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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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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Education
3:10 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Chicago Teachers Union Delegates Vote On Contract

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The teachers Union in Chicago votes later today for the second time on whether to and a strike that has kept 350,000 students and their parents in limbo. On Sunday, the union's House of Delegates voted to continue the weeklong strike until they have more time to read the outline on of a tentative agreement. That vote was a setback for union President Karen Lewis and her bargaining team.

NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports that with the vote pending, some teachers still don't know what's in that agreement.

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Education
3:18 am
Wed September 12, 2012

As Chicago Teachers Strike, Unions At A Crossroad

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 7:28 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

On the face of it, the teacher's strike in Chicago is about money, job security and how teachers are evaluated. But it's also about the political pressure on teachers' unions to make concessions that not long ago would've been unheard of. Teachers' collective bargaining rights these days have taken a backseat to bare-bones budgets and to claims that unions are an obstacle to efforts aimed at improving the quality of schools. As NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, all these elements have come together in Chicago.

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