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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 (Feb. 7 – Feb. 13)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

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.

Latest News

Trump’s Words Used By Kids To Bully Classmates At School

Two kindergartners in Utah told a Latino boy that President Trump would send him back to Mexico, and teenagers in Maine sneered ”Ban Muslims” at a classmate wearing a hijab. In Tennessee, a group of middle-schoolers linked arms, imitating the president’s proposed border wall as they refused to let nonwhite students pass. In Ohio, another group of middle-schoolers surrounded a mixed-race sixth-grader and, as she confided to her mother, told the girl: “This is Trump country.”

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.

Latest News

Indiana Trying To Get Back Millions From Shuttered Virtual Schools

Early estimates of just how much money two online schools stole from the state of Indiana were wrong, according to a report filed Wednesday by the Indiana State Board of Accounts.

A special investigation into malfeasance by Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy found that the schools inappropriately received more than $68.7 million collectively.

Latest News

When the Culture War Comes to Class

Many professors, especially those without the protections of tenure, have come to recognize the danger of politically charged situations. All it takes is one irritated or impatient moment — perhaps secretly recorded on a student’s cellphone — to fuel the outrage machine that exists in social-media circles and on conservative outlets like Fox News. Each new controversy feeds the public appetite for stories about misbehaving liberal professors and the narrative, often misleading, that colleges are increasingly unmoored from, and even hostile to, mainstream culture.

Latest News

Alabama Constitutional Amendment 1: Here’s What you Need to Know

Only one constitutional amendment is on the Alabama primary ballot this year. 

If passed, the most significant effect of the amendment would be eliminating elections for members of a newly renamed Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education. Appointed commission members would be limited to a maximum of two terms. 

The appointed commission would also create new statewide education standards over “common core.”  

Latest News

The Broken Promise of Alexander V. Holmes County Board of Education

When it rains, the roof of the decades-old facility leaks. During the worst downpours, hallways flood. Attempts to raise taxes to build a state-of-the-art high school in this high-poverty district have failed. Rand is new to teaching at Holmes Central, but she spent three years here as a student. Since she graduated in 2013, the name of the old high school had changed, but not much else.

Latest News

King County Takes Cues From Australian Strategy For Preventing Student Homelessness and Dropping Out

GEELONG, Australia — Over the next month, as schools here begin a new year, the staff at seven campuses will interrupt homerooms, ask students to put away assignments and hand each one of them a nearly 100-question survey.

Teachers and translators will help explain the questions, some of them deeply personal: How often do you go to bed hungry? When was the last time you crashed on a friend’s couch? Do you feel safe at home?

Latest News

Teachers Unions AFT And NEA Raise Alarm Over Lockdown Drills

Ninety-five percent of American public schools conduct some form of regular active shooter safety drill — sometimes called a lockdown or active threat drill — according to the National Center for Education Statistics. But concerns are growing that these drills have not been proven effective in preventing violence and that they may even traumatize some students.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

New Campus Sexual Misconduct Rules Will Tackle Dating Violence

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s pending rules on sexual misconduct at the nation’s schools and colleges will include provisions to shore up protections for victims of stalking and dating violence, a response to lethal attacks that have underscored the weakness of current policies.

The rules will for the first time cement domestic violence, dating violence and stalking as forms of gender discrimination that schools must address under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education programs that receive government funding.

Latest News

Special Education: Students With Dyslexia Disability Battle NYC Dept. of Ed

For both boys, the struggles at school started in the first grade.

By the end of that seminal school year, both of their parents knew that something was wrong. In second grade, each boy was diagnosed with an unspecified learning disability and started receiving special education services at their public schools. “The teachers had no clue how to teach him,” said Debbie Meyer, Isaac’s mother.

Latest News

Five Candidates Vying For Two Seats On The San Diego Unified Board

School board races are usually far from the highest-profile political contests, but candidates for San Diego Unified’s board of trustees say the stakes are high in the March primary.

While school boards of past decades focused largely on test scores and budgets, candidates in 2020 are also concerned about issues like school discipline, student health and building relationships with students.

Read the full story here. 

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

Latest News

‘Fire’ Betsy DeVos? Democrats Turn Cabinet Turnover Into Campaign Attack

Democrats don’t like U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. There’s not much nuance you need to know about that. But a few Democratic candidates for president, and one of the groups most strongly opposed to DeVos, are putting an interesting twist on their attacks on one of Trump’s longest-serving, most-divisive cabinet members. 

Read the full story here. 

Latest News

Multiple Candidates Vying in State Board of Education District Representing San Antonio

Three Republicans and two Democrats are running in primary elections for the open District 5 seat on the State Board of Education, a 15-member panel that makes crucial and often controversial decisions on what gets taught at public schools.

Ken Mercer of San Antonio, a conservative Republican, is not seeking reelection after holding the seat for 14 years.

Read the full story here. 

Latest News

How to Help Students Cope With Mental Health in Schools

As many as one in five children need help with a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression. These students often have trouble processing information or focusing, which can contribute to a cycle of increased anxiety, dropping grades and missed school, say experts.

Latest News

School Finance: Five Things to Watch for in This Year’s State Legislative Sessions

State coffers are, by and large, flush with cash again this year. The country is more than a decade out of the recession, and property, sales, and income tax revenues are finally starting to rebound. This doesn’t mean, though, that districts’ coffers will be flush with cash in the 2020-21 school year. States still deliver to school districts billions of dollars in aid in a byzantine and insufficient manner which has allowed for some districts to thrive and many others to struggle. 

Latest News

Colleges Worry About Implications of Religious Freedom Rule

Higher education lobbyists are concerned that colleges and universities could be disqualified from getting millions of dollars in federal grants under a draft Trump administration rule, which is aimed at increasing the legal rights of campus religious groups to be able to exclude gay students and others.

Colleges could face substantial penalties under the proposal, said Terry Hartle, the American Council on Education’s senior vice president for government and public affairs.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Jan. 31 – Feb. 6)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

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.

Latest News

Presidential Candidate Tom Steyer’s Education Plan: Triple Title I, Tackle Dropout Rate

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer released an education plan Thursday that calls for tripling federal funding for high-poverty schools, providing universal preschool, and using federal incentives to raise teacher pay.

The billionaire philanthropist also sets an ambitious goal of cutting the dropout rate in half by the end of his first term by establishing a federal task force and requiring states to adopt dropout reduction plans. (Graduation rates are already part of states’ accountability plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act.)

Latest News

At the University of New Hampshire, the Topic is College Costs, Student Debt

Four presidential candidates at the University of New Hampshire Thursday talked about college costs and the estimated $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt.

Prior to speeches by the presidential candidates, there was a panel discussion with James Kvaal, president of the Institute for College Access & Success; Daniella Gibbs Leger, executive vice president for the Center for American Progress Action Fund; and Adam Harris, staff writer for “The Atlantic.”

Latest News

N.C. Schools Chief, Amid Crowded GOP Race for Lieutenant Governor, Calls to End Common Core

State Superintendent Mark Johnson, who is campaigning to become North Carolina’s lieutenant governor, announced Thursday that he’s calling for a review of North Carolina’s Common Core math and language arts standards and U.S. history requirements.

Johnson is in a crowded field of Republican candidates running for lieutenant governor in the March primary. Conservatives have been particularly critical of Common Core, viewing it as an attempt to try to create a national curriculum.

Latest News

‘Preach it, sister!’ Why the Trump Base Loves Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos may be one of the most hated members of Donald Trump’s Cabinet, constantly mocked by Democrats on the campaign trail.

But away from the multitudes of critics and protesters, DeVos is being deployed like a rock star at Trump events as he makes a concerted push on education issues. The campaign is using DeVos, a devout Christian, to beef up ties with voters who see her as the fiercest defender of conservative education policies like vouchers and free speech on college campuses.

Latest News

Facial Recognition Moves Into a New Front: Schools

Jim Shultz tried everything he could think of to stop facial recognition technology from entering the public schools in Lockport, a small city 20 miles east of Niagara Falls. He posted about the issue in a Facebook group called Lockportians. He wrote an Op-Ed in The New York Times. He filed a petition with the superintendent of the district, where his daughter is in high school.

Latest News

Candidates in Madison School Board Race Up for Primary Weigh in on Top Issues

Three candidates for an open Madison School Board seat aligned on several issues facing the school district while offering their own solutions to other topics during a forum Tuesday.

Candidates were asked what they would do to fix a lack of transparency from the district some people perceive and how they would go about rebuilding the community’s trust.

Latest News

Trump Pushes Tax Break to Promote School Choice in State of the Union Address

President Donald Trump used his State of the Union Address Tuesday to urge Congress to greenlight a plan that would provide federal tax credits for scholarships to private schools and other education services, offering the largest stage yet for one of his administration’s key education priorities. “The next step forward in building an inclusive society is making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream,” Trump said.  “Yet, for too long, countless American children have been trapped in failing government schools.”

Latest News

Trump Uses Address to Push for Tax-Credit Scholarships

K-12 education received a rare moment in the national spotlight Tuesday night, as President Trump spent part of his third State of the Union address urging Congress to act on a major piece of pending school choice legislation. 

Speaking before the assembled members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the president prominently endorsed the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, a bill championed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that would change the tax code to help subsidize school choice offerings, including private school tuition. 

Latest News

Here’s How Some Big Names in Education Are Spending in the 2020 Presidential Race

Federal campaign finance records show that some of the biggest names in education policy and philanthropy have donated to a range of Democratic presidential hopefuls since their campaigns began, with a few donors giving to four, six, or even eight people. The nation’s largest teachers unions, meanwhile, are holding off on endorsements and have spent nothing yet.

Both are a reflection of the crowded field — and the reality that it’s far from clear who will end up winning the party’s nomination.

Latest News

Why the Rich and Powerful Keep Encouraging Young People To Be Plumbers

As the cost of college has steadily risen over the past several decades, students across the country are beginning to question if earning an advanced degree is worth it.

While research still consistently shows that earning a college degree leads to higher lifetime earnings and lower rates of unemployment, prominent figures in business have begun vocally proposing an alternative — trade school.

Latest News

Louisiana Reinventing Career and Technical Education: ‘There Is Honor in All Pathways’

The rebirth of Louisiana’s career and technical education system could become one of the state’s biggest education success stories in recent years.

Not only has the number of students graduating with career diplomas skyrocketed: Some new high school graduates are landing jobs paying $40,000 or $50,000 per year or more and starting careers that are in no danger of disappearing.

Read the full story here

Latest News

Who Could Be the Next Secretary of Education After the 2020 Election?

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has shown how politically potent and polarizing ideas like school choice can be when the public attaches them so strongly to a highly visible person. So with the Iowa caucuses upon us, let’s permit ourselves to wonder: Who could be the next secretary of education?

Latest News

Education Department Unveils Fix For Troubled Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Public servants with student loans were furious, and the U.S. Department of Education heard them. The department revealed Thursday that it will simplify the process for borrowers to apply for an expansion of the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

The move comes after a damning Government Accountability Office review, first reported by NPR. In that 2019 review, the federal watchdog found that during the expansion program’s first year, the department turned away 99% of applicants.

Latest News

More Students Are Homeless Than Ever Before

More students are living in emergency shelters, cars, motels, on the street or in some other temporary housing situation than ever before, new federal data shows.

Public schools identified more than 1.5 million children experiencing homelessness during the 2017-18 school year – an 11% increase over the previous school year and the highest number ever recorded.

Latest News

This Ex-Principal Hopes to Be the Next Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Is a future darling of the progressive movement about to move from the principal’s office to Capitol Hill? Jamaal Bowman hopes so. 

The veteran principal of a New York City public school recently left the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School to run full-time against Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., in the Democratic primary. Bowman is running to Engel’s left in an attempt to unseat the veteran Democrat, who was first elected to Congress in 1988.

Member Stories

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

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.

Latest News

Education Is the Darling of Wealthy Philanthropists, But K-12 Is Losing Its Luster

When high-wealth families around the globe are looking for causes to support, education is at the top of their list.

A new survey found that more than one quarter of charitable giving by these families goes to education causes, from early childhood to postsecondary.

Those investments in education far outpace the next largest area of support, health, which receives 14 percent of philanthropic dollars by these families. The third largest area, arts, culture, and sports, accounts for 10 percent of the charitable giving conducted by these families.

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.

Latest News

Florida Lawmakers Throw Support Behind Major Pre-K Reform Bill

Florida lawmakers threw bipartisan support behind a bill Monday that would make major changes in how the state’s prekindergarten programs are measured for success and penalized if they fall short.

Senate Bill 1688, sponsored by Sen. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, would measure programs’ effectiveness in a way that combines children’s progress made over the course of the program with their test scores at the end of pre-K, plus the quality of the children’s interactions with teachers.

Latest News

Trump Travel Ban Expansion Could Affect HBCUs

This week, President Trump is expected to announce an expansion of his controversial travel ban that prohibits nearly all people from selected countries from traveling to or immigrating to the United States. The original travel ban was one of Mr. Trump’s first initiatives upon taking office and focused primarily on Muslim-majority countries. It took years of court challenges before it was finally upheld. This latest iteration is focused on a range of countries.