Latest News

Overview

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

COVID-19 Pandemic’s Effects on Pennsylvania’s Education System Have Yet to be Measured

More than a year into the pandemic, how students are faring, and how much they’re learning, has drawn intense attention. Billions in federal aid are coming to schools to address “learning loss” — an academic concept that has seeped into the national consciousness as educators, families, and students measure the impact of the unprecedented disruption.

Read the full story here.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Apr. 2-8)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

More school districts are turning to digital surveillance to keep tabs on students during remote learning. That has some families, educators, and privacy experts concerned, reports Education Week’s Stephen Sawchuk. 

Emily Tate of EdSurge explains why some guidance counselors are taking steps to address their implicit biases, and how that could improve services for students going forward. 

Latest News

COVID Lowers Number of High School Students Taking College Courses

Like many students taking college courses during the coronavirus pandemic, Alexis Lopez struggled with a poor Wi-Fi connection and professors who didn’t offer much support. 

“They couldn’t really help us. They didn’t really know what to do for us,” said Lopez, who remembers becoming so frustrated in front of her computer that she burst out crying. “We had to do everything by ourselves.”

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

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

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Mar. 26 – Apr. 1)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

Education NC’s Liz Bell shares the struggles of the child care industry that have been brought to light amid the pandemic. 

Ann Doss Helms of WFAE public radio in Charlotte covers an analysis of how funds generated from the North Carolina Education Lottery are actually spent.

Latest News

Teenage Sleep Affected By Remote Learning, Later School Time

Sleep-deprived adolescents — forced for generations to wake for school before the chimes of their circadian clocks — have had an unexpected break amid the anxiety and losses of the pandemic. Remote learning has allowed many of them to stay in bed an extra hour or more, providing a “natural experiment” that sleep experts hope will inform the long and stubborn debate over school starting times.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Back In School, The Students Of Room 132 Grow Up As The Adults Try To Understand What They’ve Lost

Some of the children in Room 132 have turned nine years old since I last saw them in-person in October.

The Level 3 (like third grade) students at the Josephine Hodgkins Leadership Academy in the Westminster Public School District are thrilled to be back in class after going through remote learning part of November and all of December.

The kids crowd around me at recess to catch up, bursting to tell me about what remote learning was like, how they think they’re doing in school now, and what it feels like to be back.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Mar. 19-25)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

For CPR News‘ continuing series on a Colorado elementary class, Jenny Brundin covers students’ return to the classroom after a period of remote learning. 

Following a year of pandemic schooling, Jennifer Chambers of The Detroit News looks at the future of virtual learning in Michigan. 

Latest News

One Texas Town, Two School Districts, Clashing Mask Policies: How Science and Politics Collided in New Braunfels’ Classrooms

In what quickly became a conversation about science, personal liberty, and the role of government, the town’s two school boards, New Braunfels ISD and Comal ISD, landed on opposite sides of the face covering debate earlier this month after Gov. Greg Abbott announced the statewide mask mandate would end March 10.

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 COVID-19 Will Make Fixing America’s Worst-Performing Schools Even Harder

Six years ago, barely a third of the students at East High School, in Rochester, N.Y., graduated on time. Students were being suspended at a rate of more than 2,000 each year. More than half were chronically absent, and more than three-quarters couldn’t meet the state’s academic benchmarks.

In 2015, at a time when East High—one of the city’s oldest and biggest—had been deemed New York state’s worst-performing school, the district’s board let the University of Rochester take the reins.

Latest News

CDC Eases Social Distancing Guidelines Seen as a Hurdle to School Reopening

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its recommendations for social distancing in K-12 schools Friday, saying 3 feet of space between students who are wearing masks is a sufficient safeguard for safety in most classroom situations.

Many educators and policy makers viewed the agency’s previous recommendation of 6 feet of space as a major hurdle to a full return to in-person school during the COVID-19 pandemic. And some feared the more rigid guideline could affect schools’ ability to return to fuller in-person operations in the fall.

Latest News

Why Child Care Staff Had to Show Up While Teachers Worked Remotely

Over the last year, some educators, school officials and teachers’ union leaders in New York and across the country have declared that teachers are not babysitters, and that schools are not child care centers. The sentiment has been meant to convince the public that teachers should not be responsible for supervising children just so that parents can return to work.

Latest News

The Awkward Truth About ‘Free College’—It Isn’t Truly Free

In 2014, when Tennessee unveiled a statewide scholarship to cover tuition expenses at community colleges, the program was praised for making higher education possible for more people. It even inspired President Obama to pitch a similar federal program.

But as soon as more people showed up to campuses in 2015, Tennessee higher ed leaders discovered a problem: Students were surprised by the additional costs of going to college.

Latest News

Cardona Scraps DeVos Policy, Will Fully Cancel Debt of Many Students Defrauded by Colleges

About 72,000 people will have their federal loans fully canceled after Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Thursday scrapped a plan to give partial debt relief to students defrauded by their colleges, ending a controversial policy instituted by his predecessor Betsy DeVos.

The move — Cardona’s first major higher education announcement since being confirmed — amounts to roughly $1 billion in debt relief. But it only addresses a subset of the nearly 200,000 people who have filed claims in the last six years under a statute known as “borrower defense to repayment.”

Latest News

Detroit Promise Path Falls Short, But Hopes Remain

The Detroit Promise Path program would pay students  a $50 monthly stipend and provide a coach to guide them toward graduation as part of a new plan available to the city’s students. But the first detailed report on the program shows mixed results. Only 7.2% of the students in the Promise Path earned certificates or a degree within three years, compared to 6.8% of those who received tuition alone. Fewer than 100 of the more than 1,000 students in the report’s study earned a degree or certificate within three years. 

Latest News

Why Black Parents Aren’t Joining the Push to Reopen Schools

Few issues this year have been as rife with division and drama as the on-again, off-again efforts of school districts to restart in-person learning. President Biden vowed to open most public schools in his first 100 days—but his pledge was quickly scaled back to only a majority of elementary schools.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Mar. 12-18)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

Kim Kozlowski of The Detroit News covers why promise programs that offer free college tuition, a small stipend and counseling assistance aren’t always enough to help historically disadvantaged populations complete a postsecondary program.

Latest News

A County Turns Against Its College

In Kootenai County, as in counties across America, disdain for colleges is thriving among people on the right and far right. For years, locals have made bogeymen out of the faculty, characterizing them as radicals with leftist agendas, committed to indoctrinating students.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Private Schools Are Indefensible

Dalton is one of the most selective private schools in Manhattan, in part because it knows the answer to an important question: What do hedge-funders want?

They want what no one else has. At Dalton, that means an “archaeologist in residence,” a teaching kitchen, a rooftop greenhouse, and a theater proscenium lovingly restored after it was “destroyed by a previous renovation.”

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Mar. 5-11)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

As schools start to consider summer learning as a way to slow or reverse the “COVID slide,” Trisha Powell Crain of AL.com investigates what a high-quality summer program looks like. 

While politics has always been a tricky subject to tackle in the classroom, educators say it’s essential now for students to understand how to talk to someone they disagree with, reports Illinois Public Media’s Lee V. Gaines

Latest News

‘Panic Mode’: Austin ISD Needs To Evaluate 800 Students For Special Ed. It Doesn’t Have The Staff To Do It.

More than 800 students in the Austin Independent School District are being denied their legal right to a special education evaluation.

An evaluation is the first step in the process to get special education services. Without one, there is no official help in class. So if a child who struggles to read out loud never gets a diagnosis of dyslexia, she can’t work with a reading specialist. Her teacher might not know to give her more time on reading assignments.

Latest News

COVID: Study Shows Pandemic Slowed Reading Progress

A new study adds to the mounting evidence of lost learning due to school closures during the coronavirus pandemic, with the ability of students in early grades to read aloud quickly and accurately about 30 percent lower than normal over the past year.

The research released Tuesday by Policy Analysis for California Education, an independent research center based at Stanford University, examined 250,000 oral reading fluency scores for students in first through third grade last spring and fall in over 100 school districts across 22 states.

Latest News

Who Will Actually Go Back to School? Many Families of Color, Kids with Health Issues don’t Feel Confident

The polarizing debate over how and when to reopen schools has revolved around an argument that children — especially students of color — do better when they’re learning in school buildings. But some families are pushing back against that idea, finding that their children are doing just as well, and sometimes better, when learning from the safety of their own homes. Not because online learning has been great, but because in-person school was awful.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 26- Mar. 4)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

The Washington Post’s Nick Anderson and Danielle Douglas-Gabriel examine what has been a difficult year for community colleges and shed light on what could change now that they have an ally in the White House.

Over 50 North Carolina school districts are working with researchers and physicians to draft detailed safety strategies for almost every minute of the school day, reports Hannah Furfaro of The Seattle Times

Latest News

For Some Black Students, Closed Schools Have Offered A Chance To Thrive

In Texas, students have been assigned history textbooks that downplay slavery and avoid talking about Jim Crow. In Massachusetts, Black girls have been reprimanded for violating dress codes that ban hair extensions. And across the country, according to federal data, Black students are more likely than white classmates to be disciplined at school.

In Oregon, where Josh lives, Black students have lower graduation rates. They’re also less likely to be identified as “talented and gifted.”

Latest News

More Teachers Plan to Quit as Covid Stress Overwhelms Educators

The challenges of teaching in-person or online have stretched educators to their limits.

After nearly a full year of either putting themselves at risk in a classroom or struggling to reach students remotely, many now say they may change careers or simply quit.

“Teachers have been feeling the brunt of how drastically this pandemic has changed our world,” said Colin Sharkey, executive director of the Association of American Educators, a national professional association.

“The demands that are put on them are off the charts.”

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 19-25)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

A team at Chalkbeat chronicles six students in third grace and their experiences with remote learning.

U.S. News & World Report’s Lauren Camera explores the 20 biggest school districts’ reopening plans to see how they compare to the latest CDC guidance.

For The Seattle Times, Danielle Dreilinger examines how techniques developed by educators serving immigrants can help teachers working with COVID-traumatized students. 

Latest News

Missing Students Hard to Find During Pandemic

DETROIT — Kenneth Chapman Sr. was hopeful as he navigated a hulking Detroit Public Schools van down the street, pulling up to a brick home. Out front, there were signs that the girl he was looking for lived inside. Amid the discarded plastic cups in the yard, there was a ball, and on the porch a small bike, painted fluorescent pink.

“Normally when I get to the house and I see toys or bikes, I think, ‘Okay, somebody’s going to be here,’ ” Chapman said.

But when he knocked, no one appeared.

Latest News

Inside a Battle Over Race, Class and Power at Smith College

In midsummer of 2018, Oumou Kanoute, a Black student at Smith College, recounted a distressing American tale: She was eating lunch in a dorm lounge when a janitor and a campus police officer walked over and asked her what she was doing there.

The officer, who could have been carrying a “lethal weapon,” left her near “meltdown,” Ms. Kanoute wrote on Facebook, saying that this encounter continued a yearlong pattern of harassment at Smith.

Latest News

‘Difficult To Split Yourself’: Philly Area Educators On The Pros And Cons Of Hybrid Learning

Nicole Miller remembers crying every day for two weeks after schools moved entirely online last March. Miller, a Kindergarten teacher at Evans Elementary School in Yeadon, said the instincts she had honed over 19 years went out the window. “This is not the career I signed up for! I can’t do it! I hate it!” Miller recalls saying.

But, as the days turned into weeks and then months, Miller developed a new rhythm. She learned the best camera angle for her kids to see how she enunciates words, and created an interactive daily slideshow to keep them engaged.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 12-18)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

EWA Reporting Fellow Janelle Retka of The Yakima Herald looks at the child care crisis in central Washington state, and its impact on young children, families, and the region’s economy amid COVID-19. 

Also on the early ed front, Kara Newhouse of KQED reports on the risk of familial stress interfering with infant brain development. 

Latest News

The Faces Of Child Care: Meet Parent Rebecca Rogers Of Yakima

Meet Rebecca Rogers, a 27-year-old from Yakima. She’s a single mom of two young boys, ages 4 and 8 months. Her family of three qualifies for the Working Connections Child Care program, a state system that helps low-income families pay for child care so they can continue working or pursuing work.

The state pays a subsidy of the cost of care to providers, and parents make a co-payment based on their income. It covers child care for anything job-related — from applications to working hours. It’s a life-saver, Rogers said.

Latest News

Child Care Options Will Be Scarce After the Pandemic

Driving to work before dawn last winter, Valerie Norris heard an NPR report about a terrible disease spreading in China — a pandemic, people were starting to call it. It sounded sad but very far from Rocky River, Ohio, where she’d led the Rockport Early Childhood Center for 34 years.

Latest News

What Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers Need During the Pandemic

Throughout the coronavirus outbreak, nearly everyone connected to children has raised the alarm about pandemic learning loss. Parents, educators, physicians and politicians — they might disagree on solutions, but they’re all concerned about how the current educational upheaval will affect K-12 students.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

The C.D.C. Has New School Guidelines. Here’s What You Need to Know.

In a move long awaited by educators, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines on Friday for how to operate schools safely during the pandemic.

The recommendations, more detailed than those released by the agency under the Trump administration, attempt to carve a middle path between people who want classrooms to reopen immediately and those teachers and parents who remain reluctant to return to in-person instruction before widespread vaccination.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 5-11)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

A team of journalists from newsrooms across the Florida Public Media network collaborated on a project (proudly supported by an EWA Reporting Fellowship) exploring COVID-19’s impact on public education. 

Chalkbeat Colorado’s Jason Gonzales chronicles the struggles of many older students in a state that offers few targeted programs or other supports for this non-traditional student population. 

Latest News

Influx of Unaccompanied Minors Along Southern Border Could Pose Test for Schools

Thousands of English language learners could be headed for American public schools in the coming months due to recent changes in U.S. immigration policy and devastating natural disasters in Central and South America.

Their arrival could pose a challenge for local school systems, particularly poor districts that might not have enough teachers or space to support them. In recent years, several have turned these children away in violation of their legal rights.