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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

#tellEWA Member Stories (November 24-December 2)
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Black parents say their voices were ignored during the debate over critical race theory in Loudoun County, Virginia. Their experiences go back to recent and decades of systemic racism and discrimination in schools and overall society, Melinda D. Anderson investigates for HuffPost.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (November 19-23)
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The authors of a disproven – but still widely used – set of reading instruction materials for elementary schools broke their long silence and tried to defend their approach, Emily Hanford and Christopher Peak outline for APM Reports.

Latest News

The ‘Terrible Trickle Down’ Of School COVID Protocols

Nine-year-old Landen Sapien started off fourth grade this year with a lot of hope—at first, anyway. His school was one of few in Florida with a mask mandate, after the Hillsborough County School Board defied the Governor’s order that there would be no masking in schools. But amid Supreme Court battles as the first few weeks of school unfolded, his classmates stopped wearing them. Landen says he was disappointed, because no masks meant it would be unsafe for him to go to school, which makes him feel frustrated and sad. 

Latest News

How Child Care Became the Most Broken Business in America

Child care doesn’t work like a normal business. Looking after young children comes with a litany of regulations to ensure the programs are safe. There are square footage requirements, zoning restrictions, earthquake preparedness plans, fire safety codes, CPR certifications, nutritional guidelines, rules about parking and outdoor space, liability insurance.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (November 12-18)
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Librarians across the country are resisting political pressure to remove schoolbooks by Black and LGBTQ authors. They ignored lawmakers’ requests to compile books, defended their book collection policies; and resigned in protest, explains Nadra Nittle for The 19th.

Latest News

Classes to Go Remote on December Fridays in Detroit schools 

The Detroit school district is moving to remote instruction for three Fridays in December in an effort to slow the spread of COVID and give the staff time to deep clean schools. The move was announced Wednesday on the district’s web site. It comes as the state is leading the nation in new COVID cases.

Latest News

Why There Hasn’t Been A Mass Exodus Of Teachers

Sarah Caswell is stressed about her job every day. The science and special-education teacher in Philadelphia sees things going wrong everywhere she looks. Her high school students have been falling behind during the COVID-19 pandemic, the students and even the teachers in her school rarely wear masks, and a shooting just outside her school in October left a bystander dead and a 16-year-old student in the hospital with critical injuries.

She’s unhappy. But her solution isn’t to quit — it’s to get more involved. “We need to double down,” Caswell said.

Latest News

How do We Help America’s Children Get Back on Track in Reading After Pandemic Setbacks?

Kids have long struggled with learning to read. And then the pandemic hit — disrupting classes, pushing lessons online and ushering in an era of masks, all of which makes it even more difficult to acquire the sounds and syllables that build up language.

The pandemic put learning gaps in the spotlight, as teachers, families and policymakers debated whether the disruption of the last two years will set kids back long term and widen gaps. But even before COVID-19, our schools were in crisis over how to teach students how to read.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (November 5-11)
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NPR’s Anya Kamenetz and LA Johnson partnered to illustrate the more than 200-year history of schools requiring vaccines to reduce deaths and eliminate contagious diseases, such as polio and measles. Schools are likely to follow suit with COVID-19 vaccinations. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (October 29-November 4)
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A Minnesota science teacher introduced her sixth-grade students to engineering, asking them to build wooden tombstones as part of a special Halloween project, writes Adelle Whitefoot for the Duluth News Tribune.

Latest News

CPS Enrollment Continues to Plummet: ‘I would have Never Imagined Seeing this Steep of a Decline’

Chicago Public Schools enrollment has dropped again, this time to 330,411 students, about 10,000 fewer kids than last year, according to numbers the district released Wednesday.

“When I was in CPS my first year, in 2003, we were just under 440,000 students. Even then I was seeing declines of about 3,000 students or so. I would have never imagined seeing this steep of a decline,” new CPS CEO Pedro Martinez told reporters.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (October 22-28)
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Hannah Dreyfus reports for ProPublica on Liberty University’s mishandling of sexual assault cases. Staffers discouraged and blamed female students, who said they were sexually assaulted, by punishing them for breaking the college’s ‘moral code.’

Latest News

The Federal Government Gave Billions to America’s Schools for COVID-19 Relief. Where Did the Money Go?

After the pandemic shut down schools across the country, the federal government provided about $190 billion in aid to help them reopen and respond to the effects of the pandemic. In the year and a half since millions of children were sent home, the Education Department has done only limited tracking of how the money has been spent. That has left officials in Washington largely in the dark about how effective the aid has been in helping students, especially those whose schools and communities were among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

Latest News

America’s Standardized-Testing Giants Are Losing Money Fast

A new financial filing from the nonprofit that runs one of America’s most prominent standardized tests paints a grim picture of the organization’s finances.

The revenues generated by ACT Inc. from educational assessment and work-force development — a category that includes the ACT exam — declined by nearly $100 million during just the fiscal year that ended on August 31, 2020.

Read the full article here.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (October 15-21)
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Part of a national trend, Black families in Birmingham, Alabama are homeschooling their children due to concerns about educational racism, such as schools disproportionately punishing Black students, Kyra Miles reports for WBHM.

Latest News

One Building, Two Schools: The Legacy of Segregation at Maggie Walker

Emmett Jafari, 67, and his teenage granddaughter, Mariam Jafari-Nassali, both take pride in the education they received in a building at the corner of Leigh and Lombardy streets named for a Richmond civil rights pioneer.

But their experiences, separated by five decades that saw a thriving Black school shuttered after integration and then effectively resegregated as a predominantly white school for gifted children, could not have been more different.

Latest News

Educator’s Black Lives Matter Email Upends Her District

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the high-performing district on the Eastern Shore of Maryland had closed out the year with much to be proud of. But like the rest of the country, Dr. Kane said, the community had another crisis to confront.

“Racism is alive in our country, our state, in Queen Anne’s County, and our schools,” she wrote in the letter, emailed to the parents of all 7,700 students in the district.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (October 1- 6)
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Congress didn’t impose many rules or restrictions on how schools can spend more than $157 billion in pandemic relief funding. The result: some school districts have chosen to fund athletic projects rather than provide supports for disadvantaged students, write Collin Binkley and Ryan J. Foley write for the Associated Press.

Latest News

We’re Losing Our Humanity, and the Pandemic Is to Blame

The stories of cruel, seemingly irrational and sometimes-violent conflicts over coronavirus regulations have become lingering symptoms of the pandemic as it drags through its second year. Two men on a Mesa-to-Provo flight got into a cross-aisle fight after one refused to wear a mask. A Tennessee teenager asking his school board to impose a mask mandate in honor of his grandmother who died of COVID-19 got jeered by the crowd.

Latest News

N.Y.C.’s Teacher Vaccine Mandate Prompts Thousands of Last-Minute Shots

New York’s requirement that virtually everyone who works in the city’s public schools be vaccinated against the coronavirus compelled thousands of Department of Education employees to get at least one dose of a vaccine in the past week, leading to extremely high vaccination rates among educators, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (September 24-30)
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Linda K. Wertheimer of The Boston Globe follows efforts by non-binary and transgender students to use their own pronouns, often despite opposition from school leaders and elected officials.

As a California county deadline to provide proof of vaccination approaches, school district administrators make efforts to increase accessibility for weekly COVID testing for unvaccinated students, volunteers, and staff, Kaylee Tornay reports for The Press Democrat.

Key Coverage

For One Native Student At Fort Lewis College, Lacrosse And Family Were A Lifeline As The Pandemic Disrupted Classes

After the pandemic sabotaged her senior year of high school lacrosse, Nina Polk was determined not to miss another season.

Although her mom was hesitant to let her go away to college, the family piled into their car in August 2020 to make the 20-plus hour drive from their home in Shakopee, Minnesota, to Durango, Colorado, where Polk had been recruited to play women’s lacrosse at Fort Lewis College.

Latest News

How Across America, Schools Cram for Their Covid-19 Tests

The United States has struggled with Covid testing since the earliest days of the pandemic. Now, nearly two years in — and weeks into another Covid-disrupted school year — school systems across the nation are struggling with the role of testing in keeping children safe and in class.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (September 17-23)
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LAist compiles a survival guide with resources and helpful tips for California students considering higher education, including public and private colleges, trade schools and online institutions. 

Jessica Votipka of The Grand Island Independent reports on a Nebraska-based school-to-work program that helps students with disabilities explore various careers and transition into the workforce.

Latest News

Colleyville, Texas Principal Put on Leave Amid Critical Race Theory Debate

Last summer, protest after protest made waves across the nation. It was no different in Texas, and Whitfield, who had weeks earlier been named the first Black principal at Colleyville Heritage High School, couldn’t just sit back. He said he felt like he had a platform that other Black Americans didn’t have and he wouldn’t let that go to waste.

At 4:30 a.m., he wrote a letter to the school community declaring that systemic racism is “alive and well” and that they needed to work together to achieve “conciliation for our nation.”

Latest News

Child-Care Workers are Quitting Rapidly, a Red Flag for the Economy

Hiring and retaining good workers has been tough in the child-care industry for years, but it is escalating into a crisis. Pandemic-fueled staffing challenges threaten to hold back the recovery, as the staffing problems at day cares have a ripple effect across the economy. Without enough employees, day cares are turning away children, leaving parents — especially mothers — unable to return to work.

Read and listen to the full story here. 

Latest News

State Finds Half Of Bridgeport Schools Don’t Have Enough Special Education Teachers; We Found Other Districts With The Same Issue

Staff shortages have perplexed high-poverty districts throughout Connecticut for years. That’s because districts like Bridgeport struggle to keep their teachers from leaving for suburban districts, where the pay is often higher and class sizes smaller.

Almost a month into this school year, Bridgeport still has 16 special education teaching positions it needs to fill. Statewide, between 95 and 250 teaching positions go unfilled each year. Most are in high-poverty districts.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (September 10-16)
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An Education Week team presents the Big Ideas report, composed of 10 essays focusing on education during the pandemic, challenges, and tough questions.

As Tennessee schools battle over whether parents can opt their children out of mask mandates, Memphis reached a grim milestone – 20,000 students tested positive for COVID-19 since March 2020, reports Samantha West for Chalkbeat Tennessee.

Latest News

Big Ideas for Education’s Urgent Challenges

Welcome to the start of a new school year and the 2021 edition of our Big Ideas report.

While returning children to school buildings safely and making the year as normal as possible is driving you and your work, we understand how much more complex your job has become.

The cover of this year’s report and the 10 essays inside reflect this complicated moment and the constellation of emotions we know you’re experiencing: hope, excitement, grief, urgency, trepidation, and determination.

Key Coverage

The Tragedy of America’s Rural Schools

Harvey Ellington was 7 the first time someone told him the state of Mississippi considered Holmes County Consolidated School District a failing district. Holmes had earned a D or an F almost every year since then, and Ellington felt hollowed out with embarrassment every time someone rattled off the ranking. Technically, the grade measured how well, or how poorly, Ellington and his classmates performed on the state’s standardized tests, but he knew it could have applied to any number of assessments.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (September 3-9)
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A little-known New York law has allowed the state to sue nearly 16,000 students who owe college tuition, library fines and unpaid parking tickets. Many cases end in default because of a requirement that defendants appear for a hearing in only one location – Albany, reports The Hechinger Report’s Meredith Kolodner.

Damage from Hurricane Ida caused school closures across Louisiana, affecting 250,000 students who haven’t attended class in more than a week, Marta Jewson writes for The Lens. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (August 27-September 2)
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An Oregon school board is facing backlash from some parents and students for firing a superintendent who followed a state-required mask mandate for K-12 schools, though he personally opposed the mandate, Liliana Frankel reports for the Malheur Enterprise.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (August 20-26)
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Six newsrooms across the country produced an eight-part solutions-focused series that explores practices schools are employing for getting students back on track.

After two dozen school districts defied a soon-to-be in effect Arizona law banning mask mandates in K-12 public schools, the governor launched an incentive program to get districts to comply, offering additional funding per student, writes Rocio Hernandez for KJZZ.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (August 13-19)
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Schools nationwide are struggling with staff and supply shortages, which are affecting the start of the new school year, reports Abha Bhattarai for The Washington Post.

A California school district became one of the first in the state to require COVID-19 vaccines and weekly testing for students in addition to staff, Diana Lambert and Ali Tadayon report for EdSource.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (August 6-12)
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After hearing 70 people speak during an eight-hour period, the Virginia Beach school board voted to require masks for students and staff, reports Sara Gregory for The Virginian-Pilot.

California State University adopted a vaccination mandate for students, but the deadline comes long after the start of fall classes, Mikhail Zinshteyn reports for CalMatters.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (July 30- August 5)
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Colleges lost millions in revenue after international student enrollment dropped 72% due to the pandemic, visa restrictions and more, reports Karin Fischer and Sasha Aslanian for The Chronicle of Higher Education and APM Reports.

Rather than implement a mandate, several California community colleges are offering money and free textbooks to students who get vaccinated for COVID-19, reports Emma Hall and Matthew Reagan for Cal Matters.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (July 23-29)
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After the pandemic reduced college enrollment in 2020, New Jersey colleges and universities hope in-person classes and activities will increase student enrollment this year, reports Claire Lowe for The Press of Atlantic City.

Because a governor’s order prohibits vaccine mandates at Idaho colleges, education leaders are encouraging students to get vaccinated, appealing to their sense of community, Kevin Richert writes for Idaho Education News.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (July 16-22)
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Colorado educators reflected on challenges they faced during the past school year, with the goal of helping improve K-12 education, reports Jenny Brundin for Colorado Public Radio.

Texas school leaders are seeking ways to support first-year educators who lost student-teaching opportunities and other training due to the pandemic, reports Silas Allen for Fort-Worth Star-Telegram.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (July 9-15)
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A records request showed only two people emailed the Alabama superintendent about critical race theory, yet he drafted a resolution targeting the teachings of the academic framework in K-12 schools, Trisha Powell Crain reports for AL.com.

Talia Richman of The Dallas Morning News covers Texas educators’ concerns about a new bill that would require them to disclose their lessons and activities online.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (July 2-8)
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Two Boston Globe reporters separately highlighted the lack of educators of color in leadership and Boston Public Schools’ alleged coverup of racially charged text messages from former employees.

California colleges intend to address learning loss by offering tutoring and academic counseling for incoming freshmen this fall, Larry Gordon reports for EdSource.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (June 25-July 1)
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Michigan health officials recommended continued mask-wearing and other COVID-19 safety measures for the upcoming school year, reports Jennifer Chambers and Craig Mauger for the Detroit News.

The pandemic’s effects highlighted inequities for migrant students who were already prone to learning loss, explains Janine Zeitlin for USA TODAY Network-Florida.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (June 18-24)
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A high schooler was vindicated after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a student’s right to free speech, explains Emily Tate of Ed Surge.

Olivia Krauth live-tweeted the first protest against critical race theory at Kentucky’s largest school district for the Courier Journal, showing how misinformation was widespread among the crowd.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (June 11-17)
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Special education services slowed or stopped after the pandemic began, “devastating” families who watched their children’s skills backslide, reports Cory Turner and Rebecca Klein for NPR.

After nearly 100 anti-maskers packed a school board meeting, forcing the meeting to shut down, a Georgia school district is bringing in more security, writes Alia Malik for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (June 4-10)
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A plan to give California’s community college system $170 million for faculty is dividing finance officials and professors, explains Mikhail Zinshteyn for Cal Matters.

Education leaders are scrambling to recruit teachers after North Carolina lawmakers required districts to offer summer school, reports Ann Doss Helms of WFAE.

Key Coverage

Out of School, Out of Work

In 2017, as many as 4.5 million young people—or 11.5 percent of young adults ages 16 to 24—were neither in school nor working, according to the nonprofit Measure of America. By the summer of 2020, the organization estimated, the ranks of these “disconnected” young adults had swelled to 6 million.

Read the full story here