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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

AFT Encourages Members to Back Biden, Sanders, Warren in Primary

The American Federation of Teachers is encouraging its affiliates to support former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the Democratic presidential primary. 

The AFT’s decision, announced by the union Thursday evening, was the result of a vote by the teachers’ union’s board of directors. Specifically, the union encouraged state and local affiliates “to support, be actively involved with, or endorse” Biden, Sanders, and Warren. 

Latest News

California Students Sued Because They Were Such Poor Readers. They Just Won $53 Million To Help Them

Two years ago, a group of students and their teachers sued the state of California for doing a poor job teaching kids how to read — 53% of California third-graders did not meet state test standards that year, and scores have increased only incrementally since. On Thursday they won $53 million so that the state’s lowest-performing schools have the resources to do better.

Latest News

Navigating the Curriculum Maze: States Stepping in to Help Teachers

Another state is proposing to join a growing trend: taking a stronger role to help teachers find high-quality curriculum materials.

The latest news comes from Virginia, which is considering creating an online platform that would serve as a hub for good curriculum resources from all over the state, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. It would include a range of resources, from lessons created by museums to those written by teachers.

Latest News

How Technology Is Changing the Future of Higher Education

Cruising to class in her driverless car, a student crams from notes projected on the inside of the windshield while she gestures with her hands to shape a 3-D holographic model of her architecture project.

It looks like science fiction, an impression reinforced by the fact that it is being demonstrated in virtual reality in an ultramodern space with overstuffed pillows for seats. But this scenario is based on technology already in development.

Latest News

Stop-and-Frisk Under Michael Bloomberg Led More Black Students To Drop Out, Study Shows

When Andom Ghebreghiorgis was a middle school teacher at the Richard R. Green campus in the Bronx, his students sometimes arrived to class late, reeling from being stopped by the police on their way to school.

“They would enter the classroom very agitated, and not really in a place to learn,” said Ghebreghiorgis, who taught there a decade ago. “On the days in which my students were stopped and frisked, their whole day was affected.”

He added, “It probably still affects them now.”

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 14 – Feb. 20)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

Oregon is expanding its preschool services, but miscommunication between the state and local levels has made the process confusing for families, reports Jordyn Brown of The Register-Guard

Claire Lowe of the Press of Atlantic City writes about how New Jersey high schools are trying to show teens that vaping is harmful.

Latest News

This Is Not A Drill: Active Shooter Training At School
1A

On February 11, the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety and the two of the largest teachers unions — the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association — came out with a report calling for schools to reconsider their use of school shooter drills.

Citing concerns from parents about the impact the drills have on their children’s well being, the report recommended schools stop the use of the drills.

Latest News

Do High-Stakes Tests Make Teachers More Likely to Quit? Study Says No

For many teachers, high-stakes testing is a major source of frustration—but they’re not necessarily quitting over it.

A new study found that eliminating state testing did not have an effect on overall teacher turnover and attrition. Early-career teachers, however, are less likely to leave the profession when there are fewer required tests. 

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Do High-Stakes Tests Make Teachers More Likely to Quit? Study Says No

For many teachers, high-stakes testing is a major source of frustration—but they’re not necessarily quitting over it.

A new study found that eliminating state testing did not have an effect on overall teacher turnover and attrition. Early-career teachers, however, are less likely to leave the profession when there are fewer required tests. 

Read the full story here.

Latest News

How Do The Current Democratic Candidates Stack Up On Public Education?

You’d be hard-pressed to find many single-issue voters whose single issue was public education, but if you could find such animals, what could they make of the current set of Democratic contenders? Ignoring other issues, including what may be the biggest question of them all (“How would you get Congress to enact any of this?”), how do the candidates stack up in education?

Read the full story here. 

Latest News

Need-Based Financial Aid is Largely an Every-University-For-Itself Affair

MILWAUKEE — Sh’Tejah Ward needed to come up with $8,651 to pay the rest of her fall semester bill for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t be able to return in the spring. Looking for answers, she stopped by the school’s financial aid office one October afternoon and succinctly summed up her situation to an adviser: “I’m lost.”

Ward barely spoke for the rest of the meeting. She nodded along and grew increasingly overwhelmed as the adviser walked her through her options.

Latest News

This Might End Up Being The Most Expensive LAUSD School Board Primary Ever

Los Angeles is home to the most consequential school board elections in the country. L.A. Unified is the largest school district in the U.S. with an elected board.

On top of being important, L.A.’s school board elections have become expensive. Very expensive. In fact, if the current rate of spending continues, this March’s election will be the costliest LAUSD primary in history.

Read the full story here. 

Latest News

Miami Middle School Students Hope Their Magazine Will Help End Gun Violence

The morning after the Feb. 14, 2018, school shooting in Parkland, Fla., a middle school teacher in nearby Miami stood in front of his speech and debate class and had no idea what to say.

“It’s a powerful thing when 13-year-olds and 14-year-olds are looking up to you for an answer to something that you don’t have an answer for,” said Kelsey Major, a teacher at Everglades K-8 Center, a public school about 50 miles south of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people had been killed in the shooting.

“In speech and debate, I was speechless,” he said.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 7 – Feb. 13)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

In a two-part series, The Hechinger Report’s Bracey Harris covers Mississippi’s desegregation successes and failures. 

Seattle TimesNeal Morton takes an in-depth look at Australia’s early intervention efforts to steer students away from homelessness and dropping out.

Latest News

Trump’s Words Used By Kids To Bully Classmates At School

Two kindergartners in Utah told a Latino boy that President Trump would send him back to Mexico, and teenagers in Maine sneered ”Ban Muslims” at a classmate wearing a hijab. In Tennessee, a group of middle-schoolers linked arms, imitating the president’s proposed border wall as they refused to let nonwhite students pass. In Ohio, another group of middle-schoolers surrounded a mixed-race sixth-grader and, as she confided to her mother, told the girl: “This is Trump country.”

Key Coverage

States Want To End Developmental Education. Why Chicago Professors Are Fighting Back.

Late last summer, Luis decided to attend Wilbur Wright College, one of the seven two-year community colleges that make up the City Colleges of Chicago. He received financial aid to cover tuition and books. We’re not using Luis’ last name at his request to retain some privacy online.

Luis hopes to eventually get a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and said he’s motivated by the idea of earning enough that he doesn’t have to worry about money. His mom works 12-hour days to support their large family.

Latest News

Indiana Trying To Get Back Millions From Shuttered Virtual Schools

Early estimates of just how much money two online schools stole from the state of Indiana were wrong, according to a report filed Wednesday by the Indiana State Board of Accounts.

A special investigation into malfeasance by Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy found that the schools inappropriately received more than $68.7 million collectively.

Latest News

When the Culture War Comes to Class

Many professors, especially those without the protections of tenure, have come to recognize the danger of politically charged situations. All it takes is one irritated or impatient moment — perhaps secretly recorded on a student’s cellphone — to fuel the outrage machine that exists in social-media circles and on conservative outlets like Fox News. Each new controversy feeds the public appetite for stories about misbehaving liberal professors and the narrative, often misleading, that colleges are increasingly unmoored from, and even hostile to, mainstream culture.

Latest News

Alabama Constitutional Amendment 1: Here’s What you Need to Know

Only one constitutional amendment is on the Alabama primary ballot this year. 

If passed, the most significant effect of the amendment would be eliminating elections for members of a newly renamed Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education. Appointed commission members would be limited to a maximum of two terms. 

The appointed commission would also create new statewide education standards over “common core.”  

Latest News

The Broken Promise of Alexander V. Holmes County Board of Education

When it rains, the roof of the decades-old facility leaks. During the worst downpours, hallways flood. Attempts to raise taxes to build a state-of-the-art high school in this high-poverty district have failed. Rand is new to teaching at Holmes Central, but she spent three years here as a student. Since she graduated in 2013, the name of the old high school had changed, but not much else.

Latest News

King County Takes Cues From Australian Strategy For Preventing Student Homelessness and Dropping Out

GEELONG, Australia — Over the next month, as schools here begin a new year, the staff at seven campuses will interrupt homerooms, ask students to put away assignments and hand each one of them a nearly 100-question survey.

Teachers and translators will help explain the questions, some of them deeply personal: How often do you go to bed hungry? When was the last time you crashed on a friend’s couch? Do you feel safe at home?

Latest News

Teachers Unions AFT And NEA Raise Alarm Over Lockdown Drills

Ninety-five percent of American public schools conduct some form of regular active shooter safety drill — sometimes called a lockdown or active threat drill — according to the National Center for Education Statistics. But concerns are growing that these drills have not been proven effective in preventing violence and that they may even traumatize some students.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

New Campus Sexual Misconduct Rules Will Tackle Dating Violence

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s pending rules on sexual misconduct at the nation’s schools and colleges will include provisions to shore up protections for victims of stalking and dating violence, a response to lethal attacks that have underscored the weakness of current policies.

The rules will for the first time cement domestic violence, dating violence and stalking as forms of gender discrimination that schools must address under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education programs that receive government funding.

Latest News

Special Education: Students With Dyslexia Disability Battle NYC Dept. of Ed

For both boys, the struggles at school started in the first grade.

By the end of that seminal school year, both of their parents knew that something was wrong. In second grade, each boy was diagnosed with an unspecified learning disability and started receiving special education services at their public schools. “The teachers had no clue how to teach him,” said Debbie Meyer, Isaac’s mother.

Latest News

Five Candidates Vying For Two Seats On The San Diego Unified Board

School board races are usually far from the highest-profile political contests, but candidates for San Diego Unified’s board of trustees say the stakes are high in the March primary.

While school boards of past decades focused largely on test scores and budgets, candidates in 2020 are also concerned about issues like school discipline, student health and building relationships with students.

Read the full story here. 

Key Coverage

As Colleges Close, How Will Vermont Schools Survive?

Low enrollment and financial troubles have caused a slew of Vermont’s small, independent colleges to shut their doors. What’s causing the problem — and is there a solution?

VPR’s Amy Noyes, who has been reporting on higher ed in Vermont with a fellowship from the Education Writers Association, has answers to these three questions:

“Why are student populations shrinking?” — Diana Clark, South Burlington

Latest News

‘Fire’ Betsy DeVos? Democrats Turn Cabinet Turnover Into Campaign Attack

Democrats don’t like U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. There’s not much nuance you need to know about that. But a few Democratic candidates for president, and one of the groups most strongly opposed to DeVos, are putting an interesting twist on their attacks on one of Trump’s longest-serving, most-divisive cabinet members. 

Read the full story here. 

Latest News

Multiple Candidates Vying in State Board of Education District Representing San Antonio

Three Republicans and two Democrats are running in primary elections for the open District 5 seat on the State Board of Education, a 15-member panel that makes crucial and often controversial decisions on what gets taught at public schools.

Ken Mercer of San Antonio, a conservative Republican, is not seeking reelection after holding the seat for 14 years.

Read the full story here. 

Latest News

How to Help Students Cope With Mental Health in Schools

As many as one in five children need help with a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression. These students often have trouble processing information or focusing, which can contribute to a cycle of increased anxiety, dropping grades and missed school, say experts.

Latest News

School Finance: Five Things to Watch for in This Year’s State Legislative Sessions

State coffers are, by and large, flush with cash again this year. The country is more than a decade out of the recession, and property, sales, and income tax revenues are finally starting to rebound. This doesn’t mean, though, that districts’ coffers will be flush with cash in the 2020-21 school year. States still deliver to school districts billions of dollars in aid in a byzantine and insufficient manner which has allowed for some districts to thrive and many others to struggle. 

Latest News

Colleges Worry About Implications of Religious Freedom Rule

Higher education lobbyists are concerned that colleges and universities could be disqualified from getting millions of dollars in federal grants under a draft Trump administration rule, which is aimed at increasing the legal rights of campus religious groups to be able to exclude gay students and others.

Colleges could face substantial penalties under the proposal, said Terry Hartle, the American Council on Education’s senior vice president for government and public affairs.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Jan. 31 – Feb. 6)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

For Pittsburgh’s NPR news station, Sarah Schneider examines how teachers are covering the impeachment trial in their classrooms.

For The 74, Mikhail Zinshteyn reports on the economic benefits that could arise if the government invested in single mothers’ educational success.

Latest News

Presidential Candidate Tom Steyer’s Education Plan: Triple Title I, Tackle Dropout Rate

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer released an education plan Thursday that calls for tripling federal funding for high-poverty schools, providing universal preschool, and using federal incentives to raise teacher pay.

The billionaire philanthropist also sets an ambitious goal of cutting the dropout rate in half by the end of his first term by establishing a federal task force and requiring states to adopt dropout reduction plans. (Graduation rates are already part of states’ accountability plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act.)

Latest News

At the University of New Hampshire, the Topic is College Costs, Student Debt

Four presidential candidates at the University of New Hampshire Thursday talked about college costs and the estimated $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt.

Prior to speeches by the presidential candidates, there was a panel discussion with James Kvaal, president of the Institute for College Access & Success; Daniella Gibbs Leger, executive vice president for the Center for American Progress Action Fund; and Adam Harris, staff writer for “The Atlantic.”

Latest News

N.C. Schools Chief, Amid Crowded GOP Race for Lieutenant Governor, Calls to End Common Core

State Superintendent Mark Johnson, who is campaigning to become North Carolina’s lieutenant governor, announced Thursday that he’s calling for a review of North Carolina’s Common Core math and language arts standards and U.S. history requirements.

Johnson is in a crowded field of Republican candidates running for lieutenant governor in the March primary. Conservatives have been particularly critical of Common Core, viewing it as an attempt to try to create a national curriculum.

Latest News

‘Preach it, sister!’ Why the Trump Base Loves Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos may be one of the most hated members of Donald Trump’s Cabinet, constantly mocked by Democrats on the campaign trail.

But away from the multitudes of critics and protesters, DeVos is being deployed like a rock star at Trump events as he makes a concerted push on education issues. The campaign is using DeVos, a devout Christian, to beef up ties with voters who see her as the fiercest defender of conservative education policies like vouchers and free speech on college campuses.

Latest News

‘Preach it, sister!’ Why the Trump Base Loves Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos may be one of the most hated members of Donald Trump’s Cabinet, constantly mocked by Democrats on the campaign trail.

But away from the multitudes of critics and protesters, DeVos is being deployed like a rock star at Trump events as he makes a concerted push on education issues. The campaign is using DeVos, a devout Christian, to beef up ties with voters who see her as the fiercest defender of conservative education policies like vouchers and free speech on college campuses.

Latest News

Facial Recognition Moves Into a New Front: Schools

Jim Shultz tried everything he could think of to stop facial recognition technology from entering the public schools in Lockport, a small city 20 miles east of Niagara Falls. He posted about the issue in a Facebook group called Lockportians. He wrote an Op-Ed in The New York Times. He filed a petition with the superintendent of the district, where his daughter is in high school.