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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2:59pm

Sun September 22, 2013
Education

In Push For 'Common' Standards, Many Parents Left Uneducated

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 12:51 pm

The Common Core Standards establish academic expectations across states in math and English language arts.
iStockphoto.com

Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, the first-ever national academic standards for students. But opposition is growing, and some lawmakers are having second thoughts about their states' support.

Meanwhile, proponents of the standards are still struggling to explain the initiative to parents, many of whom say they've never even heard of Common Core.

Looking For Direction

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5:37am

Sun September 22, 2013
Education

The Sad Death Of An Adjunct Professor Sparks A Labor Debate

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:19 pm

The death of a long-time, part-time professor in Pittsburgh is gathering the attention of instructors nationwide. The trend of relying on part-time faculty has been in the works for decades, and Margaret Mary Vojtko's story is seen by some as a tragic byproduct.

Last spring, months before her death, Vojtko showed up at a meeting between adjunct professors at Duquesne University and the union officials who had been trying to organize them. The professors are trying to organize a union affiliated with the United Steelworkers.

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4:25am

Sat September 7, 2013
Education

New School Year Brings Sequestration Pain For Many Districts

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 6:39 pm

A student at Red Lake High School starts the 2005 school year following a shooting the year before in which eight people were killed. Because of sequestration, the district is not able to keep on staff a school psychologist brought in after the shootings.
Ann Heisenfelt AP

The superintendent of the Lancaster, Pa., school district is meeting with teachers and staff at George Washington Elementary. It's the start of a new school year, and he's trying to sound upbeat about the district's finances.

"We continue to lose 5 and 10 percent of budgets each year," Pedro Rivera tells them. "And our overall goal is to make those plans and stretch out dollars to not impact you, because no kids should go without. Right?"

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3:08pm

Thu August 22, 2013
Education

Do The Data Exist To Make A College-Rating System Work?

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:46 pm

President Obama delivers a speech on education at the University of Buffalo on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

President Obama unveiled a plan on Thursday that would, for the first time, tie federal student aid to a new rating system for colleges and universities. While the president's message that higher education costs should be reined in was simple enough, the sweeping proposal is anything but.

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3:22pm

Tue August 20, 2013
Education

What's Behind The Turnaround At Miami Public Schools?

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For years, Miami-Dade County Public Schools faced problems common to many urban schools: low attendance, high dropout rates, poor grades. But since 2008, Alberto Carvalho has been in charge of the nation's fourth largest school district, and there've been some noticeable improvements in Miami schools. More students are graduating, fewer are dropping out, test scores are up and the district's budget crisis has faded.

NPR's Claudio Sanchez has this profile of the man some call a miracle worker.

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3:03pm

Tue July 16, 2013
Education

The Charter School Vs. Public School Debate Continues

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

The latest study says kids learn better in charter schools than in public schools. But even charter school supporters question the study and its methods of research.
iStockphoto.com

Charter schools turn 21 this year. In that time, these privately run, publicly funded schools have spread to 41 states and enrolled more than 2 million students.

But one key question lingers: Do kids in charter schools learn more than kids in traditional public schools?

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2:44am

Fri June 28, 2013
Education

Student Loan Rates Set To Double On July 1

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:00 pm

The interest rate on new Stafford loans is going to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent Monday.
iStockphoto.com

The interest rate on government-backed student loans is going to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent Monday.

Republicans, Democrats and the Obama administration could not agree on a plan to keep it from happening. Lawmakers say a deal is still possible after the July 4 recess. But if they don't agree on a plan soon, 7 million students expected to take out new Stafford loans could be stuck with a much bigger bill when they start paying the money back.

It has been one of the more heated debates in Washington this year.

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12:56am

Tue June 18, 2013
Education

Study: Teacher Prep Programs Get Failing Marks

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 11:52 am

Teachers are not coming out of the nation's colleges of education ready, according to a study released Tuesday by U.S.News & World Report and the National Council on Teacher Quality.
iStockphoto.com

The U.S. spends more than $7 billion a year preparing classroom teachers, but teachers are not coming out of the nation's colleges of education ready, according to a study released Tuesday by U.S.News & World Report and the National Council on Teacher Quality.

The study says most schools of education are in disarray.

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2:56pm

Thu May 30, 2013
All Tech Considered

Online College Courses Get A Big Boost, But Doubts Persist

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 4:01 pm

The University of Tennessee became one of 10 state university systems teaming up with Coursera, a for-profit tech company.
Flickr Creative Commons

From New Mexico to New York, 10 state university systems have announced they are joining the ranks of elite institutions embracing the massive open online course, or MOOC, system.

On Thursday, they unveiled a landmark partnership with Coursera, a for-profit tech company with 3.5 million registered students. It's the biggest effort to catapult degree-granting institutions into the world of global education.

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3:07pm

Fri April 26, 2013
Around the Nation

30 Years On, Educators Still Divided On Scathing Schools Report

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 3:32 pm

Thirty years ago this week, President Ronald Reagan's administration released "A Nation at Risk," a report warning of "a rising tide of mediocrity" in American public education.

According to the report, only one-third of 17-year-olds in 1983 could solve a math problem requiring two steps or more, and 4 out of 10 teenagers couldn't draw inferences from written material. In an address to the nation, Reagan warned that "about 13 percent of 17-year-olds are functional illiterates and, among minority youth, the rate is closer to 40 percent."

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2:58am

Sun April 14, 2013
Education

'Core' Curriculum Puts Education Experts At Odds

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 4:16 pm

At 2 p.m., it's crunchtime for students who write for The Harbinger Online, the award-winning, student news site at Shawnee Mission East High just outside Kansas City, Kan. They've been investigating an initiative to develop common curriculum and test guidelines for states.

The young reporters have pored over countless documents about the Common Core State Standards and talked to Kansas state legislators who pushed for their adoption, trying to understand why they're necessary.

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3:50pm

Wed April 10, 2013
Education

El Paso Schools Cheating Scandal: Who's Accountable?

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 12:29 pm

Former El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia is escorted by his attorneys into a Texas courthouse. He was found guilty of fiddling with El Paso schools' test scores for his own financial gain.
Ruben R. Ramirez/The El Paso Times AP

No one knows if Atlanta's school superintendent or any of the people accused of falsifying test results will go to jail, but they wouldn't be the first if they do.

Lorenzo Garcia, the former superintendent of schools in El Paso, Texas, has been sitting in a federal prison since last year. He's the nation's first superintendent convicted of fraud and reporting bogus test scores for financial gain.

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6:08am

Wed April 10, 2013
Education

Study: More Adult Pell Grant Students, Not Enough Graduating

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 11:01 am

The federal government each year gives needy college students billions of dollars they don't have to pay back — $34.5 billion to be exact. More than 9 million students rely on the Pell Grant program. But a new study says much of the money is going to people who never graduate.

Sandy Baum, an expert on student financial aid, has been leading a group in a study of the 48-year-old Pell Grant program. Their report, commissioned by the nonprofit College Board, confirms what many have known for years about grant recipients.

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4:22am

Sat March 23, 2013
Education

Race, Poverty Central To National School-Closure Debate

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 6:49 pm

Jean De Lafayette Elementary School is one of 50 schools slated to be closed in Chicago. Cities across the country are facing similar decisions, and opposition to the closures is growing.
Scott Olson Getty Images

In Chicago, parents are fighting to prevent the city from closing 54 public schools. The Chicago Teachers Union is planning a rally against the cost-cutting proposal next week.

School closings are nothing new, but in a growing number of districts around the country, what was once seen as a local decision to close schools has now morphed into a politically charged campaign.

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3:19pm

Wed February 27, 2013
The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences

Sequester Spells Uncertainty For Many Public Schools

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Children eat breakfast at a federally funded Head Start program. Many Head Start administrators are concerned they may have to cut back on the number of enrolled children if the sequester moves ahead.
John Moore Getty Images

If Congress and the Obama administration can't agree on a budget deal by Friday, the federal government will be forced to cut $85 billion from just about every federally funded program. Every state could lose federal aid, and a myriad of government programs could shut down or curtail services — and that includes the nation's public schools.

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2:56pm

Tue January 29, 2013
Education

Union Backs 'Bar Exam' For Teachers

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:29 pm

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, says a bar exam for K-12 teachers would test a person's knowledge based on the subject he or she was hired to teach.
Rebecca Cook Reuters/Landov

The system for preparing and licensing teachers in the U.S. is in such disarray that the American Federation of Teachers is proposing a "bar exam" similar to the one lawyers have to pass before they can practice.

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2:34am

Thu December 27, 2012
Around the Nation

Holiday Travelers Stranded By Severe Weather

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 3:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A series of rare December tornados flattening homes in the South added to the winter woes of millions of Americans from Texas to Maine. Faced with heavy snow, rains and high winds throughout, hundreds of flights have been canceled, leaving many holiday travelers stranded. NPR's Claudio Sanchez has this report.

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1:15am

Fri December 14, 2012
Education

In California, Parents Trigger Change At Failing School

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:18 pm

Parents leading a revolt to take over an elementary school say it has failed their children. From left: Cynthia Ramirez with her son, Mason; Doreen Diaz; Bartola DelVillar; and Kathy Duncan.
Claudio Sanchez NPR

Parents in one small California community have used a "parent-trigger" law for the first time to shut down and take over an elementary school. It's a revolt led by parents who say the school has failed their children, but others say it's not the school's fault.

The school is in tiny Adelanto, Calif., home to several prisons connected by desolate stretches of highway on the fringes of the Mojave Desert.

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1:05pm

Mon November 12, 2012
Education

Firestorm Erupts Over Virginia's Education Goals

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 3:47 pm

As part of Virginia's waiver to opt out of mandates set out in the No Child Left Behind law, the state has created a controversial new set of education goals that are higher for white and Asian kids than for blacks, Latinos and students with disabilities.

Virginia Democratic state Sen. Donald McEachin first read about the state's new performance goals for schoolchildren in a newspaper editorial.

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4:17am

Sat October 13, 2012
Solve This

With Varied Approach, Candidates Push School Choice

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 10:41 am

Despite some backlash from their political parties, both President Obama and Mitt Romney have made school choice a cornerstone of their efforts for education reform.
iStockphoto.com

The right to choose the school you want your child to attend has been the subject of court battles and bitter political debates. Still, both President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney have made school choice a cornerstone of their efforts to reform public education.

Romney says he wants to give every student trapped in a failing school the chance to attend a better school. He supports private-school vouchers in states where they're allowed, but his main focus is on creating more public-school choices.

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