Our Ideas series is exploring how innovation happens in education.

Anytime there's an innovation in education, often the first question anyone asks is, "Will it scale?"

Sure, you've managed to improve learning outcomes for one classroom, one school, one district. But if you can't reach 50,000 — or 5 million — students, the thinking goes, then it's not real or worthy.

Matt Candler is one person arguing the opposite. And the White House, among others, is listening.

First thing Friday morning, Bill Florence is getting his two kids, Chloe, 11, and Austen, 8, ready to head out the door.

"Did you guys brush your teeth?" he asks. "Yes," they moan.

Monday through Thursday, Chloe and Austen catch the bus to Peralta Trail Elementary School, but today, their dad scoots them into the family's silver Honda.

Diya Abdo, a professor at Guilford College, has launched Every Campus a Refuge, a project that aims to get every college and university campus to host one Syrian refugee family. As Guilford College makes plans for a refugee family to move on campus, North Carolina's governor is now one of a couple dozen who have said they don't want Syrian refugees entering their states, citing security reasons. Abdo and the college are moving forward with the program, despite requests from state legislators to rescind their offer to refugees.

For high school students looking to choose a college, grade point averages and test scores may weigh heavy on their minds. But campus atmosphere may not be far behind given recent demonstrations on college campuses across the country.

Students at the University of Missouri's flagship campus in Columbia were the forefront of a wave of protests over racist incidents and the reaction of school officials. For some high school students, those protests make racial relations factor highly in their college search.

Jon Strelecki

2015 is a landmark year in the history of UW-Milwaukee. As Wisconsin’s only urban research university, UWM plays a vital role in our state. At the center of discovery, education and the advancement of knowledge, UW-Milwaukee has a unique role in Wisconsin.

This fall, UWM opened the doors to a new building on the East Side Campus that will aid in that mission of serving the public. The Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Complex, an $80 million investment by the state, is the home base for an amazing array of academic research.

How To Talk To Kids About Thanksgiving

Nov 25, 2015

You know the drill: Trace your hand, then add the details. Two feet, a beak, a single eyeball. Color it in, and voila! Hand becomes turkey.

You know the rest too: The Pilgrims fled England and landed on Plymouth Rock. The native people there, the Wampanoag, taught them to farm the land. In 1621, they sat down together for a thanksgiving feast, and we've been celebrating it ever since.

It's a lesson many remember from childhood, but the story has some problems.

Protests over racial discrimination on college campuses are leading to some swift responses and pledges of reform by college administrators. Even as the protests themselves appear to be quieting down ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, activists are pledging a prolonged fight.

A Mother Hangs Her Hopes On A New High School

Nov 24, 2015

Last year, when Jann Peña was in eighth grade at a public school and his little brother was in second grade at a charter school, the little brother got more homework.

That was just fine with Jann, an easygoing 14-year-old who passed his ample free time racing cars on his Xbox. But it was unacceptable to the boys' mother, Jovanka Anderson, a Dominican immigrant who wants to give her children a better life than she has.

After a long stalemate, a bipartisan team of congressional negotiators has agreed to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The law, currently known as No Child Left Behind, sends roughly $14 billion a year to schools that serve mostly low-income students.

Here's what we know about the rough agreement. First, annual testing — a major feature of NCLB — would remain for grades three through eight and at least once in high school. Schools would still have to test 95 percent of their students and report the results by race, income and special need.

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