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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

What Teachers Have Learned About Online Classes During COVID

For this story I talked to educators in six states, from California to South Carolina. For the most part they say things have improved since last spring. But they are close to burnout, with only a patchwork of support. They said the heart of the job right now is getting students connected with school and keeping them that way — both technologically and even more importantly, emotionally. Here are five lessons learned so far.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

COVID At Daycare: Online Preschool Means Fewer Ready For Kindergarten

Cheryse Singleton-Nobles knows her 2-year-old son is regressing.

While the toddler is getting the hang of colors, numbers and shapes, she says, “he’s back to the stage of ‘me, me, me.’” He doesn’t want to share anymore. He struggles to follow a routine and gets distracted by all his toys. 

Singleton-Nobles, 47, attributes this backtracking to the COVID-19 pandemic, which recently forced her son’s free Chicago preschool to close its campus. 

Latest News

Ex-Teacher’s Union Boss Makes Play to be Biden’s Education Chief

The former president of the nation’s largest teachers union is working to lock up support from Republican senators and Hispanic leaders in her bid to be picked as Education secretary, according to officials familiar with the talks.

Lily Eskelsen García is expected to score the backing of more than 40 Hispanic groups finalizing a letter endorsing her for the position this week. She has also strategized in recent weeks with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the retiring chair of the Senate committee that oversees education and himself a former Education secretary.

Latest News

California Fails Equal Education Amid COVID-19, Lawsuit Says

The state of California has failed during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide a free and equal education to all students, violating the state Constitution and discriminating against Black, Latino and low-income families, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

These children have been left behind during months of distance learning, lacking access to digital tools as well as badly needed academic and social-emotional supports, according to the lawsuit filed by the Public Counsel on behalf of California students, parents and several community organizations.

Latest News

Pantyhose and Trash Bags: How Music Programs Are Surviving in the Pandemic

In 13 years of playing flute, Gabriella Alvarez never imagined playing with a clear plastic trash bag around her instrument. Kevin Vigil never foresaw his fellow tuba players wrapping pantyhose around their instrument bells.

And neither expected to watch their marching band at New Mexico State University play through cloth face masks, separated by six-foot loops of water pipe, with bags filled with hand sanitizer and disinfectant strapped around their waists.

But this is band practice in a pandemic.

Latest News

Amid A Pandemic, A Reckoning For A Chicago Charter Turning Away From ‘No Excuses’  

At Noble Charter Network, the school year usually starts with a pep rally. This year, students tuned in to a video — preceded by a trigger warning — showing a series of news stories about the police killings, protests, and pandemic that have made 2020 a year like no other.

Afterward, in a virtual town hall, Noble’s leaders apologized for past actions they said hurt Black students, from punitive discipline policies to steering students away from historically Black colleges and universities.

Latest News

Europe’s Schools Stay Open In COVID Second Wave, While U.s. Schools Close

When European schools reopened their classrooms in the spring, after the first wave of the coronavirus had crested, some parents expressed concern their children were being used as “guinea pigs” in a dangerous experiment. But to the extent that European schools have acted as laboratories for the world, the findings eight months later are largely positive.

Latest News

Many Parents Concerned Students Are Falling Behind, According To Poll On Pandemic Education Models

Parents of K-12 students participating in hybrid learning models have a more pessimistic outlook on the impacts of this pandemic-disrupted school year than those whose kids are receiving entirely remote or fully in-person education, a new poll shows.

The survey, conducted by the MassINC Polling Group and sponsored by The Barr Foundation, found that around half or more of parents anticipate the current school year will have negative effects on their children’s academic learning, mental or emotional health, opportunities for friendships, and social or behavioral skills.

Latest News

Texas Families Say Remote Learning Isn’t Working And They Want It Fixed

Almost midway through the school year, it has become increasingly clear that virtual learning is failing a sizable number of Texas public school students whose parents decided to keep them home as COVID-19 grips the state.

The disturbing number of students posting failing grades while trying to learn in front of computer screens has also brought into sharper focus the failure of state education and political leaders to prepare for an academic year they knew would be like no other.

Latest News

Are Test Score Gaps Growing? A Simple Question Remains a Research Mystery

Some of the country’s leading education experts recently gathered virtually to discuss a simple but weighty question: Are the gaps in test scores between children from low-income and wealthy families closing?

Then something puzzling happened.

No one could answer the question. Or, more precisely, no one could agree on the answer. One researcher claimed the gap was growing, another said it was shrinking, and a third argued that it hadn’t changed much in decades.

Latest News

Kids in NYC Juvenile Lockups Can’t Be Seen or Heard by Teachers During Remote Learning

The closure of city public school buildings Thursday also marked the end of in-person classes for another population of New York City youngsters: kids being held in juvenile lockups.

But for the 141 minors jailed citywide, remote learning means a system where they cannot be seen or heard by their teachers during school hours.

They can only communicate with their instructors via text chat, according to teachers and other sources familiar with the system.

Latest News

Virginia Teacher Uses George Floyd Killing As Quiz Question

A high school teacher in Arlington gave students a question that asked them to insert the name of a chemical element to fill out a sentence describing how George Floyd died beneath the knee of a Minneapolis police officer in May.

“George Floyd couldn’t breathe because a police officer put his ____ George’s neck,” the question read. The answer was the chemical element “neon.”

Latest News

Europe Is Locked Back Down, But Most Schools Stay Open

Bars, restaurants, theaters, gyms, and museums here are closed for the month of November as cases of COVID-19 in Germany top 20,000 per day, four times as many as the previous highs of April. Unlike what took place in April, though, most schools and daycares remain open while social life is restricted.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Nov. 13-19)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

For St. Louis Public Radio, Ryan Delaney and Elle Moxley cover how some European countries are keeping schools open.

The Seattle TimesJoy Resmovits takes a look at where the Biden administration will likely land on a variety of education issues. 

The Hechinger Report’s Jon Marcus covers the pandemic’s impact on getting underrepresented students to and through college. 

Latest News

Community College Enrollment Falls As Students Grapple With Job Loss, Online Learning

David Lewis was just a few credits shy of earning his associate’s degree in journalism from Long Beach City College when the pandemic hit.

Lewis, 29, was already encountering scheduling conflicts between his classes and a new job at Trader Joe’s. As the assignments for his online classes started to pile up, he struggled to keep pace. In March, he left school. 

Latest News

Pasco’s Sheriff Uses Grades And Abuse Histories To Label Schoolchildren Potential Criminals. The Kids And Their Families Don’t Know

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office keeps a secret list of kids it thinks could “fall into a life of crime” based on factors like whether they’ve been abused or gotten a D or an F in school, according to the agency’s internal intelligence manual.

The Sheriff’s Office assembles the list by combining the rosters for most middle and high schools in the county with records so sensitive, they’re protected by state and federal law.

Latest News

Inside the Lives of Immigrant Teens Working Dangerous Night Shifts in Suburban Factories

Here in the Chicago suburb of Bensenville, and in places like it throughout the country, Guatemalan teenagers spend their days in class learning English and algebra and chemistry. At night, while their classmates sleep, they work to pay debts to smugglers and sponsors, to contribute to rent and bills, to buy groceries and sneakers, and to send money home to the parents and siblings they left behind.

Latest News

Florida Teachers, Students Adjust To School During During Covid-19

In 29 years as a teacher, Finkle has never seen anything like this.  Districts around the country — the world, really — scrambled at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic to provide learning opportunities, but it’s the classroom teachers who are still struggling to execute those plans.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Texas Teacher Resigns Due To In-Person Class Policy

An Arlington U.S. history teacher resigned due to the school district’s in-person instruction policies, and nearly 600 people have signed a petition for the district to allow her to teach from home.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Higher Ed Workers with the Lowest Pay Suffer Highest Job Losses During Pandemic

Eugenia Bradford believed her job was safe. After all, she was the only administrative assistant for college advising services at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Who else would schedule appointments or supervise work-study students if she were gone?

But weeks before the fall semester began in August, Bradford’s boss told her the department was downsizing and her position would be eliminated. The university offered to pay her through mid-October, but after that she was on her own. No more health insurance. No more peace of mind.

Latest News

Covid-19 Caused International Enrollments to Plummet This Fall. They Were Already Dropping.

The number of international students at American colleges plunged this fall, according to a just-released survey by the Institute of International Education, with new enrollments diving 43 percent as tens of thousands of students stuck overseas because of the pandemic deferred their admission or called off their studies altogether.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Schools Struggling to Stay Open Get Hit by Ransomware Attacks

Schools around the U.S. are fighting a wave of increasingly aggressive ransomware attacks by hackers. The U.S. Treasury Department warned last month that ransomware attacks in general have increased during the coronavirus pandemic—and districts make an especially tempting target due to their often thinly staffed technology departments and networks full of personal data.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Nov. 6-12)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

Samantha Smylie of Chalkbeat Chicago reports on young adults with disabilities who face an abrupt disruption of transitional programming that is intended to launch them into adulthood.

Black and Indian-American girls find inspiration and hope in the first female vice president, reports a team from The Dallas Morning NewsEducation Lab

Latest News

Detroit District Halts In-Person Learning Due To Uptick In Covid-19 Cases

The Detroit school district is suspending in-person learning and its learning centers until at least January 11 due to an increase of positive COVID-19 cases in the city. The closures are effective beginning Friday.

The district joins several other school districts in Michigan shifting to all remote learning.

“Based on this week’s reporting, the infection rate will reach 6% or higher by Friday. There are no signs that these rising numbers will decrease soon,” superintendent Nikolai Vitti wrote in an email to staff Thursday morning.

Latest News

U.S. Appeals Court Rejects Challenge To Harvard’s Race-Based Admissions Practices

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday upheld Harvard University’s use of race in undergraduate admissions, rejecting a challenge by affirmative action opponents who said the school’s policy discriminates against Asian-Americans.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston rejected the claims by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), a nonprofit founded by anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum that gained the support of Republican President Donald Trump’s administration.

Latest News

San Antonio’s Popular City-Run Pre-K Program Wins Another 8 Years

San Antonio voters overwhelmingly elected to renew the city’s popular pre-k program, PreK 4 SA, drowning out any remaining questions about the program’s benefits.

The eight-year-old early childhood education initiative has so far served over 12,000 students in its four brick and mortar centers, with additional estimates near 200,000 served by professional development programs and grants to other pre-k providers.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Oct. 30-Nov. 5)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

The Arizona Republic’s Lily Altavena examines Arizona’s 5% student enrollment decline, including a 14% drop in kindergarteners.

Eric Kelderman of The Chronicle of Higher Education looks at the connection between education level and political affiliation and what that schism could mean for the future of higher ed.

Latest News

Universal Preschool Measure Passes, Meaning New Income Tax For Multnomah County’s Highest Earners

Multnomah County’s highest earners will foot the bill for a universal preschool system that prioritizes access for Black, Indigenous and other communities of color, as voters supported the measure.

The county-backed Preschool For All initiative won majority support in partial returns, with 64.2% of voters backing it as of 9:50 p.m.

The preschool measure is a 1.5% tax on incomes of more than $125,000 per year and joint filings topping $250,000.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Oct. 23-29)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

“Yet for some of those for whom virtual school is viable, the current disruption has opened up a new world: education without daily anxiety about racism,” writes Melinda D. Anderson in her op-ed for The New York Times.

EdSource’s Theresa Harrington covers local and statewide measures that seek to give 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in local and national elections.

Key Coverage

What Missouri Schools Can Learn From How Germany Has Handled School Reopenings

In St. Louis, many public school districts are just beginning to bring students back for in-person instruction. Saying it’s still not safe, other districts continue to offer only a virtual model. But in Germany, things look much different. School was in session last spring, and it resumed in person again in August — and not just for little kids, either.

Key Coverage

How German Students Have Been Back At School Since Spring, While Missourians Are Just Returning

It’s halfway through the fall semester, and many students in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas are just now trickling back into classrooms. Thousands are still learning from home. Meanwhile, in most of Europe, schools have been open since August with students attending in person daily.

A robust public health system, hygiene measures and targeted quarantines of students and staff exposed to the coronavirus get the credit. But that early success could soon be put to the test as cold weather arrives along with a resurgence of cases of the coronavirus.

Latest News

U.S. States Face Biggest Cash Crisis Since the Great Depression

Nationwide, the U.S. state budget shortfall from 2020 through 2022 could amount to about $434 billion, according to data from Moody’s Analytics, the economic analysis arm of Moody’s Corp. The estimates assume no additional fiscal stimulus from Washington, further coronavirus-fueled restrictions on business and travel, and extra costs for Medicaid amid high unemployment.

Latest News

Opinion: ‘You’re Out of Your Mind if You Think I’m Ever Going Back to School’

“You’re out of your mind if you think I’m ever going back to school.”

Awo Okaikor Aryee-Price, a Black mother of two who lives in Florham Park, N.J., initially laughed off the pronouncement her 13-year-old made in March after the Covid-19 pandemic closed the state’s schools. But it became clear that her daughter, Saige, was serious.

Latest News

Colorado Parents, Here’s What To Ask Your Child’s School About Reading

A 2019 state law toughened up rules on how Colorado schools teach reading — establishing new training requirements for teachers and placing guardrails on the kind of curriculum schools can use in kindergarten through third grade.

But for the average parent, figuring out if schools are using proven approaches to reading instruction and following the new state rules still isn’t easy.

Read the full story here.