A federal judge on Monday rejected a proposed settlement between the Trump administration and defrauded borrowers after the Education Department revealed its widespread denials of requests for student debt cancellation.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup in the Northern District of California blasted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for denying 94 percent of the debt relief claims the department has processed since reaching the agreement in April.
The pandemic-driven recession has forced states to slash their education budgets. School funding experts worry districts will have to make devastating cuts if the federal government doesn’t help soon.
Despite widespread concerns, two new international studies show no consistent relationship between in-person K-12 schooling and the spread of coronavirus. And a third study from the United States shows no elevated risk to childcare workers who stayed on the job.
Combined with anecdotal reports from a number of U.S. states where schools are open, as well as a crowdsourced dashboard of around 2000 U.S. schools, some medical experts are saying it’s time to shift the discussion from the risks of opening K-12 schools to the risks of keeping them closed.
One of Thomas Jefferson High School’s Few Black Students Speaks Up About the Magnet School’s Lack of Diversity
Didi Elsyad realized that the years at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology — whose student body is 70 percent Asian, 20 percent White and less than 2 percent Black — had broken her confidence, converted self-love to self-loathing. And that drove a second realization: Didi never wanted another Black student to feel the way she had.
Read the full story here.
American colleges botched the pandemic from the very start. Caught off guard in the spring, most of them sent everyone home in a panic, in some cases evicting students who had nowhere else to go. School leaders hemmed and hawed all summer about what to do next and how to do it.
For years, students in Richmond Public Schools have scored among the lowest in Virginia on state math exams. The district recently adopted a new math curriculum, “Eureka Math,” in an effort to turn those scores around.
‘Don’t Get Gaggled’: Minneapolis School District Spends Big on Student Surveillance Tool, Raising Ire After Terminating Its Police Contract
Minneapolis education leaders have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars this year to surveil children online, even after the district ended its police department contract and launched school safety reforms that officials said would build trust between adults and students.
Emily Oster is a professor of economics at Brown University. She’s also known for her data-driven approach to parenting, which she’s outlined in her two books, Expecting Better and Cribsheet. Earlier this year, Oster brought her parenting approach to an email newsletter that was supposed to cover everything from baby carriers to allergies.
But when the coronavirus upended everything, Oster started writing about making decisions during this time of uncertainty. Like: is it safe for kids to see their grandparents?
Madeline “Madi” Portes keeps a bucket list full of things like visiting Paris and taking violin lessons. But No. 1 was always to get her college degree, and she never forgot that as the years went by.
Portes, of Clermont, failed several times to finish her schooling, coming from poor roots and unable to afford her classes as a working adult. Maybe this was her shot at age 61 to finally get it done when Walt Disney Co. announced in 2018 it would pay tuition upfront — and books, too — for its hourly employees.
DENVER — According to Assistant Principal Jennifer Anderson, the mission and vision of Noel Community Arts School in Denver is to create artists, activists, and innovators.
Those ideals were on display when students from the school partnered with the mayor’s office to create murals and paintings to cover up shattered windows at the Denver City and County Building.
The building’s windows were shattered following protests against racial injustice in late May.
As a wall of flame drew closer to the northernmost reaches of the UC Santa Cruz campus, Saxon Stahl knew an evacuation order was imminent.
Stahl, a student living on campus during summer session, had been following the progress of the CZU Lightning Complex fires that started Aug. 16. By the time the email for voluntary evacuations reached Stahl’s inbox the afternoon of Aug. 20, they leapt at the chance, accepting a voucher to stay at a hotel four miles south.
They fled the ash raining from the sky, but the smell of campfire lingered still.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, public university cupboards were already pretty bare.
Two decades of declining state appropriations and repeated financial crisis left schools struggling. The two-year state budget impasse that ended in 2017, when schools limped by with limited state funding, nearly did some schools in.
And now, the pandemic.
Faculty at the University of South Florida learned Wednesday that the university will be eliminating its College of Education, a program that had once been the fifth largest college of education in the country.
The school plans to phase out its bachelor’s of education degree over the next few years, as the current students enrolled in the program finish. The master’s program will be shifted into another college, and the university will close the door on its College of Education.
The State University of New York at Oneonta on Thursday announced the abrupt resignation of its president only weeks after it experienced the most severe coronavirus outbreak of any public university in the state.
The departure of the president, Barbara Jean Morris, is one of the most high-profile over the coronavirus crisis, which has thrown many colleges and universities across the country into turmoil as they try to maintain some semblance of campus life during the outbreak.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a significant toll on school enrollment in Wisconsin – especially in the youngest grades.
Public schools experienced an about 3% decline in student numbers this fall – compared to less than 1% decline last year. The biggest drop is in 4-year-old kindergarten. 4K numbers fell by about 16% this fall. Regular kindergarten enrollment fell by about 5%.
‘Right Now, All Students are Mobile’: New Pandemic Data Confirms a ‘Massive Event’ Disrupting School Enrollment
The Greenville County Schools in South Carolina was expecting enrollment to increase by about 1,000 students this fall, continuing a recent pattern driven by affordable home prices and accolades for “livability.” But instead of hitting the estimate of 78,000 students, officials are predicting a precipitous drop to about 74,000.
About two-thirds of Volusia County middle and high school students taking part in remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic have at least one D or F grade, according to progress report data from the district.
Read the full story here.
Three weeks into the academic year, Veronica Macario’s 10-year-old son had yet to attend class at Manzanita Community School. He had a laptop from the school. He’d received directions on how to log into classes. “But since he doesn’t understand English,” Macario explained in Spanish, “he didn’t understand anything.”
Congress and Trump Administration Remain Deadlocked Over a Bill That Would Provide Billions for Schools
As talks over the economic recovery package remain in jeopardy, public schools may once again lose out on tens of billions of federal aid, money they say they desperately need to reopen as they face mounting costs and shrinking budgets.
The majority of America’s public school students are learning exclusively online, according to a new national poll of their parents — and most of those parents want school officials to focus on improving that experience.
Orange County, Fla., has 18,000 missing students. The Miami-Dade County public schools have 16,000 fewer than last year. Los Angeles Unified — the nation’s second-largest school system — is down nearly 11,000. Charlotte-Mecklenburg in North Carolina has 5,000 missing. Utah, Virginia, and Washington are reporting declines statewide.
For The Washington Post’s second story in their series on George Floyd’s America, Laura Meckler looks at Floyd’s dreams as a high schooler and the education system that fails students like him.
"He said, `I’m gonna be big. I’m gonna touch the world.’ " Remarkable narrative storytelling by @laurameckler of high schooler George Floyd's dreams of life beyond poverty, crime and drugs in Houston's Third Ward. She's my pick for this week's #tellEWA. https://t.co/mucyzKVtBN
"He said, `I’m gonna be big. I’m gonna touch the world.’ " Remarkable narrative storytelling by @laurameckler of high schooler George Floyd's dreams of life beyond poverty, crime and drugs in Houston's Third Ward. She's my pick for this week's #tellEWA. https://t.co/mucyzKVtBN— Emily Richmond (@EWAEmily) October 14, 2020
For The New York Times, Alina Tugend, Phyllis W. Jordan and Mark A. Stein highlight examples of creativity in a time of crisis.
Larry Gordon of EdSource covers the pandemic’s impact on the college application and recruiting process.
The teen was sitting on his living room couch watching another episode of “The Office” when the email popped up on his cellphone. Isaiah Marquez-Greene skimmed past the opening two paragraphs until, at the third, he paused: “This decision to open campus …” He was thrilled. Four months into the pandemic, Isaiah, 16, longed to play hockey, to see his friends, to return for his sophomore year to the Connecticut boarding school he had worked so hard to get into. Maybe this news meant all those things would happen, he thought for a moment, before the reality of who he is came back to him.
As the Sonoma Valley school district and Boys & Girls Club search for more space to hold distance learning pod programs for young students, they have more than enough space and are searching for teens to fill seats in their teen pod program, officials said.
“It’s kind of disappointing the number of kids coming for distance learning,” at the teen center, said Becky Jo Peterson, executive director of Teen Services Sonoma, which has merged its services with the teen programs of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley.
As plans to reopen schools have ramped up across the country, so too have administrators’ efforts to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
That’s why many districts have turned to contact tracing, a system that aims to identify and alert those who may have been exposed to students and staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19.
How that’s accomplished varies widely from district to district. And while, overall, experts say these efforts are off to a good start, some methods have raised concerns about student privacy.
But choosing to let her daughter go to school also reveals Castro’s distrust of remote learning. She believes that when Bedford went completely virtual in March, it compromised the learning experience for students. Let down in the spring, she chose the hybrid learning option for this school year.
Read the full story here.
The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities are in “budget crisis ” and in need of a $69 million bailout, CSCU President Mark Ojakian told the governor Monday.
Read the full story here.
As elected officials, teachers, and parents grapple with how to educate children in the middle of a pandemic, some schools are turning to the great outdoors: pitching tents, buying rain boots, and roughing it with their students in the elements. The catalyst for the move is that the risk of coronavirus transmission is much lower outside, though students at Hartsbrook School, a K-12 private school in Western Massachusetts, and other outdoor schools, still wear masks and stay socially distant.
In his new series, The Atlantic’s Adam Harris profiles the students who desegregated American schools.
Take some time with @TheAtlantic's @AdamHSays' remarkable series on what breaking new ground to desegregate schools was really like, featuring brave student voices many of us have never heard. It's my pick for this week's @EdWriters #tellEWA. https://t.co/DUtnDKHiKt
Take some time with @TheAtlantic's @AdamHSays' remarkable series on what breaking new ground to desegregate schools was really like, featuring brave student voices many of us have never heard. It's my pick for this week's @EdWriters #tellEWA. https://t.co/DUtnDKHiKt— Emily Richmond (@EWAEmily) September 30, 2020
In recent years, a number of politically appointed public university boards have used their broad powers to wade into contentious territory that often splits along partisan lines, reports a team from The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Really powerful reporting from The Chronicle here depicting how college governing boards at most flagship universities have moved further right politically, often in contrast with their more left-leaning faculty & students #tellewa https://t.co/iOXfEM8u4u
Really powerful reporting from The Chronicle here depicting how college governing boards at most flagship universities have moved further right politically, often in contrast with their more left-leaning faculty & students #tellewa https://t.co/iOXfEM8u4u— Allison Kowalski (@ally_kowalski) September 28, 2020
THE CHILD CARE SYSTEM in the U.S. was already at a tipping point prior to the coronavirus pandemic – too few options, astronomical costs and workers earning some of the lowest wages in the country.
But when COVID-19 infection rates spiked last spring, triggering the closures of thousands of child care centers across the country, many without plans to ever reopen, the crisis catapulted into the collective conscience and onto the center stage of the presidential election.
Zulayka McKinstry’s once silly, sociable daughter has stopped seeing friends, talking to siblings and trusting anyone — changes Ms. McKinstry dates to the day in January 2019 when her daughter’s school principal decided that “hyper and giddy” were suspicious behaviors in a 12-year-old girl.
Ms. McKinstry’s daughter was sent to the nurse’s office and forced to undress so that she could be searched for contraband that did not exist.
As schools in the Washington area inch toward reopening, a question looms: whether and how school districts will report coronavirus cases among students and staff.
Reporting policies vary district-to-district across D.C., Maryland and Virginia, but many school systems in the region are opting to stay mostly mum. Some school officials say they are not tracking or publishing data on school-related virus cases — only notifying people who may have come into contact with infected individuals.
Chaos. That’s the effect COVID-19 has had on America’s system of higher education, which was already struggling before the pandemic. One need look no further than the current state of affairs at the College Board, long regarded as an impenetrable fortress among the ivory towers.
When Ajuah Helton was a college student, her financial aid package came up a few thousand dollars short. What happened next threw her off course. Her mom took out a high-interest federal loan that she ultimately couldn’t repay.
As social distancing ramped up last spring, many after-school programs moved from in-person to providing online activities in efforts to keep kids engaged. As of early April, three out of four after-school programs were not operating on a normal schedule. Seventy-eight percent were providing remote services or using other ways to stay connected. Some programs provided lunches, groceries and diapers for families hard hit by the pandemic.
Young children from predominantly white neighborhoods in Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens have returned in droves to public school campuses, while the vast majority of students in poor, high-minority neighborhoods continue to learn from home.
Overall, little more than a third of the 170,000 students enrolled in Palm Beach County public schools showed up for in-person classes when schools reopened last week.
More than 50 doctoral programs in the humanities and social sciences won’t be admitting new students in the fall of 2021 — a response to the pandemic and ensuing economic turmoil. It’s a sort of financial triage to help the programs devote funding to their current students, many of whom will be delayed in completing their degrees because of the disruptions. Suspending admissions for a year, some administrators say, will also allow them to reimagine their doctoral curricula to account for the flagging Ph.D. job market.
The University of Georgia has faced criticism in recent days from Black and Hispanic student leaders and organizations that it has not adequately responded to discrimination complaints.
The complaints stem from incidents involving crude images, sexist language and racial slurs, the students say. They want leadership at the state’s flagship university to enact measures that result in a better learning environment for students of color.
A hacker published documents containing Social Security numbers, student grades and other private information stolen from a large public-school district in Las Vegas after officials refused a ransom demanded in return for unlocking district computer servers.
It was a long time coming; 140 years, in fact.
When Republicans seized control of both chambers of North Carolina’s General Assembly, in 2010, for the first time in more than a century, they quickly set about remaking a politically moderate state that Barack Obama had carried in the presidential election just two years earlier.
Shemar, a twelve-year-old from East Baltimore, is good at math, and Karen Ngosso, his fourth-grade math teacher, at Abbottston Elementary School, is one reason why. “I would try to pump him up and tell him, ‘You’re a good student,’ ” she said. But she knew that he didn’t get enough sleep, and he was often absent. His home situation, like those of many of her students, was unstable: his mother suffered from drug addiction, and they moved frequently.
Almost every waiver application for in-person instruction for grades K-6 has been approved by the state for schools in counties deemed a high risk. But private schools comprise an overwhelming majority of those schools, creating an equity problem.
Although some school districts publish detailed data about coronavirus case counts, others reveal little or no information, reports Ty Tagami of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Excellent example of accountability journalism in the COVID-19 era by @Ty_Tagami: Request the data, be skeptical of blanket statements on "privacy," and push back on districts that aren't following the law. He's my pick for @edwriters #tellEWA. https://t.co/A0ZIIKMt95
Excellent example of accountability journalism in the COVID-19 era by @Ty_Tagami: Request the data, be skeptical of blanket statements on "privacy," and push back on districts that aren't following the law. He's my pick for @edwriters #tellEWA. https://t.co/A0ZIIKMt95— Emily Richmond (@EWAEmily) September 24, 2020
EdSurge’s Jeffrey R. Young covers what’s left of campus life for students to enjoy at a time of social isolation and how professors are coping.
So much of what makes college valuable happens in informal conversations among students, or students and profs, that are happening less due to COVID restrictions. Hear the latest in our campus diaries podcast series. #TellEWA https://t.co/nqXBRx4fFn
So much of what makes college valuable happens in informal conversations among students, or students and profs, that are happening less due to COVID restrictions. Hear the latest in our campus diaries podcast series. #TellEWA https://t.co/nqXBRx4fFn— Jeff Young (@jryoung) September 23, 2020
A snapshot of fall enrollment shows fewer students are pursuing undergraduate degrees this semester as the coronavirus continues to sow fears of infection and devastate the economy.
The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center on Thursday released its first look at fall enrollment through Sept. 10, confirming what many in higher education already suspected: that the public health crisis would lower head counts at the nation’s colleges and universities.
In New York City, the nation’s largest school district, teachers and students of color say they don’t feel safe returning to school. Many of their schools lack windows that open, an ample supply of soap, masks or working ventilation systems — making it nearly impossible to navigate live classes in the middle of a pandemic.
An hour’s drive from the U.S. Capitol, about 27,000 Baltimore city school children — 1 in 3 students — do not have computers vital for virtual school. Thousands lack reliable wireless internet access.
America’s most widely used school rating system is overhauling its approach with a series of changes that will weaken the link between race, poverty, and school scores.
The website GreatSchools is rolling out the changes nationwide Thursday after introducing them for schools in California and Michigan in August. They are part of an effort by the site to make its ratings better reflect how much schools help students learn, rather than things like students’ prior academic achievement and poverty levels that schools don’t control.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed how K-12 schooling works for virtually all of its players: students, parents, teachers, administrators and staff.
This fall, add one more group: education researchers.
Their work is also fundamentally changed, since they often study and rely on the very pieces of the education puzzle that are missing in most places: open access to school buildings, in-person teacher-student interactions, reliable attendance data and scores on big end-of-year state assessments.
Around Georgia, groups of parents and teachers are criticizing what they see as a dangerous trend. Although some school districts publish detailed data about coronavirus case counts, others reveal little or no information.
Read the full story here.