Education and the 2020 Elections
About half a million Texans under 30 have voted so far, according to new data from Tufts University.
“As of October 21, more than 3 million young people (ages 18-29) have already voted early or absentee in the 2020 elections,” researchers wrote, speaking of the overall U.S. turnout. “The numbers are especially dramatic in a state like Texas, where at least 490,000 young people have already cast ballots.”
These numbers are likely higher because Texas data is only available in 23 counties, which researchers say constitute about 65% of the state’s population.
If elected, would former Vice President Joe Biden let schools off the hook for administering federally mandated standardized tests this year?
A policy adviser was noncommittal on the issue Thursday, saying such a decision would be left to Biden’s transition team and to a new administration.
Communities large and small are battling over whether and how to reopen schools closed since March. Superintendents are warning of drastic budget cuts on the horizon, teachers’ unions are calling for standardized tests to be canceled for a second straight year and millions of children are learning remotely, with little evaluation of the impact on their academic growth.
If elected president, what would Joe Biden do for education? Although campaign plans face plenty of obstacles when it’s time to govern, the former vice president has rolled out a sweeping education agenda, from the earliest years through college and beyond.
The Democratic nominee also has developed a “road map to reopening schools safely” amid the pandemic, and has been sharply critical of President Trump’s approach.
How to Get Voters to Care About School Board Elections
School board races are even more crucial during the pandemic
School board races typically get short shrift in election coverage. On ballots, they’re often relegated to the last pages, along with district court judges and densely worded ballot measures.
But school board members play a key leadership and oversight role in local public schools. During the pandemic, that includes an important new responsibility: largely deciding whether (and when) shuttered campuses will reopen, as well as setting the parameters for remote or hybrid learning.
Young voters could have a decisive impact on elections this fall at the local, state, and federal levels — if enough of them cast a ballot. Historically, young people (ages 18 to 29) vote at much lower levels than their parents — or their grandparents.
And additional obstacles are making it tougher for college students to vote this year, analysts say, such as fewer polling stations on college campuses and confusion over voter registration rules for students who have moved back home during the pandemic.
The Top 11 Higher Ed Stories Likely to Make Headlines This Year
Inside Higher Ed's Scott Jaschik highlights COVID, Title IX, affirmative action and more
COVID-19 will continue to be a major story topic for the 2020-21 school year, but reporters should also look at the future of affirmative action and race on college campuses, according to Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jaschik.
Jaschik, veteran higher education journalist and editor, listed his top 11 topics he thinks every higher education reporter should be ready to cover.
THE CHILD CARE SYSTEM in the U.S. was already at a tipping point prior to the coronavirus pandemic – too few options, astronomical costs and workers earning some of the lowest wages in the country.
But when COVID-19 infection rates spiked last spring, triggering the closures of thousands of child care centers across the country, many without plans to ever reopen, the crisis catapulted into the collective conscience and onto the center stage of the presidential election.
The Education Department plans to scrutinize a wide range of employee activities — including internal book clubs — in search of “Anti-American propaganda” and discussions about “white privilege” as it carries out the White House’s demand that federal agencies halt certain types of race-related training.
Education Surges to Top Tier of Presidential Race Amid Pandemic
Journalists offer insights, story ideas on covering the schools angle
Education is not typically an issue that comes to the forefront in presidential races.
But months of an ongoing coronavirus pandemic have elevated conversations about how schools and elected officials are tackling the issue. In fact, education took a front seat in high-stakes negotiations this summer over a federal stimulus bill that has stalled.
With the “will they, won’t they” of school reopenings as one of the most divisive debates of pandemic America, education policy is enjoying a rare moment at center stage.
But as the presidential election draws nearer, remote learning is just one of many education policy concerns on the ballot. College affordability, sexual assault policies and charter schools could see widespread changes depending on whether President Trump or Joe Biden wins the electoral college come November.
Covering Student Voting: Exclusive Opportunity for EWA Members
ProPublica offers EWA members free training
At 1 p.m. Eastern on August, 18, 2020 ProPublica will be offering a webinar on the challenges college students are facing to cast a ballot this year. The speakers will be Campus Vote Project Deputy Director Raaheela Ahmed, Texas State Coordinator Maya Patel, and Fair Elections Center Senior Counsel Michelle Kanter Cohen.
Attendance at this webinar is limited to EWA members and ProPublica’s Electionland partners.
With Nation Focused on Reopening Schools, Biden’s Choice of Kamala Harris as Running Mate Could Renew Attention on Integration
Their heated exchange over school busing during a Democratic presidential debate last year was one of the more dramatic moments of the primary season. But now former vice president Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris share the ticket and could make education a more defining issue in their effort to unseat President Donald Trump.
When Kurt Browning first ran for superintendent in 2012, the political winds were at his back.
Browning argued that Pasco, one of the relatively few districts with an elected superintendent, needed a strong manager to run the billion-dollar organization and bring it to the next level of academic achievement. “We can do so much more,” he declared, calling the system’s accountability performance “mediocre.”
Republicans and Democrats in Congress say they agree that a new stimulus package must include billions of dollars to help schools struggling financially and logistically to resume education this month and next.
But the parties are digging in over profound ideological differences, especially the divide between Democratic demands for public education spending and a Republican push to channel federal dollars into vouchers that families could use at private schools willing to open for in-person classes.
Covering Protests: Education Journalists’ Voices From the Field
'The protest stories are education stories'
Across the country, education reporters are out in the field covering community protests mounted in response to police brutality and the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
A flurry of education-related conversation surfaced at the most recent Democratic presidential debate on Feb. 25, as candidates exchanged jabs and defended their positions on charter schools, student loan debt, and setting up young people for meaningful careers.
The 10th debate came at a pivotal moment, just days before voters in 14 states will cast their ballots on Super Tuesday (March 3). With education taking a back seat in prior debates, the rapid-fire discussion caught the attention of education journalists and pundits.
It’s well known that America’s teachers don’t look much like the country’s students. It turns out that the voters who elect America’s school boards don’t, either.
A new study appears to be the first of its kind to quantify the demographic mismatch, and it’s sizable. Across four states, including California, researchers estimate that school board voters are much whiter and more affluent than the public school student body.
What’s Ahead on the Education Beat in 2020?
From school safety to the youth vote, it's going to be a busy year
As the calendar turns to a new year (and a new decade, at least according to some), plenty of education issues from 2019 will be tagging along.