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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

Students Aren’t Just Leaving Greek Life. They Want to End It.

When Zena Abro came to the University of Richmond in 2018, she wasn’t excited about the idea of joining a sorority. She did it only because her friends joined, and she didn’t want to feel left out on a campus where more than half of undergraduate women are in sororities.

Latest News

Health Directors Told to Keep Quiet as Fla. Leaders Pressed to Reopen Classrooms

As Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed this summer for schools to reopen, state leaders told school boards they would need Health Department approval if they wanted to keep classrooms closed.

Then they instructed health directors not to give it.

Following a directive from DeSantis’ administration, county health directors across Florida refused to give school boards advice about one of the most wrenching public health decisions in modern history: whether to reopen schools in a worsening pandemic, a Gannett USA TODAY NETWORK review found.

Latest News

TikTok Helped Teachers and Students Stay Connected During the Pandemic. Now Trump Wants to Ban It

When schools closed in March because of the coronavirus, Vanessa Cronin had no idea how to make instructions for her Spanish lessons engaging enough for her students to read.

“So now I’m supposed to type my instructions in an email?” Cronin, who teaches at Marine Science Magnet High School in Groton, Connecticut, asked herself. “I could picture my kids at home saying things like, ‘Too long. Too boring. I won’t read this.’”

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (July 31- August 6)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

A team at NPR used the advice of pediatricians, infectious disease specialists and education experts to create a guide for families trying to weigh the key elements of a school reopening plan.

In Montgomery, Alabama, communities where bullets hit the flesh of humans each week, violence and loss have become a common experience in the lives of young people, reports Montgomery Advertiser’s Krista Johnson.

Latest News

Congress’s Ideological Divide Has Stymied Aid for Pandemic-Stricken Schools

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.

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Poll Finds Parents, Fearing Covid, Prefer Mix Of Online And In-Person School

Most American parents think it’s unsafe to send their children back to school given the risks of the novel coronavirus, and more than 80 percent favor holding school at least partly online, according to a Washington Post-Schar School survey conducted by Ipsos.

But parents also express serious concerns with online schooling and many are drawn to systems that mix the two.

Latest News

Georgia School Reopening Photo Worse Than It Appears

Behind a viral photo of a crowded hallway at a high school in Georgia, a potentially dire situation is brewing. Students, teachers, and parents fear the Paulding County school’s rushed reopening plans may be spiraling out of control just two days after students — who said they were told they could face expulsion for remaining home — returned to class despite reports of positive coronavirus cases among students and staff.

Latest News

California’s Poorest Preschoolers Are Stuck At Home

For decades, experts have understood 4 as an academic fault line, the year that cleaves wealthy and even middle-class children from their poor and working-class peers. Yet amid the pandemic, public preschools such as Darlene’s have struggled to reopen, despite being classed as essential. When they do open — probably weeks or months after most private preschools — as many as two-thirds of classroom spots for 4-year-olds could be gone.

Latest News

Virginia Waives School Accreditation For Second School Year

The closure of schools this past spring because of the pandemic means that Virginia schools will keep their same accreditation until at least 2022.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane waived the process for the 2021-2022 academic year on Tuesday, citing the lack of standardized tests from the spring that would’ve been part of the ratings.

The General Assembly in April gave Lane temporary flexibility to waive some requirements, including school accreditation, that could be impacted by school closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

Latest News

Tech Woes Mar Start to Virtual Class for Nashville Public School Students

The first day of school for thousands of Nashville families started off rocky Tuesday with many experiencing technology and connectivity issues as they tried to log on for virtual learning.

Some students and families were able to get online to join live classroom meetings or check in with their teachers on personal devices for the first day, but some of those dependent on devices provided by the district were left in the dark.

Latest News

Kenneth L. Marcus, Education Dept.’s Civil Rights Chief, Steps Down

The Education Department’s civil rights chief has for 40 years labored to enforce civil rights protections in the nation’s schools and universities, but few in the position have attracted as much attention as Kenneth L. Marcus, who will leave the post this week after two years marked by dissension, disputes — and significant accomplishments.

Latest News

OPINION: An Arizona Superintendent on Safely Reopening Schools: ‘It’s a Fantasy’

This is my choice, but I’m starting to wish that it wasn’t. I don’t feel qualified. I’ve been a superintendent for 20 years, so I guess I should be used to making decisions, but I keep getting lost in my head. I’ll be in my office looking at a blank computer screen, and then all of the sudden I realize a whole hour’s gone by. I’m worried. I’m worried about everything. Each possibility I come up with is a bad one.

Latest News

Introducing: Nice White Parents

“Nice White Parents” is a new podcast from Serial Productions, brought to you by The New York Times, about the 60-year relationship between white parents and the public school down the block.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (July 17-30)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

Private schools restrain and seclude children hundreds or even thousands of times per year, reports The Teacher Project’s Sharon Lurye and Joseph Hong for USA TODAY.

CalMatters’ Mikhail Zinshteyn covers the efforts of school systems to prepare teachers for distance learning in the fall.

Latest News

Survey: Less Time on Schoolwork, More Paper Packets in High-Poverty Districts

Once the pandemic upended normal school this spring, students of all ages in high-poverty school districts were asked to do less schoolwork and spend less time in class than their peers in affluent school districts.

That’s according to a national survey led by the American Institutes for Research, one of the most sweeping efforts to date to track what student learning looked like during that period. It includes responses from a nationally representative group of 474 school districts across the country, collected from mid-May to mid-July.

Latest News

Dream Center: DeVos Aide Diane Auer Jones Helped For-Profit Art Institutes, Argosy University, Texts And Emails Show

For the past year, the Education Department has denied that a top official went out of her way to help Dream Center Education Holdings, owner of the Art Institutes, South University and Argosy University, as the company spiraled into insolvency.

But a batch of text messages, emails and letters shed new light on Dream Center’s relationship with Diane Auer Jones, the head of higher education policy at the department, and her efforts to help the company regain accreditation at two of its schools.

Latest News

Survey Reveals Stark Rich-Poor Divide In How U.S. Children Were Taught Remotely During The Spring School Closures

As the coronavirus pandemic spread through the country, a common (socially distanced) conversation among friends and families compared how many hours of remote learning kids were getting. Preliminary results from a new survey of school districts confirm what many parents learned through the Zoom grapevine. The number of hours your kids got varied wildly depending on where you happen to live. But the amount of time was not the only difference, according to a recent survey: the type of instruction students received also diverged dramatically.

Latest News

Greater Clark County Schools To Resume In-Person Classes

Greater Clark County Schools plans to resume in-person classes on Wednesday, making it the first southern Indiana public school district to do so.

The district said it worked with Dr. Eric Yazel and the Clark County Health Department to create a plan that prioritizes the safety of students and staff.

Latest News

LISTEN: What Does the Future of School Safety Look Like? New EWA Podcast Interviews 74’s Mark Keierleber About Efforts to Dismantle Campus Policing After George Floyd’s Death

As school districts nationwide reconsider the role officers play in classrooms, The 74’s Mark Keierleber joined EWA Radio, a podcast produced by the Education Writers Association, to discuss his reporting on school policing.

Listen to the conversation and read more of Mark Keierleber’s recent reporting on school policing here.

Latest News

Texas Fifth and Eighth Graders Won’t Have to Pass STAAR Test to Move on to the Next Grade

State education officials announced earlier this summer that third through 12th grade students would take the state standardized exams, or STAAR, this upcoming academic year. Normally, fifth and eighth graders must pass the STAAR in order to move on to the next grade, or else they must retake it later that year or over the summer. But Abbott said that next spring, the fifth and eighth grade math and reading exams would only be administered one time, in May.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

San Antonio School Districts Still Struggle with the City’s Segregated Past

Recent graduates of Alamo Heights High School have spent most of their summer meeting with school district leaders to press for a more inclusive environment for Black and Hispanic students there.

But even as they were drafting proposed policy changes, a video was circulating on social media showing three white cheerleaders from the high school using a racial slur.

Latest News

How ‘the Most Violent’ Special Education School Ended Restraint and Seclusion

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Twenty years ago, a visitor to Centennial School would have heard a cacophony.

“Banging on doors, yelling, wailing,” said Julie Fogt, the current director of the school. “Adults were loud: ‘Stop that, stop that! Crisis! I need help!’”

It was a private school, but public schools paid to send their most troubled kids there. The school took only children who had both a diagnosis of autism or emotional disturbance and a history of severe behavior issues.

Latest News

Testing Was Canceled Last School Year; That Might Not Happen Again.

Should schools administer standardized tests next year?

Many state and local education officials from across the country are pushing for cancelling federally required testing for next school year. Most recently New York City council members made the case, writing, “Amidst the extreme conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, conducting state tests cannot possibly be fair to students.”

One state, Georgia, has formally requested a waiver, and others have indicated they will as well.

Latest News

Do ‘Pandemic Pods’ Threaten Equity Efforts?

Fears are growing that COVID-19 could widen inequities in an already inequitable education system.

The threat to equity from the pandemic was a major theme at last week’s virtual 73rd Education Writers Association National Seminar. Marquee seminar speaker Nikole Hannah-Jones, New York Times writer and creator of the 1619 Project, which reexamined how slavery shaped American history, took aim at “pandemic pods.”

Latest News

San Antonio Will Leverage Traffic Lights to Expand Fiber Network For Students

The city of San Antonio will leverage traffic lights in its plan to connect 20,000 students’ homes to their schools’ wireless networks.

“In order to get into a neighborhood, you have to go where the infrastructure is,” said Craig Hopkins, the city’s chief information officer.

The city will build LTE wireless broadband connections off an existing fiber-optic cable network that runs for 1,000 miles above and below ground and links libraries, police stations, public safety radio systems — and remotely operated traffic signals.

Latest News

Scientific Panel Urges That Schools Reopen

Wading into the contentious debate over reopening schools, an influential committee of scientists and educators on Wednesday recommended that, wherever possible, younger children and those with special needs should attend school in person.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (July 10-July 16)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

A 15-year-old in Michigan was incarcerated during the coronavirus pandemic after a judge ruled that not completing her schoolwork violated her probation, reports Jodi Cohen of ProPublica Illinois.

The Wall Street Journal’s Tawnell Hobbs covers how remote learning widened the education gap for predominantly Black and low income students in Mississippi.

Latest News

This University Was Allotted More CARES Act Money Than Any Other. None of It Has Gone to Students.

When Arizona State University transitioned to online-only classes in March, Ja’Mya Williams’s grades began to fall.

Without a laptop, the campus library, and her after-class tutoring, the freshman biological-sciences major was forced to complete her assignments on her cellphone or at her friend’s house, and struggled to keep up with her honors-level courses.

Latest News

New Bill Seeks to Repeal State Law Governing NYC’s Specialized High Schools Admissions

State lawmakers are trying a new approach to help enroll more Black and Latino students at New York City’s elite but segregated specialized high schools. A group of Assembly members this week filed a bill to repeal the state law governing admission to the schools, which would then give the city control.

The proposed law would phase out the current admissions process by 2022, partly to give the city time to come up with a new admissions plan.

Latest News

Next Candidate for the Fall Chopping Block? Student Housing Refunds

Universities across the country have written addendums into their residence-life contracts specifying that refunds will not be issued if a Covid-19 outbreak forces their campuses to close early this fall.

The University of South Florida has said that if any of its campuses have to shut down prematurely, students should not expect to be reimbursed for housing or dining fees they’ve already paid.

Latest News

California CSU Campuses Could be Online Only Past 2020

California State University students could be forced online for the rest of the academic year, which ends May 2021, CSU Chancellor Timothy White said Tuesday.

White’s remarks came during a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor subcommittee.

White told the committee that the move to a virtual fall semester, “and quite frankly, the academic year,” was driven by health and safety issues, and students progress to success.

Latest News

‘Big Mess’ Looms if Schools Don’t Get Billions to Reopen Safely

Bus monitors to screen students for symptoms in Marietta, Ga.: $640,000. Protective gear and classroom cleaning equipment for a small district in rural Michigan: $100,000. Disinfecting school buildings and hiring extra nurses and educators in San Diego: $90 million.

As the White House, the nation’s pediatricians and many worn-down, economically strapped parents push for school doors to swing open this fall, local education officials say they are being crushed by the costs of getting students and teachers back in classrooms safely.

Latest News

America’s Mask Debate Shifts to Schools

Championed by health experts and flouted by the president, the humble face covering has become an emblem of America’s fractured response to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the mask debate is heading to school.

Who must wear them? Who will provide them? And who will solve the umteen logistical riddles they pose, from cleaning procedures and accommodating students with special needs to redirecting distracted children who tug, scratch, and remove their masks during lessons?

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (July 3-July 9)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

School reopening plans are now part of COVID-19 politics, reports Erin Richards of USA TODAY.

Colleges and universities are slashing their budgets and preparing for drops in enrollment amid a “cacophony of crises,” reports Elizabeth Hernandez of The Denver Post

Latest News

As Trump Pushes To Reopen Schools, Arizona School Leaders Face More Uncertainty

The school year hasn’t begun, but an Arizona teacher has already died from COVID-19, according to a school superintendent.

As President Donald Trump’s administration pushes for schools to reopen on time, a small community in eastern Arizona is reeling from the death of a teacher who contracted COVID-19 after she taught summer school virtually while in the same room as two other teachers. 

Latest News

Covid: Should I Send My Kid To School Amid Coronavirus? Teachers Worry

Coronavirus cases are soaring across the country and some states are pausing the reopening of their economies. Still, pressure is mounting to reopen schools full-time this fall — and it’s coming from state politicians, the White House, pediatricians and parents.

Teachers are caught in the middle. While many desperately want to return to their classrooms, they’re worried about putting themselves or their families at risk of getting sick. Nobody knows how likely that will be once adults begin working in close quarters in school buildings again.