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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

‘I Think We’re Done’: Educators Not Optimistic of Schools Reopening

There’s rising doubt among school leaders that their students will return to school this spring.

Most schools in the St. Louis area are closed through April 3, for now, to help contain the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. That date is starting to feel like just a placeholder for a more sustained closure.

Latest News

GRAPHIC: Visualizing the School Shutdown Wave

A majority of states have ordered their schools closed as the nation rushes to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, hoping to blunt its potential to overwhelm medical resources. 

It can be difficult to visualize the sheer scale of this wave, affecting tens of thousands of schools and tens of millions of students.

Latest News

States Will Not Have to Give Standardized Tests This Year, Trump Says

Schools will not have to administer federally required tests this year, President Trump and the U.S. Department of Education announced Friday — an unprecedented but unsurprising move in the wake of widespread school closures due to the new coronavirus. 

“Students need to be focused on staying healthy and continuing to learn. Teachers need to be able to focus on remote learning and other adaptations,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement. “Neither students nor teachers need to be focused on high-stakes tests during this difficult time.”

Latest News

NC School Workers Will Be Paid During Coronavirus Closure. But How Long Will That Last?

North Carolina school districts are finding ways to pay employees while schools are closed this month, but employees are worried about how long that will last with the closures expected to continue.

The State Board of Education and state Department of Public Instruction told school districts to consider the weekdays that schools are closed through March 30 to be teacher workdays. This means salaried employees like teachers will continue to be paid and hourly employees will get paid if they work.

Latest News

COVID-19 Disrupts International Student Exchange in Both Directions

For international students studying at U.S. universities that suspended in-person classes, the last week has not been easy.

The Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that international students can take classes online without it adversely affecting their visa statuses. But as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced universities to partially close their campuses, many unanswered questions remain.

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Meet the Hero Bus Drivers Bringing Lunches — And Hope — To Kids During Coronavirus Quarantine

Angelina Dixon sat in a lounge chair on her front porch shortly before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday sipping steaming coffee and smoking a cigarette.

A 40-foot long yellow school bus pulled up just across the street, a teacher’s aide popped out, hurried over, greeted her warmly and handed her a white, plastic bag. It contained a breakfast pack of a muffin, a box of cereal, a pint of milk and a box juice. It also included a lunch of turkey and cheese cold cuts on a Kaiser roll and chips or Cheez Its crackers.

Latest News

Thousands of NYC Students Won’t Have Access to Computers Before Remote Learning Starts Next Week

More than one million New York City students are slated to begin remote learning next week, but the education department acknowledged Thursday that it could take weeks before all students have the technology they need to communicate with their teachers.

“We’re not going to have 300,000 devices by Monday — we never said we would,” said Chancellor Richard Carranza, referring to the city’s estimate of the number of families who need technology to work remotely. “We do have a plan for having those devices in the hands of our students in the coming weeks.”

Latest News

Coronavirus Upends College: Students in Online Classes, No Graduation

In the span of roughly two weeks, the American higher education system has transformed. Its future is increasingly uncertain. 

Most classes are now being held online, often for the rest of the semester. Dorms are emptying across the country. Some universities are even postponing or canceling graduation ceremonies scheduled months out. This is all the more surprising given most universities have a reputation for being reticent to change, especially in a short amount of time.

Latest News

With Cell Phones And Laptops, Newark Teachers Stay Connected With Students During School Shutdown

The coronavirus pandemic has turned education upside down in Newark and nationwide, forcing schools to shut their doors and parents to play the role of teachers. But actual teachers, while confined to their homes, are still finding ways to connect virtually with their students, whether through old-fashioned phone calls or more modern tools like Google Classroom and ClassDojo.

Latest News

NYC Stopped Confirming Coronavirus Cases at Schools, But Teachers Headed to Their Campuses Anyway

New York City teachers streamed onto their campuses Tuesday through Thursday for training on moving instruction entirely online during a citywide school shutdown. In some cases, they walked in without any official word on whether they might have been exposed to someone with the new coronavirus.

City health officials have stopped publicly confirming instances of COVID-19 among school communities, as cases have skyrocketed to more than 3,600 as of Thursday morning in New York City. 

Latest News

Meet the Instructional Design ‘First Responders’ Helping Faculty Teach in an Emergency

As coronavirus pushed campuses across the country to close, and college after college issued orders to resuscitate courses online, it became clear that faculty needed help, stat.

Diann Maurer answered the call. An instructional designer in Texas who weathered Hurricane Harvey, she knew firsthand what it’s like to try to keep education alive during a crisis. So she whipped up a few online forms, messaged colleagues on Twitter and together they created the Instructional Design Emergency Response Network.

Latest News

For Parents of Children With Disabilities, Home-Schooling Is an Especially Difficult Task

Like lots of other kids, Jocilyn Oyler’s 11-year-old daughter is out of school amid coronavirus fears. But unlike other kids, she can’t just log onto the computer and do her schoolwork at home.

At school, she gets adult help in every classroom, plus speech therapy and other services. With her school closed, all that is gone. “She can’t write a paragraph without having a meltdown,” her mother says.

Latest News

This Year, Only 10 Black Students Got Into N.Y.C.’s Top High School

Last year, the news that only a tiny number of black students gained admission into New York City’s most selective public high school, Stuyvesant, touched off a maelstrom about race and merit in the nation’s largest school system.

On Thursday, education officials announced that, one year later, almost nothing had changed: Ten black students got into Stuyvesant, out of a freshman class of roughly 760, up from 7 black students last year. And only 20 Hispanic students gained entry, down from 33 last year.

Member Stories

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

Claire McInerny of KUT asks kids about avoiding COVID-19 and entertaining themselves.

For The Seattle Times, Anne Hillman provides updated information on resources for families who rely on schools for more than just education.

Chalkbeat reporters cover what life looks like for educators, students and parents as schools across the country close.

Latest News

Traveling To The African Diaspora To Prepare Black Students For College

Towana Pierre-Floyd said we’d reach the ocean soon. We’d flown over the Gulf of Mexico on our way from New Orleans to Belize, then boarded a bus south. Outside, the road was dust, pocked by craters our chartered bus swerved to miss, but Pierre-Floyd said she could sense it: the Caribbean Sea was close. It was mid-May, technically the first week of Pierre-Floyd’s summer vacation, but she was the kind of high school principal who preferred spending her first days of freedom with students.

Latest News

Coronavirus Online School: Can Closed Schools Offer Special Education?

As districts scramble to establish distance learning plans for long-term school closures, they’re struggling to provide services to students with disabilities and those with other exceptional circumstances. It’s a challenge with broad implications, tied to financial consequences for districts and developmental consequences for the most vulnerable students in America.

Latest News

As Classes Move Online, What Happens To Students Without Internet Or Computers?

In the chaotic days before and after all public schools in the Washington region shut down for at least two weeks, school systems scrambled to prepare for teaching students from afar. Some teachers are giving lessons through video conferences on Zoom. Others are uploading materials to online learning platforms such as Canvas, or directing students to educational YouTube videos.

Latest News

How Coronavirus And The Recession Will Affect Open-access Colleges

While higher education leaders and experts may disagree on how this recession — and complications arising from the novel coronavirus — will play out, they all agree this is a difficult, unique time for the sector.

The spread of the coronavirus has led many institutions to close and pivot to online. S&P Global just announced that the world is in a recession. Moody’s Investors Service moved higher education’s outlook rating from stable to negative.

Latest News

Two Districts, Two Very Different Plans For Students While School Is Out Indefinitely

Every elementary school student in Glastonbury was sent home with an iPad on the day Connecticut’s governor declared a “public health emergency” to blunt the spread of the coronavirus. On it were all the learning platforms students would need to resume learning online. Students without internet access at home were provided a connection by the district.

Latest News

Coronavirus In NC: Schools May Reopen As Childcare Centers

Some North Carolina public schools could reopen to serve as emergency childcare centers to take care of children of “front line workers” who are providing critical services.

All North Carolina K-12 public schools have been closed since Monday and will remain that way through at least March 30 as a a result of an executive order from Gov. Roy Cooper.

But state leaders are worried that the closures of schools and many childcare centers could hurt the ability of people such as healthcare and public safety professionals to serve during the crisis.

Latest News

In Response To Coronavirus Pandemic, Tennessee Governor Slashes Proposed School Budget, Retains Vouchers

Gov. Bill Lee’s administration unveiled a revised budget plan Wednesday that halves the proposed increase for teacher pay and cuts most of the education initiatives he announced before the new coronavirus created a public health emergency in Tennessee.

Gone is the $250 million trust fund that the Republican governor proposed to support and grow mental health services for students in the state’s highest-risk schools.

Latest News

A Day Without School: What Life Looks Like Across America When Children Stay Home

It was a Tuesday like no other.

Crosswalks were empty. Children’s backpacks and lunch boxes sat unused. Yellow buses weren’t rumbling down many streets, and school doors didn’t swing open at dismissal.

Schools were closed from New York to San Jose and so many points in between, causing an unprecedented disruption to American life with no end in sight.

Latest News

Maryland Lawmakers Give Final OK To Sweeping Education Bill As Early Adjournment Looms

Maryland lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday night to a sweeping education reform bill designed to restore the state’s public schools to among the best in the nation. The bill has been debated throughout the General Assembly session, but took on new urgency once lawmakers agreed to end their session Wednesday — more than two weeks early — due to the growing coronavirus outbreak.

Latest News

Child Care Providers Grapple With Whether To Close Or Remain Open Amid COVID-19 Concerns

As schools and many businesses close across the country amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, child care providers are left in a predicament. Do they stay open despite the public health and safety concerns and the fear of putting children — who some believe could help spread the virus without showing symptoms — and their families at risk?

Or do they close, which could mean long-term financial repercussions for these small businesses, as well as for the parents who suddenly must choose between a paycheck and leaving a child alone at home?

Latest News

A Day Without School: What Life Looks Like Across America When Children Stay Home

It was a Tuesday like no other. Crosswalks were empty. Children’s backpacks and lunch boxes sat unused. Yellow buses weren’t rumbling down many streets, and school doors didn’t swing open at dismissal. Schools were closed from New York to San Jose and so many points in between, causing an unprecedented disruption to American life with no end in sight.

Latest News

Texas Parents Struggle Finding Child Care as School Closings Keep Kids Home

Celina Cabral used to do filing and payroll at her sister’s concession business 40 minutes away from her Houston apartment. But when the 200,000-student Houston Independent School District announced it would close schools at least until mid-April in response to the spread of the new coronavirus, she was forced to stay at home with her four children, a spotty internet connection and a dwindling supply of food.

Latest News

Kentucky School District Offers Meals Amid School Closures

Hours into the first day of a statewide school closure, around what should have been lunchtime, Rangeland Elementary’s cafeteria sat quiet and empty. 

Instead, the Newburg school’s cafeteria manager, Boyd Rouse, stood watch outside as a trickle of families showed up to grab meals to eat at home. 

By noon, Rouse and a few others had handed out about 30 lunches to students who either walked or drove with their families to the school. Some of the kids grabbed breakfasts, too.

Latest News

OPINION: As Coronavirus Forces Schools to Go Virtual, We Must Innovate — and Embrace Learning As We Go. How One Washington District at the Epicenter Is Doing Just That

I’m distressed that my hometown, Seattle, is ground zero for the U.S. outbreak of COVID-19.

I am heartened, though, by the fact that our community is primed to offer innovative responses, including in K-12 education.

As we face the prospect that the disease will spread in other parts of the country, it is imperative that we study those responses so other communities can learn from them.

Latest News

Disruptions to California Community Colleges Possible Into Next Academic Year, Chancellor Says

Community colleges across California should prepare for significant disruptions through the end of the academic year and possibly into next academic year because of the spread of the coronavirus, the system’s chancellor said Monday.

Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley was also given broad emergency powers Monday by the system’s Board of Governors to ensure that students at the state’s 114 community colleges can continue their education as the virus spreads.

Latest News

College Professors Make A Mad Dash Online As Classes Go Virtual

Professor Daniel Stanford has spent the past 14 years at DePaul University creating trainings and resources for faculty members, including a whole section about teaching remotely. When the university joined schools across the country this week in announcing it was shifting all classes online due to the new coronavirus, he and his colleagues were ready to help.

Latest News

Seattle Schools Grapple With Online Learning and Equity

Five miles south of the Life Care Center of Kirkland, where the coronavirus outbreak has killed residents and sown fear, a prestigious private school is going remote.

Starting next week, Eastside Preparatory School, which charges $37,900 a year for tuition, will conduct its classes online for nearly a month “as a preventative measure to prioritize the health and safety of students,” according to a statement from Terry Macaluso, who heads the school.

Latest News

Here Are the Alabama Schools Offering Meals to Students

Schools across Alabama are stepping up, implementing new ways to feed students who rely on schools for meals during the extended closures related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meals are available for all children, aged 18 and under. In nearly all cases, the child does not have to be enrolled in a public school in the district in order to receive a meal.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

‘Organized Chaos’: Many Massachusetts Colleges Unprepared for Transition to Online Teaching

Like many educators across the country right now, professors at Berklee College of Music in Boston are scrambling to compose online courses and tune up their remote teaching skills. Berklee has a bit of a head start, though, since its online program already enrolls more than 11,000 students each year.

Debbie Cavalier, the CEO of Berklee Online, said music actually lends itself to teaching remotely.

Latest News

Schools Serve More Than 20 Million Free Lunches Every Day. If They Close, Where Will Children Eat?

In Cincinnati, school officials were trying to figure out what kind of nonperishable meals they could distribute to homeless students, who constitute nearly a tenth of the student body. In New Rochelle, N.Y., where residents have been confined to their homes, the National Guard delivered food to needy students. And in Baltimore, a high school senior was contemplating how he would go two weeks without a school lunch.

Latest News

Michigan Education Leaders Ask DeVos for Test Waiver

Michigan’s state superintendent of instruction and the president of the State Board of Education urged U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Tuesday to grant a nationwide waiver of statewide student assessments.

State superintendent Michael Rice and state school board president Casandra Ulbrich wrote to DeVos to say that federally mandated state testing should be waived this year in favor of focusing on the more immediate needs of children amid the current coronavirus pandemic that has led to the closure of schools in Michigan and across the country.

Latest News

Coronavirus School Closings: Online Learning, No Reopen Date in Sight

With at least 70% of America’s schools shutting down and a chorus of prominent voices calling to close the rest, millions of parents entered a strange new reality this week: attempting to manage their children’s education from the confines of home.

The new landscape of remote work coupled with remote schooling is bizarre and chaotic. And it stands to get worse before it gets better: Districts and states vary wildly in their ability to deliver educational services at a time of social isolation. 

Latest News

Online Schools: Student Performance Often Falls Behind Regular Schools

As states and school districts consider closing public schools amid the coronavirus pandemic, educators are debating moving instruction from classrooms to families’ living rooms via the internet. But setting up online schools wouldn’t be easy and, according to research, moving from the actual classroom to a virtual classroom can hurt student performance.