Education Dive |
Educators say the pandemic has caused hardships but new or improved K-12 practices have the long-term potential to enhance student outcomes and school operations.
Highlighted in the article:
– Remote learning bridging emergency closures
– Creativity increasing school model flexibility
– Parent-school-community connections growing
A dramatic drop in the number of childhood vaccines given has doctors concerned about the possibility of an outbreak of preventable diseases like measles or whooping cough. “We’ve seen different reports showing our volumes are low in clinic, as well as the number of vaccines given out is also low,” said Children’s Hospital physician Dr. Tasha Johnson.
Johnson said their lower vaccine numbers appear to be related to the lower number of children being seen for routine checkups.
The Hechinger Report |
The children in America’s gifted education programs don’t look like the overall school population. They’re disproportionately white and wealthy, while Black, Latinx, Indigenous and low-income students are often left out.
In this series, The Hechinger Report examines racial inequity in gifted classes and what schools are doing to fix it. Currently there are three articles in the series:
School Magazine |
Opening schools during a pandemic in an underfunded urban district like Providence, Rhode Island, where buildings are in miserable physical conditions, is already a huge undertaking, but the situation is made worse when district leaders bring in private contractors who know nothing about the community and make no effort to collaborate with public school teachers.
As school districts across the nation faced the daunting task of opening the new school year with online learning or a blend of online and in-person, many contracted the work to private companies, and there’s widespread evidence these arrangements are rush jobs that give teachers and parents no say in the adoption process as taxpayer funds are wasted on products of questionable quality.
Article focuses on concerns with Edgenuity and its parent companies in districts across the United States. Produced by Independent Media Institute’s Our Schools.
“With the pandemic, districts have struggled and made hasty decisions, and some have been enticed by the promises of the established online providers,” writes Gary Miron, a professor of evaluation, measurement, and research at Western Michigan University, in an email. “These companies can say all kinds of things about their awesome platforms and curricula, but the evidence shows that students [who use the platforms] fail, and taxpayers are ripped off.
At the K-12 level, while there have been some outbreaks, re-openings haven’t led to the explosion of cases that some feared. Still, this comes with a big caveat: Many schools haven’t fully opened up yet, partly or entirely limiting teaching to virtual sessions. And for schools that have opened, we still don’t have very good data on K-12 schools’ re-openings, and there’s still a lot we simply don’t know about how kids transmit the coronavirus.
USA TODAY, NoKidHungry, WCPO, and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati |
For families already living in or at the edge of poverty, the effects of the pandemic have been especially devastating. With child care centers and schools closed and safety nets disintegrating under enormous demand, families that have been thrust into poverty now see little hope of getting out.
Meeting basic needs like food and shelter has become a daily challenge; many are just one eviction notice away from homelessness. Across the country, parents are going without food to feed their children, relying heavily on free lunches from schools and runs to local food banks, many of which have strained to meet demand.(more…)
Wallace Foundation Blog |
Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, chief executive officer of Baltimore City Schools, has heard the same concern from parents across her district’s 161 schools since in-person instruction was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. No matter where they live, she says, parents throughout her high-poverty district are worried that their children are losing ground academically during this period.
They have reason to be concerned: A McKinsey & Company report estimates that if in-person instruction does not fully resume until January, black, Hispanic and low-income students could lose as much as nine to 12 months of learning because they are less likely to have received high-quality remote instruction last spring and now again this fall.
As Baltimore developed its re-opening plan, some voices in the district argued that schools should focus on students’ social and emotional needs and put academics on the back burner. Santelises refused. Schools must tend to their students’ mental health, she says, but short-changing instruction would only exacerbate learning loss and widen the achievement gap for the most vulnerable groups. Simply put, schools have to do it all.
Findings from the American Teacher Panel
RAND researchers present results from a spring 2019 survey of a nationally representative sample of kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) public school teachers about their approaches to supporting students’ social and emotional learning (SEL) and the factors that might influence those approaches. The authors explore teachers’ SEL practices, including both classroom- and school-level approaches. The authors also examine teachers’ beliefs about SEL, their emotional well-being, professional development related to SEL, school-level supports for SEL, and district and state SEL standards.(more…)
The 74 Million |
Incidents of sexual violence in public schools increased by more than half between the 2015-16 and 2017-18 school years — from 9,649 to 14,938, according to civil rights data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Education. And cases of rape or attempted rape doubled, the data shows, from 394 to 786.(more…)
Education Dive |
In a 55-page decision, a Rhode Island District Court judge dismissed Cook v. Raimondo, a prominent right-to-education case in which plaintiffs — who ranged from preschoolers to high school students — sued Rhode Island Education Commissioner Ken Wagner and the state Board of Education.
Plaintiffs argued the state failed to provide an education that adequately prepared students to participate in civic life. In motions to dismiss the case, defendants argued the Constitution does not guarantee a right to education.
While Judge William E. Smith ruled in favor of the education commissioner and the board, among other state leaders, he said the case “highlights a deep flaw in our national education priorities and policies” and hoped “others who have the power to address this need will respond appropriately.”
New York Times |
A surge in worldwide demand by educators for low-cost laptops and Chromebooks — up to 41 percent higher than last year — has created months-long shipment delays and pitted desperate schools against one another. Districts with deep pockets often win out, leaving poorer ones to give out printed assignments and wait until winter for new computers to arrive.
Adding to the problem, many manufacturers are putting a priority on producing expensive electronics that net greater profits, like gaming hardware and higher-end computers for at-home employees, said Erez Pikar, the chief executive of Trox, a company that sells devices to school districts.
Study: In 28 Districts, Middle and High School Students Lose More Than a Year of Learning Due to Suspensions
The 74 Million |
The study from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA analyzed discipline data from 2015-16 for almost every district in the nation was released yesterday. The most extreme losses ranged from 183 days in Edgecombe County Public Schools in North Carolina to 416 days in Grand Rapids Public Schools in Michigan.(more…)
USA Today |
One-third of teachers told Education Week in July they were somewhat or very likely to leave their job this year, compared with just 8% who leave the profession in a typical year.
But while that survey might reflect teachers’ feelings over the summer, a review of the retirement and staffing figures collected in some of the first states to resume classes this year suggests that fears of a mass exodus of retiring teachers may have been overblown.
American Enterprise Institute |
- This is a comprehensive analytic report in the “School District Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic” series, covering changes that occurred in public school districts across six waves of data collection, from March 26 to May 29, 2020.
- On average, the poorest districts lost four full weeks of instruction, which is equivalent to 12 percent of a school year and 41 percent of the period between closures and the last day of school. Estimated lost instructional time due to student nonparticipation in remote learning after closures was greater than canceled instructional days.
- The quality of remote-instruction programs was lower in schools with higher student poverty and lower student achievement, as measured by multiple indicators.
- Schools had comparatively lower-quality remote-instruction offerings when in districts that had less educated adult populations, higher rates of single-parent households, and less broadband access.
- School districts in red states provided lower-quality instructional offerings compared to districts in blue and purple states.
PBS – POV (Point of View) |
Meet the Radical Monarchs, a group of young girls of color on the frontlines of social justice. Set in Oakland, California, the film documents the journey of the group as they earn badges for completing units on such subjects as LGBTQ allyship, environmental preservation and disability justice. Official Selection, SXSW. A co-presentation of Latino Public Broadcasting.
The Conversation |
This is not the first-time education has been disrupted in the U.S. – nor the first time that educators have harnessed remote learning. In 1937, the Chicago school system used radio to teach children during a polio outbreak, demonstrating how technology can be used in a time of crisis.
Education Dive |
State-level educators and national testing experts, speaking during a Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) webinar Monday, agreed schools should conduct large-scale summative assessments this school year but said how the tests are designed and administered is still largely under development.
The closure of school buildings in response to the coronavirus has been disruptive and inconvenient for many families, but for those living in homeless shelters or hotel rooms — including roughly 1.5 million school-aged children — the shuttering of classrooms and cafeterias has been disastrous.(more…)
Education Dive |
Special educators say they are burdened with more paperwork requirements and seek more guidance on replicating in-person services to distance learning formats.
The Center for Research on Education Outcomes – Stanford University |
Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), released a report on estimated learning losses for students in 19 states. CREDO calculated “COVID Slide” measures informed in part by the Northwest Evaluation Association’s estimates of “summer slide” – the erosion of learning that typically happens from the end of one school year to the beginning of the next. CREDO’s enhanced measures are estimates of student learning loss due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The learning loss estimates were translated into lost days of learning, based on a typical 180-day school year. Across the 19 states, the average estimates of how much students lost in the Spring of 2020 ranged from 57 to 183 days of learning in Reading and from 136 to 232 days of learning in Math.
Families who aren’t fluent in English are struggling with distance learning during COVID-19 pandemic
The school year had just begun when Maria Garcia’s older son got stuck on a math problem he couldn’t solve. “I found him crying,” Garcia, a mother of four, told WCPO. “He said they usually get to ask questions at the end of class, and when he was going to ask, the teacher said time ran out and stopped the call.”
Like so many parents across Greater Cincinnati, Garcia is struggling to help her children manage the remote learning that’s taking place this school year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The struggle is compounded, Garcia said, because she doesn’t speak much English.
Across the Tri-State, advocates say, parents who don’t speak English are left trying to help their children navigate a new way of learning with instructions that often are written and communicated with only English speakers in mind.
USA Today, 24/7 Wall Street, EPI |
Public high school teachers in the United States earned approximately 19.2% less than other college-educated workers in 2019, according to the report, “Teacher pay penalty dips but persists in 2019,” published Sept. 17, 2020 by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank.(more…)
Cincinnati Business Journal |
A new study indicates dozens of campuses won’t even consider standardized test scores if they are submitted. That’s putting a billion-dollar industry on notice.
The findings come from the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit, which identified 60 college campuses that as of this month have either temporarily or permanently gone “test blind” in evaluating student applicants. The organization, which operates as FairTest, said another 1,600 accredited, four-year schools have gone test-optional for the fall 2021 semester.
PBS News Hour |
Parents, students, teachers and school board members from across the country talk about what the first month or so has been like for them.
Video runs about 10 minutes. Transcript available as well.
Education Dive |
In separate documents released Monday, the U.S. Department of Education reminded schools of their obligations to special education services and civil rights laws regardless of whether students are learning in-person or remotely.(more…)
Ohio Capital Journal |
Members of the U.S. Senate are pushing for $4 billion in the next coronavirus relief package to help students in rural and low-income areas gain access to high speed internet.
Senate Democrats sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai last week urging the agency to allow broadband connection into students’ homes by expanding the E-Rate Program, which helps schools and libraries connect to the internet. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) argued that the FCC has the ability to expand the program without permission from Congress. “The consequences are dire,” Van Hollen told Maryland Matters. “I urge the FCC to use their existing authorities to expand internet accessibility, and I will continue to push my Republican colleagues to provide desperately needed funds for these efforts.”
Data from Common Sense Media, a non-profit that conducts media research, has shown that the number of kids lacking access is as high as 16 million. Studies have shown that Black, Latino and low-income students are disproportionately affected. About 15 percent of households with school-aged kids don’t have access to high speed internet at home, according to a Pew Research study that analyzed the 2015 U.S. Census data.
Education Week and The 74 Million |
Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
During her time on the 7th Circuit, Barrett has joined opinions involving public school bus transportation for private schools, the exemption from anti-discrimination laws for religious school teachers, free speech for a school administrator, special education, and discrimination under Title IX.(more…)
San Francisco Chronicle |
After rebuffs by three federal judges, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Friday dropped her effort to give private schools a greater share of billions of dollars in Congress’ COVID-19 relief funds at the expense of public schools in low-income areas.
“We respect the rule of law and will enforce the law as the courts have opined,” DeVos said in a letter to chief state school officials nationwide.(more…)
Harvard Business Review |
Emily Ho of Northwestern University and two coresearchers asked more than 2,300 survey participants whether they would like to get various kinds of information that could be useful to them, including how their retirement accounts stacked up against their peers’, what listeners thought of a speech they’d recently given, and how coworkers rated their strengths and weaknesses.
The team found that the respondents opted out 32% of the time, on average. The conclusion: We actively avoid information that can help us.
Education Dive |
During a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing Wednesday, Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said the federal government will ship “millions of tests per week” to help schools reopen and stay open in the coming weeks.
It all adds up to “a paradigm shift,” says Hedy Chang who directs Attendance Works, a national and state level initiative that treats attendance as a key lever to student success. It was Chang’s research in the mid-2000s that helped lay the groundwork for the current policy focus on chronic absenteeism. She found that missing more than 10% of school days in a year was an “early warning signal” for students earning low grades and eventually dropping out, and that it affected low-income students disproportionately.
The emerging questions for educators and parents are: What is the best way to measure whether students are participating in learning? And who will be held responsible for a student who doesn’t participate? The student? Their caregiver? The school?
School districts are seeing double-digit declines across the country, from Oakland, California to Philadelphia. Kindergarten enrollment is down 15% from last fall in Hawaii’s schools, according to state data. In Los Angeles, it’s down 14%. And in Gwinnett County, Georgia, where in-person classes have resumed, it’s down 10% since last fall, state and district figures show.
The trend seems to cut across income lines, with declines in schools that serve mostly students from low-income families as well as wealthier ones.
Soapbox Cincinnati |
“Education is very cyclical in terms of pedagogy and child development,” says Allison McKenzie, AIA, Principal, Director of Sustainability at SHP. “We’re seeing movement from teacher-centered classrooms where they’re at the front lecturing, to a growing interest in alternate learning styles, like Montessori or project-based learning, where students are the focal point.”
Wall Street Journal |
The online program, called Acellus Learning Accelerator and purchased by schools to help with remote learning, is sparking complaints from parents and teachers in Hawaii and elsewhere. Hawaiian parents by the thousands signed a petition and lodged complaints calling Acellus content racist, sexist and low quality, according to a Change.org petition and written testimony to the Hawaii board of education.
Seven schools in Hawaii, four school districts in California and at least one school district in Ohio dropped Acellus this fall.
The Conversation |
Timothy P Williams – Adjunct Professor, Boston College
Avary Carhill-Poza – Associate professor, University of Massachusetts Boston
As scholars of immigration and education, we have conducted research into how immigrant students used technology for learning. Our recent paper draws on research carried out at a public high school in the greater Boston area between 2013 and 2016. More than half of the 1,850 students at the school speak a language other than English at home, and 38% of the students are growing up in economic hardship.
As schools implement hybrid and remote learning on a large scale, we recommend that educators consider three key lessons we learned in our research.
- Access is not the same as equity
- Language matters – it’s all dependent on immigrant students’ comfort using English
- Many immigrant students work
There is a very real danger that the move to remote learning could reinforce the very inequalities immigrant students already encounter in U.S. schools. We argue that remote learning must be calibrated to attend to the needs of those students at the margins.
MIT Technology Review |
Algorithms can change the course of children’s lives. Kids are interacting with Alexas that can record their voice data and influence their speech and social development. They’re binging videos on TikTok and YouTube pushed to them by recommendation systems that end up shaping their worldviews.
Algorithms are also increasingly used to determine what their education is like, whether they’ll receive health care, and even whether their parents are deemed fit to care for them. Sometimes this can have devastating effects: this past summer, for example, thousands of students lost their university admissions after algorithms—used in lieu of pandemic-canceled standardized tests—inaccurately predicted their academic performance.
Children, in other words, are often at the forefront when it comes to using and being used by AI, and that can leave them in a position to get hurt. “Because they are developing intellectually and emotionally and physically, they are very shapeable,” says Steve Vosloo, a policy specialist for digital connectivity at UNICEF, the United Nations Children Fund.
The article continues with a look at a number of documents being developed with guidelines for the use of Ai with children.
Though it has no teachers, this company gets millions meant for private, charter schools – the Uber of education?
USA Today |
“If you think about Uber and the fact that it allows a normal person to own a taxi and you think about Airbnb and the way it allows a normal person to own a hotel, Prenda allows a normal person to run a school,” Prenda’s Enrollment Director Rachelle Gibson says in one of the company’s numerous online videos.
And like the ride-sharing company, Prenda is exploiting gaps in regulation and oversight in the hopes of growing so fast and large that it alters the industry it seeks to disrupt.
Prenda is not a private school, a charter school, or a public school. But at different times it operates as all three – drawing taxpayer funding or support for each type of school. “We’re not a school. We are a provider of microschools,” said Prenda Chief Executive Officer Kelly Smith. “We have a model, an education model, called a microschool. We provide a curriculum and tools and training and support to enable and facilitate the microschool to happen. But our goal is to work with schools as kind of a provider and partner.”
Learn more about their curriculum and the business model in the full article.
Brookings Institute |
The report outlines four emerging global trends in education from COVID-19 and five proposed actions to guide the transformation of education systems.
“We intend to start a dialogue about what could be achieved in the medium to long term if leaders around the world took seriously the public’s demand for safe, quality schools for their children. Ultimately, we argue that strong and inclusive public education systems are essential to the short- and long-term recovery of society and that there is an opportunity to leapfrog toward powered-up schools.”Emiliana Vegas and Rebecca Winthrop
Emiliana Vegas and Rebecca Winthrop, Co-directors – Center for Universal Education Senior Fellow – Global Economy and Development
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a pioneer in the women’s rights movement and the second woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, died Friday at age 87 due to complications of pancreatic cancer.
On education issues arising during her 27 years on the court, Ginsburg was a stalwart vote for sex equity in schools, expansive desegregation remedies, strict separation of church and state, and, in a memorable dissent, against broader drug testing of students.(more…)
FFCRA leave guidance changes now effective
Ennis Britton Law Blog |
A lawsuit challenging the Department of Labor (DoL) FFCRA leave guidance was filed in April 2020 by the New York Attorney General. (New York v. U.S. Dep’t of Labor, No. 20-CV-3020 (JPO), 2020 WL 4462260 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020) The decision of the federal district court invalidated four sections of the DoL regulations.
DoL has clarified and expanded upon its interpretation on intermittent leave. An ongoing question for public schools has been how to administer the use of EFMLEA leave for child care when the employee’s child(ren) are on a hybrid schedule, attending in person and remotely from week to week or day to day. Updated regulations clarify that EFMLEA child care leave for parents whose students are on hybrid programs is not considered intermittent leave.
Administering EPSLA and EFMLEA child care leave has been challenging. DoL’s interpretations and positions continue to evolve. These regulations clarify some of the questions we have been getting, although additional questions remain.
President Trump on Thursday said he would create a commission to promote “patriotic education” and announced the creation of a grant to develop a “pro-American curriculum.” In the speech, Trump decried what he said was a “twisted web of lies” being taught in U.S. classrooms about systemic racism in America, calling it “a form of child abuse.” He reprised themes from a speech he gave in July at Mount Rushmore.(more…)
NY Times and WNPR Connecticut |
The Education Department has told Connecticut schools that desegregation grants will be cut off Oct. 1 if they continue to allow transgender students to choose the teams they compete on.
Education Dive |
With 85% of schools offering some type of online learning this fall, most districts are upping the stakes from spring approaches that relied on prerecorded lessons accessible at any time, opting now for live online lessons with students expected to spend the equivalent of a regular school day at their computers.
There are more than 4 million public, private and charter school teachers in the United States. The typical teacher is a woman in her early 40s.
Over the summer, NPR and Ipsos surveyed a national sample of teachers, and we found that about half had children under 18 at home. Of those, 57% agreed with the statement: “I cannot properly do my job from home while also taking care of my children.”
New Report Estimates School Closures’ Long-Term Impact on the U.S. Economy at More Than $14 Trillion
74 Million |
In the U.S., for example, school closures could ultimately amount to a loss of almost $14.2 trillion over the next 80 years, according to the study, released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The authors suggest, however, that schools could recoup some of those losses by “individualizing the instruction,” in which students work at their own speed to master academic goals.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is an international group with 37 member countries that promotes economic growth policies.
WCPO – Associated Press |
Several states have seen surges in educators filing for retirement or taking leaves of absence. The departures are straining staff in places that were dealing with shortages of teachers and substitutes even before the pandemic created an education crisis.
The increased stress began this spring, as schools closed and teachers had to adjust to online instruction. One study from Louisiana showed that the percentage of teachers with signs of depression nearly doubled.
Now, as teachers head back to the classroom, many are facing a growing list of stressors. They may be worried about keeping students socially distant — or keeping them engaged through an iPad.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention |
Coronavirus spread through several Utah childcare centers earlier this year and eventually infected parents, the latest indicator that toddlers and infants can transmit the virus to adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in a study released Friday.
At the end of June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed almost 10,000 Americans on their mental health. They found symptoms of anxiety and depression were up sharply across the board between March and June, compared with the same time the previous year. And young people seemed to be the hardest-hit of any group.
Almost 11 percent of all respondents to that survey said they had “seriously considered” suicide in the past 30 days. For those ages 18 to 24, the number was 1 in 4 — more than twice as high.
Data collection for several studies on teen mental health during the pandemic is currently underway. And experts worry those studies will show a spike in suicide, because young people are increasingly cut off from peers and caring adults, because their futures are uncertain and because they are spending more time at home, where they are most likely to have access to lethal weapons.
The Benadryl challenge is the newest social media game which can be quite dangerous, and potentially fatal
Cincinnati Children’s |
The Benadryl challenge is something many kids first saw on the social media app TikTok. The “challenge” consists of young people being encouraged to take multiple doses of the medicine which can induce hallucinations.