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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. 

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.

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.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Mar. 5-11)
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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

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

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 19-25)
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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. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 12-18)
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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. 

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. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Jan. 29-Feb. 4)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

A team of reporters at The Washington Post cover this year’s drop in Latino college enrollment.

For St. Louis Public Radio, Ryan Delaney and Elle Moxley contrast the school reopening decisions of Missouri school districts with those made in Germany. 

Statesman Journal’s Natalie Pate compiles a list of the 37 Oregon education bills to watch during the 2021 state legislative session.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Jan. 22-28)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

NY1’s Jillian Jorgensen covers the challenges and benefits of remote art classes.

For Education Week, Catherine Gewertz and Stephen Sawchuk dive deep into the questions hanging over President Biden’s goal to open schools. 

The CalMatters College Journalism Network shares the stories of six college seniors who will graduate into a pandemic and an economic crisis. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Jan. 15-21)
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 For The 74, Jazmin Orozco Rodriguez and Jackie Valley report on a rural Nevada school’s efforts to prevent Native students from falling behind during the pandemic. 

Ruth Serven Smith of AL.com covers young students’ reactions to Inauguration Day. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Jan. 8-14)
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Anya Kamenetz of NPR covers how parents, caregivers and teachers can help children make sense of the news and calm their anxieties.  

The Yakima Herald-Republic’s Janelle Retka gathers insights from teachers who paused or reworked their curriculum in the past week to address the Capitol riot. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Jan. 1-7)
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“If there had been a global pandemic back in the early nineties, when I was in 7th grade, I would have been secretly grateful to the virus that got me out of my scary place: the middle school cafeteria,” writes Alyson Klein of Education Week.

Beaumont EnterprisesIsaac Windes covers how educators across Southeast Texas discussed the Capitol riot with their students in real time.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Dec. 24-31)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

Lauren FitzPatrick reports on a Chicago Sun-Times review that found at least 30 public schools are named for people who owned or traded enslaved Black or indigenous people.

After the defeat of California’s affirmative action ballot measure, EdSource’s Larry Gordon covers other ideas for increasing the number of students of color in higher education.

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)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

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.  

Key Coverage

What Missouri Schools Can Learn From How Germany Has Handled School Reopenings

In St. Louis, many public school districts are just beginning to bring students back for in-person instruction. Saying it’s still not safe, other districts continue to offer only a virtual model. But in Germany, things look much different. School was in session last spring, and it resumed in person again in August — and not just for little kids, either.

Key Coverage

How German Students Have Been Back At School Since Spring, While Missourians Are Just Returning

It’s halfway through the fall semester, and many students in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas are just now trickling back into classrooms. Thousands are still learning from home. Meanwhile, in most of Europe, schools have been open since August with students attending in person daily.

A robust public health system, hygiene measures and targeted quarantines of students and staff exposed to the coronavirus get the credit. But that early success could soon be put to the test as cold weather arrives along with a resurgence of cases of the coronavirus.

Key Coverage

‘A Battle for the Souls of Black Girls’

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.

Key Coverage

Her School Offered a Path to the Middle Class. Will Covid-19 Block It?

A year ago, when Bianca Argueta was beginning her senior year at Richmond Hill High, she felt pretty excited about what the fall of 2020 might hold for her. Richmond Hill is a big, old-fashioned public high school in central Queens, the alma mater of Rodney Dangerfield and Phil Rizzuto, and Bianca was a top student there, full of ambition, part of the leadership club, taking A.P. classes.

Key Coverage

Latinos Are More Wary Of Sending Kids To School, But They May Have More to Lose If They Don’t

In theory, Boise School District students could be returning to in-person classes in September. But Elizabeth Barrios’ two sons won’t be there. Her sons, who attend Whitney Elementary and South Junior High, desperately want to go back.

But Barrios decided they’ll be enrolled online until at least January. “It’s not the same, but I’d prefer to do that rather than go back to school (in-person),” Barrios said. “They’re kids. And kids aren’t going to be careful.”

Key Coverage

States Want To End Developmental Education. Why Chicago Professors Are Fighting Back.

Late last summer, Luis decided to attend Wilbur Wright College, one of the seven two-year community colleges that make up the City Colleges of Chicago. He received financial aid to cover tuition and books. We’re not using Luis’ last name at his request to retain some privacy online.

Luis hopes to eventually get a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and said he’s motivated by the idea of earning enough that he doesn’t have to worry about money. His mom works 12-hour days to support their large family.

Key Coverage

As Colleges Close, How Will Vermont Schools Survive?

Low enrollment and financial troubles have caused a slew of Vermont’s small, independent colleges to shut their doors. What’s causing the problem — and is there a solution?

VPR’s Amy Noyes, who has been reporting on higher ed in Vermont with a fellowship from the Education Writers Association, has answers to these three questions:

“Why are student populations shrinking?” — Diana Clark, South Burlington

Key Coverage

University of Minnesota’s Academic Work With China Chilled by Federal Concerns

The solar-powered air purification tower rises 200 feet out of a cluster of high-rises in China — a soaring symbol of new possibilities for its inventor, University of Minnesota engineering professor David Pui.

Collaboration with China has long been a linchpin of U research, and lately that work has accelerated. In the past five years, university faculty have published more than 4,300 scientific papers jointly with colleagues in China — more than any other country.

Key Coverage

University of Minnesota Mines China Connection But Worries About Future

Jieie Chen and Dong Xuan felt a strong connection to the University of Minnesota long before they arrived from China with their son, Ken, an incoming freshman.

They had spent hours online researching the university. They had heard the director of the U’s Beijing office make a case for joining the “Gophers family” at a meeting with admitted students in Shanghai last spring. They had later taken in testimonials from U students and alumni at one of the orientations the university hosts in China each summer.

Key Coverage

Far From Home

In the 2017-18 school year, a handful of students (mostly from wealthy suburban Chicago districts) were sent to Discovery Academy or one of its associated facilities in Utah, and at least 70 more to other Utah boarding schools. That’s according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, from the Illinois State Board of Education.

Key Coverage

Visiting Days: How a Detroit High School Extends Its Family Feel By Sticking With Graduates Through College

If you graduate from the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and go on to college, there is no escaping Katherine Grow. She’ll call, she’ll email, and she’ll show up on campus. And usually, during those campus visits, she’ll ask to see your phone.

The cell phones are a gateway to the college grades of the Detroit charter school’s graduates, and looking in is a key way that Grow monitors how those students are faring.

Key Coverage

More US Schools Teach in Spanish, But Not Enough to Help Latinos

The preschool dual-language program at Gates Street Early Education Center in Lincoln Heights, one of Los Angeles’ oldest neighborhoods with dense populations of Latino and Asian residents, is part of a growing number of bilingual education models taking root in California and across the country. Many of them are designed to serve students from Spanish-speaking families, as well as students from other cultures, under mounting evidence that learning two languages can help people from all backgrounds become stronger students.  

Key Coverage

Most Teachers Are White, Even as Schools Are More Diverse Than Ever

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Ricardo Alcalá’s parents, born in Mexico, carried less than a second-grade education when they came to California to work the fields. His older siblings dropped out of high school. One was sentenced to prison for life and killed behind bars. Ricardo was 13 then, living in poverty.

But when he was 14, something changed. A Latina teacher told him he was too smart for pre-algebra and should move up.

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.