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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 (Oct. 11 – 17)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

The Hechinger Report’s Jon Marcus reports on the business strategies some colleges are employing in an effort to survive.

For The 74, Mark Keierleber reports on a Florida school district’s effort to create its own police department in a post-Parkland experiment.

Many questions arise as three schools are eligible to leave Tennessee’s turnaround district for the first time, reports Caroline Bauman for Chalkbeat.

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.

Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (Oct. 4 – 10)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

Education Week’s Stephen Sawchuk reports on the challenges civics teachers must navigate in discussing the impeachment process with students.

For EdSurge, Rebecca Koenig examines how the D.C. Central Detention Facility is turning inmates into students under the guidance of a former public school teacher.

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

#tellEWA Member Stories (Sept. 27 – Oct. 3)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

In a new investigation Jessica Calefati, Jesenia De Moya Correa and Kristen A. Graham of the Philadelphia Inquirer look at troubling discrepancies in student attendance records that could threaten per-pupil funding for one of the city’s struggling high schools. 

The decline in the share of middle-class college students has prompted schools to offer special scholarships, reports Jon Marcus for The Hechinger Report

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.

Key Coverage

DeVos Might Not Serve as Ed. Secretary If Trump Re-elected

Betsy DeVos hinted Monday that should President Donald Trump get re-elected in 2020 that she might not serve as education secretary during his second term.

“I’m not sure my husband would be OK with that,” said DeVos of her husband, Dick DeVos, a former Michigan gubernatorial candidate, after hesitating before delivering her response.

Key Coverage

A Search For Answers, A Search For Blame

Max Eden didn’t even want to read about Parkland. He saw the news on Valentine’s Day, after a dinner date with his girlfriend at a little French place in Washington, D.C., taking an Uber home. There was the gut-punch—“oh shit, another school shooting”—then the queasy afterthought that none of this hits as hard as it used to. He knew what would follow. For a few angry weeks, Democrats would demand gun control and Republicans would call for arming teachers. He decided he’d sit it out this time, ignore the news as much as possible.


(Report) Nonwhite School Districts Get $23 Billion Less Than White Districts Despite Serving the Same Number of Students

The story of our communities can in many ways be told through the lens of the school districts that serve our children. More than organizations that enable learning, school districts are geographic boundaries that serve as magnifying lenses that allow us to focus on issues of race and wealth. They are both a statement of “what is” and “what could be” in our society.

Key Coverage

3 States Tried to Shutter Failing For-Profit Online Charter Schools. A Suspicious Pattern of Allegations, Accusations, and Legal Complaints Quickly Followed
The 74

On their face, the allegations describe public officials being bought — and for a pittance. Drinks in a hotel lobby. Airfare reimbursement for a meeting. A $4,000 “personal payment” appearing just before a mid-level functionary inks a government contract for the consultant offering the so-called perks.

Indeed, the legal complaints filed in South Carolina, Georgia, and Nevada have resulted in a string of juicy headlines. And later, though ostensibly unrelated, in the resignations of two of the state employees named.

Key Coverage

Only Two Percent Of Teachers Are Black Men, Yet Research Confirms They Matter

 A growing body of recent research asserts that a black man in the classroom is both rare and critically needed in American public schools.

Since 2014, ethnic and racial minorities make up more than half of the student population in U.S. public schools, yet about 80 percent of teachers are white and 77 percent of them are female. People of color make up about 20 percent of teachers; a mere 2 percent are black men.

Key Coverage

From Prison To College: How A Formerly Incarcerated Student Overcame The Odds To Graduate

Like many people coming out of prison, Perry Cline never thought he’d get a college degree.

Cline, a 51-year-old black man and Chicago native, just graduated from college. He has a bachelor’s degree in social work. He also co-founded a non-profit to help those battling addiction, and he recently landed a job as a case manager at a substance abuse treatment facility in Champaign, Illinois.

Key Coverage

North Carolina’s Teacher Diversity Gap

In North Carolina, where minority students make up 52 percent of the traditional public school body, 80 percent of teachers are white. For students of color, especially black and Hispanic boys, that means they may seldom – or never – have a teacher who looks like them during their kindergarten through 12th grade years.

Key Coverage

An Epidemic of Untapped Potential

Over the past year, the Globe has tracked down 93 of the 113 valedictorians who appeared in the paper’s first three “Faces of Excellence” features from 2005 to 2007. We wanted to know, more than a decade later, how the stories of Boston’s best and brightest were turning out.

Key Coverage

When You Give a Teacher a Gun

The question is no longer “should we arm teachers?” Now, it’s “how many armed teachers are already out there?” GQ flew down to Ohio to embed with the men and women behind FASTER Saves Lives, a group that has trained thousands of teachers from all across the country how to shoot to kill.

Key Coverage

Why Illinois Won’t ‘Ban The Box’ On College Applications

Next year, the Common Application used by hundreds of colleges and universities will stop asking potential students about their criminal histories. Despite legislative efforts in Illinois, most campuses in the state continue to ask the question. Nationwide, roughly two-thirds of colleges and universities that completed a 2009 survey reported asking prospective students about their criminal histories.

Key Coverage

Far From Home: Different Stories, With Common Threads

On a bulletin board at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, a flier advertised a storytelling event for first-generation students to share their experience in their own words.

The event was part of a larger project headed by Senior Associate Dean of Students Luis Inoa. Inoa spent the summer working with a first-gen Skidmore student to research the best practices in first-gen student support at liberal arts colleges around the country. He discovered that storytelling, in particular, is very powerful.

Key Coverage

District Sends Teachers on Home Visits to Help Get More Students to College

West Virginia unveiled a campaign this year for 60 percent of adults ages 25 to 64 to have earned a degree or certificate by 2030. But in this county of fewer than 19,000 residents, just 38 percent of recent high school graduates sought more education, according to the latest available data from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. That’s well below the statewide rate of 55 percent. And in 2016 just 8 percent of McDowell County residents of working age held an associate degree or higher, compared to 31 percent statewide.

Key Coverage

Far From Home: Demystifying the College Experience

On a sunny Saturday in October, about 500 prospective students and their families gathered on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso for Orange and Blue Day. They met with representatives from financial aid, admissions, and various academic departments in a festival-like atmosphere spread across campus.

The university uses events like this to make college more inviting for families sending their first-ever student to college.

Key Coverage

Rally Had Minor Impact on Admissions as UVa Addresses Financial Needs and Its Own History

The University of Virginia can seem like a textbook college campus: white columns and porticos, long lawns and statues of Thomas Jefferson and Homer.

In 2017, though, UVa’s Rotunda steps were transformed into a maelstrom as white supremacists carried torches and attacked protesters. For months, the school was roiled by protests and political soul-searching.

Key Coverage

Hitting the ‘60 Percent Goal’ Won’t Just Take Work. It Requires a Transformation.

In order to meet its top educational goal, Idaho will need to reinvent itself. And rethink success.

State leaders want more high school graduates to continue their education — to prepare young adults for a changing labor market, and to help Idaho compete economically. This ambitious aim runs headway into hard realities.

Key Coverage

A Little Finland, a Little Canada, a Lot of Moxie: Why One Indianapolis Teachers College Is Betting It Can Train More Successful Educators After a Radical Reboot

On a recent Friday, Kenith Britt joined a group of Marian University faculty members who were courting a student athlete over lunch. A young African-American man with a GPA of 3.99, the prospective student wanted to study engineering, like his father.

Britt gave his standard pitch for Marian’s brand-new Klipsch Educators College, the Indianapolis program where he is dean. “You can become a teacher, or you can become a teacher,” he joked at the end. “Those are your choices.”

Key Coverage

Teachers in America: No Matter Where They Work, They Feel Disrespect

It’s shortly after dawn when Edward Lawson, one of America’s 3.2 million public school teachers, pulls his car into the parking lot of Thomas Elementary in Racine, Wisconsin. He cuts the engine, pulls out his cell phone and calls his principal. They begin to pray.

Lawson is a full-time substitute based at a school with full-time problems: only 1 in 10 students is proficient in reading and math.

Key Coverage

Louisville Elementary School Student Suspensions Are Soaring

The littlest learners in Jefferson County Public Schools were suspended more than 7,600 days last year — the equivalent of 21 years — as the district’s use of its harshest punishment on elementary students skyrocketed.

JCPS is doling out suspensions at a higher rate — in one case, at roughly five times the rate — than its peer districts across the country, a Courier Journal investigation has found. 


Why Suburban Districts Need Public Charter Schools Too – Progressive Policy Institute

On November 8, 2016, while the rest of the world anxiously awaited the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, a subset of voters with a keen interest in education had their eyes on Massachusetts. This was the day Bay Staters would vote on Ballot Question 2, a proposal to raise the state’s cap on public charter schools by up to 12 new schools per year.

Key Coverage

Far From Home: Issues Facing First-Gen College Students

Every year, first-generation students across the country step onto college and university campuses that are different from their hometown in every way. Even for those financially and academically prepared, social and emotional challenges can influence their ability to stay and graduate.

This is the first of a four-part special report, “Far From Home.”


Views Among College Students Regarding the First Amendment: Results From a New Survey

College students’ views on the First Amendment are important for another reason as well: Students act as de facto arbiters of free expression on campus. The Supreme Court justices are not standing by at the entrances to public university lecture halls ready to step in if First Amendment rights are curtailed. If a significant percentage of students believe that views they find offensive should be silenced, those views will in fact be silenced.


As Cuomo Proposal Rekindles Free College Movement, New Research Provides Ammunition for Skeptics
Brookings Institution

In early January, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York announced his intention to make a public college education tuition-free for most students in the state. The proposal has breathed life back into the free college movement, which supporters feared would lose momentum under the incoming presidential administration. Instead, momentum has simply relocated (back) to the state level. Tennessee and Oregon already have their own “free college” initiatives, and just this week, Governor Gina Raimondo proposed a version for Rhode Island.


Higher Education: 2016 Elections Wrap-Up and 2017 Federal Policy Preview
American Association of State Colleges and Universities

Higher education issues took a more prominent role in the 2016 elections than any time in recent memory, college affordability and student debt levels catapulted higher education to the top of domestic policy concerns. Both major party nominees for president, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, included higher education proposals in their policy agendas, with Clinton offering the most expansive, ambitious higher education plan than any other major party candidate in decades.


Time for Action Building the Educator Workforce Our Children Need Now
Center on Great Teachers and Leaders

States are now deeply engaged in developing plans for their federal education spending for the next several years. Decades of experience and education research indicate that states must strengthen and organize the educator workforce to implement change successfully. Now is the time to rethink systems and strategies and to focus funds and efforts on what matters most for learning: great teachers and leaders for every student and school. 


Teacher Effectiveness in the Every Student Succeeds Act: A Discussion Guide
Center on Great Teachers and Leaders

Systemic challenges in the educator workforce require thoughtful and bold actions, and ESSA presents a unique opportunity for states to reaffirm, modify, or improve their vision of educator effectiveness. This GTL Center discussion guide focuses on one challenge that states face as part of this work: defining ineffective teacher in the absence of highly qualified teacher (HQT) requirements.


Changes in Income-Based Gaps in Parent Activities with Young Children from 1988-2012
American Educational Research Association

Numerous studies show large differences between economically advantaged and disadvantaged parents in the quality and quantity of their engagement in young children’s development. This “parenting gap” may account for a substantial portion of the gap in children’s early cognitive skills. However, researchers know little about whether the socioeconomic gap in parenting has increased over time. The present study investigates this question, focusing on income- (and education) based gaps in parents’ engagement in cognitively stimulating activities with preschool-aged children.


The Promise and Peril of Predictive Analytics in Higher Education
New America

Predictive analytics–using massive amounts of historical data to predict future events–is a practice that’s making it easier and faster for colleges to decide which students to enroll and how to get them to graduation. But predictive analytics can aid in discriminatory practices, make institutional practices less transparent, and make vulnerable individuals’ data privacy and security.


Black-White Disparity in Student Loan Debt More Than Triples After Graduation
Brookings Institution

The moment they earn their bachelor’s degrees, black college graduates owe $7,400 more on average than their white peers ($23,400 versus $16,000, including non-borrowers in the averages). But over the next few years, the black-white debt gap more than triples to a whopping $25,000. Differences in interest accrual and graduate school borrowing lead to black graduates holding nearly $53,000 in student loan debt four years after graduation—almost twice as much as their white counterparts.


Seven Facts On Noncognitive Skills From Education To The Labor Market
The Hamilton Project

Cognitive skills—that is, math and reading skills that are measured by standardized tests—are generally understood to be of critical importance in the labor market. Most people find it intuitive and indeed unsurprising that cognitive skills, as measured by standardized tests, are important for students’ later-life outcomes. For example, earnings tend to be higher for those with higher levels of cognitive skills. What is less well understood—and is the focus of these economic facts—is that noncognitive skills are also integral to educational performance and labor-market outcomes.


The Learning Landscape
Bellwether Education Partners

This report examines the status of education in the United States by aggregating high quality research and data from numerous credible sources. Each chapter describes the context and the current state of play in each focus area – including student achievement, standards and testing; school finance, and charter schools, among others. It highlights key policy issues and trends affecting public education now and in the future. 


Looking Under the Hood of Competency-Based Education
American Institutes for Research, Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Competency-based education (CBE), an instructional approach that emphasizes what students learn and master rather than how much time they spend in school, is gaining popularity nationwide. CBE environments provide students with personalized learning, autonomy, flexibility, and responsibility for their own learning, which is theorized to improved learning behaviors.


No More Free Lunch for Education Policymakers and Researchers
Brookings Institution

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), like No Child Left Behind before it, requires states to report information on the academic achievement of students in each of their schools, both overall and for various subgroups of students. A subgroup of particular interest to policymakers and researchers is economically disadvantaged students, who, on average, score much lower on standardized tests than their higher-income peers.


Drop Out, Push Out, & School-to-Prison Pipeline

Educational Exclusion: Drop Out, Push Out, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline among LGBTQ Youth provides an in-depth look at the conditions that effectively push LGBTQ youth out of school and potentially into the criminal justice system. The report provides specific, real world guidance to address the hostile school climates and damaging policies and practices that contribute to pushing LGBTQ youth out of their schools.

Read the report.


This Is What Happens When Charter Schools Think Big

Match Beyond has a bodacious goal: To invent a college program that wipes out undergraduate debt and cures poverty.

Not the rarefied college designed for that by-the-bootstraps, defy-the-odds high school senior trotted out for interviews and inspirational speeches when visitors come to high-poverty schools looking for their scholarship success stories.