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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

More Than 40 School Principals Quarantined After COVID-19 Exposure

More than 40 school principals in the South Bay were told to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19 two weeks ago.

The exposure happened at an in-person meeting called by the Santa Clara County Unified School District. An attendee who didn’t have any symptoms at the meeting testing positive for the virus just days later. 

Read the full story here. 

Latest News

State education leaders to DeVos: Cancel testing requirements for 2020-21

Michigan’s education leaders are asking for federal approval to halt mandatory student exams for the 2020-21 school year.

“The long absence from in-person instruction will present challenges for many students as they return to class,” Casandra Ulbrich, president of the state school board, said in a statement Wednesday. “The focus should be on tending to children’s immediate needs: physical, socioemotional, and academic.”

Latest News

Why a Pediatric Group Is Pushing to Reopen Schools This Fall

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a reputation as conservative and cautious, which is what you would expect from an organization devoted to protecting children’s health. But this week, the academy made a splash with advice about reopening schools that appears to be somewhat at odds with what administrators are hearing from some federal and state health officials.

Latest News

How the Politics Behind Rural Internet Access Leave Parts of Indiana ‘In The Dark Ages’

Before the coronavirus crisis, schools in hilly, forested Brown County, Indiana, didn’t expect students to work online at home.

Even with a growing fiber network in the area, too many families couldn’t connect to the internet, and those who did often used hot spots or unreliable connections. So schools used workarounds: Students did their assignments offline at home and logged on once they got to school to upload work, said Superintendent Laura Hammack.

Latest News

Texas Teachers Consider Leaving The Classroom Over COVID-19 Fears

For 40 years, Robin Stauffer has taught high school English in seven different school districts in three different states. Most recently, Advanced Placement English in Katy, where she says working with kids has kept her young and lighthearted.

But since the pandemic hit, a question has nagged at her: Is it time to retire?

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Students React to Colleges’ Reopening Plans With Mix of Optimism, Fear

Arriving on campus kick-starts a year of firsts for college freshmen, and Abbey Shea was excited about all of them. Her first introduction to new roommates who may become lifelong friends, first semester away from home, first foray into independence.

And then her Port Orange, Florida, high school postponed its graduation ceremony because of the coronavirus. Uncertainty set in, and Shea braced herself for “a new normal,” she said — a college experience far different from the social mecca she’d imagined. 

Latest News

Judge Orders Betsy DeVos to Cancel 7,200 Scammed Borrowers’ Student Loans

During most of the Trump administration’s tenure, the U.S. Department of Education, led by Betsy DeVos, has worked to limit student debt cancellation for borrowers who say they were scammed by their schools.

The agency scored a win in that effort Friday, when Democrats failed to muster enough votes to override President Trump’s veto of a bill that would have overturned the Department’s approach to student debt cancellation under what’s known as the “borrower defense” rule.

Latest News

What Are the California School Rules for Online Learning?

When it comes to education, the new state budget goes beyond providing $70.5 billion in funding for K-12 schools — it sets fundamental accountability rules for a new era of distance learning in California by requiring teachers to take online attendance and document student learning.

Latest News

Some Illinois Parents Opt to Home-School Amid Coronavirus

For some parents, teaching their children at home after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered schools this spring was challenging, to say the least.

For others, it revealed another option.

With new cases of COVID-19 continuing and no vaccine, many parents have questions about what a return to school might look like.

Will young children be able to concentrate with face masks required? Will schools close over and over again if outbreaks occur, disrupting kids’ ability to learn? What if kids contract the disease and spread it to vulnerable family members?

Latest News

Districts’ Back-to-School Shopping List: Masks, Gloves, Sanitizers and $25 Billion to Pay for It

For the last several weeks, medical supply vendors have swamped Martin Pollio with flyers, emails, and phone calls. He’s one of their most sought-after customers.

Pollio, the superintendent of the 100,000-student Jefferson County district in Louisville, Ky., has made tentative plans to reopen school buildings this fall. To do so, he estimates his district will need to spend close to $10 million on face masks alone, in order to abide by recently issued state health guidelines.

Latest News

The U. of South Carolina Wants Its Share of Black Students to Mirror the Black Population in the State. There’s a Long Way to Go.

The president of the University of South Carolina at Columbia, as part of a commitment to a recently approved strategic plan, pledged to increase the number of African American students enrolled at the flagship institution.

What’s the goal? For the share of Black students at the university to be “approaching” the share of Black residents in the state — about 27 percent — by 2025, said Robert L. Caslen, during a virtual town hall for students and families early this week. Black students make up 9.5 percent of undergraduate enrollment at South Carolina now.

Latest News

On Reopening Schools, Scientists Say Proceed With Caution

In order for schools to safely reopen in the fall, public health experts say we’ll all need to do some homework over the summer.

As Massachusetts starts down the months-long road to reopening public schools, scientists say success and safety require caution both inside and outside the classroom — and preparation must begin now.

Member Stories

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

Education Week’s Madeline Will breaks down a facilities checklist to determine the estimated total of new reopening-related expenses for an average school district.

Kalyn Belsha of Chalkbeat examines how Canada’s largest school district removed police from schools and looks at what has happened since the removal.

Latest News

NYC Ed Dismantles Guidance Counselor Program

A South Bronx school still reeling from the loss of students’ parents to COVID-19 and the unexpected death of a beloved principal is now losing five of its eight guidance counselors due to city budget cuts.

Bronx Letters is one of dozens of middle and high schools in the South Bronx and Brownsville, Brooklyn, losing more than 100 critically-needed guidance counselors and social workers after city officials slashed the “Single Shepherd” initiative. Mayor de Blasio once touted the program as central to his education agenda.

Latest News

Migrant Students Work in Fields During COVID School Closures

Sisters Maria and Jennifer Salvador start their days before the sun. The Southern California teenagers report to work at an Oxnard strawberry farm with one goal: To harvest as many bright red strawberries as they can.

Each 20-pound box of stemless strawberries they collect brings in $3. 

Latest News

Texas Study Finds Black Principal Candidates Are Less Likely to Be Tapped

Educators who run U.S. schools aren’t a diverse group. Almost 80 percent of the nation’s 90,000 principals are white. Only 11 percent are Black and 9 percent are Latino, according to federal data. That doesn’t come close to reflecting the demographics of the nation’s 50 million public schoolchildren who are 46 percent white, 15 percent Black, 28 percent Latino and 6 percent Asian.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Middle School Is Often Difficult. Try Experiencing it Under Quarantine.

Leah Hampton, an eighth-grader at Falling Creek Middle School in Virginia, jokes that without her friends she’d sleep through school. Seeing them was “the best part of the day,” she said. “They woke me up before my classes.”

Her mother, Leomia Hampton, says after classes went online in mid-March, that wasn’t far from the truth. “It’s very difficult to keep her motivated, very difficult to even keep her awake,” she said of working with her daughter at home.

Latest News

Students Push UC to Abolish Police Departments

Ahmad Mahmuod was headed home from the library late one night during his freshman year at the University of California at Berkeley when he sensed someone following him. 

The person’s shadow came closer, and then a voice called out, “Young man.”

Latest News

Public Schools Are Failing Black Students With Dyslexia: One Grandmother’s Story

Geraldine Robinson stepped proudly onto the stage and stated her name. What she said next was an understatement: “I am a fightin’ grandmother.” 

Robinson, 65, is a devout and joyful Christian who’s now raising three of her grandchildren. She’s been a relentless advocate for two of them in particular. And, she told the audience, the stakes are high: “I am fighting for their life.” 

Latest News

Chicago to Lay Off 700 Teachers And Support Staff as District Sets Out to Fill 1,900 New Positions

Chicago Public Schools will lay off 286 teachers and 417 support staff because of declining enrollment and programmatic changes, the district said Thursday. But it is also ramping up hiring in other areas, looking to fill 1,900 positions by fall.

All recruitment and hiring will take place virtually, the district said, and laid-off employees will be invited to reapply.

Last year, Chicago Public Schools laid off 220 teachers and nearly 500 support personnel. It rehired more than two-thirds of those educators for open positions at other schools.

Latest News

College Football Feels Growing Impact of COVID-19

Historically black colleges and universities have canceled four football games that had been scheduled for the early part of the fall season as a growing number of players have tested positive for COVID-19 in university football programs around the country, mostly among major conference institutions.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in an interview with CNN sounded pessimistic about the odds of football seasons occurring this fall.

Member Stories

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

The so-called ivory tower offers no guarantee of equal treatment, reports The Hechinger Report’s Delece Smith-Barrow in an article detailing stories of racism on college campuses.

As school leaders are making decisions about reopening schools in the fall, Madeline Will of Education Week takes a detailed look at social distancing and safety protocols.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (June 5-11)
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After years of seeing social media posts about police killings of black people, many San Diego students say they are fed up, reports Kristen Taketa of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Chalkbeat’s Melanie Asmar and Caroline Bauman highlight 11 extraordinary new high school graduates from Colorado’s class of 2020.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (May 29-June 4)
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Kristen Graham of The Philadelphia Inquirer shares her experience of being detained by police for walking to her car past curfew despite having a press exemption.

The financial crisis wrought by COVID-19 has left schools with big budget cuts and spoiled dreams of expanded funding and teacher pay raises, reports Jeff Amy of The Associated Press.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (May 22-28)
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Sarah Garland of The Hechinger Report shares her experience of assuming the role of her child’s teacher to highlight the many challenges that parents are facing during remote learning.

For The Press of Atlantic City, Claire Lowe tells the story of four childhood friends who followed through on an eighth-grade pact to all get their college degrees in a four-year period.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (May 15-21)
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Minnesota students show off the prom finery they would have worn in photos taken by Star Tribune’s Leila Navidi and share their stories with Rachel Hutton.

Mississippi Today’s Kelsey Davis Betz examines how the coronavirus pandemic has led to plummeting FAFSA completion rates in Mississippi.

Kaylee Tornay of the Mail Tribune gathers the highs and lows of distance learning for five Oregon teachers.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (May 8-14)
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Chalkbeat’s Lori Higgins takes a look at the disruptions that COVID-19 added to an already difficult first year of college for 3 students from Detroit.

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the instability of relying on one counselor to meet the academic and mental health needs of hundreds of students, reports Neal Morton for The Hechinger Report.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (May 1-7)
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This multicultural admission coordinator focuses on embracing inclusivity by becoming a drag queen for a day, reports Eric Hoover of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Graduate students from Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management will still get the experience of walking across the stage by using robots, reports Rocio Hernandez of KJZZ.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (April 24-30)
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For The Grade, Linda Borg describes what it’s like for an education reporter to be told to stay home during a major news event. 

Madeline Will of Education Week covers how teachers with weak or unreliable internet access are making remote learning work. 

U.S. NewsJosh Moody reached out to education experts to understand short- and long-term approaches to teaching at home. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (April 17-23)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

Catherine Gewertz of Education Week covers how the many challenges of distance learning has left teachers exhausted.

As some Idaho students shift to farm labor during the day, educators and farmworker advocates worry about the toll on students’ education and health, reports Sami Edge and Nicole Foy for Idaho Education News.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (April 10-16)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

From “No (expletive) way” to buying Kaytee Clean & Cozy Extreme Odor Control bedding, Eric Gorski of Chalkbeat shares his experience of adopting his son’s classroom pets during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Knoxville News Sentinel, Monica Kast covers how the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way medical schools are teaching and what medical students are doing to help.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (April 3-9)
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Bianca Vázquez Toness of The Boston Globe details a day in the life of a Boston sixth-grader for a new series that looks at how school closures are affecting individual students.

Even $13.5 billion in coronavirus relief aid might not prevent cuts to state-level school funding, reports Andrew Ujifusa for Education Week.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (March 27- April 2)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

High school seniors are concerned about grades, financial aid, and college deadlines after the coronavirus forces schools and universities to close, reports Larry Gordon for EdSource

A group of recently arrived immigrant students and their teachers say they were forgotten when their district rolled out online teaching, reports Colleen Wright for the Miami Herald.  

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Mar. 20-26)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

A Tennessee school district seeks to help local medical professionals by printing personal protective equipment, reports Meghan Mangrum of Chattanooga Times Free Press

The Hechinger Report examines how the impacts of college closures are being felt beyond the traditional classroom.

For The Wall Street Journal, Douglas Belkin and Melissa Korn cover the impact COVID-19 will have on college fall admissions.

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.

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.