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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. 

Latest News

As May 1 Nears, N.Y.’s Free-Tuition Plan Sows Confusion About What Private Colleges Can Offer

The Excelsior Scholarship, which was drafted by the state’s Democratic governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, applies to both two- and four-year public colleges. It comes with a tangle of strings attached. For instance, it requires that students who get four-year scholarships attend full time and remain in the state for four years after graduating.

It appears to promise a tuition break to students who attend private colleges, but only if those colleges agree to financial concessions they say they don’t have enough information to make before their students’ decision deadline.

Latest News

Never Mind the Students; Homework Divides Parents

Last spring, when Public School 11, a prekindergarten through fifth-grade school in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, banned mandatory traditional homework assignments for children up to fourth grade, you might have expected universal acclaim. Rather than filling out worksheets, students were encouraged to read nightly, and a website offered tips for parents looking for engaging after-school activities.

Latest News

The U.S. Makes It Easy for Parents to Get College Loans—Repaying Them Is Another Story

Millions of U.S. parents have taken out loans from the government to help their children pay for college. Now a crushing bill is coming due. Hundreds of thousands have tumbled into delinquency and default. In the process, many have delayed retirement, put off health expenses and lost portions of Social Security checks and tax refunds to their lender, the federal government.

Latest News

A Popular Public School Bible Class in West Virginia Faces Legal Challenge

Bible in the Schools is facing a stiff legal challenge. Two county residents with school-age children argue in a lawsuit that the program violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment and the West Virginia constitution. Filed in January and amended last month by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the suit charges that the Bible class “advances and endorses one religion, improperly entangles public schools in religious affairs, and violates the personal consciences of nonreligious and non-Christian parents and students.”

Member Stories

April 14 – April 20
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

Marta Jewson writes for The Lens on the reasons behind one elementary school’s closure, as a group strives to convert New Orleans’ last five traditional public schools to charters.

 
 

Julie Chang and Dan Hill of the Austin American-Statesman examine the political divide among Texas Republicans on the issue of school choice in rural areas.


 

Latest News

Dallas Dance Resigns as Baltimore County Schools Superintendent

Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance announced his resignation abruptly Tuesday morning, surprising teachers, parents and county leaders. His last day will be June 30.

He gave no reason for the resignation, and a spokesman said he is not leaving for a specific job.

“I have received several offers, but I have not firmly decided. I look forward to sharing in the upcoming weeks what I will be doing,” Dance said Tuesday afternoon.

Latest News

U.S. Department of Education Launches Civil Rights Investigation of Richmond Public Schools

The U.S. Department of Education has launched a civil rights investigation of Richmond Public Schools at the request of advocacy groups that say the district’s disciplinary policies discriminate against black students and students with disabilities.

The decision was announced Monday by the Legal Aid Justice Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, which received word last week that the federal agency’s Office for Civil Rights would investigate concerns the organizations submitted in August.

Latest News

Feds Investigate Claims that Black and Disabled Students Face Harsher Discipline in Richmond

The U.S. Education Department will investigate allegations of discrimination against African American students and students with disabilities in Richmond public schools.

The investigation by the department’s Office of Civil Rights follows a complaint filed in August on behalf of two students and the Richmond chapter of the NAACP, by the Legal Aid Justice Center and the ACLU of Virginia. The complaint alleged that the school system’s discipline policies unfairly punish students who are black and students with disabilities more harshly than others.

Latest News

Here We Go Again? How a Government Shutdown Could Impact Schools

President Donald Trump’s administration has sent lawmakers a spending proposal that would cover the rest of fiscal 2017, which ends Sept. 30, including major cuts to Title II grants for teaching programs. On April 28, the measure Congress approved late last year to keep the government funded for fiscal 2017 will expire. Without it, major parts of the government will cease to operate.  There are a few programs where a shutdown would be felt pretty quickly, as well as a few wrinkles that make this potential shutdown a little different from previous ones. 

Latest News

DeVos Pick to Head Civil Rights Office Once Said She Faced Discrimination for Being White

The new acting head of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights once complained that she experienced discrimination because she is white.

As an undergraduate studying calculus at Stanford University in the mid-1990s, Candice Jackson “gravitated” toward a section of the class that provided students with extra help on challenging problems, she wrote in a student publication. Then she learned that the section was reserved for minority students.

Latest News

How Vouchers Transformed Indiana: Private Schools Live or Die By Test Scores

In the five years since Indiana began offering vouchers, the program has grown into one of the largest in the nation, and about $146 million in public funding was funneled to Indiana private schools through vouchers this year. But that money comes with strings attached, and low test scores have cost 16 schools the right to accept new vouchers. At least three have closed.

Latest News

On the Navajo Nation, Special Ed Students Await Water That Doesn’t Stink

On the Navajo Nation, kids with the most severe developmental disabilities attend a school called Saint Michael’s Association for Special Education.

Dameon David, 8, is waking up from a nap in his classroom. He has come to the school in northeastern Arizona for four years. He has cerebral palsy, seizures and scoliosis. His mom, Felencia Woodie, picks him up from a bed with Superman sheets.

Latest News

Maryland General Assembly Passes Bill Limiting Hours of Testing in Schools

With unanimous votes in both the House of Delegates and the state Senate, the General Assembly passed a bill that would limit how many hours of standardized testing school students can be made to undergo each year

The bill would cap testing at 2.2 percent of overall classroom time in a year — about 24 hours in elementary and middle school and 26 hours in high school.

Latest News

Where Corporal Punishment Is Still Used in Schools, Its Roots Run Deep

Robbinsville High School sits in a small gap in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Green slopes dotted with cattle hug in around the school before they rise into a thick cover of pine trees.

David Matheson is the principal here. And he’s the only high school principal in the state who still performs corporal punishment. At Robbinsville, corporal punishment takes the form of paddling – a few licks on the backside Matheson delivers with a long wooden paddle.

Latest News

Portland Public Schools’ Logic For Suing Reporter May Undermine Defense In Second Suit

Portland Public Schools is in a legal pickle, having to argue in one lawsuit that putting an employee on paid administrative leave is a secret personnel action that could cause the public to draw false conclusions, but in another, defend its decision to tell parents and students that Grant High’s athletic director was put on paid leave.

Oregon’s largest school district sued a parent and reporter last week to try to keep the names of district employees on paid administrative leave secret.

Latest News

Debate Over In-State Tuition for Students In U.S. Illegally

Twenty states already offer cheaper in-state college tuition to students who are in the United States illegally. Legislation making its way through the Tennessee Legislature would make that state the 21st.

Supporters in states where the tuition benefit is available say the policy has boosted Latino enrollment and has helped these students contribute to the economy. Opponents say the policy wrongly rewards immigrants who entered the country illegally.

The debate has been revived in some states as President Donald Trump pursues tougher immigration policies.

Latest News

Experts: NY Free-College Model Positive, Not Perfect

While the state of New York’s new “tuition-free college” program may pave the way for similar and broader programs throughout the country, the way the program is structured makes it so that it will benefit the middle class and do nothing for low-income students.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office never pretended anything else, announcing over the weekend that the program will “provide tuition-free college to middle class families.”

Latest News

Special Ed School Vouchers May Come With Hidden Costs

For many parents with disabled children in public school systems, the lure of the private school voucher is strong.

Vouchers for special needs students have been endorsed by the Trump administration, and they are often heavily promoted by state education departments and by private schools, which rely on them for tuition dollars. So for families that feel as if they are sinking amid academic struggles and behavioral meltdowns, they may seem like a life raft. And often they are.

Latest News

New York State Reaches Deal to Provide Free Tuition for SUNY and CUNY Students

In what proponents are calling a historic move, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders announced a deal that will make tuition free at the City University of New York and State University of New York Systems — for both community colleges and four-year colleges and universities — for families with annual incomes up to $125,000. The plan will be phased in over three years, starting this fall with new enrollees from families with incomes up to $100,000.

Latest News

Loans ‘Designed to Fail’: States Say Navient Preyed on Students

In recent months, the student loan giant Navient, which was spun off from Sallie Mae in 2014 and retained nearly all of the company’s loan portfolio, has come under fire for aggressive and sloppy loan collection practices, which led to a set of government lawsuits filed in January. But those accusations have overshadowed broader claims that Sallie Mae engaged in predatory lending, extending billions of dollars in private loans to students that never should have been made in the first place.

Latest News

Devos Praises This Voucher-like Program. Here’s What it Means for School Reform.

Florida has channeled billions of taxpayer dollars into scholarships for poor children to attend private schools over the past 15 years, using tax credits to build a laboratory for school choice that the Trump administration holds up as a model for the nation. But there is scant evidence that these students fare better academically than their peers in public schools.

Latest News

PTA Gift for Someone Else’s Child? A Touchy Subject in California

An experiment in distributing parents’ contributions equally across a district is one reason Malibu residents want to separate their schools from Santa Monica’s. The issue has bedeviled policy makers who abhor the idea of unequal classrooms, but also do not want to discourage families from digging into their pockets.

Latest News

A Statewide School Reform Gains Fans and Concerns While Letting Students Learn At Their Own Pace

Troy Paradee loves going to school. He loves “the excitement about all the things I’m getting to learn.” Jocelyn Foran can’t wait to get to her classroom either: “We are learning so much more and it’s so much more fun and creative.”

Paradee and Foran are among the surprise beneficiaries of a statewide effort in Vermont to “personalize” learning: They are teachers who say that their jobs have become far more rewarding by giving students greater freedom to choose what to learn both in and out of school.

Latest News

Rhode Island Pilots Personalized-Learning Initiative

Over the last few years, Rhode Island has emerged as a national leader in the drive to put personalized-learning programs into actual classroom practice. Now education leaders in Providence, the state’s capital and most populous city, are looking to scale their early efforts statewide, pushing district leaders to think bigger about pilot programs and technological infrastructure, while also commissioning new research on how an understudied learning model could drive student performance.

Latest News

Haitian Creole–English Language School Opens in Boston – The Atlantic

Geralde Gabeau, a longtime leader in Boston’s Haitian community, used to work at the Boston Medical Center and with medical students at Boston University. Several years ago, there was a shortage of interpreters at the medical center to assist patients speaking Haitian Creole. Gabeau, turning to young adults in her own community, found few people had the necessary skills. Yet her university students spoke the language.

“There are so many white students willing to go to Haiti and learn the language,” Gabeau said. “I was convinced something had to be done.”

Latest News

Principals Put to the Test: Will Schools Improve If They Ignore Bureaucracy?

What would happen if school principals, who know their teachers and students better than the bureaucrats, had the freedom to make their own decisions?

They could determine how much time their kids need to spend on math. They could hire extra fourth-grade teachers or buy a new reading program not yet approved by the school district. They could even plant a garden or squeeze in an extra playground break without asking school district permission.

Starting next year, it will happen in some struggling Broward and Palm Beach County schools.

Latest News

Identity Thieves May Have Hacked Files of Up to 100,000 Financial Aid Applicants

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen said Thursday the information of up to 100,000 taxpayers may have been stolen in a security breach of an online tool used to apply for federal student aid.

Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, Koskinen said the IRS identified suspicious activity in the files of people who were using a “data retrieval tool” as they filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA is the form the government and colleges use to determine financial aid for millions of students.

Latest News

Year-Round Pell’s Likely Return
Congress and White House Appear to Back Return of Year-Round Pell in Upcoming Budget Bill

Many more college students soon may be able to use Pell Grants to pay for summer courses, with the likely return of so-called year-round Pell.

Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress and the Trump White House back the reinstatement of year-round Pell eligibility, according to a wide range of sources. However, increased spending on the grants, which experts have estimated at $2 billion per year, likely would be offset by a cut of at least $1.2 billion to Pell’s current surplus of $10.6 billion.

Latest News

2 Education Dept. Picks Raise Fears on Civil Rights Enforcement

A lawyer who represented Florida State University in an explosive sexual assault case and another lawyer who during the 2016 presidential campaign accused Hillary Clinton of enabling sexual predators have been chosen for key roles in the Department of Education, raising fears that the agency could pull back from enforcing civil rights in schools and on college campuses.

Latest News

Proposed School Start Times Would Force Hillsborough Families To Adjust

School days will be 15 minutes longer for elementary students and 20 to 30 minutes shorter for middle and high school students under a schedule change that will go before the Hillsborough County School Board for an April 25 vote.

The district released the proposed bell schedules, along with a long letter to parents that described its focus group process, shortly before Tuesday’s board meeting.

Latest News

A Look at Some States That Have Turned in Their ESSA Plans

Monday was the first official deadline for states to submit their Every Student Succeeds Act plans to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for approval. And, as of Monday evening, at least eight states and the District of Columbia had told Education Week that they’d turned in their plans to the feds, or were planning on hitting the send button by the end of the day.

Latest News

Judge Approves $25 Million Settlement Of Trump University Lawsuit

A federal judge has approved a $25 million settlement deal between President Trump and students who paid for Trump University real estate seminars, bringing lengthy litigation to a close.

The deal, which calls for Trump to reimburse the students who say they were defrauded, was struck in November but needed approval from U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel. He signed off on the settlement Friday in San Diego.

Trump doesn’t admit any wrongdoing under the terms of the settlement.

Latest News

Student Loan Forgiveness Program Approval Letters May Be Invalid, Education Dept. Says

More than 550,000 people have signed up for a federal program that promises to repay their remaining student loans after they work 10 years in a public service job.

But now, some of those workers are left to wonder if the government will hold up its end of the bargain — or leave them stuck with thousands of dollars in debt that they thought would be eliminated.

Member Stories

March 23 – 30
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

Natalie Pate reports for the Statesman Journal as the Oregon Education Association keeps the pressure on the state legislature to add money to the budget for education.


 

Justin Murphy and Erica Bryant of the Democrat and Chronicle discuss Rochester Career Mentoring Charter School, which has been plagued by teacher turnover and scandal.


 

Latest News

Education Experts Discuss Issues Around Desegregating Schools After Baltimore Sun Series

A group of educators and education experts discussed the challenges in closing racial achievement gaps and desegregating schools in a Baltimore Sun forum on Wednesday night following the Sun’s “Bridging the Divide” series.

In a four-part series published this month, The Baltimore Sun detailed the difficulties leaders face in integrating schools by race and class whether through a redistricting in southwest Baltimore County or in classrooms in Howard County.

Key Coverage

Hartford, Conn., Experiment Shows Challenges, Rewards of Diversity in Schools

Twenty years ago, public education in Baltimore and this New England capital had much in common.

Tens of thousands of minority students, living in pockets of poverty, attended schools that weren’t preparing them to graduate.

But after a lawsuit, Hartford took a different path. The city and state committed to take apart the system of de facto segregation in its public schools and institute voluntary integration.

Key Coverage

Within Integrated Schools, De Facto Segregation Persists

They were classmates and best friends, and they both wanted to get into the 11th-grade Advanced Placement English class at Columbia’s Hammond High School.

Since meeting in summer school just before ninth grade, Mikey Peterson and Eli Sauerwalt had been through a lot together. They’d each battled depression, they’d failed classes, they’d encouraged each other to do better.

As 10th-graders in English, the teens were each hoping for a prized recommendation to the AP English class for their junior year.