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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

Trump’s Vision of Education Begins and Ends With Schools Being Bad

President Trump’s verdict on American schools in his inaugural address Friday was harsh: America, he said, has “an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.” But the United States really does spend much more per student than most developed countries, only to see disappointing results in return — something plenty of presidents have pointed out.

Latest News

140 Nashville Schools Teachers Need to Renew Licenses, Audit Finds

An ongoing audit of Metro Nashville Public Schools discovered more than 140 educators who needed to renew teaching licenses, one of numerous issues raised in the review.

About 40 of those teachers are still working to renew their licenses, though they are not yet out of compliance.

The educators that don’t finish the process of renewing their licenses with the Tennessee Department of Education will be ineligible to work in the district.

Latest News

What We Learned About Betsy DeVos’s Higher Education Positions … Not Much

In a hearing that lasted three and a half hours, education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos revealed very little about how she intends to govern an agency that oversees thousands of colleges and universities and the trillions of dollars in loans and grants that help keep their doors open.

Higher education took a backseat to K-12 policy at Tuesday’s confirmation hearing, but the few times that senators asked DeVos about her stance on key regulations and the role of the government in student lending, she provided vague, noncommittal answers.


As Cuomo Proposal Rekindles Free College Movement, New Research Provides Ammunition for Skeptics
Brookings Institution

In early January, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York announced his intention to make a public college education tuition-free for most students in the state. The proposal has breathed life back into the free college movement, which supporters feared would lose momentum under the incoming presidential administration. Instead, momentum has simply relocated (back) to the state level. Tennessee and Oregon already have their own “free college” initiatives, and just this week, Governor Gina Raimondo proposed a version for Rhode Island.

Member Stories

January 12-19
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

“While Trump spoke of his desire to reinvest in rural America, most of his education policy has had an urban focus,” Ben Felder writes for The Oklahoman in a story that’s part of a series leading up to the inauguration.


Kate Murphy of the Cincinnati Enquirer interviews the sexual assault survivor whose case launched a federal investigation of how the University of Cincinnati handles reports of sexual assault.


Latest News

At First, 55 Schools Faced Sexual Violence Investigations. Now The List Has Quadrupled

The Obama administration sent shock waves through higher education in 2014 when it released a list of 55 schools that faced civil rights investigations related to their handling of sexual violence reports.

The tally eventually quadrupled. On Wednesday afternoon, less than two days before President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office, the Obama administration released its final list of pending sexual violence investigations.

Latest News

State’s Top Court Turns Down Voucher Case, a Win for School Choice Advocates

The Florida Supreme Court said Wednesday it would not take up the case challenging the state’s largest school voucher program, ending the teachers union’s three-year battle to have it declared unconstitutional. The Tax-Credit Scholarship Program provides private school tuition vouchers to low-income students. More than 97,000 Florida students are in it this school year, including more than 19,000 in Central Florida.

Latest News

Kids at Barack Obama Elementary Have Known Only One President. Many Fear the Next.

For those who attend and live around the Prince George’s County school named for the country’s first African American president, the shift in power will not only evoke intense emotions — it will also cut at their identity. This is Obama territory, one of the nation’s most affluent, majority-black communities, where residents speak of the 44th commander in chief as they would a relative.

Latest News

America’s Great Working-Class Colleges

The most comprehensive study of college graduates yet conducted, based on millions of anonymous tax filings and financial-aid records, tracked students from nearly every college in the country (including those who failed to graduate), measuring their earnings years after they left campus. The paper is the latest in a burst of economic research made possible by the availability of huge data sets and powerful computers.

Latest News

Report: Study Finds School Improvement Grant Program Had No Impact on Student Achievement

Schools that received School Improvement Grants (SIG) to implement school intervention models used more of the practices promoted by these models than schools that did not receive grants. However, the SIG-funded models had no effect on student achievement, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Education.

Latest News

Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60. Find Yours.

Students at elite colleges are even richer than experts realized, according to a new study based on millions of anonymous tax filings and tuition records. At 38 colleges in America, including five in the Ivy League – Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown – more students came from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent.

Latest News

New York Governor Wants To Spend More On Education, Lower Taxes

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday proposed a $152.3 billion all-funds state budget for fiscal 2018 that would increase education funding by $1 billion and cut tax rates for 6 million middle-class residents, extending a “millionare’s tax” to pay for them.

His plan, released to the public on Tuesday night during a televised news conference, would also dedicate $2 billion to water infrastructure over five years and $650 million to life sciences research over the same period, proposals he made in a series of speeches earlier this month.

Latest News

Just How Much Money Has Donald Trump’s Secretary Of Education Choice Given To Republicans?

Since Donald Trump picked Michigan fundraiser and school voucher advocate Betsy DeVos as his secretary of Education, Democrats and other political observers have examined her generous political contributions and any conflicts they might pose.

On Tuesday, at DeVos’ confirmation hearing, Sen. Bernie Sanders raised the issue again, but DeVos, who is married to the billionaire heir to the Amway fortune, said she didn’t know how much her family had contributed to the Republican Party.

Sanders (I-Vt.) wasn’t deterred.

Latest News

Project Inspire Aims To Put Better Teachers In Schools With Poor, Minority Students

Six years ago, the Public Education Foundation, a local nonprofit organization, launched Project Inspire to train middle and high school math and science teachers by placing them in classrooms of highly effective teachers for a full school year. After the residency year, Project Inspire graduates are expected to spend at least four years teaching in one of Hamilton County’s struggling schools.

The project plans to rapidly grow — doubling the number of residents in the program next year, training 25 aspiring teachers. In 2018, it hopes to have 50 residents.

Latest News

Democrats Press Betsy DeVos on Privatization, ESSA, and LGBT Rights

Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Education, sought to use her confirmation hearing to beat back the notion that she would undermine public education as head of the department, as Democrats pressed her on everything from her views on the civil rights of gay and lesbian students, to states’ responsibilities for students in special education, and guns in schools. 

Latest News

Devos Pledges Not To Undo Public Education, Pushes Choice

In a sometimes contentious confirmation hearing, education secretary pick Betsy DeVos pledged that she would not seek to dismantle public schools amid questions by Democrats about her qualifications, political donations and long-time work advocating for charter schools and school choice.

DeVos said she would address “the needs of all parents and students” but that a one-size fits all model doesn’t work in education.

Latest News

What Betsy DeVos Did (and Didn’t) Reveal About Her Education Priorities

Donald Trump advocated on the campaign trail for a $20 billion federal school-voucher program. But during her confirmation hearing on Tuesday evening, Betsy DeVos, the president-elect’s choice to lead the U.S. Education Department, said school choice should be a state decision. She framed school choice as a right for students and families. And she said during the hearing that she was committed to strengthening public education for all students.

Latest News

Trump Education Pick Devos Promotes School Choice At Confirmation Hearing

Education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos voiced strong support for public school alternatives at her confirmation hearing Tuesday, telling senators that “parents no longer believe that a one-size-fits-all model of learning fits the needs of every child.”

DeVos told the Senate Health, Education and Pensions Committe that she would be “a strong advocate for great public schools” if confirmed, but added that “if a school is troubled, or unsafe, or not a good fit for a child … we should support a parent’s right to enroll their child in a high-quality alternative.”

Latest News

Devos Grilled By Democratic Leaders Over Her Advocacy For School Choice

Betsy DeVos, a Michigan advocate for school choice and vouchers and President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, vowed Tuesday to protect any schools – public, private or otherwise – as long as they are working for students and parents and serving their needs.

Facing Democrats who questioned DeVos’ support of school choice and what it may mean for public schools, DeVos said she supports “any great school” – including public schools and those beyond what “the (public school) system thinks is best for kids to what moms and dads want, expect and deserve.”

Latest News

Betsy DeVos’s Education Hearing Erupts Into Partisan Debate

At her confirmation hearing on Tuesday to be education secretary, Betsy DeVos vigorously defended her work steering taxpayer dollars from traditional public schools, arguing that it was time to move away from a “one size fits all” system and toward newer models for students from preschool to college.

The hearing quickly became a heated and partisan debate that reflected the nation’s political divide on how best to spend public money in education.

Latest News

Devos Dodges Toughest Questions About Public School Plans

Republican philanthropist Betsy DeVos pledged Tuesday that she would be “a strong advocate for great public schools,” if confirmed as Donald Trump’s Education secretary.

But when pressed by Democrats, she wouldn’t commit to keeping federal funding intact for traditional public schools.

Latest News

The View From Room 205

This is a story about some little kids and a big idea.

The little kids are fourth graders. They go to William Penn Elementary School on Chicago’s West Side in the North Lawndale neighborhood.

It’s the first day of school, September 2014, and they’re filing into the auditorium because Mayor Rahm Emanuel is here to tout rising test scores. The head of Chicago Public Schools at the time, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, is here too.

She’s laying out the big idea that I want to wrestle with:

Latest News

Can Betsy DeVos Be Blamed for the State of Detroit’s Schools? What You Need to Know

Donald Trump’s nominee to be the nation’s next secretary of education doesn’t live in Detroit. She doesn’t routinely work in Detroit, either.

But Detroit is nonetheless sure to be on the agenda when billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos sits down Tuesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee for the start of her confirmation hearings.

Latest News

Obama’s Impact On America’s Schools

When President Obama took office in January 2009, the country was on edge, the economy in free-fall. The federal education law, known as No Child Left Behind, was also in need of an update after earning the ire of teachers, parents and politicians alike. In short, there was much to do.

In time, that update would come, but President Obama’s education legacy begins, oddly enough, with his plan to bolster the faltering economy.

Latest News

Legislation in Two States Seeks to Eliminate Tenure in Public Higher Education

Lawmakers in two states this week introduced legislation that would eliminate tenure for public college and university professors. A bill in Missouri would end tenure for all new faculty hires starting in 2018 and require more student access to information about the job market for majors. Legislation in Iowa would end tenure even for those who already have it.

The bills, along with the recent gutting of tenure in Wisconsin and other events, have some worrying about a trend.

Latest News

Education Department Announces Thousands of New Loan Discharges

The U.S. Department of Education on Friday announced thousands of new loan discharges for students who attended several closed for-profit colleges.

The discharges are part of a major push to provide loan relief to students that began with the closure of Corinthian Colleges two years ago. Friday’s announcement affects students who attended Corinthian, as well as ITT Technical Institute and American Career Institute (ACI).

Latest News

Trump’s Pick for Education Could Face Unusually Stiff Resistance

Nominees for secretary of education have typically breezed through confirmation by the Senate with bipartisan approval.

But Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice for the post, is no typical nominee. She is a billionaire with a complex web of financial investments, including in companies that stand to win or lose from the department she would oversee. She has been an aggressive force in politics for years, as a prominent Republican donor and as a supporter of steering public dollars to private schools.

Latest News

The Longstanding Crisis Facing Tribal Schools

Havasu Canyon is home to turquoise waterfalls, billowing cottonwood trees, and red sandstone cliffs that attract thousands of tourists each year. It’s also home to the Havasupai people, a federally recognized Native American tribe allegedly subject to education conditions so dreadful it’s as if many of the reservation’s children don’t attend school at all.

Member Stories

January 6 – January 12

More districts and states are enacting rules to monitor school water safety. “The action is an acknowledgment that the largely voluntary testing system present in most of the country isn’t sufficient,” writes Stacy Teicher Khadaroo for The Christian Science Monitor.

Eric Kelderman of The Chronicle of Higher Education with an important insight into the likely education secretary under Trump: “Ms. DeVos shows her belief in developing civil society through the contributions of individual citizens rather than government.”

Latest News

Supreme Court Likely To Boost Public Schools’ Responsibilities To Children With Disabilities

The case of a Colorado boy with autism, Endrew F. vs. Douglas County School District, could have a far-reaching impact on millions of children and their parents as well as the budgets of school districts nationwide. During Wednesday’s argument, the justices struggled with the lawyers and among themselves to find the right legal standard.

Latest News

Dozens of For-Profit Colleges Could Soon Close

The researchers found that when schools were threatened with the loss of access to federal aid, the percentage of Pell grant recipients (low-income students who depend on federal grants and loans to pay for their higher education) who enrolled declined by about 53 percent in the following five years. Interestingly, enrollment at neighboring for-profit schools also fell, even if they weren’t sanctioned, perhaps because the reputation of the entire sector was damaged by the sanctions.

Latest News

Once A Flood, Applications For New Philadelphia Charters Slow To A Trickle

Once a hotbed of charter school expansion, Philadelphia has seen charter applications slow to a trickle.

Just four organizations applied for new charters during the 2016-17 application cycle. The district has also decided not to grow its Renaissance Schools program, through which charter operators take over struggling traditional public schools.

As a result, 2017 is shaping up to be a relatively quiet one on the charter front in the city.

Latest News

As DeVos Confirmation Hearing Looms, Here’s How They Went for Past Nominees

Based on reactions from Senate Democrats and others in the education community, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is likely to face some heat when her confirmation hearing takes place Jan. 17 before the Senate education committee. But how will she fare compared with previous nominees who have gone under the microscope?

First, here are a couple of general questions about Devos’ hearing:

Latest News

Supreme Court To Decide: What Level Of Education Do Public Schools Legally Owe To Students With Disabilities?

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday in a dispute over the level of education that public schools must provide to millions of children with disabilities, a case that advocates describe as the most significant special-education issue to reach the high court in three decades.

The question is whether public schools owe disabled children “some” educational benefit — which courts have determined to mean just-above-trivial progress — or whether students legally deserve something more: a substantial, “meaningful” benefit.

Latest News

More English Learners Move Into Rural Schools

The population of English learners has been increasing in North Dakota schools — most recently in rural districts.

“It’s growing. The need there is growing,” said Lyle Krueger, executive director of the Missouri River Educational Cooperative, one of eight regional education associations in the state. The MREC is comprised of 37 school districts in south-central North Dakota.

In rural districts, Krueger said the numbers are sporadic. They may not have an English learner for years; then, when they do, they are often at a loss to offer help.

Latest News

Senate Postpones Confirmation Hearing for Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education Pick

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions has postponed the confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary.

DeVos’s hearing, originally scheduled to take place on Wednesday morning, has been rescheduled for Jan. 17 at 5 p.m., according to a joint statement from the HELP committee chairman, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and ranking member, Patty Murray (D-Wash).