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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

A Seattle District’s Lesson for Washington Schools amid the Coronavirus Closure: Online Learning Is Hard to get Right

It was early March when the Northshore School District abruptly canceled classes, joining some of the first districts in Washington — and the nation — to close due to coronavirus concerns.

The district boasted of its preparation in “moving teaching and learning beyond the four walls of the classroom.” Teachers spent a day preparing to take their lessons virtual. Students who needed a laptop or mobile hot spot could get one at school.

Latest News

Inside the Life of a Homeless Chicago Student in the Age of Coronavirus

In all, Mariah Bingham has lived in 13 different places since she was born. She’s likely to be on the move again in the coming months.

She’s 11 years old and one of 17,000 homeless students at Chicago Public Schools.

Mariah’s going into the home stretch of fifth grade having already gone to seven schools, never with a stable learning environment.

Now the coronavirus has taken over, and Mariah feels she might take a step back academically.

Latest News

Transgender Students Worry About Being Outed

North Carolina’s transgender students are worried that their privacy and safety are being put at risk as schools switch to teaching students online during the coronavirus pandemic.

North Carolina’s public schools use a version of the PowerSchool student information system that lists the student’s legal name and gender instead of the preferred name and gender identity. LGBTQ advocates say the PowerSchool data is now being used for online learning programs, resulting in some transgender students being outed to their classmates without their consent.

Latest News

For Students at a Lone School in California, Class Is Still On

FARMERSVILLE, Calif. — At 7:45 on a recent morning, the strangest of scenes unfolded at Outside Creek Elementary: A school bus pulled up. Students stepped off and sauntered to class. The principal, Derrick Bravo, greeted a parent with a friendly hey-there handshake.

It was humdrum normalcy in the most abnormal of times, as if there were no pandemic, no statewide order to shelter in place, no social-distancing directives.

Latest News

As Higher Ed Leaders Wait for Federal Relief, Students Provide Key Services to Classmates and Communities

Last month’s historic $2.2 trillion stimulus package earmarks $14 billion to higher education, but when that money will actually reach colleges and schools is anyone’s guess. As they wait for those dollars to land, institutions are now tapping into their coffers and donation networks to supply students with crucial financial assistance.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (April 3-9)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

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.

Latest News

Florida School Boards Try To Balance Coronavirus Emergency With Sunshine

No one spoke Tuesday at a Pasco County School Board public hearing about plans to send hundreds of elementary students to different schools next year.

It wasn’t for a lack of opportunity.

Despite a state stay at home order, the board conducted its session in its usual meeting room — though it adhered to social distancing guidelines that kept the public out of the chamber until invited in one by one to speak. It also opened a teleconference line for residents to call with comments.

Latest News

School Budgets Are In Big Trouble, Especially In High-poverty Areas. Here’s Why — And What Could Help

When the last recession hit school budgets about a decade ago, it didn’t hit them equally. Affluent school districts saw their state funding drop by more than $500 per student after the downturn.

High-poverty districts in the same state lost much more: over $1,500 per student in state funds. Now, the coronavirus has brought much of the American economy to a halt. Another recession is possible, even likely. And the poorest school districts, which are particularly reliant on state funds, may once again bear the brunt of the budget crunch.

Latest News

Coronavirus Aid Might Not Prevent Cuts to School Funding, Analysis Shows

Even with $13.5 billion in coronavirus relief aid provided to schools by Congress last month, an across-the-board 8 percent cut to states’ school funding would lead to a decline in per-pupil spending in all 50 states, a new analysis shows.

In addition, the analysis by Michael Griffith, a veteran school finance consultant, finds that the K-12 relief package signed by President Donald Trump on March 27 as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act amounts to less than 2 percent of all spending on public schools.

Latest News

Coronavirus: 4 In 10 U.S. Teens Report Not Doing Online Learning

With most schools closed nationwide because of the coronavirus pandemic, a national poll of young people ages 13 to 17 suggests distance learning has been far from a universal substitute.

The poll of 849 teenagers, by Common Sense Media, conducted with SurveyMonkey, found that as schools across the country transition to some form of online learning, 41% of teenagers overall, including 47% of public school students, say they haven’t attended a single online or virtual class.

Latest News

IDEA Wins Big Grant Again as Feds Award Over $200 Million to Help Charter Networks Grow

The U.S. Department of Education awarded more than $200 million in grants to help 13 charter school networks from across the country expand.

The largest grant, $72 million over five years, went to IDEA charter network, which has been rapidly growing throughout Texas and into other states and has already netted over $200 million in federal awards.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Adrift in the Coronavirus Pandemic: Families With Children Under Age 5

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches into multiple weeks, it has had cascading effects on families, from stay-at-home orders and school closures, to layoffs, hospitalizations, and deaths. 

While public school districts throughout the country have quickly pivoted to provide meals, tech devices, and learning materials for K-12 children, low-income families with infants and toddlers have found no equivalent safety net. 

Latest News

Charlotte the Only N.C. District Kept Out of Extra State Aid Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Ninety-nine of North Carolina’s 100 counties received a boost to the amount of coronavirus relief funding they received for each public and charter school student, leaving just Mecklenburg County out of the “low-wealth” supplemental funds for education.

When Gov. Roy Cooper set aside $50 million of COVID-19 relief money for schools, half of the package was divided among counties based on the number of enrolled students. The money was earmarked for four things: meal services, emergency childcare, remote learning, and cleaning and sanitizing schools.

Latest News

Where Is the Stimulus Money, Colleges Ask?

When Congress set aside about $14 billion specifically for higher education in the stimulus bill it passed two weeks ago, lawmakers had the well-intentioned goal of most of the money going to colleges and universities that serve larger shares of lower-income students.

But lawmakers also didn’t want to penalize large institutions that don’t enroll as many lower-income students.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Competitors or Collaborators: Some School Closure Orders Look to Restrict Virtual Charters to Protect Brick-and-Mortar Schools During Coronavirus Crisis

While virtual charters have typically earned headlines for struggling academic performance, allegations of enrollment fraud and influential lobbying, the coronavirus pandemic has put the online schools in a new position: as uniquely well-suited to provide education to students amid the global crisis.

Latest News

College Made Them Feel Equal. The Virus Exposed How Unequal Their Lives Are.

The political science class was called “Forced Migration and Refugees.” Students read accounts of migrants fleeing broken economies and seeking better futures, of life plans drastically altered and the political forces that made it all seem necessary.

Then suddenly, the subject matter became personal: Haverford College shut down and evicted most students from the dormitories as the coronavirus spread through Pennsylvania.

Like many college courses around the country, the class soldiered on. The syllabus was revised. The students reconvened on a videoconferencing app.

Latest News

Planning Ahead to Catch Up Students When School Reopens After Coronavirus

In Mississippi and across the nation, schools closed because of coronavirus are struggling to find ways to educate children remotely. But even as Mississippi’s education leaders adapt to new platforms, experts say, they must begin to plan ahead. Once campuses fully reopen, schools will need clear strategies to catch up students who have been unable to keep up their studies at home, the experts advise.

Thousands of students already harmed by the state’s achievement gaps and underfunding will be hit hard.

Latest News

Coronavirus School Closures Lead to Missing Online Students

By Friday morning, only eight of Keara Williams’ 24 Advanced Placement English students had submitted the assignments she posted online after school closed three weeks ago.

By end of last week, Los Angeles Unified had not made contact with 7%, or about 8,400, of high school students since campuses shut down on March 16, marking an improvement from earlier when about 15,000 had not joined online classes.

Latest News

Rural South Carolina Students With Slow Internet Struggle to E-Learn

Burgundy Barr and her family had gotten used to having slow internet.

Their wireless internet speed is supposedly three megabits per second (mbps), Larry Barr said. He ran a test during a phone interview and the actual download speed was closer to 2.5 and the upload speed was .3 mpbs.

The average American broadband speed is more than 55 times that, at 137 mbps, according to Ookla, a company that makes apps that test internet connection speeds.

Latest News

At Home or at School, in May or in June: Advanced Placement Exams Will Go On Despite Coronavirus

They will be much shorter than usual, just 45 minutes each. They will be available to take online at home, or at school if authorities permit. And they will be monitored through security measures to deter cheating.

The Advanced Placement exams will go on, through extraordinary procedures announced Friday, even though the coronavirus pandemic has produced education disruption and chaos nationwide.

Latest News

NYC Forbids Schools From Using Zoom for Remote Learning due to Privacy and Security Concerns

New York City has banned the video conferencing platform Zoom in city schools weeks after thousands of teachers and students began using it for remote learning.

The education department received reports of issues that impact the security and privacy of the platform during the credentialing process, according to a document shared with principals that was obtained by Chalkbeat on Friday night.

“Based on the DOE’s review of those documented concerns, the DOE will no longer permit the use of Zoom at this time,” the memo said.

Latest News

Illinois Will Charge ‘Essential’ Workers $1 for Child Care During Coronavirus Emergency

Illinois will pick up all but $1 of the tab for health care workers, grocery clerks, and other “essential” workers who place their children in state-licensed child care centers or homes, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Sunday.

The governor also said the state will boost reimbursements rates by 30% for the qualifying centers and homes that operate under emergency waivers during the coronavirus pandemic. To date, Illinois has granted about 550 child care centers the waivers, and another 1,500 home-based operators also qualify. 

Latest News

As School Moves Online, Many Students Stay Logged Out

Chronic absenteeism is a problem in American education during the best of times, but now, with the vast majority of the nation’s school buildings closed and lessons being conducted remotely, more students than ever are missing class — not logging on, not checking in or not completing assignments.

The absence rate appears particularly high in schools with many low-income students, whose access to home computers and internet connections can be spotty. Some teachers report that less than half their students are regularly participating.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (March 27- April 2)
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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)
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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)
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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.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Mar. 6-12)
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Dahlia Bazzaz of the Seattle Times reports on what led to Washington’s largest school district closing because of the coronavirus and the challenges school officials are still grappling with. 

Chalkbeat’s Yana Kunichoff breaks down the challenges that arise when school officials must decide whether to close due to COVID-19.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 28-March 5)
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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. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 21- Feb. 27)
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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. 

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 14 – Feb. 20)
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Oregon is expanding its preschool services, but miscommunication between the state and local levels has made the process confusing for families, reports Jordyn Brown of The Register-Guard

Claire Lowe of the Press of Atlantic City writes about how New Jersey high schools are trying to show teens that vaping is harmful.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Feb. 7 – Feb. 13)
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In a two-part series, The Hechinger Report’s Bracey Harris covers Mississippi’s desegregation successes and failures. 

Seattle TimesNeal Morton takes an in-depth look at Australia’s early intervention efforts to steer students away from homelessness and dropping out.

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

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Jan. 31 – Feb. 6)
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For Pittsburgh’s NPR news station, Sarah Schneider examines how teachers are covering the impeachment trial in their classrooms.

For The 74, Mikhail Zinshteyn reports on the economic benefits that could arise if the government invested in single mothers’ educational success.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Jan. 24 – Jan. 30)
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Some Michigan school districts are using a controversial surveillance service to identify students in crisis, reports Jennifer Chambers for The Detroit News.

Using a synthetic frog as a more humane approach to classroom dissections has some wondering if schools are protecting students from the messiness of real science, reports Tawnell D. Hobbs for The Wall Street Journal.

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.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Jan. 17 – Jan. 23)
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For The Chronicle of Higher Education, Kelly Field reports on the efforts of a small Rhode Island college to remake higher education for those with some college, but no degree.

Columbia River Maritime Museum’s miniboat program provides students with a unique opportunity to brainstorm and troubleshoot, reports Katie Gillespie for The Columbian.

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.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Jan. 10 – Jan. 16)
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The 74’s Beth Hawkins covers the little-known true story of how Booker T. Washington and the president of Sears built 5,000 schools for generations of Southern black students.

For Washington Monthly, Grace Gedye reports on the reasons teachers pursue graduate degrees despite decades of research questioning their effectiveness.

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.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Jan. 3 – Jan. 9)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

A proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota seeks to strengthen the state’s public schools, reports Adelle Whitefoot for Duluth News Tribune.

For U.S. News & World Report, Lauren Camera covers the achievements and resignation of Louisiana’s long-serving state education chief.

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.