Education

No one ever shows up at brunch and says, "Oh my gosh, I was so sober last night!"

Risky behavior draws attention. As a result, people tend to assume that everyone else is doing it more than they really are.

But, over the last two decades, research on college campuses has shown that giving students the real facts about their peers reduces unsafe drinking. This approach is called positive social norms. It works because of a basic truth of human nature: People want to do what others are doing.

Hello! We know there's a lot of news out there, but we're bringing you an education-centric take on the midterms, with big results in some key states.

Arizona

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

It’s about 9 p.m. in Coweta, a rural town south east of Tulsa.

The election results are still trickling in as Cyndi Ralston, a second-grade teacher -turned Democratic political candidate, steps on to the stage in the small event space where she’s having her watch party.

Framed by red, white and blue balloons, Ralston tells the crowd of about 30 supporters why she decided to run for the House District 12 seat.

“I ran this year so that no teacher would have to walkout again,” she said. “I ran this year so that no family would have to lose their insurance again.”

4 Myths About College Students And Voting

Nov 6, 2018

Updated on Nov. 12 at 10:30 a.m.

Efforts to increase youth voter turnout helped, at least according to early estimates. NPR's Brakkton Booker reports that early figures show youth voter turnout in the midterms jumped in 2018. Read below for our original story about why analysts who study youth voters expected this.

Oklahoma educators Sherrie Conley and Steve Jarman each remember the exact moment they decided to run for office.

It was April 2, the first day of that state's teacher walkout, and thousands of educators had swarmed the Capitol in Oklahoma City, demanding more school funding and higher wages.

The Harvard University admissions trial comes to a close on Friday. At the heart of this controversial federal lawsuit is the question of just how much a school can consider race in admissions.

The plaintiff, a group called Students for Fair Admissions, has accused Harvard of discriminating against Asian-American applicants. It argues the school considers race too much, forcing Asian-Americans to meet a higher bar to get in.

The Harvard trial wraps up on Friday. And for the past three weeks, the group Students for Fair Admissions has argued that the Ivy League school discriminates against Asian-American applicants.

You're reading NPR's weekly roundup of education news.

Education is a top issue in the midterms

From the 36 gubernatorial races to some key state congressional races, education will be a major issue on Election Day. We've reported previously on a record number of educators who are themselves running. There were teacher walkouts in six states this year. That issue alone has gotten people mobilized.

There's something else that's bringing education to the midterms: Betsy DeVos, the polarizing education secretary.

Oklahoma State Department of Education

The State Department of Education is asking lawmakers to increase education funding by a total of $440 million next year.

Included in the agency’s budget proposal for the 2019-2020 public school year is a request for an additional $273 million to help school districts hire more teachers and reduce class sizes.

Back in September, teacher Mary Gilreath's first-grade class was asked to wear blue for Peace Day. An adult worried the girls might not own blue shirts, and Gilreath saw an opportunity for her Boulder classroom. She shared the story with her students.

"What do you all think about that?" Gilreath asks them.

"Maybe it's because girls mostly wear dresses?" a girl wonders.

"Oh, is that true?" Gilreath replies. "What do you all think?"

The first graders erupt in a chorus of "No!"

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