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Latest Education News

A collection of the most recent education journalism, curated by EWA staff. 

A collection of the most recent education journalism, curated by EWA staff. 

Member Stories

September 14 – 21
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

The Sacramento Bee’s Diana Lambert reports on a school board’s decision to keep policies that allow the teaching of potentially controversial topics, after the reading of a kindergarten book about a transgender child caused months of uproar from parents divided along ideological lines.


Edsource’s Mikhail Zinshteyn reports on possible changes to remedial education requirements in California, with potentially huge effects for the state’s community colleges. 

Latest News

What a Dearth of Teachers Means for a School in a One-Stoplight Colorado Town

OTIS — Late last spring, after five of her two dozen teachers resigned with no replacements in sight, Superintendent Kendra Anderson reassured her school’s anxious principal that everything would be fine.

Then she walked the 25 feet between their two offices, sat down at her desk and said to herself: “Oh, crap.”

Anderson remembered a time — and not that long ago — when she could pick out a six-year veteran from a pile of resumes whenever she had an unexpected teaching vacancy.

Latest News

Indiana Lawmakers Appealing for Reprieve from Federal Graduation Rate Changes

Indiana’s congressional delegation is seeking a moratorium on federal guidelines that would drastically lower Indiana’s high school graduation rate.

Thousands of Indiana diplomas would not count toward Indiana’s graduation rate under new rules put in place by the U.S. Department of Education and the Every Student Succeeds Act, a new federal education law. 

Indiana’s rate would fall to 76.5 percent, from 89.1 percent, for the 2016 class if the rule had taken effect earlier. 

Latest News

Gov. Hogan Refuses to Sign Off on Maryland Education Plan

Gov. Larry Hogan is refusing to endorse the Maryland school board’s plan for helping low-performing schools, saying state board members were hamstrung by a new law limiting what the plan can include.

The General Assembly passed legislation this year that limits ways the state can try to reform its lowest-performing schools — those in the bottom 5 percent. The Republican governor vetoed that bill, but the Democratic-controlled legislature overrode him.

Latest News

Nebraska Sends Betsy DeVos Its Every Student Succeeds Act Plan

With the dust settled on Betsy DeVos’ visit, Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt wants something from the U.S. education secretary: her autograph.

DeVos must sign off on Nebraska’s newly minted plan for implementing the new federal education law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Latest News

State Superintendent Says Plan Aims at Reaching All Students in Need

State officials in Washington are proposing a plan they say will help every child succeed.

State Superintendent Chris Reykdal visited Marie Curie STEM Elementary School in Pasco to announce the submission of the state’s plan to meet the requirements set out in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

The law, which replaces the No Child Left Behind Act, requires each state to develop a plan showing how they will spend federal dollars. The Department of Education has 120 days to comment on the plan before making a decision about it.

Latest News

Iowa Sends Every Student Succeeds Act Plan to U.S. Department of Education

Iowa officials submitted their plan to meet new education standards under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act to the U.S. Department of Education on Monday.

The Every Student Succeeds Act replaced the No Child Left Behind policy and was signed by President Barack Obama in 2015. In Iowa, it is intended to be fully implemented by Fall 2018.

The legislation maintains some of No Child Left Behind’s focus on school accountability, though not its sanctions against underperforming schools, and gives states more control over how schools are assessed and monitored.

Latest News

Vermont Test Scores Slide

When Michael Hock learned how Vermont students scored on the statewide standardized test this year, even he was surprised — and he’s the director of assessment at the Vermont Agency of Education.

The results from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests, taken by all Vermont public school students in grades three through eight and grade 11 in English language arts and math, show a decline in student performance from the 2015-2016 school year. 

Latest News

Iowa’s ESSA Plan to Replace No Child Left Behind

Iowa leaders are seeking federal approval for a new school accountability plan that will replace No Child Left Behind’s approach to holding schools accountable for student performance. 

The Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2015. It gives state leaders broader authority to use their own measures of success when evaluating schools.

Latest News

Virginia Submits New Education Plan for Federal Review

Students’ academic growth will carry greater weight in evaluating Virginia schools under a new plan the state has submitted for federal approval.

The plan lays out how Virginia will comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal education law signed by President Barack Obama in 2015. It revamps the widely criticized George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act, allowing states to design their own standards of achievement and progress, and decide how to help struggling schools.

Latest News

Five Issues to Watch in Massachusetts Education

Massachusetts has always been on the forefront when it comes to education, be it progress, reform or innovation.

This academic year, students, teachers, families and legislators will be no less subject to dealing with changes and proposals on education on multiple fronts as communities continue to demand for their students, a high-quality, 21st-century education that’s accessible, affordable, equitable, and most importantly meaningful for student success and the economic health and well-being.

Latest News

S.D. Department of Education Changes Criteria for Evaluating Public Schools

South Dakota officially has new criteria for what makes a successful public school. 

The state Board of Education Standards on Monday approved rules for public school accountability in accordance with the new federal K-12 education law.

More changes are likely as the state looks for other ways to assess school quality, but Monday’s vote officially pushed South Dakota schools into the era of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). 

Latest News

Who benefits from Head Start? Kids who attend — and their kids, too

Early childhood education benefits more than the kids who participate — it also helps their kids, even decades later.

A new study of Head Start, the large federally funded pre-kindergarten initiative that started in the 1960s, found that the children of kids who participated were substantially more likely to graduate high school and attend college, and less likely to commit crime and become a teen parent.


Views Among College Students Regarding the First Amendment: Results From a New Survey

College students’ views on the First Amendment are important for another reason as well: Students act as de facto arbiters of free expression on campus. The Supreme Court justices are not standing by at the entrances to public university lecture halls ready to step in if First Amendment rights are curtailed. If a significant percentage of students believe that views they find offensive should be silenced, those views will in fact be silenced.

Latest News

USF St. Petersburg leader forced out for botching Irma evacuation

While students at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg awaited a lashing from Hurricane Irma, the school’s leader fled the state for Atlanta and insinuated in an email to her boss that she remained on campus — going so far as to say things were quiet and that she heard birds chirping.

After the storm, USF officials moved to fire USFSP regional chancellor Sophia Wisniewska for incompetence and “lack of leadership,” criticizing her departure and alleging that she had hesitated to evacuate students as Irma grew more dangerous.

Latest News

Wisconsin Submits Revised Education Accountability Plan

Wisconsin submitted a federally required school improvement plan to President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday over objections from Gov. Scott Walker and conservative groups that it didn’t do enough to embrace innovative ideas, such as expanding taxpayer-funded private school choice programs.

All 50 states must submit accountability plans under the law, which replaced No Child Left Behind, to continue receiving federal education funding. Wisconsin gets more than $500 million per year in such funding.

Latest News

Failing Charter Schools Have a Reincarnation Plan

While it’s widely known that private schools convert to charter status to take advantage of public dollars, more schools are now heading in the opposite direction. As voucher programs across the country proliferate, shuttered charter schools, like the Orange Park Performing Arts Academy, have begun to privatize in order to stay open with state assistance.

Latest News

Rising exodus of students puts more pressure on Minnesota schools

Minnesota students have had the right to attend school in other districts since 1990, but the number of elementary and high school students exercising that option is surging. Last year, about 132,000 Minnesota students enrolled in schools outside their home district, four times the number making that choice in 2000, a Star Tribune analysis shows.

Latest News

Minnesota Set to Revamp How Public Schools Are Graded

After years of intense pressure on school test scores, the state’s education department on Monday submitted a final plan to the federal government that broadens its previous reach — promising to evaluate more schools than before, and in a well-rounded fashion.

With the federal No Child Left Behind education law being replaced by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) nationwide, Minnesota will focus on the lowest-performing schools that get federal money for low-income students.

Latest News

Pennsylvania Submits Its Every Student Succeeds Act Plan to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Gov. Tom Wolf signed off on Pennsylvania’s roadmap for complying with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act on Monday and submitted it to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for her approval.

The plan, which was made public Monday, establishes what the department describes as “ambitious yet attainable” goals of raising student performance, increasing graduation rates and having English learners move toward achieving English language proficiency.

Latest News

Public Needs More Data in Annual Snapshot of Public School Districts, Officials Say

How public schools are rated annually needs to be expanded to shed light on gaps in access to the best teachers, race and income, state officials said.

Under current rules, districts are given letter grades yearly based largely on how students fare on key tests.That would not change.But doing so ignores the wide range of school performance in a district, including access to certified teachers, officials said.

Latest News

Despite Feeling ‘Defrauded’ By The End Of Daca, Dreamers Refuse To Return To Their Country Of Origin

DACA youth were “defrauded” by the government and were victims of their own success, a panel of experts, including DACA recipients, concluded at one of the workshops for journalists at the conference “EWA: Journalism for Latinos in Education in the Trump Era” on Monday in Anaheim.

The elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), announced by the Trump administration last week, was called a “fraud” by the panelists.

Latest News

With Chelsea Manning Invitation, Harvard Got a Discussion It Didn’t Want

It was the collision this week of some of those prominent names that thrust the Kennedy School into an uncomfortable controversy over whether it should confer its prestige and honor on people who have broken the law.

On Wednesday, the school’s Institute of Politics announced that it had accepted Chelsea Manning, a former United States soldier jailed for seven years for leaking classified information, as one of its visiting fellows.

Latest News

When Affirmative Action Isn’t Enough

Despite the continued debate and legal wrangling over whether college affirmative action efforts are too aggressive, black and Hispanic freshmen were more underrepresented at the nation’s top schools in 2015 than they were in 1980, the Times analysis found.

Member Stories

September 8 – 14
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

Aliyya Swaby writes in The Texas Tribune on how Hurricane Harvey has reignited anxieties in an annexed school district. 


Edsource’s Carolyn Jones reports on how California leaders are pledging millions of dollars to support “dreamers” with financial aid and legal services. 


Latest News

Back to School in North Carolina—But Not for School Nurses

North Carolina public schools average only one school nurse per 1,086 students, according to the results of the state’s most recent Annual School Health Services Report.

The typical school nurse here serves two to three schools, but some cover as many as six, Ann Nichols, the school health nurse consultant with the North Carolina Division of Public Health, said when presenting these findings to the state Board of Education last month.

Latest News

America’s Best Colleges for Adult Learners

In college, as in life, youth and glamor go together. The top schools on the U.S. News & World Report rankings and similar college lists recruit virtually all of their freshmen right out of high school—or perhaps after a “gap year” spent, say, saving baby sea turtles in Australia.

By contrast, colleges that cater to adult students, the kind with jobs and families, aren’t given much attention or credit by the usual gatekeepers.

Key Coverage

Certification Rules and Tests are Keeping Would-be Teachers of Color Out of America’s Classrooms. Here’s How.

Becoming a certified teacher in America usually means navigating a maze of university classes and certification tests — and paying for them.

The goal is a high-quality teaching force, and an array of powerful advocates have been pushing to “raise the bar” further. But the rules likely come with a hefty cost: a less diverse profession.

Latest News

What Happens to 5,000 CMS Kids Who Failed Grade 3 Reading?

In 2012 North Carolina lawmakers decided they could improve education by requiring third-graders to show they could read at grade level before advancing to fourth grade. The idea was that educators, students and families would be more motivated to develop reading skills early.

But five years later, the law that was billed as ending “social promotion” hasn’t created a more literate student population. In North Carolina and CMS, third-grade reading proficiency has actually dropped slightly in the ensuing years, according to 2017 data released last week.

Latest News

Massachusetts Districts Now Trade Notes on Best Paths to Personalized Learning

Blended learning was the gateway to personalized learning in the Natick Public Schools, about 20 miles west of Boston. The district made sure each child had a laptop to use in class almost a decade ago, according to the current director of digital learning, Grace Magley. For the last three years or so, however, the focus has shifted. Project-based learning, where students have opportunities to dive deep into topics that interest and absorb them, has become a priority, and with it, the attempt to better engage students in their own education.

Latest News

The Trump Effect in College Admissions: Rural Outreach Increases, International Recruitment Gets Harder

A sizable share of college admission directors say they have intensified efforts to recruit in rural areas and find more white students from low-income families following Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the 2016 presidential election, according to a survey from the online news outlet Inside Higher Ed.

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Counting DACA Students

How many students are affected by President Trump’s decision to end the program that shields young, undocumented immigrants, ages 15 and up, from deportation?

Counting students who have received approval for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) isn’t easy. The reason is that schools, both high schools and colleges, generally don’t ask students if they have DACA status. So the data aren’t collected. 

Latest News

Students at Houston ISD, Cy-Fair, Katy Back to School After Flooding

Every evening for the past two weeks, 8-year-old Chardrea Hayes insisted that her mother, Charlotte, drive by Codwell Elementary School so she could see the Houston ISD campus.

Hayes said Chardrea was devastated when she learned the planned first day of school on Aug. 28 would be delayed after Hurricane Harvey brought-record breaking floods to the Houston area. But on Monday, Chardrea couldn’t stop grinning as she scampered up to the school.

Latest News

Why This President Wants Betsy DeVos at His College’s Commencement

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was met with jeers and boos during her commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University in May. Dozens of graduates stood from their seats on the floor of the packed arena and turned their backs to her in protest. Many of the graduates and their families were upset that Ms. DeVos was invited to speak on a day when the primary focus should have been on them.

Latest News

Daly City’s School’s $10 Million Quest for Student ‘Sense Of Purpose’

More folks will be talking about Summit and super schools, funded by Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective, after a one-hour feature on them airs Friday night across the nation on all four major commercial broadcast networks. With high-profile stars like Jennifer Hudson, Tom Hanks, Common, Justin Timberlake, U2 and Ringo Starr, the Entertainment Industry Foundation-sponsored program is intended to inspire a sense of urgency about redesigning high school. Why is that so critical?

Key Coverage

Private Geography: Vouching Towards Bethlehem

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. So is This American Life producer Susan Burton. During Devos’s nomination hearings, critics accused her of never having set foot in a public school. But it turns out that years ago she did—as a volunteer mentor. Susan returned to Grand Rapids to find out what DeVos’s experience in a public school in her hometown can tell us about her vision for education in this country.