Claudio Sanchez

Former elementary and middle school teacher Claudio Sanchez is the 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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5:22pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Education

Higher Dropout Age May Not Lead To More Diplomas

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 6:19 pm

President Obama delivers the commencement address for Kalamazoo Central High School's class of 2007 in Kalamazoo, Mich. The state requires students to stay in school until they turn 18.
Charles Dharapak AP

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on every state to require students to stay in school until they graduate or turn 18. "When students don't walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma," he said.

The White House cited studies that showed how raising the compulsory schooling age helps prevent kids from leaving school. And while some of that is true, some of it is also wishful thinking.

For New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner of Education Paul Leather, the president made the right call in his address.

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12:01am

Thu December 22, 2011
Education

Texas Schools Grapple With Big Budget Cuts

What's known as Middle School No. 8 in Leander, Texas, was supposed to help relieve overcrowding in the rapidly growing community. But after significant statewide cuts to education, the district can't afford to open the school.
Marisa Penaloza NPR

School funding in Texas is in turmoil. State lawmakers slashed more than $4 billion from education this school year — one of the largest cuts in state history — and more than 12,000 teachers and support staff have been laid off.

Academic programs and transportation have been cut to the bone. Promising reforms are on hold or on the chopping block. Next year, the cuts could go even deeper.

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4:00am

Fri December 9, 2011
U.S.

Finals On Hold, Vigil Set After Va. Tech Shooting

Virginia Tech is quiet Friday morning after a gunman shot and killed a campus police officer and then killed himself Thursday afternoon. For hours the sprawling campus in Blacksburg, Va., relived the horror of a 2007 shooting that left 33 dead and raised troubling questions about the university's slow response to the tragedy.

10:59am

Tue November 29, 2011
Education

In Texas, Keeping Kids In School And Out Of Court

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 6:49 pm

Seventy students a day are sent to the Waco Alternative School Campus, after being "ticketed" for bad behavior in municipal court.
Marisa Peñaloza NPR

The sort of offenses that might land a student in the principal's office in other states often send kids in Texas to court with misdemeanor charges. Some schools have started rethinking the way they punish students for bad behavior after watching many of them drop out or land in prison because of tough disciplinary policies.

In a downtown Houston municipal court, Judge David Fraga has presided over thousands of cases involving students "ticketed" by school police. His docket is still relatively small at the moment, with only 45 to 65 cases per night.

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10:30am

Fri October 21, 2011
2 Languages, Many Voices: Latinos In The U.S.

In Miami, School Aims For 'Bi-Literate' Education

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 12:00 pm

At Coral Way Elementary School in Miami-Dade County, students take classes in Spanish in the morning, then switch to English in the afternoon.

Claudio Sanchez NPR

In the fall of 1963, in the throes of the Cold War, Coral Way Elementary took in the children of political refugees fleeing Fidel Castro's Cuba. The goal was not just to teach them English, but to make sure they remained fluent in Spanish and held on to their culture. Cuban-Americans thrived in Miami, and so did Coral Way's bilingual immersion model.

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3:00pm

Wed September 28, 2011
Education

Obama Delivers Back-To-School Speech

President Obama delivered his annual back-to-school speech at Benjamin Banneker High School, one of Washington, D.C.'s top performing schools.

8:31am

Sun July 31, 2011
Education

North Carolina Cuts Squeeze Education Programs

By now, all 50 states have passed their budgets and education spending is getting one of the hardest hits. In North Carolina, the cuts are so severe, Gov. Beverly Perdue warns "they will do generational damage" to public education.

Deep cuts in funding for education were inevitable in North Carolina for three basic reasons: The state is $2.5 billion in the hole, education takes up over half of the state budget, and there's a new Republican majority in the legislature.

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4:57am

Thu July 28, 2011
School's Out: America's Dropout Crisis

Why Dropout Data Can Be So Unreliable

Accurate dropout figures are very hard to find because most states don't adequately collect or analyze the data.

Part of the problem is that every state has had a different definition for dropout. In some states, for example, students who leave school aren't counted as having dropped out if they enroll in adult education classes like night school.

Many schools don't count kids as dropouts if they enroll in a GED program. The U.S. Department of Education says GED recipients should be counted as dropouts but that rule isn't uniformly applied.

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4:54am

Thu July 28, 2011
School's Out: America's Dropout Crisis

A High School Dropout's Midlife Hardships

Kenny Buchanan, 44, dropped out of school as a teenager. He lost his job when the economy collapsed.
Claudio Sanchez NPR

Fifth in a five-part series

Today, the people who seem to be hurting the most in our sputtering economy are dropouts in their 30s, 40s and 50s.

Despite their work experience, some can't even apply for a new job without proof that they completed high school. One man has thought a lot about his education and the decisions he made as a teenager.

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4:54am

Wed July 27, 2011
School's Out: America's Dropout Crisis

Despite Interventions, No-Show Students Drop Out

Danny Lamont Jones, 16 (right), missed nearly two years of school, and relies on Rose Street Shelter and Zion Hunter for support.
Claudio Sanchez NPR

Fourth of a five-part series

In Baltimore, the vast majority of kids who never finish school drop out because of extreme poverty, homelessness and a drug epidemic that has left some neighborhoods desolate and dangerous.

In the toughest neighborhoods, kids miss lots of school days, and that puts them at risk of dropping out. Now, Baltimore's efforts are driven toward reaching these children early.

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2:44pm

Tue July 26, 2011
School's Out: America's Dropout Crisis

Teen Fights To Succeed In Rural S.C. Community

Nick Dunn, 16, gave up on school shortly after he lost his father. He lives with his mother, Deborah Gilmore Dunn, in rural South Carolina.
Claudio Sanchez NPR

Third of a five-part series

A fifth of the nation's public school students attend rural schools, but nearly a third of those kids don't graduate. In fact, many schools that researchers have labeled "dropout factories" are in rural communities. No state has more than South Carolina, which has 50. In this state, lots of teenagers just don't think they need a high school diploma.

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5:17am

Tue July 26, 2011
School's Out: America's Dropout Crisis

A Young Mom Resists A Cycle Of Failure

Lauren Ortega, 20, has two young kids and is struggling to finish her GED.
Claudio Sanchez NPR

Second of a five-part series

Of the million or so kids who drop out of school every year, nearly half are girls. They drop out for the same reasons boys do: they skip school, fall behind academically and they're bored. But the single biggest reason girls drop out is because they get pregnant.

Not a day goes by that Lauren Ortega doesn't regret quitting high school. When she turned 15, she got pregnant with her son.

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2:55pm

Mon July 25, 2011
School's Out: America's Dropout Crisis

From Drug Dealing To Diploma, A Teen's Struggle

Patrick Lundvick, 19, dropped out, spent time in jail and is now getting a second chance in South Chicago.
Claudio Sanchez NPR

First of a five-part series

No statistic in education is more damning than the nation's dropout rate. Almost 4 million students start ninth grade every year. One in four won't graduate.

About half of those who drop out every year are black. Most will end up unemployed, and by their mid-30s, six out of 10 will have spent time in prison. In Chicago, one young man dropped out, spent time in jail and is now getting a second chance.

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12:01am

Tue July 19, 2011
Education

Report Details Texas School Disciplinary Policies

Researchers in Texas have released the most comprehensive analysis of school suspension and expulsion policies ever conducted. It's considered groundbreaking because of its scope and detailed examination of disciplinary policies that when misused often put students at greater risk of dropping out or being incarcerated.

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7:27pm

Fri June 10, 2011
Education

R.I. High School's Troubled Year Ends On A Sour Note

For the last year, Central Falls High School in Rhode Island has been under a microscope. Long considered one of the poorest performing high schools in the state, administrators abandoned a proposal to fire all the teachers as long as they agreed to a so-called "transformation" plan.

Now, as the school year winds down, that plan is in shambles

Since August, when the restructuring of Central Falls High School began, 26 teachers have resigned or been fired. Josh Karten is one of them.

"I think I've been let go because I'm not a true believer," Karten says.

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