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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Education
2:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

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

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

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

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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Education
5:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

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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Education
4:25 am
Sat September 7, 2013

New School Year Brings Sequestration Pain For Many Districts

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

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

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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Education
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

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

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

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

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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Education
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

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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Education
3:13 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Sequestration Knocks Nearly 60,000 Kids Out Of Head Start

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour in the classroom. In a moment, a new tax break in Alabama to help get kids out of failing schools and the parents who oppose it. But first, a word we haven't hear much of lately, sequestration. The federal government is reporting big cuts today for Head Start. The preschool program for low income three and four-year-olds serves close to a million kids.

But as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, this fall, many will be left out.

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Education
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

The Charter School Vs. Public School Debate Continues

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

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

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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Education
1:44 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Student Loan Rates Set To Double On July 1

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

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

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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Education
12:56 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Study: Teacher Prep Programs Get Failing Marks

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
3:00 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Online College Courses Get A Big Boost, But Doubts Persist

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

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

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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Education
2:38 am
Thu May 23, 2013

College Students Eye Calendar, Wait To See If Loan Rates Double

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 10:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Education
2:57 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Long-Lost Memo Stirs Allegation Of Cheating In D.C. Schools

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For years now, Washington, D.C., school officials have been under pressure to fully investigate allegations of inflated test scores, cheating and possibly a cover up. At the center of it all is Michelle Rhee. She's the fiery former school chancellor who based much of her success on dramatic gains in kids' reading and math scores. Those gains are now suspect. And as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, questions about what really happened just won't go away.

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Around the Nation
3:07 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

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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Education
2:58 am
Sun April 14, 2013

'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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Education
3:30 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

El Paso Schools Cheating Scandal: Who's Accountable?

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

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

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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Education
2:42 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Survey: More Pell Grant Recipients Are Nontraditional Students

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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Education
4:22 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Race, Poverty Central To National School-Closure Debate

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

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

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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Around the Nation
2:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Snow Storm Doesn't Live Up To Its Hype In Nation's Capital

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 9:49 am

Transcript

CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, BYLINE: This is Claudio Sanchez in Washington, D.C. By mid-afternoon, some parts of west and northern Virginia had gotten a foot of snow. Washington, D.C. was expecting at least half that, so area airports cancelled more than a thousand flights. Schools closed. So did federal and local government offices. Things look bad.

CHRIS VACCARO: This is certainly a significant storm and a dangerous storm.

SANCHEZ: That's Chris Vaccaro with the National Weather Service.

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
2:59 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Sequester Spells Uncertainty For Many Public Schools

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

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

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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Education
2:21 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Union Backs 'Bar Exam' For Teachers

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

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

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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Around the Nation
2:34 am
Thu December 27, 2012

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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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
3:14 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Schools Reexamine Security After Newtown Shooting

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 8:36 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In the aftermath of Newtown, school officials and parents across the country were asking themselves the same question today: How safe is my school? NPR's Claudio Sanchez has that story.

CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, BYLINE: In Nashville, Tennessee, Ruth Rosenberg asked her daughter's first-grade teacher what school was going to be like today. Teachers there were told to downplay any discussion of the Newtown shooting since many kids still don't know what happened, including her 7-year-old daughter, says Rosenberg.

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Education
1:15 am
Fri December 14, 2012

In California, Parents Trigger Change At Failing School

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

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

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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Education
6:31 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Online Courses Force Changes To Higher Education

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:32 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There is a lot of speculation now about what issues - big and small - the Obama administration should tackle in its second term. Education is one thing on many of those lists, and in Washington yesterday, the talk was about one of the hottest trends in the field - something called MOOCS. MOOCS is short for Massive Open Online Courses; college courses, to be exact.

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Education
1:05 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

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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U.S.
3:50 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Contraception, Pell Grants 'In Context' After Debate

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 5:09 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. And we're going to take some time now to put a couple of assertions from last night's presidential debate in context. And here in the studio to help us out are NPR health policy correspondent Julie Rovner and NPR education correspondent Claudio Sanchez. Nice to see both of you here.

CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, BYLINE: Good to be here.

JULIE ROVNER, BYLINE: Nice to be here.

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Solve This
4:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

With Varied Approach, Candidates Push School Choice

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

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

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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Solve This
3:06 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Obama, Romney on Higher Ed Help: Dueling Visions

Gan Golan holds a ball and chain representing his college loan debt during at a Occupy DC event last year.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Many Americans today feel like they've lost or are losing their shot at a college education because paying for it often seems out of reach. So how big of an issue is this in the presidential campaign?

Here's what President Obama has done to help families pay for college: He negotiated a deal with Congress this summer that kept the interest rate on government-backed Stafford loans from doubling for 7.5 million students.

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Education
1:24 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Parsing Fact From Fiction In 'Won't Back Down'

Nona Alberts (Viola Davis) and Jamie Fitzpatrick (Maggie Gyllenhaal) share a triumphant moment with Nona's son Cody (Dante Brown) and Jamie's daughter Malia (Emily Alyn Lind).
Kerry Hayes 20th Century Fox

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 8:19 am

Won't Back Down opens with a little girl's anguished face. It fills the entire screen. The camera hovers as she struggles to read a simple sentence on the blackboard out loud.

She's dyslexic. Not that anyone at Adams Elementary cares — least of all her second-grade teacher, who is berating or slapping kids around when she's not shopping for shoes online.

But if it was your kid who was struggling and nobody at school cared, what would you do? What could you do? That's how director Daniel Barnz hooks you.

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Education
2:49 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Chicago Goes Back To School For A Second Time

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Kids in Chicago are back in school. While teachers and school officials still need to iron out wrinkles in their new contract, both are satisfied they can do that with school in session. Chicago students lost seven days as a result of the strike.

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