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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 (July 29-August 4)
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“I’m so used to … being afraid of police. I just know how it is being Black in America.” Writing for The Hechinger Report, Rita Omokha speaks to teens and staff at Normandy High School – the alma mater of Michael Brown, who was killed by a white police officer eight years ago. She details how Brown’s death shaped their lives and explains the failures of segregated schools amid poverty in St. Louis.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (July 22-28)
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North Carolina is among several states that passed legislation requiring elementary schools to teach the “science of reading,” a less-frequently used approach in many schools. Training teachers how to apply the new reading practice has been challenging, costly and time-consuming in the state, Sarah Schwartz reports for an Education Week series.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (July 15-21)
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“You should be a lot more famous than you are.” A University of North Texas professor was part of a musical project that won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition last April. Lucinda Breeding-Gonzales profiles the longtime music teacher for the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (July 8-14)
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“I made myself a promise ages ago that when I get to a point where I no longer can dream in the classroom … that I would step away.” The Sahan Journal’s Becky Z. Dernbach speaks with the first Somali American to win Minnesota Teacher of the Year about why she is quitting teaching after 10 years. The second-grade teacher won the award in 2020.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (July 1-7)
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Latino families are leaving Denver, and neighborhoods they lived in for generations, due to rapid increases in housing costs and gentrification, which is also affecting student enrollment. Education officials are finding that classrooms are growing whiter as the percentage of Latino students declines in area schools, reports Jessica Seaman for The Denver Post.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (June 24-30)
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Nevada educators can’t find quality affordable housing at a time when schools are struggling to recruit and retain teachers. Housing costs have skyrocketed in the state, putting renting and buying a home out of reach for many educators with insufficient salaries and student loan debt, Rocío Hernández reports for The Nevada Independent.

Latest News

Nevada Teachers Feel Priced Out Of Homeownership, Living Alone

 Teachers across Nevada are feeling the squeeze of a hot housing market, rising inflation and largely stagnant wages. Education leaders are worried about what the state of the economy portends for educators who are struggling to afford housing at a time when schools are struggling to recruit and retain them.

Latest News

Hochul Stalls On Signing Mayoral Control, Small Class Size Bills

Angry lawmakers, parents and advocates rallied Wednesday in City Hall Park, calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill forcing New York City to lower class sizes. Separately, Hochul had yet to sign a bill extending mayoral control of New York City’s schools the day before it expired — though that caused no outcry.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (June 17-23)
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“I realized how much I’ve done this in my life, segmenting off parts of myself.” Adolfo Guzman-Lopez details growing up as an undocumented student in part six of the Imperfect Paradise podcast from LAist. Guzman-Lopez kept his status a secret from friends: He believed he would get kicked out of school, but he nearly spilled the beans during his last year of high school.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (June 11-16)
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National conservative groups are training communities to “take on school districts” over “so-called school indoctrination,” reports ProPublica’s Nicole Carr, who details how one such organized group in northern Georgia wrongly targeted a newly hired Black administrator whose job responsibilities focused on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (June 3-June 10)
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The isolation and stress of the COVID-19 era is harming young childrens’ brain development during a crucial development period, experts say. USA Today’s Alia Wong digs deep into the troubling trend for her EWA Reporting Fellowship project. 

Writing for City Limits in New York City, Gail Robinson explores efforts to restore arts education classes that had been devastated by budget cuts, and expand programs for the Big Apple’s high-need public school students.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (May 27-June 2)
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While there’s a national push to expand connectivity for the nation’s colleges and universities, rural communities are still far behind, reports Nick Fouriezos of Open Campus.

At the University of Central Florida, officials are laying out a new policy for who can get an honorary degree — and under what circumstances it might be revoked. Gabrielle Russon, writing for Florida Politics, looks at the controversy that sparked the changes. 

 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (May 20-26)
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“They knew this wasn’t a drill. We knew we had to be quiet or else we were going to give ourselves away.” A teacher spoke to NBC NewsMike Hixenbaugh on the condition she not be named, recounting the 35 minutes she and her students cried and prayed in their classroom as they heard continuous gunshots in Robb Elementary School. A gunman charged into the Uvalde, Texas, school, killing 19 children and two educators on May 24.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

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.

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.

Key Coverage

Out of School, Out of Work

In 2017, as many as 4.5 million young people—or 11.5 percent of young adults ages 16 to 24—were neither in school nor working, according to the nonprofit Measure of America. By the summer of 2020, the organization estimated, the ranks of these “disconnected” young adults had swelled to 6 million.

Read the full story here

Key Coverage

District Savings Are Running Dry Amid COVID-19, Putting Some Schools in Dire Straits

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, districts have been bombarded with unexpected costs: iPads for remote learning, jugs of bleach to disinfect classrooms, Plexiglas for safety dividers, hazard pay for janitors, and PD for remote teaching.

But the public school system’s fiscal infrastructure is infamously rigid, making it almost impossible for administrators to pivot suddenly and spend large chunks of money on anything other than big-ticket items such as teachers, administrators, and curriculum.

Latest News

How Germany Avoided A ‘Lost’ School Year

“Every day is new, and every day is different,” the children sing. But one thing that’s changed little for them this year - their daily presence in a classroom. Germany’s quick response to the pandemic in the spring allowed it to get some children back in schools after just a few weeks. And schools have remained open this fall, even as the country shut restaurants and gyms back down.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Nov. 27-Dec. 3)
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With an in-depth portrait of one second grader, The Washington Post’s Perry Stein looks at the high toll the pandemic is taking on students’ basic literacy skills in D.C. 

Writing for Chalkbeat, Jason Gonzales digs into whether the University of Colorado Boulder is meeting its mission to serve students from low-income families.  

Member Stories

May 31 – June 6
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

Despite privacy concerns, America’s schools are increasingly monitoring students’ online lives, reports Education Week’s Benjamin Herold.

WAMU’s Jenny Abamu continues exploring schools’ use of restraint and seclusion, and why it often goes unreported.

For USA Today, Erin Richards and Matt Wynn examine how teachers’ salaries stack up to the cost of living in cities across the country.

Report

(Report) Nonwhite School Districts Get $23 Billion Less Than White Districts Despite Serving the Same Number of Students

The story of our communities can in many ways be told through the lens of the school districts that serve our children. More than organizations that enable learning, school districts are geographic boundaries that serve as magnifying lenses that allow us to focus on issues of race and wealth. They are both a statement of “what is” and “what could be” in our society.

Report

Why Suburban Districts Need Public Charter Schools Too – Progressive Policy Institute

On November 8, 2016, while the rest of the world anxiously awaited the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, a subset of voters with a keen interest in education had their eyes on Massachusetts. This was the day Bay Staters would vote on Ballot Question 2, a proposal to raise the state’s cap on public charter schools by up to 12 new schools per year.

Report

Views Among College Students Regarding the First Amendment: Results From a New Survey

College students’ views on the First Amendment are important for another reason as well: Students act as de facto arbiters of free expression on campus. The Supreme Court justices are not standing by at the entrances to public university lecture halls ready to step in if First Amendment rights are curtailed. If a significant percentage of students believe that views they find offensive should be silenced, those views will in fact be silenced.

Report

As Cuomo Proposal Rekindles Free College Movement, New Research Provides Ammunition for Skeptics
Brookings Institution

In early January, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York announced his intention to make a public college education tuition-free for most students in the state. The proposal has breathed life back into the free college movement, which supporters feared would lose momentum under the incoming presidential administration. Instead, momentum has simply relocated (back) to the state level. Tennessee and Oregon already have their own “free college” initiatives, and just this week, Governor Gina Raimondo proposed a version for Rhode Island.

Report

Higher Education: 2016 Elections Wrap-Up and 2017 Federal Policy Preview
American Association of State Colleges and Universities

Higher education issues took a more prominent role in the 2016 elections than any time in recent memory, college affordability and student debt levels catapulted higher education to the top of domestic policy concerns. Both major party nominees for president, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, included higher education proposals in their policy agendas, with Clinton offering the most expansive, ambitious higher education plan than any other major party candidate in decades.

Report

Time for Action Building the Educator Workforce Our Children Need Now
Center on Great Teachers and Leaders

States are now deeply engaged in developing plans for their federal education spending for the next several years. Decades of experience and education research indicate that states must strengthen and organize the educator workforce to implement change successfully. Now is the time to rethink systems and strategies and to focus funds and efforts on what matters most for learning: great teachers and leaders for every student and school. 

Report

Teacher Effectiveness in the Every Student Succeeds Act: A Discussion Guide
Center on Great Teachers and Leaders

Systemic challenges in the educator workforce require thoughtful and bold actions, and ESSA presents a unique opportunity for states to reaffirm, modify, or improve their vision of educator effectiveness. This GTL Center discussion guide focuses on one challenge that states face as part of this work: defining ineffective teacher in the absence of highly qualified teacher (HQT) requirements.

Report

Changes in Income-Based Gaps in Parent Activities with Young Children from 1988-2012
American Educational Research Association

Numerous studies show large differences between economically advantaged and disadvantaged parents in the quality and quantity of their engagement in young children’s development. This “parenting gap” may account for a substantial portion of the gap in children’s early cognitive skills. However, researchers know little about whether the socioeconomic gap in parenting has increased over time. The present study investigates this question, focusing on income- (and education) based gaps in parents’ engagement in cognitively stimulating activities with preschool-aged children.

Report

The Promise and Peril of Predictive Analytics in Higher Education
New America

Predictive analytics–using massive amounts of historical data to predict future events–is a practice that’s making it easier and faster for colleges to decide which students to enroll and how to get them to graduation. But predictive analytics can aid in discriminatory practices, make institutional practices less transparent, and make vulnerable individuals’ data privacy and security.

Report

Black-White Disparity in Student Loan Debt More Than Triples After Graduation
Brookings Institution

The moment they earn their bachelor’s degrees, black college graduates owe $7,400 more on average than their white peers ($23,400 versus $16,000, including non-borrowers in the averages). But over the next few years, the black-white debt gap more than triples to a whopping $25,000. Differences in interest accrual and graduate school borrowing lead to black graduates holding nearly $53,000 in student loan debt four years after graduation—almost twice as much as their white counterparts.

Report

Seven Facts On Noncognitive Skills From Education To The Labor Market
The Hamilton Project

Cognitive skills—that is, math and reading skills that are measured by standardized tests—are generally understood to be of critical importance in the labor market. Most people find it intuitive and indeed unsurprising that cognitive skills, as measured by standardized tests, are important for students’ later-life outcomes. For example, earnings tend to be higher for those with higher levels of cognitive skills. What is less well understood—and is the focus of these economic facts—is that noncognitive skills are also integral to educational performance and labor-market outcomes.