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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

Parents Feel Virus Shutdowns Leave Disabled Students Behind

At school, Rose Hayes, 8, works with a team of teachers and therapists trained to help with her genetic condition. They set goals for her reading, give her physical therapy to improve her balance and make sure she stays on track. But for the last two weeks, her only connection to school has been through a computer screen.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Ritual, Rhythm, Community: Everything Higher Ed Does Best, the Coronavirus Attacks

At first, the virus came for spring break.

Having taken the full measure of a global pandemic, college leaders across the nation have in recent days told students not to return from their annual bacchanals or service sojourns. What came instead was for many a crushing assignment: Move back in with your parents, and meet your professors online to finish out the academic year.

Latest News

Plunging Into Remote Learning, Families Find Stress, Chaos and Some Surprising Wins

Melissa Becker is living two versions of the nation’s mass and involuntary move to online education.

As a teacher in a rural corner of northwest Pennsylvania, she’s been told not to teach. Too many students don’t have Internet connections, her district has decided, and it wouldn’t be right to leave them behind.

But Becker’s own daughters, who attend a nearby district, are in daily contact with their teachers through online posts and live Zoom meetings, which they access on district-issued iPads.

Latest News

With Coronavirus Disrupting College, Should Every Student Pass?

Carlos Polanco was living in a dormitory just two weeks ago, taking classes and thinking mostly about getting good grades and life after graduation. Now he is back in Clifton, N.J., home schooling his 12-year-old sister, doing household chores and worrying about the health of his relatives in the Dominican Republic.

“It would be amazing if I could just focus on my classes,” said Mr. Polanco, a junior at Dartmouth College, “but I have a lot of people depending on me.”

Latest News

Teachers’ Herculean Task: Moving 1.1 Million Children to Online School

In the days before remote instruction began, Chauntae Brown, a second-grade teacher at P.S. 80 in Jamaica, Queens, scrambled to teach parents without Wi-Fi how to use cellphone hot spots. She rummaged in her garage to find materials — a world map, a “Welcome” sign, an apple-shaped chalkboard — to transform her living room wall into a classroom. She grabbed a plastic tiara because, she said, “I’m the queen of this castle.”

Latest News

Not All Schools Can #KeepLearning

To encourage learning while schools are shut down, Illinois education officials have gathered online tools for educators and promoted the hashtag #keeplearning.

Some students in Illinois, however, won’t be able to watch their teacher conduct live science experiments or download a story time video. They don’t have a computer or high-speed internet at home, or a cellphone data plan that would support it.

Latest News

With Coronavirus, Low-Income Students Need Headphones To Study

In her family’s one-bedroom home every day unfolds with one distraction after another for 17-year-old Anais Hernandez: her mother cooking and cleaning in the kitchen; her disabled father watching high-volume TV news; the bustle of her younger sister in their East Los Angeles home.

There’s no escape from the noise as Anais attempts to focus on Advanced Placement Spanish literature and English and economics. Two weeks into shelter-at-home schooling, this Mendez High School senior could use a tool that would be hard for her family to afford — sound-canceling headphones.

Latest News

If the Coronavirus Collapses State Budgets, What Will Happen to Public Colleges?

Harvey Kesselman, president of Stockton University, got the bad news in a text from New Jersey’s secretary of higher education: Half of Stockton’s state operating aid would be held back for the rest of the fiscal year.

On Monday, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, New Jersey announced a spending freeze of $920 million that had already been allocated by the Legislature, including half of all funds headed to public colleges like Stockton. (New Jersey had more than 6,000 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus as of Thursday.)

Latest News

Teachers of Newcomer Students Try to Keep Them Connected as Schools Close, Routines Shift

Even under normal circumstances, Cheri Mann does a lot to help her students cross language barriers and make sense of an unfamiliar school environment.

She teaches a half-dozen high schoolers who recently moved to the U.S. from Guatemala and Honduras, many as unaccompanied minors, in a small school district in north-central Kentucky. Most days, Mann helps her newcomers practice their English for one period, then accompanies them to their other classes to make sure they understand the instruction. 

Latest News

Delaware Students Use 3D Printers to Help Meet Need For Coronavirus Masks

People across the country are responding to the alarm set off when health care workers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic reported shortages of N95 face masks. 

Now several Brandywine High School students hope to soon start producing masks made with 3D printers so they can be used by health care professionals in need.

“I’m really stoked that my teacher gave me this opportunity,” said Ian Wilt, a Brandywine high junior. “It’s doing everything for a good cause.”

Latest News

Massive Shift to Remote Learning Prompts Big Data Privacy Concerns

Schools are confronting a wide range of potential problems around student data privacy as they scramble to put technology tools for virtual instruction in place during extended school building shutdowns.

Teachers have already begun connecting with students using a variety of digital tools, some of which are new to them and their schools and weren’t designed for classroom use—everything from videoconferencing apps like Zoom to digital devices like Chromebooks and learning platforms like Babbel and BrainPop.

Latest News

Child Care Centers Are Essential to the Economy. But Can They Survive the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Carol Gibbs started providing child care from her home in Bellevue 30 years ago. Usually she and her staff are serving 12 kids a day, doing everything from diapering infants to teaching 4-year-olds. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, attendance is down to three.

“We’re like an extension of their home,” she said of the children in her care. “I have an intimate relationship with these families.”

Latest News

Disability Advocates Worry the Quick Shift to Online Learning Could Overlook Needed Accommodations

In the rush to move classes online, there are some concerns that students who need special accommodations might be left out.

For schools that specialize in behavioral and other needs, having to go to school remotely is presenting a lot of new challenges. Melissa Belsito, with the Center for Applied Behavioral Instruction in Worcester, explained a lot of her students struggle with change and depend on their schedules.

Latest News

If Virus Brings a Break From NC Testing, Ripple Effects Could be Huge

North Carolina’s year-end testing is likely to be put on hold for this year, as students face at least nine weeks of learning from home to avoid the coronavirus.

The federal government has granted a testing waiver, and Brian Gwyn, a legislative analyst and lawyer, said that’s all that’s required to cancel End of Grade and End of Course exams.

However, he said, “legislative action would be needed to address all the other statutes that rely on data from the assessments.”

Latest News

Maryland HBCUs Awarded Half a Billion in Racial Discrimination Compensation

Maryland has voted in favor of awarding four state universities more than half a billion dollars in compensation for years of institutional racial discrimination, signaling the end of a long legal battle.

In a victory resulting from a lawsuit filed more than a decade ago, four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) can expect a boost to their budgets of a total of $577m after the Maryland senate, in a rare legislative resolution to legal action, gave bipartisan support to a landmark settlement.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Mar. 20-26)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

A Tennessee school district seeks to help local medical professionals by printing personal protective equipment, reports Meghan Mangrum of Chattanooga Times Free Press

The Hechinger Report examines how the impacts of college closures are being felt beyond the traditional classroom.

For The Wall Street Journal, Douglas Belkin and Melissa Korn cover the impact COVID-19 will have on college fall admissions.

Latest News

MIT Agrees To Pay Food Service Workers Through May 22

MIT has agreed to extend the pay for dining hall workers who have been sidelined because of the coronavirus through May 22, a small victory for some of the lowest-wage employees on college campuses.

MIT announced this week that it had reached a deal with the union representing 225 dining hall workers and the university’s food service vendors, Bon Appetit and Restaurant Associates. MIT agreed to provide funding for the workers, who were slated to be laid off, after the university sent students home to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Latest News

Colleges Are Likely To Get Billions In Coronavirus Aid, But Advocates Say It’s Not Enough

Colleges and universities are expected to receive billions of dollars from the coronavirus relief bill moving through Congress. But a top higher education advocate in Washington called funding levels “woefully inadequate” to stabilize a sector of the economy that is hemorrhaging cash.

With campuses across the country shuttered for the foreseeable future, many schools are issuing refunds for room and board, subsidizing plane and bus fare for students forced to leave in a hurry and absorbing myriad other unforeseen expenses and revenue losses.

Latest News

She’s 10, Homeless and Eager to Learn. But She Has No Internet.

Allia Phillips was excited about picking up an iPad from her school in Harlem last week. She did not want to miss any classes and hoped to land on the fourth-grade honor roll again.

On Monday, the first day that New York City public schools began remote learning, the 10-year-old placed her iPad on a tray she set up over her pillow on a twin bed in a studio that she shares with her mother and grandmother inside a homeless shelter on the Upper West Side.

And then, Allia saw nothing.

Latest News

Board Permanently Closes Oklahoma School Sites; Patchwork of Distance Learning Programs to Begin

As health officials predict a months-long continuation of the coronavirus pandemic, the state Board of Education on Wednesday ordered school districts to keep buildings closed for the remainder of the academic year and pivot to distance learning programs, a directive that lacks uniformity and allows districts extreme flexibility. 

“It’s going to look different for all schools and we have to accept that,” said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister at Wednesday’s board meeting.

Latest News

Coronavirus Creates College Uncertainty, Admissions Gets Easier

As the coronavirus pandemic upends college life, it is causing a knock-on effect for admissions: High-school seniors may find it easier to get into some schools this year.

Students considering offers or awaiting decisions later this week from colleges across the selectivity spectrum can expect higher acceptance rates, as colleges take measures to ensure they will still have enough students enrolled come fall.

Read the full story here

Latest News

OPINION: School Closures Require Digging Deep Into Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

The abrupt closing of nearly the entire American school system is a massive story. It deserves an enormous amount of attention. And so far, the quality and quantity of the coverage that I’ve seen has been encouragingly high — especially given what a fast-moving, complex situation we’ve been in since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Latest News

San Antonio’s Digital Divide Gapes Wider As Coronavirus Forces Schools Online

Arailia Jeffries works for a plasma collection company, but her hours as a phlebotomist are being cut as the coronavirus pandemic scares away potential donors. Her husband, a metal fabricator, also is working reduced hours for reduced pay. So Wednesday evening, as dark clouds built outside Jeffries’ house near the Pearsall Park neighborhood, frustration built inside her sweltering living room where, still wearing navy scrubs, she and her four school-aged children waited on hold with Spectrum.

Latest News

Advocates Demand Illinois Release Youth From Juvenile Detention Centers Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Advocates and correctional officials are calling on Illinois and other states across the country to release youth from juvenile detention facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There are currently about 200 youth incarcerated in Illinois’ juvenile detention facilities. A recent report from the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University found that more than 90% of incarcerated youth have at least one mental health disorder diagnosis, and about two-thirds have multiple diagnoses.

Latest News

JCPS Pulls Troubled Kids From Schools, Outraging Parents

s he sat in a Louisville psychiatric hospital preparing to hand over his 7-year-old daughter, Brian Carroll knew none of it felt right. 

The security guards. The sterile waiting room. The clerk positioned behind a glass window. He didn’t believe his daughter Pepper, who has autism, was truly in the midst of a mental health crisis. Yes, she had an outburst at school. But did she deserve to be here?  

Latest News

Thousands of Liberty Students Expected To Return to Campus Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

LYNCHBURG — As the coronavirus threatens to spread across the Lynchburg region, Liberty University officials are preparing to welcome back up to 5,000 students from spring break this week.

Defying a national trend of campus closures, President Jerry Falwell Jr. has invited students to return to residence halls and has directed faculty members to continue to report to campus even as most classes move online.

Latest News

They Can Help Fight Coronavirus. Trump Wants to Deport Them.

The U.S. Supreme Court in November heard oral arguments on a set of cases challenging the legality of President Donald Trump’s efforts to terminate DACA,  which provided temporary protection from deportation and work authorization to some 825,000 undocumented young people, including those who are studying to enter the medical field. A decision from the high court could come any day.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Texas Day Cares Are Closing Just When Some Parents Need Them More Than Ever

Heather Martinez now takes every child’s temperature at the door to Happy Octopus Early Education, the day care she runs from her home in Corpus Christi, following a new state regulation for child care centers issued as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across Texas.

She disinfects tables, sanitizes toys and requires parents to stand outside the door at pick up and drop off each day. But she worries the new rules are not enough to keep everyone healthy: It’s hard to stop infants from putting toys in their mouths, let alone expect them to stay six feet away from one another.

Latest News

High Schoolers Will Take Their AP Exams at Home, College Board Says

The thousands of Florida teens who planned to spend hours this spring in school testing centers trying to earn college credits on Advanced Placement exams will be taking the tests at home instead.

In response to social distancing efforts under way nationally to slow the spread of COVID-19, test administrator College Board announced Friday it would provide shortened 45-minute AP exams. They will be based on curriculum truncated to better reflect what classes already have covered.

Latest News

Help! I Don’t Know How to Be a Teacher! Home-schooling Parents, Teacher Trainers Offer Advice During Coronavirus Shutdown

Parents across Ohio had a surprising new role thrust upon them this week: teaching their children.

With Ohio’s schools shut down, possibly for the school year, because of coronavirus concerns, parents now have to make sure their children learn the lessons their schools send home or post online.

The Plain Dealer asked two groups of people for advice for parents’ new role: Home-schoolers, who teach their children at home every day, and professors at teaching colleges, the people who teach teachers how to teach.

Latest News

How Atlanta Public Schools Are Coping With the Pandemic

The Trump administration has just announced broad flexibility for states to cancel their spring standardized tests, and that may take some strain off teachers and be a huge relief to parents and grandparents and other caregivers struggling to remember basic math and science. But what will it mean for our kids’ education? And how are schools responding? Meria Carstarphen is the superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, which has nearly 52,000 students.

Latest News

Redesigning College Admission: COVID-19, Access, And Equity

The spread of COVID-19 throughout the world is evidence that the virus does not discriminate. It has infected individuals from all nations, backgrounds, ages, races, genders, and economic status. However, the impact of the virus is—and will be—felt very differently by various populations. The most vulnerable people in our society are likely to disproportionately suffer from the health and economic implications of this crisis.

Latest News

Memphis School District Suspends Food Distribution After Employee Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Shelby County Schools on Friday suspended its meal distribution program for students after an employee in its nutrition department tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Tennessee’s largest district serves 113,000 students, most of whom are low income, and had been ramping up to begin serving 15,000 meals a day beginning Monday. Due to the spread of COVID-19, schools that already were on spring break are closed through at least April 3.

Latest News

When Schools Shut Down, We All Lose

This was the week that American schools across the country closed their doors.

It was the week that our public schools—often dismissed as mediocre, inequitable, or bureaucratic—showed just how much they mean to American society by their very absence.

The unprecedented shutdown public and private schools in dozens of states last week has illuminated one easily forgotten truism about schools: They are an absolute necessity for the functioning of civic culture, and even more fundamentally than that, daily life.

Latest News

Districts Search For School Lunch Solutions Amid Coronavirus Closures

Nearly 30 million children in the U.S. count on schools for free or low-cost breakfast, lunch, snacks and sometimes dinner — but most of those children are now at home. At least 114,000 public and private schools have been closed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, affecting the vast majority of the nation’s K-12 students, according to an ongoing tally by Education Week.

Latest News

Child Care Providers Are Feeling An Unprecedented Squeeze. Now, They’re Asking For Help.

Many child care providers won’t survive the coronavirus outbreak, a coalition of state groups warned Thursday, as they pushed lawmakers to offer financial relief for day cares and early learning centers.

“Child care providers are already operating on very small margins,” the groups wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders, calling for child care providers to be considered in any economic stimulus package.

Latest News

Canceled Research, Sports, Recitals — College Students Are Coping With More Than Closed Campuses

Moving his education online because of the coronavirus presents a much bigger problem for Cameron Pelton than it does for many of his Indiana University classmates.

Pelton is studying ballet and choreography, subjects that don’t convert easily to virtual instruction. Meanwhile, auditions have been canceled and seniors who were hoping to land jobs with ballet companies have had those aspirations delayed.

Latest News

MN’s Schools Closed For Learning, But Open For Emergency Personnel Child Care, Planning

Last Friday, Gov. Tim Walz told schools to keep their doors open. He said they were needed to care for the children of people who worked in health care.

Two days later the plan changed.

“We have thought this through and I will be willing to say at this time that we have the most comprehensive plan for what school closing looks like of any state in the nation,” Walz said.

Minnesota’s plan means canceling classes for a week and a half to give teachers and district leaders the time to prepare for distance learning.

Latest News

Student on CMS Board Emerges as Star in Emergency COVID-19 Meeting

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board’s student representative is getting a lot of public love after he grilled the adults in the room at an emergency board meeting this week.

Monday’s session may have been a preview of life in the age of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. For starters, it was called with only a few hours notice to vote on changes forced by the virus.

Latest News

Amid shutdown, Boston Public Schools, Union Negotiate Over Online Learning

Boston school officials and the city teachers union have yet to come to agreement on how to conduct online learning during the six-week shutdown of the school system, even as school staffers have been delivering 20,000 Chromebook computers to students with much fanfare.

Talks over online learning just began on Thursday — albeit virtually instead of in person — and are expected to resume Friday, according to the Boston teachers union, which provided members an update Thursday night.

Latest News

‘You Just Want Answers’: High School Seniors Left Wondering on Prom, Graduation, College

Will Anderson wants answers.

Are his Omaha Central High School classmates doing all right? “You just want answers to all these questions you have,” Anderson said. “But no one has any answers.”

Will graduation ceremonies be held on time or at all? Is prom canceled? Will this affect his plans for college?

Five high school seniors from public and private districts around the metro area said they wonder if they have had their last day of high school.