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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

Why Are Some Colleges Closing Over Virus Concerns While Others Stay Open?

As the new coronavirus continues to cause chaos and anxiety in the U.S., many colleges and universities are responding by closing up shop. Some have canceled face-to-face instruction and moved online, while others have gone a step further and called for residence halls to be emptied. One institution, Berea College, has said there will be no further instruction at all, effectively ending the semester early.

Latest News

Here’s Why San Francisco Public Schools Will Remain Open

Cases of the coronavirus will inevitably hit students and staff in San Francisco classrooms, but for now, all public schools will remain open across the city, officials said Wednesday.

“After careful consideration and hours of consultation” and despite calls from parents to shut down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the 132 schools serving 56,000 students in the district will remain open, said San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Vincent Matthews.

Latest News

Seattle Public Schools to Close for Two Weeks in Light of Coronavirus Concerns

Seattle Public Schools will close for a minimum of two weeks starting Thursday, according to an email sent to school administrators Wednesday. The district later confirmed the news in a press release.

The email said the decision was made after conferring with county and school officials. It instructs principals to treat the closure as if they are going on spring break, and lists some guidance for going forward.

“We know you do not have time to do everything and we trust that you will do your best given the circumstances,” the email said.

Latest News

When Should Schools Close for Coronavirus?

Amid the spread of COVID-19, the growing health crisis presents school leaders with a painful choice. Closing schools — as has been done, so far, in China, Japan, Italy and elsewhere — is a proven measure that has been shown to slow the spread of disease and, in turn, save lives. But it also causes huge economic and social disruption, especially for children, millions of whom depend on the free and reduced-cost meals they get at school.

Latest News

Rules Eased on Colleges Seeking to Close Their Campuses Amid Outbreak

 The U.S. Department of Education has moved to ease rules on colleges and universities looking to shift their classes onto the internet, as closures of campuses cascaded with the hastening spread of the coronavirus.

With fears growing in higher education, the department has granted what it said was “broad approval” to schools seeking relief from federal standards as they activated “distance learning” programs that still must comply with higher education laws.

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University Of Michigan Cancels Thursday, Friday Classes, Then Online

The University of Michigan will cancel all classes on Thursday and Friday before starting online instruction on Monday. The announcement covers the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. In addition, all events with more than 100 people scheduled are cancelled. Michigan Athletics is limiting spectators at all campus athletic events to family members and media.

Latest News

How Area Schools are Planning to Instruct Thousands of Students in the Event of Long-Term Coronavirus Closures

School districts across the region are creating online lesson plans and sending students home with packets of assignments as they brace for the prospect of the spreading coronavirus causing extended school closures.

More than a dozen districts serving thousands of students said they would preemptively close in the coming days to give administrators and teachers time to plan how best to deliver instruction to students in the event that schools are shut down.

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Coronavirus in Kentucky: Beshear Tells Schools to Prepare to Close

To stop the further spread of the coronavirus, all Kentucky school districts should be prepared to possibly close in the next few days, Gov. Andy Beshear said Wednesday.

A statewide public school closure in response to COVID-19 would be unprecedented nationally. In Kentucky, such a move would affect nearly 1,500 schools and roughly 650,000 students

Read the full story here. 

Latest News

Michigan State University Cancels In-Person Classes Amid Coronavirus

Michigan State University became the first public university in Michigan to suspend face-to-face classes, going online only starting at noon Wednesday. The suspension of in-person classes will last until April 20, MSU President Samuel Stanley wrote in an email to the university.

“We will re-evaluate this decision on an ongoing basis,” he said. “During this time period, students doing purely remote work can return to their permanent place of residence and we strongly encourage this because there are advantages for social distancing.

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School Elections: Pocatello, Nampa, Kamiah Levies Pass

This time around, the Nampa School District passed a supplemental levy, after failing by the narrowest of margins in November. And for north-central Idaho’s Kamiah School District, a supplemental levy has narrowly passed — a year after the cash-strapped district had to close its middle school. All told, 41 school districts sought levies Tuesday. Here are some key results.

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In a Plan to Bring Yoga to Alabama Schools, Stretching Is Allowed. ‘Namaste’ Isn’t.

ATLANTA — Across Alabama, yoga is freely taught at dozens of studios, in Christian churches and inside prisons.

But for nearly three decades, it has been illegal to teach yoga — a combination of breathing exercises and stretches with connections to Hinduism and Buddhism — inside the state’s public school classrooms, with detractors warning it would amount to a tacit endorsement of a “non-Christian” belief.

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A ‘Slow-Roll’ Crisis: Local Colleges Prepare For Coronavirus

Emmanuel College in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood has asked 14 students pulled from their study abroad programs in Italy to self-isolate for two weeks, even if they are symptom-free.

Colleges in the Boston area are hoping to prevent that kind of widespread contagion, spelling out protective protocols and preparing for the worst. Containing a potential outbreak could be difficult, though, with thousands of students living in such close quarters.

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Bernie’s Billion-Dollar Education Plan: Sanders’s Proposal Would Dramatically Expand Magnet Funding to Integrate America’s Racially Isolated Schools. But Will It Work?

His education platform, released a day after Brown’s 65th anniversary and dubbed the Thurgood Marshall Plan for a Quality Public Education for All, seeks to pump $1 billion in federal money to magnet schools as a way to promote racial integration. The schools, which came to prominence in the 1970s, often offer specialized programs such as arts education to entice white families to enroll their children in integrated settings. The Sanders plan would provide nearly 10 times the current level of federal investment in magnet schools.

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Stanford, Others Switch to Online Classes Temporarily Amid Coronavirus Fears

Stanford University canceled in-person classes for the final two weeks of the quarter, switching to online instruction amid rising concern about the coronavirus outbreak.

As the coronavirus first reported in China spreads in the United States, several schools have taken this step as a precaution, hoping to avoid further infections on campus.

The decisions, which affect tens of thousands of students and faculty members, will be closely watched as university leaders grapple with how best to fight the outbreak.

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Six Ways Colleges And Universities Are Responding To Coronavirus

So far just a few U.S. higher education students have confirmed exposure to COVID-19, mainly through contact with patients in hospitals. There are no outbreaks centered on campuses, and young people as a group appear less susceptible to the disease.

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School Bonds Usually are a Cinch in California — What Happened this Time?

For a generation, school bonds have been more or less a slam dunk in California. Locally and statewide, voters consistently have supported borrowing to build and maintain classrooms. 

Not this election. As the state slowly tallies the returns from Super Tuesday, the numbers are painting a decidedly unfamiliar picture: Proposition 13, the sweeping $15 billion bond for school construction, was trailing late Thursday with only 44.6% approval. 

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Interactive: See Every Education Issue Prioritized by Governors in 41 State of the State Speeches — From Free College to Mental Health, Early Ed & Beyond

Governors’ annual State of the State addresses are windows into what’s likely to be at the top of state education agendas in the coming year — and what’s not. FutureEd, a think tank at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, analyzed the 41 gubernatorial speeches delivered so far this year and found that while every state leader highlighted the importance of education, the governors talked a lot more about expanding educational opportunities than improving the performance of the nation’s schools and colleges.

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The Bleak Job Landscape of Adjunctopia for Ph.D.s

The humanities labor market is in crisis. Higher education industry trade publications are full of essays by young Ph.D.s who despair of ever finding a steady job. Phrases like “unfolding catastrophe” and “extinction event” are common. The number of new jobs for English professors has fallen every year since 2012, by a total of 33 percent.

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A Fairer Way to Judge High Schools? This State is Trying to Find Out Which Schools Really Help Students Graduate

A high school graduates only 65% of its students. Does that mean it’s a bad school?

Most would assume yes. In fact, federal law requires that high schools with graduation rates below 67% be flagged as low-performing.

But what if that high school serves only students who were unlikely to graduate at all — who arrive far below grade level and on the verge of dropping out? Is that school actually doing a worse job than the school with a 90% graduation rate serving mostly affluent students?

Latest News

Back on Capitol Hill, DeVos Addresses Pointed Questions on Budget, Coronavirus

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos struck a familiar note at a Senate hearing Thursday morning, arguing for President Trump’s 2020 budget request with a paean to local control and civic empowerment.

“Federal government spending does not determine everything that’s important to us,” she said before taking questions from members of the appropriations subcommittee on health and education. “Nor is it the only solution when we encounter challenges and opportunities. Instead, we the people overcome challenges and seize opportunities.”

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University of Washington Preparing for Potential Escalation of Coronavirus

The University of Washington is, among higher education institutions, somewhat of a ground zero for the new coronavirus. Of the 11 people killed by the virus in the United States, 10 were in Washington State.

Last week an online petition was posted asking the university, which enrolls 59,000 students on three campuses, to close. It had nearly 24,000 signatures on Thursday.

Latest News

Proposal to Let 16-Year-Olds Vote in Colorado School Board Elections Advances

The next time candidates campaign for school board seats in Colorado, they might have a new voting bloc to consider.

Legislation that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in local school board elections cleared the House State Affairs Committee on Tuesday. That same committee voted down similar legislation last year amid concerns from county clerks, who run these elections, and the Colorado Association of School Boards. Some have questioned if the idea is constitutional.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 28-March 5)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

For The Chronicle of Higher Education, Julia Schmalz covers William & Mary’s new wellness center that addresses the multiple dimensions of well-being. 

EdSurge’s Emily Tate highlights a preschool dedicated to repairing some of the damage inflicted on the youngest victims of the opioid epidemic. 

Latest News

Los Angeles School Board Races Appear Headed for Runoff Elections
Michael Burke

Two school board races in Los Angeles appear headed to runoffs in November, setting up a pivotal election this fall for California’s largest school district.

Union-backed candidates have an opportunity to claim a majority on the next school board if they sweep all four races in the election. Charter-backed candidates need to win one race to win a majority. 

Read the full story here.  

Latest News

Chicago Teachers Union Leaders Back Sanders, Becoming Latest to Offer Personal Endorsements as Unions Tread Carefully
Kalyn Belsha

Two leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union announced Wednesday that they were personally endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The show of support is the latest in a flurry of personal endorsements from top teachers union leaders, even as the unions they run have hesitated to get behind a single candidate. 

Read the full story here. 

Latest News

Alabama Voters Reject Plan To Fire State School Board

Amendment One appears headed for a resounding defeat, with early results showing Alabama voters trust themselves more than the governor when it comes to selecting who runs the state’s public schools. So, it looks like business as usual tomorrow in Alabama’s schools.

Latest News

Conservative Faculty Appear to Influence Their Students More Than Liberal Professors Do

Our research teams from Ohio State University and North Carolina State University, in partnership with Interfaith Youth Core, examined students’ experiences with fellow students who hold different beliefs as well as how these experiences are affecting them. We also looked at politics in the classroom and whether students felt that faculty instructors pressured them to align with the instructors’ political beliefs. Here’s what we found.

Latest News

Prep for Prep and the Fault Lines in New York’s Schools

Alittle more than half a century ago, New York City attempted an experiment in a handful of its public schools. In the thirteen years since Brown v. Board of Education, the city’s public schools had become more segregated. Many black parents decided that hope for their children rested in self-determination rather than in waiting for integration. Under pressure from grassroots groups, Mayor John Lindsay, a liberal Republican, approved a plan to create three locally governed school districts, in which community-elected boards would assume a degree of control over personnel and curriculum.

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Advocates Urge Education Department To Help Student Borrowers with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education must act to help thousands of student loan borrowers who have severe disabilities; that’s the message of two letters sent Tuesday to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Because of their disabilities, these borrowers qualify to have their federal student loans erased. But one letter, signed by more than 30 advocacy groups, says the department has made the application process so burdensome that most borrowers never get the help they’re entitled to.

Latest News

One California School Is Doing the Nearly Impossible: Closing the Achievement Gap

In San Diego, as with the rest of the country, poverty tracks closely with test scores.

The social science is clear: Poorer children are not less bright. They lack the same opportunities as their more affluent peers to gain cognitive skills from the moment they are born. The most pressing question in education has always been whether schools can supercharge the learning process enough to compensate for these class inequities.

At Edison Elementary in City Heights, unlike so many other schools across the city, the answer is yes.

Latest News

9 Things Educators Need to Know About Coronavirus

Coronavirus cases have now directly hit U.S. schools.

In Oregon, state health officials on Friday said a person who has “presumptively” tested positive for the virus had spent time in an elementary school outside Portland, possibly exposing students and staff there.

In Washington state, state health officials said a high school student in the Seattle area had gotten a “presumptive” positive test and had spent a brief amount of time on his campus this week.

Latest News

Working Moms Are No Longer a Niche Group. Will 2020 Be Their Moment?
Lillian Mongeau

Despite these overwhelming numbers, the federal government does little to subsidize child care. That hurts working moms, who are more likely than working dads to leave their jobs when they can’t find child care, according to a survey conducted by the liberal think tank, Center for American Progress. And working moms were 40 percent more likely than working dads to say that child care issues had negatively affected their careers.

Latest News

AFT President Endorses Warren: ‘It Would Be Great to Send a Teacher to the White House’
Evie Blad

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten endorsed Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign Saturday, days before crucial Super Tuesday contests in 14 states.

In her endorsement, Weingarten cited Warren’ts plans for education, health care, and student debt, and her qualities as a “smart and strategic debater and thinker.”

Read the full story here. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 21- Feb. 27)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

For WHYY, Avi Wolfman-Arent reports on a small Pennsylvania program that could be a glimpse into the future of higher education.

Katherine Knott of The Daily Progress takes an in-depth look at how Charlottesville elementary schools are embracing the science of reading. 

Latest News

On Education, Sanders Lauded for Substance, Knocked for Cost
Collin Binkley

During the 2016 Democratic presidential race, when Bernie Sanders pushed making college free, it was seen as a radical idea from a fringe candidate.

The Vermont senator returned with the same idea in 2020. Only this time, it’s helped propel him to the front of field.

He’s pushing the same free college plan, but now he also wants to wipe out student debt, boost teachers’ wages and halt the expansion of charter schools.

Read the full story here. 

Latest News

The Colorado Education Voter’s Guide to the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary
Erica Meltzer

 The 2020 Democratic presidential primary this time involves a new process — and unaffiliated voters will also have a say.

Voters have until Tuesday to return their ballots.

The Democratic presidential primary election comes amid a shift in how many Democratic voters view education policy, partly in reaction to President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Read the full story here. 

Latest News

Charter School Politics Still in Play in LA Unified School Board Elections
Michael Burke

The majority of Los Angeles Unified school board seats are up for grabs next week, a pivotal election that will shape how the state’s largest school district approaches several key challenges. 

The next school board will have to grapple with budget deficits, enrollment declines and achievement gaps for black, Latino, low-income and other underserved students. However, the biggest issue framing the March 3 primary, with four of seven board seats on the ballot, remains charter schools and how to handle efforts to expand school choice. 

Latest News

Bernie Sanders’ Record on Testing and No Child Left Behind: A Brief History
Andrew Ujifusa

When Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has discussed K-12 education during his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, one of his favorite topics is his 2001 vote against the No Child Left Behind Act, which among other things instituted new testing requirements in grades 3-8 and high school as well as federally mandated consequences for schools doing poorly on the tests. 

Read the full story here. 

Latest News

These 10 Charter Schools Are Here to Stay, N.J. Says. One Is Not.

New Jersey charter schools continue growing at a sluggish pace under Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration, despite calls for a moratorium from the state’s largest teachers union.

Ten of the 11 charter schools up for renewal this year were approved by the state and given five-year extensions, according to decisions obtained by NJ Advance Media. Another four charters were granted grade or enrollment expansions, according to the Feb. 3 decisions received via an open records request.