Coronavirus and Education
As communities nationwide grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, educators are struggling to provide young people with meaningful opportunities to continue learning even with most public schools now closed. In this installment of Word on the Beat, we look at how digital tools are being put into quick action for K-12 education — and how that’s creating both opportunities and challenges for teachers, students, and families.
Keep Calm and Report On
In any health crisis, the news media is a critical source of information for the public. Education reporters can, and should, play a key role in their newsroom coverage, given that schools are a significant factor in efforts to contain and limit the existing outbreak of the coronavirus.
Two months after schools across the country began to shut down in-person instruction in response to the coronavirus pandemic, almost every state has directed its schools to provide some kind of remote instruction, and asked millions of students to engage in distance learning. But how much instruction are states recommending, and in what form?
Jeanarry Hernandez, one of 17 valedictorians in the senior class at Hoover High, says she will sit out her own graduation ceremony, a gathering of 650 seniors now planned for next week.
The seniors are heading to the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium on May 21, and each can invite four family members to watch. The crowd will be asked to maintain distance. And every senior will be issued a mask.
Colleges Push Viral Testing, Other Ideas For Reopening in Fall. But Some Worry About Deepening the Health Crisis.
One afternoon this week, Celeste Torres, a sociology student at the University of California at San Diego, stopped by a self-serve testing station to perform a five-minute ritual that could hold the key to reopening college campuses nationwide amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
When Andrew Pérez left Southern California in January for his final semester at Harvard University, he and his mother, Carmen, focused on the next time they would be together. See you at commencement, they told each other.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s biggest education priority in his proposed state budget — $915 million to recruit and train teachers — was eliminated in his May budget revision released Thursday.
The proposed funds are more than the amount spent for teacher development in the five previous years combined, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office.
In one household, a mother has taken on the role of three adults to meet the emotional, educational and physical needs of her partially paralyzed teenage daughter.
Across town, a mom facing homelessness has turned a hotel room into a home and school for her family of five, and a son with ADHD.
In another home, a mother of a son with Autism is watching their relationship change as she takes on the role of educator and therapist.
REPORT: New Chiefs for Change/Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy Report Provides Expert Analysis of Research, Offers Recommendations for Reopening K-12 Schools
Chiefs for Change and the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy today released a report that outlines relevant research and provides key recommendations for reopening K-12 schools when public health officials deem it is safe to do so.
As the academic year comes to a close in communities across the country, the work for education reporters is only ramping up.
The work ahead will include finding students and their families willing to share how remote learning has affected them — and who has been left behind, says Shelly Conlon, who covers education in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Conlon’s investigative reporting for The Argus Leader last year prompted legislation that aims to change how the state educates deaf and hard of hearing children.
Testing COVID-19’s Academic Impact on Students
Early assessments seen as key to gauging learning gaps, social-emotional needs
When schools reopen, expect to see a lot of testing.
Sure, COVID-19 testing may be prevalent for students and their teachers. But in addition, a first step for many schools will be diagnostic tests to gauge learning gaps after months away. Some experts also are calling for assessments of students’ social, emotional, and mental health needs as they start the new academic year.
When the novel coronavirus forced colleges and universities to abruptly send students and faculty home for the semester, vulnerable students scrambled to continue their studies amid financial stress, and schools reeled from housing refunds and other lost revenue.
Enter Congress with a $14 billion lifeline.
Schools, anticipating a deepening economic crisis, had lobbied for more, but they still welcomed the support. And they hoped for swift and clear guidance from the Education Department, which Congress tasked with dispensing funding as quickly as possible.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert on Tuesday offered a blunt reality check to college presidents who have been bullish about reopening their campuses to a flood of students this fall.
Express Webinar: Meet Editors Buying Freelance Education Stories
Editors explain how to pitch and what to expect
Journalist members of the Education Writers Association will have an exclusive opportunity to get advice from two editors who are buying education stories from freelancers at 2:30 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, May 19.
Editors at The Hechinger Report and Money will explain how to get your pitches heard by their staffs, what they want from freelance writers, and how much they pay.
Colleges change with the times. New Jersey’s colonial theological seminaries are today’s leading research universities; its teacher training colleges expanded to liberal arts; and an education once reserved for white wealthy males is now open to all.
Higher education is on the cusp of another transformation, but not for occupational or societal reasons: the drivers this time are a coronavirus pandemic that sent students home for virtual learning and a gutted economy some fear might keep them there.
While emergency grants for colleges and their students from the CARES Act have gotten much attention in the past few weeks, that funding isn’t the only stream of new federal money headed for higher education.
The U.S. Department of Education also is planning to distribute $127.5 million as part of its Reimagining Workforce Preparation grant program. But the department so far has released scant information about what sort of programs the grants should be used to fund, and through what sort of institutions.
College administrators expect more students to need financial aid for the coming school year—but fewer are applying for it.
Read the full story here.
School districts are distributing millions of meals for students per week — primarily through grab-and-go sites and school bus deliveries — but nutrition experts are shifting their focus toward how to keep feeding students over the summer.
Read the full story here.
This post was originally published on Journalist’s Resource. It has been republished here with permission of the author.
Colleges across the country face deep financial losses after the coronavirus forced school officials to shutter campuses and cancel events. Administrators worry their money troubles will only get worse if enrollment, government funding and other sources of revenue continue to fall amid a likely recession.
Lisa Parady is the executive director of the Alaska Council of School Administrators. She said she’s heard similar struggles and challenges around unfilled positions from administrators all over the state including Chugach, Alaska Gateway and Haines school districts.
Schools were struggling with teacher, principal and superintendent turnover even before the pandemic, Parady said.
Do Students Have a Right to Literacy?
Landmark court decision finds access to adequate educational services is a “basic right”
(EWA Radio: Episode 237)
A federal appeals court recently ruled that the state of Michigan has failed to make sure children in Detroit are adequately educated. The April decision said the city’s schools have suffered from underfunding, poorly maintained facilities and too few qualified teachers. While the state is contemplating an appeal, the decision is still considered a landmark for civil rights advocates mounting similar challenges in state courts across the country.
Will Coronavirus Be a Tipping Point That Ends Annual Testing in Schools?
Every state received a waiver of federal testing rules for 2019-20. What about next year and beyond?
The cancellation of statewide testing for millions of students this spring was no surprise, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s raising a larger question — whether the era of annual assessments in reading and mathematics, as required under federal law, will soon end.