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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

Feb. 9 – Feb. 15
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week.

In this Des Moines Register feature, Kathy Bolten looks at the plight of parents who are mortgaging their future for their children’s higher education through federal parent loans. 

 

Marta Jewson of The Lens reports that the last of the New Orleans’ traditional public schools are set to close or convert to charters. 

 

Latest News

D.C. Teachers Will Not Be Assessed on How Many Students They Pass

D.C. teachers’ annual assessments will not take into account how many students pass their classes this academic year, the school system said in an email to educators this week.

The announcement comes a month after a citywide investigation uncovered a culture where D.C. Public Schools teachers said they felt compelled to pass undeserving students to meet lofty graduation rate goals and keep their jobs.

A small portion of some teachers’ annual assessments hinged on whether enough students passed their classes.

Latest News

Confusion Over Major Higher Education Changes in Infrastructure Plan

Tacked on to the last three pages of the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan unveiled Monday are a handful of higher education policy changes that could have significant ramifications and have some policy experts scratching their heads about how and why they’ve turned up in an infrastructure proposal.

“This is pretty bizarre to include,” says Tamara Hiler, senior policy advisor and higher education campaign manager at Third Way.

Latest News

N.C. School District Votes to End Widely Used Sex Education Program Amid Outcry

A heated debate in North Carolina over teaching kids about sex highlights the difficulty for many school districts around the country. Cumberland County Board of Education voted Tuesday night to get rid of its Planned Parenthood sex education program after criticism from some parents. 

The internet, social media, and the #MeToo movement is shining a light on the issues of sex and consent, but it also raises questions about what kids should be taught, at what age, and by whom.

Latest News

Portland Public Schools Admits Retaliation Against Teacher Who Spoke out on Sexual Misconduct; Will Pay For Lost Wages

Portland Public Schools retaliated against a substitute teacher for reporting sexual misconduct by one of its employees, a district investigation has found.

A human resources investigation found Caprice, who has asked to only be identified by her first name, was iced out of substitute teaching positions because she reported to the district in 2012 that then-teacher Mitch Whitehurst had demanded oral sex from her and a friend when they were students in the 1980s.

Latest News

Federal Appeals Court Rules Alabama City Can’t Form School System, Finds Racial Motives

A federal appeals court ruled today that Gardendale can’t form its own school system and agreed with a judge’s finding that racial motives were involved in the attempt to split from the Jefferson County system.

The three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that U.S. District Court Judge Madeline Haikala rescind the part of her order from last year that allowed Gardendale to secede over a three-year period from Jefferson County schools and form its own system.

Latest News

OPINION: Where Was the Board At Michigan State?

Like many of you, I’ve been tracking the still unfolding story of sexual abuse on the campus of Michigan State University. While the resignation of the president in such difficult and tragic situations often marks the end of scandal and the start of rebuilding, I am afraid the fallout from this story may be far from over.

Latest News

Overwhelmed By Student Debt, Many Low-Income Students Drop Out

Leon was the first person in his family to go to college. His income is low enough that he qualified for a federal Pell grant, but even so he’d taken out more than $20,000 in loans to afford three years of school. When he quit, he joined more than 100,000 students in Georgia who took out federal loans and withdrew from the state’s public colleges and universities between 2013 and 2015. Across the country, almost a third of students who took out loans left before completing a degree, according to a report by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Latest News

(Opinion) The IPS Magnet School Conundrum

Three years ago, my wife and I moved downtown for the typical reasons: to enjoy the amenities of urban living; to be closer to interesting arts, dining, and nightlife opportunities; and to live among people who shared what we imagined were our socially progressive values.

Latest News

Thousands of Iowa Parents Are Going into Debt to Pay for Their Children’s College (and They Probably Shouldn’t)

When Dean and Lynne Lamp’s oldest son, Erik, headed off to attend Wartburg College in 2005, his scholarship and grants didn’t cover the cost of his tuition, room and board, and the family had no money saved to help him.

So, the Lamps took out a loan to pay the rest of their son’s expenses.

Latest News

Early-Childhood Programs Go From Famine to Feast in New Budget Deal

Federal early-childhood programs that were hanging by a thread, such as home visiting, are set to receive a new infusion of money thanks to the budget deal signed by President Donald Trump on Friday.

Other programs that support families and young children would also see additional funds under the bill, which calls for $300 billion in new military and domestic spending over two years. 

Latest News

How Palm Beach County’s Public Schools Buried Sex Abuse Claims Against a Star Teacher

The first time happened so slowly, so subtly, that the teenage boy thought it must have been a mistake – the hand of his mentor and one-time teacher straying across his leg and coming to rest on his groin.

The second time came a year later, and the boy, by then 16, would later tell police that this alleged encounter – prolonged, repeated, insistent – could not be confused with an accident. So shaken was the teen that he went home afterward and looked up the definition of molestation online.

Latest News

Security Costs Loom Larger in Campus Free-Speech Fights. A Lawsuit Shows Why.

The University of Washington’s College Republicans sued the university late Tuesday over its decision to charge the group $17,000 in security fees for a planned rally this weekend featuring a controversial conservative speaker.

The group called the fees “draconian and unreasonable” and argued that requiring sponsors to cover such costs is an illegal restriction on protected speech.

The university says that the fees are based on a number of objective factors, including threats of violence, and that even $17,000 probably won’t cover the cost of securing the event.

Latest News

Casting Controversy Derailed a High School Play. Then Came the Threats.

It started as a local debate over a New York high school production of the musical “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” A white teenager was cast in the lead role of Esmeralda, a 15th-century Roma woman, spurring young student activists to object.

Last month, after much discussion in the community, Ithaca High School pulled the show, aiming to replace it with something else. But the story doesn’t end there.

Latest News

How Betsy Devos Softened Her Message On School Choice

Betsy DeVos became famous — and infamous in some quarters — as the leader of an education movement that pushed for public funding for private schools, including religious education.

But a year into her tenure as President Donald Trump’s Education secretary, DeVos generally steers clear of the words, “school choice,” a phrase she once used often that’s freighted with racial, demographic and religious implications. Instead, she opts for gentler terms such as “innovation” and “blended learning,” and speaks of coming together and “finding solutions.”

Latest News

Idaho Stripped Climate Change From School Guidelines. Now, It’s a Battle.

The political fight over global warming has extended to science education in recent years as several states have attempted to weaken or block new teaching standards that included information about climate science. But only in Idaho has the state legislature stripped all mentions of human-caused climate change from statewide science guidelines while leaving the rest of the standards intact.

Latest News

Four States Raise Their Hands for ESSA Innovative Assessment Pilot

Four states—Arizona, Hawaii, Louisiana, and New Hampshire—told the U.S. Department of Education they are interested in applying to participate in the Every Student Succeeds Act’s Innovative Assessment Pilot. 

That list isn’t necessarily the final word. The department encouraged states that think they may apply to raise their hands early this month. But formal applications aren’t due April 2. Additional states could jump in, or any of the four could change its mind. 

Latest News

The 9th Graders of 2009, 7 Years Later

Nearly three-quarters of ninth graders tracked in a major federal study had received some kind of postsecondary education or training within seven years — and nearly a quarter of them had left their programs without a credential of any sort.

Of the 28 percent of respondents to the survey who were ninth graders in 2009 but had not enrolled in any postsecondary program by February 2016, more than four in 10 cited financial factors as the reason, and roughly the same proportion earned $10,000 or less in 2015.

Latest News

With DACA in Limbo, Teachers Protected by the Program Gird for the Worst

Karen Reyes spends her days teaching a group of deaf toddlers at Lucy Read Pre-Kindergarten School in Austin, Tex., how to understand a world they cannot hear.

For the first time in her four-year teaching career, Ms. Reyes, 29, is at a loss. One of nearly 9,000 educators protected under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, Ms. Reyes has struggled to explain to her students, through sign language and pictures, the uncertainty of her future.

Latest News

Republicans Stuff Education Bill With Conservative Social Agenda

A 590-page higher-education bill working its way through Congress is a wish list for a wide range of people, groups and colleges saying that their First Amendment rights — freedom of speech, religion or assembly — are being trampled. Many of them are religious, right-leaning or both, and the Republicans behind the bill have eagerly taken up the cause, correcting what they see as antipathy toward conservative beliefs on American campuses.

Latest News

Cafeteria Inspections Reveal Critical Health Violations at New York City Schools

At Public School 398 in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, elementary school students were offered a lunch of beef patties, zucchini and pears on March 20. A city health inspector discovered some unappetizing conditions in the cafeteria and kitchen that day: live roaches and close to 600 fresh mice droppings – all conditions primed to cause illness.

Latest News

Can A School Ban Its Students From Kneeling During The National Anthem?

What started as a demonstration among professional athletes against racism and police brutality has spread to high school athletes, including cheerleaders, and ignited debate over students’ First Amendment rights. Half a century after the US Supreme Court ruled that an Iowa high school had illegally barred students from protesting the war in Vietnam, V.A.’s lawsuit could set new precedents on free speech protections for public school students.

Member Stories

Jan. 25 – Feb. 1
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week.

Andrew Ujifusa and colleagues from Education Week are reporting from Puerto Rico — and its schools — about ongoing efforts to recover from devastation Hurricane Maria wreaked four months ago. 

 

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, Megan Burks of KPBS examines San Diego Unified’s revamped sex ed. curriculum, which emphasizes consent and communication. 

 

Latest News

Tennessee’s Mediocre Teacher Training Programs Prompt ‘Interventions’ With University Presidents

Armed with sobering data about the performance of teacher training programs in Tennessee, state officials are holding meetings with top brass at universities where they say programs have grown out of touch with the needs of K-12 classrooms.

About 40 programs in Tennessee feed the state’s teacher pipeline with about 4,000 new teachers annually. The largest are based at colleges and universities.

Latest News

In School Together, but Not Learning at the Same Rate

The academic gaps between groups of students — the poor and the middle class, or black and Hispanic children and their white and Asian peers — often are examined in broad strokes, across a district or an entire city. But a new analysis from the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School takes a closer look by mapping the achievement gaps within each public elementary school in New York City. The results reveal the challenges of integrating students across the system, and of integrating under one roof.

Latest News

Trump Calls on Congress to Help ‘Dreamers,’ Bolster Borders

President Donald Trump used his first State of the Union address to call on Congress to create a path of citizenship to “Dreamers”—including thousands of current K-12 teachers and students who were brought to the country as undocumented children—while boosting border security and significantly restricting legal immigration. 

And he asked Democrats to join him passing an infrastructure bill, without specifically asking for new resources for school construction—a priority for many in the education community. 

Latest News

‘Why Can’t I Have My Life Back?’: In Puerto Rico, Living and Learning In The Dark

Neida and her 7-year-old brother, Julio, lost so much when Hurricane Maria struck in September — clothing and schoolwork, books and Neida’s anime drawings and then, after the floodwaters receded, days and days of school. Julio did not return to class until late October, and Neida in mid-November. They were lucky. In other parts of the island, children did not return until December, missing nearly three months.

Latest News

High School Football Makes a Comeback in New Orleans

In 2008, three years after Hurricane Katrina, Joey LaRoche returned to his native New Orleans to teach math.

Through Teach for America, he was assigned to teach in a charter school. After Katrina, the state legislature had wrested control of New Orleans’ public schools from the local school board and turned most of the schools into charters. These new schools needed to address the city’s abysmal test scores and graduation rates, so they put more resources into academics and college preparation. Many schools cut extracurricular activities, including football.

Latest News

New South Carolina Study of Public Montessori Schools Shows Majority Low-Income Students Outperforming Peers

A five-year study analyzing the impact of South Carolina’s nearly 50 Montessori public schools has found that their students perform significantly better than those in traditional public schools, closing the achievement gap especially for children from low-income backgrounds.

Montessori students demonstrated more growth in reading and math, earning state test scores that were 6 to 8 percentage points higher. But they also bested their non-Montessori peers in the soft skills inherent to Montessori education: creativity, good behavior, and independence.

Latest News

Schools Close as Flu Epidemic Spreads

Schools in at least 11 states have closed as the worst flu epidemic in nearly a decade intensifies.

The dominant strain of flu this season, H3N2, known for being particularly virulent, has resulted in the deaths of at least 37 children and is expected to cause more as the epidemic persists several more weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projected on Friday.

Latest News

For Low-Wage School Workers, Lessons in Survival

Concerns about teacher pay are nothing new. But there’s an emerging battlefront over schoolhouse salaries, and it involves compensation for the employees who play supporting roles in schools — the teaching assistants, bookkeepers, bus drivers and custodians who shepherd students to class, care for them in classrooms and clean up after them.

Latest News

Why Are Women Still Choosing the Lowest-Paying Jobs?

In a classroom of a technical college an hour from Atlanta, Kimberly Hinely picks up a welding torch and lowers her face shield. Sparks fly around her as she melts the metal, joining iron to iron.

Three months into an evening welding program where she’s the only woman, the 44-year-old former tattoo artist said she feels like “one of the guys.”