Stephan Bisaha

Stephan Bisaha is a former NPR Kroc Fellow. Along with producing Weekend Edition, Stephan has reported on national stories for Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as other NPR programs. He provided data analysis for an investigation into the Department of Veteran Affairs and reported on topics ranging from Emojis to mattresses.

Stephan has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and concentrated in data journalism. He currently covers education for KMUW and the Kansas News Service. 

The classroom and workplace have traditionally been kept separate.

But a redesign that’s been going on for four years in Kansas could blend the two in ways aimed to help both students and employers.

Employers are now a common sight in school hallways. Mechanics show seventh graders how to diagnose a Jeep in the school parking lot. Eighth graders visit boiler factories. Schools hope to benefit from field-earned expertise. Businesses get a head start on recruiting.

WICHITA, Kansas — Smartboards have been replacing chalkboards in Kansas for more than a decade. Yet districts are still figuring out tech’s place in the classroom.

To get the best college experience, live on campus.

Adult education programs offered by Kansas’ colleges and school districts are increasingly bringing classes to workers where they already are: at work.

Kansas junior college football plays in the big time these days.

The Jayhawk Community College Conference made a key change to its player eligibility rules three years ago that drew blue-chip players in from out of state.

The level of play shot up almost overnight, transforming at least one team from a perennial doormat to a national contender.

Kansas junior college football plays in the big time these days.

The Jayhawk Community College Conference made a key change to its player eligibility rules three years ago that drew blue-chip players in from out of state.

The level of play shot up almost overnight, transforming at least one team from a perennial doormat to a national contender.

It’s what you’d expect in a small gym. Treadmills. Squat rack. Elliptical machine.

But 54 Fitness, located in the 500-person town of Moran, still holds remnants of the building’s previous lives. Tile flooring. Booth seating. A washroom designed for rinsing off grease, not sweat.

Wichita Public Schools is considering adding explicit protections for transgender students and staff this year.

Vaping at Kansas schools is reaching epidemic proportions, prompting the Kansas State Board of Education to launch a concerted campaign against it.

“This thing hit us like a tsunami,” said Jeff Hersh, assistant superintendent at Goddard Public Schools. “Quite honestly it’s very alarming.”

In the 1990s, the near future looked like a place where distance would no longer matter.

In an increasingly online economy, location would matter less than connection. The internet appeared destined to make working from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, much the same as tackling a job from Pittsburg, Kansas.

Yet three decades later, location matters as much as ever.

The new reality of smoking at Kansas high schools is visible in the parking lots, where used-up Juul pods have taken the place of cigarette butts.

“You can pick up the discarded Juul cartridges all over the concrete,” Andover High School school resource officer Heath Kintzel said of the popular vaping brand. “It’s everywhere.”

For nine weeks, Zyrie Berry-Henricks has been meeting with four other University of Kansas students to try to answer the question: What does it mean to be a man?

It’s part of KU’s Men’s Action Project, a 10-week program where male students discuss masculinity — both healthy and toxic.

Cities in Kansas have been adopting a new approach for dealing with feral cats: neutering and vaccinating them, and then allowing the felines to roam free.

That has birdwatchers worried.

When a student comes home with a C on their report card, it often isn't clear what that means.

Are they average in geometry? Or did their math proficiency get dragged down by poor class attendance?

Wichita Public Schools is hoping to clarify those grades by isolating academics from everything else that happens in the classroom.

Wichita State student Jonathan Gallegos said gamers on campus felt like an afterthought.

“The school wasn’t really supporting us,” Gallegos said.

This semester, the support came. Gallegos is now a varsity athlete.

Kansas universities are looking beyond the Midwest — as far out as California — for out-of-state students to fill their classrooms.

But other states are competing just as hard for Kansas students.

A college degree is still your best bet for earning top dollar.

Yet with more Americans graduating from college, having a degree is no longer enough to stand out. To make the most of that degree in an economy filled with college grads, choosing the right degree is that much more important. Here are some tips for finding the right college major.

Henrion Hall is where the dirty art happens at Wichita State University.

Sculpting. Ceramics. Spray painting. Students are likely to ding, splash and generally make a mess of the walls. With the building nearing 100 years old, the university doesn't mind.

Student Matthew Fitch wanted a low-cost, quick entry into the workforce. That’s all he wanted.

So he transferred from a community college to WSU Tech — a place that felt quieter and more focused on his dash to the working world.

“There’s no parties all the time,” Fitch said. “Everybody’s kind of focused on learning a lot so that they can get a nice job.”

A bill in the Kansas Legislature would let students escape bullying by transferring to a new school, either public or private.

But critics say the bill is little more than an attempt to send state dollars meant for public schools to private alternatives.

Former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke compared the national economy to a Looney Tunes character: magically floating in the air for a moment after running off a cliff before inevitably plummeting in 2020.

Simplistic crisis plans and missing mandatory training by some Kansas schools led the Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday to reinforce its suicide prevention requirements.

Suicide rates in the United States have been going up for years, but the rates have risen faster in Kansas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kansas suicide rate increased by 45 percent from 1999 to 2016.

A hot job market and the increasing cost of tuition have slowed the growth in the number of Kansans earning a college education nearly to a halt. Educators are worried that will worsen shortages of high-skilled workers and impede prosperity long term.

Kansas' high school graduation rate continued to trend upward with the class of 2018 as schools put a growing emphasis on preventing students from dropping out.

Of the students who started at both public and private high schools in 2014, 87.5 percent graduated within four years, an increase from the 86.9 percent rate of the previous freshman class, according to newly published state data.

A diploma is paramount.

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer's education council says a state program should pay more of the job-training costs for high school students taking college classes.

The Excel in Career and Technical Education (Excel in CTE) initiative covers the tuition costs of students taking technical college courses while the students are still in high school. During the fiscal year of 2017, the program had cost about $24 million.

The Kansas State Board of Education on Tuesday adopted new standards for school safety.

The state Legislature ordered the guidelines in May in response to the school shooting debate.

Kansas' teacher shortage is growing worse.

The latest numbers from the Kansas State Department of Education for fall 2018 show 612 teaching positions remain unfilled by a qualified teacher. That's up from the 513 vacant positions from the same time last year.

According to the state, one possible explanation for the shortage is that schools have become less reluctant to report their vacancies.

Kansas schools are still struggling to hire teachers.

There are more than 600 vacant teaching positions in Kansas, nearly 100 more than in the fall of 2017. Special education and elementary positions have the largest number of vacancies.

The Kansas State Board of Education received the update on Tuesday from the Teacher Vacancy and Supply Committee. The main reason for the open positions is a lack of applicants or qualified applicants.

Enrollment at public colleges in Kansas fell about half of a percent this fall, according to a new report from the Kansas Board of Regents released Monday.

Pittsburg State University's enrollment declined just under 4 percent — the largest decrease for a state university this year. Fort Hays State University had the largest percent increase with a little over 2 percent.

At least one Kansas business says the Trump administration's plan to further limit the number of refugees entering the country could hurt its operations.

Secretary of State of State Mike Pompeo announced on Tuesday a plan to cap the number of refugees entering the country at 30,000 next year. For the current year the cap was lowered to 45,000, though final admissions numbers will be about half that.

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