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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 (May 13-19)
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EWA recognized the top education journalism in the United States when it announced the finalists for the 2021 National Awards for Education Reporting on May 18. More than six dozen judges named 51 finalists in 17 categories of competition. Judges also selected three finalists for the EGF Accelerator’s Eddie Prize. Read the impactful work from these journalists.

Latest News

A Florida Teacher Felt She Had To Quit Amid “Don’t Say Gay” Rhetoric

Nicolette Solomon felt her mother’s words come through the phone and settle, heavy, in her stomach.

It was January, and her mother was talking about a new bill, just proposed in the Florida legislature, that would severely limit how teachers could discuss gender identity and sexual orientation with their students. Critics were already calling it the “don’t say gay” bill. Her mother, a vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights, sounded upset.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (May 6-12)
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“When I got pregnant, I had to stop going to college.” The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Nell Gluckman explores the many potential repercussions of overturning the Roe v. Wade protections of abortion rights: women who get pregnant may have to stop attending college; medical schools may no longer be able to teach safe abortion training; and higher education institutions in states that outlaw abortion may have difficulty attracting faculty.  

Latest News

Book Ban Efforts By Conservative Parents Take Aim At Library Apps

E-reader apps that became a lifeline for students during the pandemic are now in the crossfire of a culture war raging over books in schools and public libraries.

In several states, apps and the companies that run them have been targeted by conservative parents who have pushed schools and public libraries to shut down their digital programs, which let users download and read books on their smartphones, tablets or laptops. 

Some parents want the apps banned for their children, or even for all students. And they’re getting results.

Latest News

What You Should Know About The Plyler Case

A Supreme Court case known as Plyler v. Doe that protects the education of undocumented students marked its 40th anniversary this year.

Now, with the high court seemingly poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, another long-standing precedent, one prominent politician hopes Plyler is next.

“I think we will resurrect that case and challenge this issue again, because the expenses are extraordinary and the times are different than when Plyler v. Doe was issued many decades ago,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said recently. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (April 29-May 5)
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“Books that highlight our differences and teach others to respect diversity are crucial.” Concerned by book censorship, a growing number of students began fighting for the right to read, such as students who created a “Banned Book Club” and those who sued their school districts. The Washington Post’s Hannah Natanson details how challenges to books – mostly on Black characters and LGBTQ topics – have affected students.

Latest News

How The ‘Age-Appropriate’ Debate Is Altering Curriculum

Front and center are concerns about the age-appropriateness of curriculum and instruction designed to introduce painful truths about America’s origins and present-day injustices. Truths, which some parents feel are at odds with a redeeming national narrative, and which others say must be shared early if America hopes to ever achieve racial reconciliation.

Amid a racial reckoning spurred by the 2020 murder of George Floyd and a conservative backlash to subsequent anti-racist protests, elementary schools have become ground zero for much of the soul-searching.

Latest News

Abbott: Texas May Challenge Requirement To Educate Undocumented Kids

Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that Texas would consider challenging a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring states to offer free public education to all children, including those of undocumented immigrants.

The remarks came days after a leaked draft of a forthcoming U.S. Supreme Court opinion revealed that a majority of justices are poised to revoke Roe v. Wade, the landmark case establishing the right to abortion. 

Latest News

Illinois Law Bans Schools From Fining Children With Tickets. So the Police Are Doing It for Them.

The nearly 30 students summoned to the Tazewell County Courthouse that January morning were not facing criminal charges; they’d received tickets for violating a municipal ordinance while at school. Each was presented with a choice: agree to pay a fine or challenge the ticket at a later hearing. Failing to pay, they were told, could bring adult consequences, from losing their driving privileges to harming their future credit scores.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (April 22-28)
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“We’re leaving because it’s not worth it anymore.” A record number of Texas teachers left their jobs mid-year before their contracts expired, even though that means the state can cancel or suspend their teaching certificate. School districts reported the teachers who left their jobs early to state officials, who received 471 reports about abandoned contracts, Brian Lopez and Jason Beeferman report for The Texas Tribune.

Latest News

Amid U.s. Culture Wars, Classrooms Become Brave Spaces For Honest Conversations

Parents, politicians and activists flooded school board meetings across the country in recent months, desperate to be heard. 

In 60-second sound bites, they exploded over masks, books and so-called critical race theory. Their voices often echoed across social media and fueled viral news segments.

But hours after those tense meetings end, teachers and students walked into schools, feeling the reverberations of the culture wars that have consumed American education.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (April 15-21)
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“Old fears about gay people are being combined with newer concerns—and newly developed political tools.” Education Week’s Stephen Sawchuk investigated what’s driving anti-LGBTQ legislation across the U.S., providing six insights he gleaned from conversations with political scientists, historians, LGBTQ advocates, legal scholars, and lawmakers.

Latest News

DeSantis Rejects Textbooks, One Publisher Allowed For K-5 Math Classes

Historically, when Florida school districts reevaluate which math instructional materials they will use, they have had more than one publisher to choose from.

Now, the only publisher approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education for K-5 mathematics is Accelerate Learning, a company out of Houston, Texas.

Latest News

Homeschooling Surge Continues Despite Schools Reopening

The coronavirus pandemic ushered in what may be the most rapid rise in homeschooling the U.S. has ever seen. Two years later, even after schools reopened and vaccines became widely available, many parents have chosen to continue directing their children’s educations themselves.

Homeschooling numbers this year dipped from last year’s all-time high, but are still significantly above pre-pandemic levels, according to data obtained and analyzed by The Associated Press.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (April 8-14)
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It’s “impossible to tell whether high schools are complying with the federal Title IX law unless someone complains,” KQED’s Kara Newhouse found during a months-long investigation for the Povich Center for Sports Journalism and Howard Center for Investigative Journalism. The U.S. Department of Education often undercounts the sports opportunities for boys, making it difficult for girls who believe they are being denied equal opportunities.

Latest News

Rutgers B-School Faked Jobs for Graduates to Inflate Its Rankings, Lawsuit Says

Rutgers University’s Business School inflated its rankings by creating fake jobs for its graduates, according to an accusation leveled in a whistle-blower lawsuit filed on Friday.

Deidre White, the business school’s human-resources manager, claims in her lawsuit that the university created bogus jobs to show that the school’s graduates had no trouble finding employment. But after she exposed the purported scheme and refused to comply with it, White asserts, she faced illegal harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

Latest News

Author Jason Tharp Banned From Reading ‘It’s Okay To Be A Unicorn’ At Ohio School

On April 6, as author Jason Tharp prepared to read “It’s Okay to Be a Unicorn!” to students the next day at an elementary school in the Buckeye Valley Local School District, north of Columbus, he got a call from the principal saying higher-ups didn’t want him reading the book.

“I just straight up asked him, ‘Does somebody think I made a gay book?’ ” Tharp said. “And he said, ‘Yes. … The concern is that you’re coming with an agenda to recruit kids to become gay.’ ”

Latest News

Author Jason Tharp Banned From Reading ‘It’s Okay To Be A Unicorn’ At Ohio School

On April 6, as author Jason Tharp prepared to read “It’s Okay to Be a Unicorn!” to students the next day at an elementary school in the Buckeye Valley Local School District, north of Columbus, he got a call from the principal saying higher-ups didn’t want him reading the book.

“I just straight up asked him, ‘Does somebody think I made a gay book?’ ” Tharp said. “And he said, ‘Yes. … The concern is that you’re coming with an agenda to recruit kids to become gay.’ ”

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (April 1-7)
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More than one quarter of superintendents plan to leave their posts “imminently” due to pandemic-era staffing challenges and 67-hour workweeks, a recent survey finds. Urban school districts, serving predominantly students of color, will likely be impacted the most, as superintendents leave these districts in higher numbers than those at suburban or rural districts, Marianna McMurdock reports for The 74.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (March 25-31)
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“She was born this way, all of our trans kids were born this way, and there is nothing wrong with them.” Oklahoma parents who have embraced their transgender children’s journeys contemplate leaving the state  because of a wave of anti-transgender bills, Ben Felder explains for The Oklahoman.

Latest News

Bills Target Transgender Kids; Families Worry About Future In Oklahoma

Betsy Colton watched her daughter become angry and anxious about deciding what to wear, struggle with outbursts and complain that she didn’t feel beautiful.

Assigned a male at birth, Gracie, now 7 years old, had always enjoyed playing with dolls, dressing up in girl’s clothing, and emulating her older sister. Gracie’s parents allowed her to play and dress how she wanted, as from an early age they could tell she didn’t identify with the gender assigned at her birth. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (March 18-24)
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A Fort Worth, Texas school district needs more dual-language instructors to keep up with an increasingly diverse student population. Bilingual teachers have larger workloads and teach more students than English-language-only instructors. To address these issues, the district is recruiting more Spanish-speaking teachers and building a college student-to-educator pipeline, Jacob Sanchez explains for the Fort Worth Report.

Latest News

A School Created A Homeless Shelter In The Gym And It Paid Off In The Classroom

The idea of optimizing school district property for evening and weekend use isn’t new, but Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 Community School (BVHM, for short) in San Francisco appears to be the first modern public elementary school to have hosted a long-term, overnight family shelter.

Some objected: Shelter should not be the responsibility of a school, they argued.

And yet, “We were the folks that were willing to do it,” said Nick Chandler, the BVHM community school coordinator.

Latest News

Does Not Equal

The fight for linguistic and cultural preservation predates statehood, given the assimilatory nature of Western education taught in New Mexico’s public schools. The struggle has been ongoing and, despite a massive victory through acknowledgment in a seminal court case, it continues through to today, an SFR analysis of fairness in the state’s education system finds.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (March 11-17)
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Teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was a crime in 1920s Kentucky, and back then, 20 other states also considered anti-evolution measures. The New Yorker’s Jill Lepore makes the connection between this centuries-old battle over public education with today’s efforts to restrict the way race is taught in public schools – showing how history repeats itself.  

Latest News

Progressive Candidates Prevail In School Board Elections Despite Passionate Campaigns On Right

In Bedford, teacher Andrea Campbell unseated a conservative school board member, as town officials recorded a 36 percent increase in turnout. 

In Exeter, five left-leaning candidates held off challenges from opponents on the right, many by slim margins.

And in Londonderry, voters opted against a warrant article that would have stripped away the authority of school officials to impose future mask mandates and made the wearing of masks optional for children and families.

Latest News

What Does It Mean To Build A College-Going Culture?

On San Antonio’s South Side, a handful of new buildings modeled after the city’s historic Spanish missions dot a large plot of land. Tan stone, arches and domes. It’s the home of San Antonio’s newest university: Texas A&M-San Antonio. There’s a strong argument that the existence of this campus could be a big part of the solution to San Antonio’s Latino college gap. Twelve years ago, it didn’t exist. And prior to that time, the only public four-year institution in town was on San Antonio’s whiter — and wealthier— North Side.

Latest News

School Counselors and Psychologists Remain Scarce Even as Needs Rise

Pine Grove Area High School, located in a small town in eastern Pennsylvania by the same name, closed its school building for the pandemic on Friday the 13th back in March 2020. In the nearly two years since, the social isolation, followed by the carousel of a hybrid schedule and the jolt of returning fully to school in person, has been hard on students’ mental health.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (February 25-March 3)
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Five scholars who were denied tenure spoke to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s reporters about the aftermath, including their loss of identity and livelihood. Switching to a non-tenure role isn’t always possible. Some higher ed systems prevent professors from ever working at the university in which they were denied tenure.

Latest News

‘They Should Be Embarrassed’: Advocates Criticize Indiana Senate For 0-50 Vote On Special Education Bill

In a rarely seen display of opposition, the Indiana Senate voted 0-50 this week to kill a piece of legislation that would have changed the way special education disputes between families and schools are resolved. 

Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) sponsored the legislation but didn’t plan to call it down for a vote on Tuesday because he knew it would fail. But Kruse said he was urged by Senate colleagues to bring House Bill 1107 to the floor. Some lawmakers switched their “yes” votes to “no” votes until only one “yes” remained: Kruse. 

Latest News

School Librarians Face Criticism In Fight Over Book Scrutiny

Amid a national spike in book challenges and bans, school librarians across Tennessee are quickly becoming the target of scorn and skepticism from Republican lawmakers and parents pushing for more oversight on what materials are provided to children.

“I don’t appreciate what’s going in our libraries, what’s being put in front of our children and shame on you for putting it there,” Republican Rep. Jerry Sexton told a group of librarians during a Tuesday hearing.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 18-24)
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Oakland’s Mills College is among the fewer than 40 women’s colleges left in the U.S. That number will shrink further this June when the 170-year-old college merges with Northeastern University in Boston, illustrating the financial challenges private colleges face and the shift to co-ed campuses, Juhi Doshi reports for CalMatters.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 11-17)
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Vanderbilt University researchers followed two groups of low-income students from pre-K to sixth grade, tracking their school readiness and performance on standardized tests. The students who started in a free public pre-K program did worse in school than those rejected from the program, resulting in bad news for the researchers and childhood advocates, reports Anya Kamenetz for NPR.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 4-10)
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Maryland’s largest school district named its next superintendent, the first woman in the role. The Montgomery County Public Schools board voted unanimously in favor of Monifa McKnight, who received a “no confidence” vote from the teachers’ union due to her pandemic response, Caitlynn Peetz details for Bethesda Magazine.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (January 28-February 3)
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LGBTQ students and others from marginalized backgrounds read school library books that reflect their lived experiences, but now these books and libraries are under attack. Librarians fear for their safety or punishment as Texas conservatives and parents target hundreds of books on race, sexuality and gender for review or removal, Mike Hixenbaugh details for NBC News

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (January 21-27)
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Educators connected with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, seeing him as “one of their own,” but Cardona’s department has struggled with communicating to parents and responding to COVID-19, Linda Jacobson evaluates for The 74. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (January 14-20)
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Several Historically Black Colleges and Universities received millions in donations from anonymous donors last fall. The recipients of these unprecedented gifts plan to create scholarships for students with financial need, Mirtha Donastorg explains for The Plug

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (January 7-13)
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“All the books with Black protagonists were history or misery:” Jerry Craft wrote “New Kid” to give Black children the book he never had as a child, but his book got banned after a white mom involved in local Texas politics falsely labeled the book critical race theory. This American Life’s Chana Joffe-Walt interviews Craft, who based the book largely on his real-life experiences.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (December 31-January 6)
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Public schools are struggling to retain teachers of color, and the problem is expected to worsen, survey data shows. Black and Latino educators are most at-risk for departures due to “racially hostile school environments,” racial stress fatigue and poor working conditions, Sarah Carr reports for The Hechinger Report.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (December 23-30)
Some of EWA members' favorite stories of 2021:

Bethany Barnes investigated one high school’s problematic handling of allegations of sexual misconduct for the Tampa Bay Times.

What happens when the schools superintendent and a local comedian share the exact same name? Hijinks ensue, reported Olivia Krauth of The Louisville Courier-Journal.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (December 17-22)
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Chalkbeat Chicago’s Samantha Smylie reports on Illinois students who chronically missed school due to pandemic-caused problems, such as the death of loved ones, quarantines, and the school bus driver shortage.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (December 10-16)
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School board members gathered Facebook posts and records on an Arizona school district’s staff and parents, who unwittingly stumbled across the hundreds of files. Right-leaning media and politicians saw an opportunity to spur outrage after the “secret dossier” became public, reports Rachel Monroe for The New Yorker.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (December 3-9)
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Freelancer Allie Gross documented on Twitter the support Michiganders gave the family of Justin Shilling, a teen killed in the Oxford High School shooting. Community members silently stood under a hospital skywalk as the parents prepared to donate their son’s organs.

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.

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.

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.