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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

With Higher Ed In Limbo, Students Are Switching To Community Colleges

Even before the pandemic, a small but growing number of university students looking for a cheap way to knock off a few general education requirements took the classes at their local community colleges in the summer. The strategy even has a name: “summer swirl.”

Now, far more students are signing up at or considering community colleges for not only the summer, but also potentially the fall, according to student surveys and enrollment figures from schools.

Latest News

At Least 100 Catholic Schools Across The Country May Not Reopen This Fall

Things were looking bright for All Saints Catholic School in Wilmington, Delaware. Even as enrollment in Catholic schools was dropping nationwide, its student population had grown 6% this year. Its finances were looking up too: Fundraising increased 368% in the past four years.

Then the unexpected happened: a pandemic hit. 

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Tracking the Money Congress Gave Colleges for Coronavirus Relief

College dorms are closed. Athletic events are canceled. Classes have moved online. Like so many sectors of the U.S. economy, higher education is taking a hit from the coronavirus pandemic. In March, Congress set aside more than $14 billion to help colleges and universities weather the outbreak. Here’s where most of that money has gone and why many colleges are holding out for more:

Latest News

Online or In Person, No Easy Course for Colleges in the Fall

In the college admissions field it is known as the “summer melt” —  prospective students who commit to attend a college or university and then don’t matriculate in the fall. Admissions officials fear this year’s melt could be a torrent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will exacerbate what has become a historically difficult year for the state’s college and universities.

“This is unprecedented … surreal,” said George S. Synodi, the University of New Haven’s vice-president for finance and administration. 

Latest News

School Superintendents Dismiss White House, Will Follow Leaked CDC Guidance on Reopening Schools

School district superintendents – those responsible for making decisions about how and when to reopen schools – are planning to follow detailed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that was shelved by the White House last month instead of the official guidance published Thursday.

Education officials have been clamoring for more thorough direction from the Trump administration as to how and when they can safely reopen schools, but the long-awaited CDC guidance published to its web site last night – a one-page decision tree – left them underwhelmed.

Latest News

Size of State Budget Cuts Becomes Clearer

Seemingly daily lately, officials in states around the country have announced the need to make major cuts that could hit colleges and universities. And Thursday was no exception, as California governor Gavin Newsom said the state would have to cut higher education by $1.7 billion to close a mammoth $54.3 billion budget hole caused by the pandemic.

Latest News

Rap Video Challenge Enlists Youth to Fight Pandemic Apathy

The young rappers recorded their videos in kitchens, laundry rooms, garages, bedrooms and outdoors. 

With beats and rhymes, the teens open a window into their lives during the pandemic. Some videos are somber. Others take a lighter approach. But the underlying theme that comes through is that COVID-19 is no joke.

Latest News

States All Over the Map on Remote Learning Rigor, Detail

Two months after schools across the country began to shut down in-person instruction in response to the coronavirus pandemic, almost every state has directed its schools to provide some kind of remote instruction, and asked millions of students to engage in distance learning. But how much instruction are states recommending, and in what form?

Latest News

Live Hearings And Cross Examinations: How Texas Universities Will Adjust to New Sexual Misconduct Policies

A new set of regulations from the U.S. Department of Education will change how colleges and universities handle sexual misconduct. For some Texas schools, the changes will be harder to adjust to than others.

The federal regulations, released May 6, are the result of about three years of efforts by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to rescind Obama-era practices and implement new standards for addressing sexual misconduct on college campuses under Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination.

Latest News

High School Seniors Protest Plan For Large Graduation Ceremonies in Alabama Next Week

Jeanarry Hernandez, one of 17 valedictorians in the senior class at Hoover High, says she will sit out her own graduation ceremony, a gathering of 650 seniors now planned for next week.

The seniors are heading to the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium on May 21, and each can invite four family members to watch. The crowd will be asked to maintain distance. And every senior will be issued a mask.

Latest News

What the Resolution of Detroit’s Literacy Case Could Mean For America

The decision was groundbreaking: students have a right to literacy, a federal appeals court ruled last month, prompted by the dire performance and the sometimes horrific conditions of Detroit’s public schools.

But it wasn’t clear then whether that decision would be quickly appealed and overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. On Thursday, there was an answer: Michigan officials settled the case.

Latest News

Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Revision Cuts Programs to Recruit, Train Teachers

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s biggest education priority in his proposed state budget — $915 million to recruit and train teachers — was eliminated in his May budget revision released Thursday.

The proposed funds are more than the amount spent for teacher development in the five previous years combined, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Latest News

How Three Mothers of Students With Special Needs are Getting Through the Pandemic

In one household, a mother has taken on the role of three adults to meet the emotional, educational and physical needs of her partially paralyzed teenage daughter. 

Across town, a mom facing homelessness has turned a hotel room into a home and school for her family of five, and a son with ADHD. 

In another home, a mother of a son with Autism is watching their relationship change as she takes on the role of educator and therapist.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (May 8-14)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

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.

Latest News

Betsy DeVos’s Handling of Higher Ed Relief Money Draws Criticism

When the novel coronavirus forced colleges and universities to abruptly send students and faculty home for the semester, vulnerable students scrambled to continue their studies amid financial stress, and schools reeled from housing refunds and other lost revenue.

Enter Congress with a $14 billion lifeline.

Schools, anticipating a deepening economic crisis, had lobbied for more, but they still welcomed the support. And they hoped for swift and clear guidance from the Education Department, which Congress tasked with dispensing funding as quickly as possible.

Latest News

How the Pandemic Has Transformed the College Experience and Could Transform It Even More

Colleges change with the times. New Jersey’s colonial theological seminaries are today’s leading research universities; its teacher training colleges expanded to liberal arts; and an education once reserved for white wealthy males is now open to all.

Higher education is on the cusp of another transformation, but not for occupational or societal reasons: the drivers this time are a coronavirus pandemic that sent students home for virtual learning and a gutted economy some fear might keep them there.

Latest News

Education Department’s New $120 Million In Grants For Short-Term Career Programs

While emergency grants for colleges and their students from the CARES Act have gotten much attention in the past few weeks, that funding isn’t the only stream of new federal money headed for higher education.

The U.S. Department of Education also is planning to distribute $127.5 million as part of its Reimagining Workforce Preparation grant program. But the department so far has released scant information about what sort of programs the grants should be used to fund, and through what sort of institutions.

Latest News

School Meal Programs Seek Relief, Plan For Uncertain Summer

School districts are distributing millions of meals for students per week — primarily through grab-and-go sites and school bus deliveries — but nutrition experts are shifting their focus toward how to keep feeding students over the summer.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Recruitment Opportunities Dry Up, Teachers Back Out As Districts Look to Hire for Fall

Lisa Parady is the executive director of the Alaska Council of School Administrators. She said she’s heard similar struggles and challenges around unfilled positions from administrators all over the state including Chugach, Alaska Gateway and Haines school districts.  

Schools were struggling with teacher, principal and superintendent turnover even before the pandemic, Parady said. 

Latest News

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is Determined to Open Chicago Public Schools This Fall

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday she is determined to reopen Chicago Public Schools on time this fall, but do it safely, perhaps by using “alternate days, kind of a platoon” system to limit the numbers of students and teachers in schools at one time.

Declaring “students need their teachers,” Lightfoot recalled how moved she was to see video during the pandemic of an elementary school teacher who “literally drove to her student’s house, sat in the driveway” to maintain social distance and read the young girl a book.

Latest News

Teachers at Higher Risk of COVID-19 Wonder: Should I Even Go Back?

When school buildings reopen, many teachers might not be there.

About 18 percent of all teachers are aged 55 or older. That age group accounts for about 92 percent of deaths in the United States due to COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although adults who are 65 and older are most at risk. Teachers with underlying medical conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, are also at high risk for severe illness caused by the coronavirus.

Latest News

Banquet Canceled, Schools Still Honor Students Who Turned It Around

Most springs, the Pasco school district celebrates its middle and high school turnaround students with a full buffet luncheon, live music, and inspirational speeches aimed at conveying the value they place on the teens who have overcome obstacles to find success.

Social distancing squashed that opportunity for this season. But organizer Ramón Suarez, who oversees the district’s graduation enhancement program, refused to allow the recognition to disappear.

Latest News

Coronavirus Graduation 2020: Florida Seniors’ Ceremony Daytona 500

The coronavirus pandemic has spoiled graduation plans for many families across the country, but for seniors at two Florida schools, missing out on walking across a stage to receive their diplomas means they’ll be crossing high school’s finish line in style: with a lap at the home of the Daytona 500.

The idea came to Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile one night in a dream. 

Latest News

One Option For Ohio Schools This Fall: Two Days In-Person Per Week

When students return to the classroom this fall, school could look very different.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday that schools were considering different options for keeping students apart and limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus.

One scenario: Some students would attend classes in person for two days then another group would attend in-person classes on two different days.

“I’m not saying that’s where we end up,” DeWine said. “My recommendation to schools is to look at different options. Come up with what is unique to you.”

Latest News

Betsy DeVos’ New Title IX Rules Will Shake Up How K-12 Schools Handle Sexual Harassment

New regulations released Wednesday by the Education Department will change how K-12 schools respond to students’ reports of sexual assault and harassment, requiring administrators to more formally investigate claims and share the evidence with accused students and their parents.

The long-awaited rules, which apply to colleges as well as K-12 schools, mark the first time the department has established regulations under the gender equity law Title IX detailing what schools must do when dealing with sexual assault cases involving students.

Latest News

Colleges Need Students To Decide. Students Aren’t Ready. And Everyone’s Nervous About Fall.

At first, Rosalie Ngatchou wanted to go far away to college, to see more of the world and gain independence. A senior at a D.C. charter school, she cast her eyes to an outpost of the State University of New York in Oswego on Lake Ontario.

Now, like many college-bound students, she’s thinking local.

Her mother’s day-care business has closed. Money is tighter. Familiar surroundings feel safer. So Ngatchou is taking a second look at schools closer to home: University of the District of Columbia and George Mason University in Northern Virginia.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (May 1-7)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

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.

Latest News

Geometry Score Soon Could Substitute For Algebra Graduation Mandate

With this spring’s Algebra I end-of-course exam canceled, Florida Education Department officials looked for a way to give non-seniors taking the course another way to still meet their math graduation requirement without having to wait for months to take the algebra test.

They settled on adding the geometry end-of-course exam, which comes at the end of the subject that most teens take a year after algebra, as a substitute.

Latest News

Betsy DeVos Completes Sexual Assault Rules

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday issued final rules for how public and private schools and colleges must address allegations of sexual misconduct, locking in protections for accused students and faculty but tempering earlier proposals that critics said would harm victims of assault and harassment.

Latest News

Drag Queen for a Day: Why This Admissions Officer Walked the Walk of Inclusion on HBO

on’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his high heels. Or until you’ve taken a few steps in them at least. If it feels uncomfortable, that’s kind of the point.

Are you with me? Because the story of Darryl W. Jones, an admissions officer who became a drag queen for a day, is the story the weary realm of higher education needs right now. The story of a guy who put himself out there — in a dress, on a stage — for the sake of others. For an important reason.

Latest News

Chicago Public Schools Kindergartners on Pandemic, Quarantine: Their Thoughts, Fears and Tips for Beating the Coronavirus: ‘Kick it in the Butt!’

Kindergarten is already a time of momentous change for most kids.

Priorities have to be established — how much play time vs. snack time — and lessons have to be learned — the alphabet, numbers and coins, to name a few.

But the pandemic that has disrupted the first year in school for this year’s bunch has made their time of transition that much more challenging.

Over the past week, the Sun-Times spoke to a half-dozen Chicago-area kindergartners, who put the coronavirus pandemic in perspective — their perspective.

Latest News

Schools Face Nightmare Scenario After Coronavirus Crisis

School officials from the country’s biggest school districts recently sent a message to Congress: Inject the K-12 system with a serious infusion of cash ahead of what forecasters say is the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, or brace for the catastrophic results of hallowed out school budgets.

They paint a nightmare scenario that’s “far more severe and promises to cause much more substantial damage” than the budget cuts that occurred in 2008 during the Great Recession.

Latest News

District Hard-Hit by COVID-19 Begins ‘Tough Work’ of Getting On

Southwest Georgia has seen its share of disasters over the past few years, including tornadoes and hurricanes in 2017 and 2018 that tore through the community, destroying farms and homes and temporarily disrupting schools.

But nothing so far compares to how coronavirus has ravaged this corner of the state, anchored by Albany, the region’s largest city.

Latest News

Come Fall, How Will K-12 Schools Look in the New Abnormal?

No one is sure how and when America’s schools will reopen and what the return of 54 million children isolated at home by the coronavirus shutdown will entail.

“K-12 schools will have the hardest summer they ever had,” said Ben Scafidi, director of the Education Economics Center at Kennesaw State University and a former education policy adviser to Govs. Sonny Perdue and Roy Barnes. “There is so much uncertainty.”

Latest News

‘They Need Our Help’: Free Meals During Coronavirus Will Cost Baltimore-Area Schools Millions Without Aid

At lunchtime on a recent weekday, Shelise Harding and Christine David wheeled a tray cart to the walk-in refrigerator in the kitchen of John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School and loaded it with boxed-to-go meals they’d prepared: fruit, vegetables, tuna sandwiches, crackers, bread and milk.

Bypassing the school’s empty lunch line and the cafeteria tables bearing boxes of Maryland Food Bank donations, food service workers rolled cart after cart of meals to a waiting line of students, parents and others in need at one of the school’s entrances.

Latest News

Coronavirus Pandemic A Struggle For Older NYC High Schoolers

She has no time for schoolwork — so Maira Ramirez feels a pang of guilt when her phone buzzes with class assignments while she’s working double shifts at a kosher market to support her financially-strapped family during the pandemic.

Since the coronavirus hit and her mom lost her job as a cleaner, Ramirez has worked 12- to 14-hour shifts many days to help cover her family’s financial gaps. Sometimes she gets to work at 9 a.m. and isn’t able to get to bed until 1 a.m.. She has hardly a minute to spare for the remote learning assignments she needs to graduate this June.