student — Anna McCall — are heading in a small boat to take water samples.

The Anacostia is no more than 8 miles long, but it meanders through and around Washington, D.C., past a naval yard, a golf course and I-95, the busiest interstate highway on the Eastern Seaboard.

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NPR Ed
8:34 am
Fri May 8, 2015

What The Best College Teachers Do

Ken Bain, author of What the Best College Teachers Do.
LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 10:40 am

Part of our ongoing series of conversations with thinkers and activists on education issues

In a year in which we're exploring great teaching, it's a good time to talk with Ken Bain. He's a longtime historian, scholar and academic who has studied and explored teaching for decades, most notably in his 2004 book, What the Best College Teachers Do.

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NPR Ed
4:09 am
Mon April 27, 2015

In Texas, Questions About Prosecuting Truancy

Edgar Ramirez, 17, and his mother, Alma, appear before Judge Williams.
Elissa Nadworny/NPR

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 12:31 pm

As long as there have been schools and classes, there have been students who don't show up. And educators scratching their heads over what to do about it.

In most states, missing a lot of school means a trip to the principal's office. In Texas, parents and students are more likely to end up in front of a judge.

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NPR Ed
1:33 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Mexican-American Toddlers: Understanding The Achievement Gap

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 11:56 am

Mexican-American toddlers born in the U.S. do not develop nearly as fast as white toddlers when it comes to language and pre-literacy skills. That's the main finding of a new study by the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley.

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NPR Ed
2:23 am
Tue April 7, 2015

A New Orleans High School Adapts To Unaccompanied Minors

G.W. Carver Preparatory Academy has enrolled more than 50 unaccompanied minors from Central America. Principal Ben Davis says he's spending an extra $2,500 per student for special education services and instructional software tailored for them.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 2:03 pm

For the past year now, many Americans have been hearing and reading about the 68,000 unaccompanied minors who have crossed illegally into the U.S. Nearly all of these minors come from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras, and since their arrival, immigration officials have released most of them to their parents or relatives who already live in this country.

A number of these children and teenagers are in deportation proceedings, but while they wait, they have been allowed to attend public schools. In Louisiana, schools have enrolled nearly 2,000 of them.

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NPR Ed
4:30 am
Wed April 1, 2015

The Opposite Of The Dean's List

The Education Department, headed by Secretary Arne Duncan, says it's keeping a close eye on 556 colleges and universities that do a poor job of complying with federal regulations and handling federal financial aid.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 4:22 pm

No school wants to be on this list.

It was just released by the Department of Education. On it are the names of 556 colleges and universities that failed the department's "financial responsibility test."

Undersecretary of Education Ted Mitchell says that each school's finances are now being placed under a microscope because the government "had serious concerns about the financial integrity of the institution or its administrative capacity."

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NPR Ed
4:22 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Why Some Parents Are Sitting Kids Out Of Tests

GIRLRAY Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 11:07 am

Meet Jenni Hofschulte, the 35-year-old mom who's one of the parents leading the charge against testing in Milwaukee.

"I have two children in Milwaukee Public Schools," Hofschulte says over coffee at a cafe near her home. "The oldest one is in eighth grade." She's interrupted by her fidgety 4-year-old son, Lachlan.

Hofschulte quiets him down, furrows her brow and begins again.

Hofschulte says that when she found out her son would have to take a diagnostic test next year that's required of all Wisconsin kindergartners, all kinds of red flags went up.

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NPR Ed
8:13 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Pregame Analysis: The Coming Federal Education Debate

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the ESEA in 1965 with Kate Deadrich Loney, the President's first schoolteacher.
Yoichi Okamoto LBJ Presidential Library

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 10:29 am

The main federal education law may finally get its long-overdue makeover in Congress this year, and we're going to be hearing and reading a lot about it.

Formally, it's the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA. The last time it got a major overhaul was in 2001, with President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act. But nothing much has been done with the law since 2007.

If Congress does finally get to it this year, What can we expect?

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NPR Ed
10:03 am
Wed January 21, 2015

State Of The Union: A Quick Wrap On Education

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address in Washington on Tuesday.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 3:25 pm

Right off the bat, the president touted the fact that more kids are graduating from high school and college than ever before. "We believed we could prepare our kids for a more competitive world," he said in Tuesday's State of the Union speech. "And today, our younger students have earned the highest math and reading scores on record."

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