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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. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (April 24-30)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

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. 

Latest News

Is Learning To Read A Constitutional Right?

At his Detroit high school, Jamarria Hall loved the classes where students could share textbooks, passing six torn and outdated hardcovers among 35 students to take turns reading.

Hall loved those, he said, because in most classes at Osborn High School he had no books. Instead, students copied down whatever the teacher wrote on the board. Or maybe they had a printout from the school’s copy machine.

A federal appellate court last week agreed and in a historic ruling determined that the students’ constitutional rights were violated by that level of deprivation.

Latest News

Coronavirus Separates Student Teachers From Their K-12 and College Classrooms, Forcing Them to Scramble and States to Change License Rules

Around the country, student teachers face a uniquely challenging situation, physically disconnected from both their colleges and the schools where they expected to be student teaching this semester. Many are unable to finish up final tests for teacher licensure and, like most children, teachers and parents, experienced an abrupt transition to remote learning at both institutions. Meanwhile, fewer students have been enrolling in university teacher training programs in recent years, and many school leaders struggle to fill teaching positions every year.

Latest News

How Schools Are Planning To Reopen In Fall

From the White House podium to harried homes, pressure is building to reopen the nation’s schools. But the next iteration of American education will look far different from the classrooms students and teachers abruptly departed last month.

Many overwhelmed school systems remain focused on running remote education that was set up on the fly. Others, though, are deep into planning for what they see coming: an in-between scenario in which schools are open but children are spread out in places where they are normally packed together.

Latest News

Schools Lean on Staff Who Speak Students’ Language to Keep English-Learners Connected

Distance learning has posed a significant challenge for families who are not fluent in English and the teachers who educate them and will continue to be in the months ahead.

Nearly 5 million U.S. schoolchildren are classified as English-language learners and millions more come from homes where their parents speak a different language: About 1 in 4 children, roughly 18 million, in the nation’s K-12 schools live with immigrant parents.

Latest News

‘We Don’t Take Students for Granted’: How a Small Alabama College Is Weathering COVID-19

COVID-19 has shuttered most colleges across the country, and students are beginning to rethink their future as financial losses come into play. Thomason and her colleagues are trying everything they can to keep students on track for Spring Hill. And they aren’t alone. EBT, an education firm that studies enrollment, polled admissions leaders around the country on their concern for Fall 2020 enrollment. On a scale of one to five – five being the worst — 43% of those leaders said they were the most concerned and 32% polled four on the scale.

Latest News

Pandemic Response: [Okla.] State Board of Education to Consider Stop-Gap Measure For New Teachers Unable to Complete Final Certification Requirements

Pandemic-related school closures and the halting of all public gatherings for everything including teacher certification tests could put a whole new batch of Oklahoma teacher candidates in limbo.

That’s why the Oklahoma State Board of Education will be asked to approve a stopgap measure on Thursday, giving new teachers a temporary state certification until they can complete their final requirements.

Latest News

Colleges Make Plans For Bringing Students Back

In a different year, incoming freshmen would already have in hand a tightly choreographed schedule for late summer and early fall: the move-in date, the orientation and, finally, the first day of classes.

But on the coronavirus pandemic calendar, there are no dates yet for the next academic year. Just scenarios. And that unprecedented uncertainty is ­fueling a second wave of crisis for schools already plunged into financial distress.

Latest News

Financial Crisis Related to Coronavirus Hits Athletic Departments

Ali Wahab learned on a Zoom call that he would no longer be a wrestler for Old Dominion University.

None of the 32 students in the program would be, either, his coaches said during the hastily arranged virtual meeting earlier this month when they announced the bad news. The university is eliminating the wrestling program, and the decision was made in part because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Latest News

Philadelphia and Other School Districts Resisted Transition to Online Instruction Over Equity Concerns. Advocates Say Children with Disabilities were ‘Scapegoated’

Despite the pounding rain and a tornado watch one recent Monday morning, Anna Perng stood in a line that wrapped around her son’s elementary school in South Philadelphia. Huddled along the side of the brick building, she struggled to keep six feet of distance between herself and other parents, many of whom lacked umbrellas, let alone face masks.

Latest News

Shouldering The Burden, One Class At A Time

For the Philadelphia School District, the big number is 130,000. As the coronavirus shutdown settles in, that’s the number of students the District must now educate from a distance.

For Mattie Davis, the big number is 23. That’s the number of students in her North Philadelphia first grade classroom. And that’s the number of young educations she’s committed to saving, if necessary, one academic packet and one mail slot at a time.

“It’s been over a month I haven’t heard any of my students read,” she lamented on Monday.

Latest News

Louisa County Rethinks Graduation Ceremony To Honor Class Of 2020

As area school systems work to figure out a way to recognize graduates, the Louisa County school division kicked off its plan this week with individual graduation ceremonies.

There were cheers — but no hugs or handshakes — for the Class of 2020 Wednesday, as Louisa County High School adapted traditions and graduation staples — minus “Pomp and Circumstance” — to make the moment special.

“It’s not the traditional graduation, but we wanted to make sure they get honored,” said Doug Straley, superintendent of Louisa County Public Schools.

Latest News

Amid Extended School Closure, Colorado To Allow Small-Group Instruction In Some Districts

Some Colorado districts are planning to have staff and students return to the classroom in the coming weeks for small-group instruction, even as the governor has extended school closures until the end of the academic year.

An amendment to Colorado’s school closure order makes it clear that this is allowed, with Gov. Jared Polis saying he applauds the innovation. One superintendent described it as a trial run for a fall semester that could look very different from the old normal.

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.

Latest News

‘Crisis Schooling’: Educators, Families Balance Learning And Well-Being Amid Closures

For Elisabeth Preis, it’s easy to describe life at home with her three kids during the school shut down. “In a word, pandemonium,” she said. “It’s just so incredibly chaotic.”

Preis is a recently widowed single parent from Brookline. She says every day is a balancing act as she tries to keep her career afloat while attempting to keep her two older kids on track with their school work and tend to a two year old.

Latest News

All the Reasons This Will Be a Bleak Summer for N.Y.C. Children

With the money she was set to earn this summer as a camp counselor in New York City, 16-year-old LaToya Beecham was finally going to be able to pay for her own school supplies in the fall, as well as chip in on groceries and rent. Though LaToya’s father is an essential worker, money has been tight, and the extra cash would have eased some of their financial stress.

None of that will happen now.

Latest News

Coronavirus Florida: How To Reopen? Tons Of Ideas, Hurdles For Schools, Theme Parks, Businesses

Lawmakers and business leaders started outlining the delicate dance of restarting businesses, putting students back in classrooms and opening beaches and theme parks.

A misstep could mean a resurgence of the deadly coronavirus strain or leave the state unprepared for the second wave predicted for the fall, according to disease experts.

The new normal won’t look like anything before the deadly coronavirus strain made its presence known, leaving left 650,000 Floridians filing for unemployment claims and forcing 3.1 million students to take classes online.

Latest News

Coronavirus Stimulus: College Students Wonder, Where Is My Money?

When the federal government announced it would distribute nearly $6.3 billion to colleges to give to students in need, the aid was met with fanfare.  The Education Department said April 9 the coronavirus money was on its way.

For nearly every student, the money still hasn’t arrived.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Coronavirus in Kentucky: Chromebooks help JCPS students stay connected

Before the coronavirus pandemic brought in-person classes to a screeching halt, high school English teacher Jaime Whitaker often had to prod her 10th-grade students just to meet the basics.

Show up to class. Participate. Turn in your work on time.

So when her school, the Academy @ Shawnee, transitioned to remote learning earlier this month, Whitaker feared the worst. Without the structure of daily school, typical teenage apathy could morph into all-out desertion. 

Instead, the opposite happened.

Latest News

How College Leaders Are Planning for the Fall

In January, when Larry Sampler called a meeting of area college leaders to discuss coronavirus-outbreak contingency plans for Metropolitan State University of Denver and other colleges, people thought he was overreacting. At the time, the virus was mushrooming across China, but only a handful of cases had turned up in the United States.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Closed Schools Create More Trauma for Students During Coronavirus

The job of the school counselor has evolved over the years, from academic guide to something deeper: the adult in a school tasked with fostering students’ social and emotional growth, a mental health first responder and a confidant for kids, especially teens, who often need a closed door and a sympathetic ear. But the closure of nearly all U.S. schools has forced counselors like Sabens to reimagine how they can do their jobs. And the stakes have never been higher.

Latest News

During Coronavirus, Unions Resist New Demands on Teachers

As the coronavirus outbreak has rapidly remade American education, teachers’ unions are asserting the power they have amassed over the last few years, this time in response to the changing demands being placed on educators in the midst of the pandemic.

Latest News

Coronavirus Turns School Cafeterias Into Soup Kitchens

BALTIMORE — On the first day of the coronavirus school closure at Sinclair Lane Elementary School, Janet Bailey, the cafeteria manager, showed up to the school’s kitchen like any other day, ready to do her job. She began fixing the favorites of the 250 or so children who relied on her to feed them daily — chicken patties, a fruit and vegetable, and flavored milk.

Latest News

In Dallas, Proms Are Canceled, Graduation Is up in the Air

Graduation and many other rites of passage for this year’s seniors aren’t a given as school officials across the country are in rapid-response mode, shifting millions of students to online classes and trying to figure out what comes next.

School officials are scrambling to ensure the teens can still earn a diploma and mark the milestone in some special way even if it can’t be in person.

And students’ families and even strangers are trying to find ways to keep spirits up during these last few weeks of school.

Latest News

In Denmark, the Rarest of Sights: Classrooms Full of Students

LOGUMKLOSTER, Denmark — The cluster of red brick buildings in a remote part of southern Denmark looks unremarkable from the outside, but this week, its classrooms housed some of the rarest people during the pandemic in Europe.

Schoolchildren.

Latest News

DeVos’ Ed Department Warns Governors About Sending Stimulus Money To Teachers Unions

Governors have a lot of leeway to decide how they’ll spend the nearly $3 billion in emergency education aid that was set aside for them in the latest coronavirus stimulus package.

They can give the money to school districts, colleges, or any “education related entity” that’s providing emergency educational services, child care, social and emotional support, or is working to protect education jobs, the law says.

Latest News

College Librarians Prepare For Looming Budget Cuts, And Journal Subscriptions Could Be In For A Trim

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, library budgets were hit hard.

Cuts were widespread and ran deep. Staff, collections, equipment and facilities at even the wealthiest institutions were affected.

While tough economic times call for all areas of an institution to tighten belts, libraries seemed to be particularly adversely impacted by the recession. Library budgets as a percentage of total institutional spending shrank, and in some places they never fully recovered.

Latest News

Michigan Schools Think Outside The Box With Remote Learning Plans

As school districts roll out their new distance learning plans this week, it’s clear Michigan’s 1.5 million students will be experiencing public education differently depending on where they live.

K-8 students in one Oakland County district will be greeted with a morning “video bell” from their teacher signaling it is time to get to work online, and they will be invited to join two online classroom meetings each school day for prerecorded mini-lessons.

Latest News

Exhausted and Grieving: Teaching During the Coronavirus Crisis

Stress isn’t new to teachers, but what they’re experiencing now makes their typical stress seem like a picnic. Driven by a pandemic to the front lines of an unprecedented rush to distance-learning, the nation’s teachers are scrambling to manage an armful of new challenges. And they’re exhausted.

Latest News

One Alabama County Relies on Army of Volunteers to Keep Feeding Children

Bags that typically hold ice now hold enough food for a week—seven lunches and seven breakfasts—for every child that needs one. Plus, a gallon of milk. The food is paid for up front by Elmore County schools but will be reimbursed at the end of the month by the USDA.

“Over half of our kids are on free or reduced lunch,” said Superintendent Richard Dennis in Elmore County, a mostly rural area with just under 12,000 students. They knew they’d need to keep feeding their students even if schools closed.

Latest News

Schools Struggle to Educate Students With Disabilities Amid Pandemic

Setting up distance learning for the 55 million students who were forced out of school by the coronavirus pandemic is a challenge, but it’s even more of a challenge for educators to figure out how to best educate the 7 million students with disabilities. And those students, who are less likely to be able to access online education, are also at much greater risk of falling behind.

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.

Latest News

States Face Thorny Issues in Deciding When to Reopen Schools Post-Pandemic

Across the nation, differing visions of how and when to reopen school buildings that were closed—many for the rest of the school year—to slow the spread of the coronavirus are creating tension among local, state, and federal officials.

While President Donald Trump casts an ambitious goal of “reopening the country” in early May, some of his own federal agencies say getting the economy back up to speed is closely linked to having schools safely open their doors, freeing up parents to re-enter the workforce.

Latest News

College Board Cancels June SAT Tests And Floats An ‘Unlikely’ Scenario: College Admission Exams At Home

The spring wave of SAT cancellations continued Wednesday as the College Board announced it will scrap the college admissions test scheduled for June 6 nationwide because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now comes what the testing organization calls an “unlikely” scenario: the prospect that the high-stakes SAT could be administered online, and at home, this fall.

Latest News

College Students Protest Paying Full Tuition After Coronavirus

His professors adapted swiftly to the campus closure. His classes are continuing online. He expects to graduate on time this spring from Johns Hopkins University, albeit without the pomp of commencement.

Yet Pavan Patel wonders why he and others at the private research university in Baltimore are not getting at least a partial tuition refund. Their education, as this school year ends in the shadow of a deadly pandemic, is nothing like the immersive academic and social experience students imagined when they enrolled. But tuition remains the same: $27,675 per semester.

Latest News

Public Colleges Face Looming Financial Blow From State Budget Cuts

Financial pain from the coronavirus pandemic is hitting the nation’s colleges and universities hard, and Northwest Missouri State University is no exception. John Jasinski, president of the four-year institution, which enrolls more than 7,000 students and is located 100 miles north of Kansas City, Mo., has been dealing with serious challenges the crisis brought to the university’s budget.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

How Should Colleges Prepare for a Post-Pandemic World?

If one were to invent a crisis uniquely and diabolically designed to undermine the foundations of traditional colleges and universities, it might look very much like the current global pandemic. An industry that for decades has seemed immune to radical change has been confronted by an enemy that appears to turn its strengths into weaknesses and its defining characteristics into vulnerabilities.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Coronavirus Changes Where Students Go to College, FAFSA Financial Aid

Now that the coronavirus outbreak is underway, Zach Klein, 17, is wishing he had applied to a wider variety of schools, specifically those in rural areas that might be less affected by the virus. He is glad, though, that he applied to his mother’s alma mater, Miami University in Ohio. It initially wasn’t high on his list, but now he is reconsidering. 

After all, he said, what’s the point of living in a bustling city if he can never leave his dorm under a quarantine? 

Latest News

Present or Absent? With Schools Closed, Some Districts Stop Tracking Attendance, While Others Redefine It

Taking “attendance” in America’s schools has never been more complicated. With school buildings closed nationwide, what once was a straightforward endeavor has become something of an anything-goes attempt to track whether students are engaged.

The stakes are high. Most students are poised to go without months of traditional instruction, and the learning losses could be significant — especially for those who don’t engage at all as schools attempt to teach remotely.

Latest News

Arizona Schools Are Running out of To-Go Meals

At least two metro Phoenix school districts have encountered problems with food supply, prompting the state’s largest school district, Mesa Public Schools, to scale back meal distribution. 

Since the schools were closed several weeks ago, many of the state’s larger school districts have been distributing free to-go breakfasts and lunches every weekday to any child who comes to get one.