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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

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)
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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. 

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. 

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)
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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.  

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Dec. 27 – Jan. 2)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

A San Antonio school district’s approach to allocating funds for its highest-need schools served as a model for new statewide system, reports Emily Donaldson for the Rivard Report

The Salem Statesman Journal’s Natalie Pate tells the story of a Princeton scholarship recipient looking to the past of his immigrant parents to motivate his future.

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.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Dec. 20 – 26)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

Children of veterans facing financial peril after Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits are canceled, reports Stephanie Zimmermann for Chicago Sun Times

For the San Antonio Express News, Krista Torralva reports on the limited pre-K access for families that don’t qualify for the city’s public program, but can’t afford private preschool.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Dec. 13 – 19)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

Vermont Public Radio’s Amy Kolb Noyes reports on a new online tool that helps students predict the actual cost of a college education. 

For Idaho Education News’ Reading Challenge Series, Kevin Richert reports on five schools that have seen significant improvements in reading scores.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Dec. 6 – Dec. 12)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

The Courier Journal’s Mandy McLaren reports on Louisville’s $15 billion problem of “disconnected” youth who are not in school and not working. 

On the four year anniversary of ESSA, Andrew Ujifusa, Evie Blad, and Daarel Burnette of Education Week gather the thoughts of K-12 educators and officials.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Nov. 29 – Dec. 5)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

PISA results show improvement in U.S. academic rankings, but scores haven’t improved, reports Linda Lambeck for the Connecticut Post.

For Education Week, Madeline Will examines why many teachers did not learn the science behind reading in teacher preparation programs. 

Key Coverage

Early Action? Early Decision? An Explanation of Looming College Admission Deadlines

Last week brought the first early decision deadlines for high school seniors applying to college — and also a lot of potential questions: Just what is early decision and how does it differ from early action? Have college admissions changed since the “Varsity Blues” scandal broke earlier this year? How do college admissions officers view Vermont’s new proficiency-based grading systems? What are the admissions options at Vermont colleges and universities?

Key Coverage

As Detroit Students Settle Into Their First Semester of College, ‘Bridge’ Programs Provide Needed Support

But still, despite excelling in her other classes, Marqell McClendon has struggled in the remedial math class she’s taking during her first semester at Michigan State University.

It’s an unfamiliar scene for McClendon, the valedictorian of her graduating class at Detroit’s Cody High School who’s used to students coming to her for help. Now, the tables are turned. She describes it as “bittersweet.”

Key Coverage

‘Critically Divisive Lines:’ Why Inequity Persists In Illinois Schools

Yuliana Quintana worries she won’t succeed in college because she didn’t have access to lab equipment, Advanced Placement classes, and other resources during her high school years.

Quintana, 19, was last year’s valedictorian of her high school in DePue, a tiny village about 50 miles north of Peoria.

Quintana’s school district, DePue Community Unit School District 103, is one of the poorest districts in Illinois.

Key Coverage

Promises Kept: How a Scholarship Program Is Serving as a Model for Community Change
Cory McCoy

A city of just 5,500 residents in East Texas might not be the first place people would think of when looking to pilot a program that could change the college landscape, but it’s happening in Rusk.

When the Rusk promise launched in 2014, it was the first community promise initiative in the state. In just five years, the results already are creating change in the community.

Key Coverage

An Unseen Victim of the College Admissions Scandal: The High School Tennis Champion Aced Out by a Billionaire Family

On a Monday morning in April 2017, students at Sage Hill School gathered in its artificial-turf quadrangle, known as the Town Square, to celebrate seniors who were heading to college as recruited athletes. The 10 honorees lined up behind an archway adorned with balloons. One by one, they stepped forward as their sports and destinations were announced. Patricia Merz, the head of the private high school in Newport Coast, California, placed a lei in the appropriate college’s colors around each student’s neck.

Member Stories

May 31 – June 6
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

Despite privacy concerns, America’s schools are increasingly monitoring students’ online lives, reports Education Week’s Benjamin Herold.

WAMU’s Jenny Abamu continues exploring schools’ use of restraint and seclusion, and why it often goes unreported.

For USA Today, Erin Richards and Matt Wynn examine how teachers’ salaries stack up to the cost of living in cities across the country.

Key Coverage

Lost Days: Poverty, Isolation Drive Students Away From School In California’s Rural Districts

Twenty-six percent, or about 600 students, at Oroville Union High School District were chronically absent during the 2017-18 school year, according to an EdSource analysis of California Department of Education data.

Statewide, more than 700,000 students, or about 11 percent, were chronically absent. About 10 percent of the 1,000 districts statewide had rates near the level of Oroville Union High’s or significantly higher. Most of those districts were in rural areas, the analysis found:

Key Coverage

More High-School Students Are Using This Hack to Get a Head-Start on College — but the Poorest Students Are Being Left Behind

“That was wild.”

That’s how Victor Orduna describes his life as a teenager in southwest Chicago’s Gage Park neighborhood. And he isn’t talking about partying with friends or other high-school high-jinks.

Orduna is referring to his schedule. The now 19-year old would wake up around 6:30 a.m., head to his high school until the late afternoon, and then clock in for his job at a local supermarket, where he’d bag groceries until 10:30 p.m. Some weekends, Orduna worked the late shift at a pizzeria, slinging pizzas and cooking burgers until 1:30 a.m.

Key Coverage

Inside the Nationwide Effort to Tackle the $1.5 Trillion Student-Debt Crisis — With the Help of High-School Students

There’s not much Barack Obama and Betsy DeVos see eye-to-eye on.

But the 44th president of the United States and the Trump administration’s controversial education secretary have found some common ground.

Obama and DeVos — as well as many local, state and federal politicians — have heralded the idea of students taking college courses and earning college credits while still in high school.

Key Coverage

Pathways to Prosperity: Cleveland Can Learn From European Approach to Education, Training

Sharon Braat is glad she’s going to college in the Netherlands and not the U.S.

It’s not just the nearly-free tuition her country offers. It’s the practical and hands-on classes aimed at her career. In her case, it also includes real work for actual businesses while in school.

“Our system is better for preparing you for where you want to go,” she said. “You feel like you’re in a company… If you screw up, you can screw up big time. It’s the real world.” 

Key Coverage

Deserted in the Desert

Thousands of records examined by the Las Vegas Review-Journal show a yearslong history of abuse and neglect allegations at Northwest Academy, a private boarding school for at-risk youth.