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As more colleges refuse to accept test scores, a billion-dollar industry is thrown in flux

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.

How schools are coping with constantly changing landscape of COVID-19

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.

Ed Dept: Schools can prioritize reopenings for students with disabilities

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.

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Months into the pandemic, digital divide still leaves poor kids at a disadvantage

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.

Amy Coney Barrett – education related case opinions

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…)

DeVos won’t shift COVID relief funds to private schools after multiple losses in court

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.

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We Actively Avoid Information That Can Help Us

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.

Feds to ship ‘millions of tests per week’ to help schools stay open, official says

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.

School Attendance In The COVID Era: What Counts As ‘Present’?

NPR |

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?

Another pandemic shift: In many school districts, 1 in 10 kindergartners didn’t show up

Chalkbeat |

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.

Today’s Schoolhouse: How architecture shapes the way we learn

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.”

Schools Drop an Online Curriculum After Teacher, Parent Complaints

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.

For many immigrant students, remote learning during COVID-19 comes with more hurdles

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.

Why kids need special protection from AI’s influence

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.

Beyond reopening schools: How education can emerge stronger than before COVID-19

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

Remembering Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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.

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FFCRA leave guidance changes now effective

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.

Read more about the invalidated regulations and the new guidance issued by DoL on the Ennis Britton Law Blog

Trump Announces ‘Patriotic Education’ Commission

NPR |

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.

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DeVos Vows to Withhold Desegregation Aid to Schools Over Transgender Athletes

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.

Districts struggle to find balance in online instruction

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.

‘I’m Only 1 Person’: Teachers Feel Torn Between Their Students And Their Own Kids

NPR |

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.

Read the report at OECD

Teacher departures leave schools scrambling for substitutes

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.

As Schools Reopen Amid COVID-19, Teachers Worry About Their Mental Health

WOSU |

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.

CDC Study Shows Young Kids At Daycare Centers Can Seed Covid-19 Outbreaks

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.

Read the CDC Study: Transmission Dynamics of COVID-19 Outbreaks Associated with Child Care Facilities — Salt Lake City, Utah, April–July 2020

The Pandemic Has Researchers Worried About Teen Suicide

NPR |

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.

Injunction Seeking to Prevent Implementation of Title IX Regulations Denied

Ennis Britton Law Blog |

In general, Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in schools. It is often used in sexual harassment claims of students involving teacher-on-student harassment or student-on-student harassment. 

The new Title IX regulations became effective on August 14, 2020. Districts should have adopted a revised Title IX policy to comply with the new regulations. In addition, it is recommended that all K-12 employees be trained on the new Title IX regulations because a school district will be presumed to have actual knowledge of sexual harassment if any employee has knowledge of such conduct.

‘Children Are Going Hungry’: Why Schools Are Struggling To Feed Students

NPR |

Among low-income households with children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, only about 15% have actually been getting those meals, says Lauren Bauer, a researcher at the Brookings Institution. She’s been poring over the results of the U.S. Census Bureau’s weekly Household Pulse Survey.

DeVos to enforce school testing mandates amid pandemic

Politico |

The Trump administration plans to enforce federal standardized testing requirements for K-12 schools despite the pandemic, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced to state leaders on Thursday. 

DeVos told state school chiefs in a letter that they should not expect the Education Department to again waive federal testing requirements as it did this spring amid sudden school closures.

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Getting Back To School Isn’t Easy For Anyone — But It’s A Lot Harder For Some

NPR – Consider This |

Remote learning isn’t easy for anyone, but it’s especially challenging for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other learning disabilities. NPR’s Jon Hamilton reports on the challenges facing these students and their parents, who are often required to become educators to make it work.

NPR’s Anya Kamenetz and WWNO’s Aubri Juhasz report on “learning hubs” that offer free child care and additional learning resources — but only for a lucky few.

Will COVID-19 trigger shift from standardized assessments?

Education Dive |

“A bunch of state assessment leaders talking about ‘What are we going to do next year?’ Everybody just assumed that we would be able to test again next year, and it’s looking less and less likely,” said Scott Marion, executive director of the Center for Assessment, an organization focused on improving assessment and accountability practices. 

“But people are still saying that we’d like to have some kind of data. We try to think, ‘Well, if we can’t do a regular state test, then what kind of test can we do?'”

A farewell to arts? Teachers fear coronavirus budget cuts may target art, music classes

USA TODAY |

As pressure builds on school districts for more cuts, experts fear the move to single out specials programs portends a nationwide trend that may disrupt the “whole child” approach to education, hinder academic growth and disproportionately hurt low-income families.

School districts struggling to navigate shrinking budgets may ask core subject teachers to incorporate art, music and physical education into their lesson plans to save on salaries, said Kristi Wilson, president of the American Association of School Administrators – an idea she opposes.

Can we fix the inequities exacerbated by remote learning?

PBS News |

Wayne Lewis, Kentucky Education Commissioner and Dean of Education at Belmont University in Nashville talks about what lessons were learned from remote-learning in the spring and how we move forward.

“Broadband access and access to digital tools and digital resources is not a luxury. It’s an absolute necessity. And when we think about kids not having access to those things, we should think about it very similar to the way we would think if kids didn’t have access to electricity. …There’s no way in the 21st-century environment as we’re preparing for a 21st-century workforce for these kids, that they can have the type of education that they need and that they deserve unless we can ensure that every child has access to those resources.”

How Many Coronavirus Cases Are Happening In Schools? This Tracker Keeps Count.

NPR |

The National Education Association has launched a tracker of cases in public K-12 schools.

The tracker is broken down by state, and shows schools and counties with known cases, suspected cases and deaths, as well as whether those infected were students or staff. It also includes links to the local news reports so users know where the virus data comes from.

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Second federal judge halts DeVos’s rule giving federal coronavirus aid to private schools

Washington Post |

U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco on Thursday granted a preliminary injunction against the rule, calling the Education Department’s argument “‘interpretive jiggery-pokery’ in the extreme.”

Restorative circles, online wellness rooms and grief training: How schools are preparing for the Covid mental health crisis

Hechinger Report |

More students are experiencing anxiety and depression, forcing schools to prioritize mental health needs over academic work.

“What’s happening right now is that all children, regardless of their backgrounds, are experiencing a potential stressor,” said Marisha Humphries, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a licensed clinical psychologist. “Schools appear to be very focused on academics and how do we combat summer slide, but I think the first priority has to be how are we going to support children’s social and emotional development. You cannot do effective instruction if children’s social and emotional needs aren’t met. It’s very hard to focus on algebra if you’re anxious or depressed.”

Analysis: ‘Surprising dearth’ of homeless student recognition in reopening plans

Education Dive |

Not many schools, districts and states address challenges facing homeless students in their reopening plans, according to an analysis of 106 districts by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington.

Only 11 plans specifically mentioned support for students experiencing housing insecurity. They include:

  • SEL, academic and professional development support centering on homeless students.
  • Free child care, extended day services and meals.
  • Coordinated tutor services at hotels and shelters.
  • Relationships with community-based homeless programs and outreach to families who can use them.
  • Prioritizing homeless students for in-person instruction.
  • Creating in-person “learning hubs” for homeless students to complete schoolwork.

State of American Education: Issues of equity, reopenings, budgets loom large

Education Dive |

In a Wednesday afternoon webinar hosted by NASSP, administrators and policymakers expressed concern about educator attrition and called for more representative curriculum.

17 Million Students Lack Home Internet

The 74 Million |

The Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program provides significant discounts on telecommunications services and equipment schools and libraries need for internet service, but that’s where it stops. 

Read more

Nurses Are on the Virus Front Lines. But Many Schools Don’t Have One.

The New York Times |

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that every school have a nurse on site. But before the outbreak, according to the National Association of School Nurses, a quarter of American schools did not have one at all. And there has been no national effort to provide districts with new resources for hiring them, although some states have tapped federal relief funds.

Trump Administration Declares Teachers Essential Workers, Says Can Stay In Class If Exposed To Covid-19

Forbes |

In adding teachers to its list of essential workers, which is only guidance and nonbinding, the government is advising teachers exposed to confirmed cases of Covid-19 but who are not exhibiting symptoms to remain at work and not quarantine.

WHO warns coronavirus is now driven by young people who don’t know they are infected

CNBC | World Health Organization

  • The WHO warned that the Covid-19 pandemic is now being driven by people in their 20s, 30s and 40s who don’t know they are infected.
  • Most of the young people either never developed symptoms or had mild symptoms, Dr. Takeshi Kasai, WHO’s regional director for the Western Pacific, said during a news briefing.
(more…)

Research: Most edtech PD in spring was informal, teacher-initiated

Education Dive |

According to a survey from the University of Virginia and the EdTech Evidence Exchange, only 27% of teachers report receiving professional development for technology-based remote instruction in spring 2020, saying they relied on informal and self-initiated learning instead. However, administrators reported almost twice as many teachers (52%) received formal learning opportunities.

What returning to school during a pandemic looks like around the world

USA Today |

From Scotland, to South Africa, to Thailand, and more – images of the return to school and what learning looks like now.

Federal court clears way for new Title IX K-12 rule, takes effect Friday

Education Dive |

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Wednesday in favor of new Title IX rules requiring districts to significantly upend sexual harassment and assault reporting processes. The rules are set to take effect Friday.

The decision denied the request of 18 attorneys general from 17 states and the District of Columbia for a preliminary injunction. It acknowledged while the concerns may be sound, the court’s role “is not to substitute its judgment for that of the [U.S. Department of Education]” and is not to ask “whether a regulatory decision is the best one possible or even whether it is better than the alternatives.”

American parents are setting up homeschool “pandemic pods”

MIT Technology Review |

Homeschooling, this is not. As local and federal governments continue to squabble over the risks of sending kids back to school, parents are frantically gathering groups of similar-age kids to be taught at home. 

The idea is that they band together to pay for private tuition or delegate supervision to one parent, allowing the rest to get back to work. Pods should also supply some of the social aspect of school without the infection risk inherent in cramming dozens of kids in a room together.

Will Kids Follow the New Pandemic Rules at School?

The Atlantic |

The basic trinity of pandemic safety—distancing, hand-washing, and masking—dictates a new set of cautious behaviors that will be expected of children on school grounds. Kids will also be expected to refrain from many once-normal activities—hugging, sharing toys, trading food at lunchtime, and so on. K–12 students may generally be capable of doing what public-health experts ask, but not all of them, not everything, and not all the time.

Schools Contemplate Fall Semester As COVID-19 Cases Rise In Many States

As cases increase in 40 states and the debate over wearing masks continue, public health experts say the U.S. is losing the battle. And schools struggle with decisions over how to reopen.

Remembering John Lewis – note to self

Georgia Congressman John Lewis was born and raised on a cotton farm outside Troy, Alabama. He later became one of the most prominent leaders of the civil rights movement. In CBS’s ongoing series, Note to Self, Lewis recalls getting into what he famously calls “good trouble.”

The Georgia lawmaker died Friday night. He had been suffering from Stage IV pancreatic cancer since December. He was 80.

Watchdog report challenges Trump administration school safety recommendations

Education Dive |

  • The Government Accountability Office released a report calling into question the Trump administration’s overturning of Obama-era “Rethink School Discipline” guidance meant to curb the disproportionate impact of punitive school discipline policies on students of color. The guidance favored the social, emotional and behavioral needs of students over suspensions and expulsions in order to make school environments more equitable. 
  • In 2018, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice axed the “Dear Colleague” letter, shortly after President Donald Trump’s Federal Commission on School Safety released a report saying the Obama administration’s efforts to address racial disparities in school discipline policies made schools unsafe.
  • The GAO report debunks that claim, finding most school-targeted shootings take place in higher-income, low-minority areas, and that there was no research from 2009-2019 examining any connection between school discipline policies and school shootings. 

New Study Does Not Find Stark Differences in How District, Charter and Private Schools Responded to COVID-19 Crisis

The 74 Million |

In general, traditional public schools did not lag behind charters or private schools, except for a few days near the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis when they were somewhat slower to switch to online learning, according to the study by Tulane University’s National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice (REACH).

Will schools mandate COVID-19 vaccine or face liability?

Education Dive |

As the new school year approaches — with many parents, teachers and students disagreeing on key decisions such as reopening dates and safety requirements — legislators and educators are floating the idea of schools potentially being held liable. The AASA is talking to Congress about including liability protections in the next round of bills. 

According to Brian Schwartz, an education lawyer who has served as general counsel for the Illinois Principals Association for 20 years, schools can minimize liability by following local, state and national mandates, especially regarding PPE and social distancing. “Liability might exist if a school requires students and staff to attend in-person and then refuses to follow mandated safety protocols,” he said, adding a school district’s insurance carrier might refuse coverage if safety mandates are not in place or are willfully ignored.

When It Comes To Reopening Schools, ‘The Devil’s In The Details,’ Educators Say

NPR |

Dozens of teachers, parents and district leaders around the country told NPR that the back-to-school season — that beloved annual ritual — has fogged over with confusion. States, districts and the federal government are pushing and pulling in different directions. Scientists are updating their advice to reflect emerging research and the changing course of the pandemic. And parents and educators are finding it hard to make decisions in the murk.

What’s at stake: An unknown number of lives, the futures of tens of millions of children, the livelihoods of their caregivers, the working conditions of millions of educators and people’s trust in a fundamental American institution.

CDC will not revise school guidelines

CNN |

“Our guidelines are our guidelines, but we are going to provide additional reference documents to aid basically communities in trying to open K-through-12s,” said CDC agency Director Dr. Robert Redfield on Thursday.

“It’s not a revision of the guidelines; it’s just to provide additional information to help schools be able to use the guidance we put forward.”

On Wednesday during a Coronavirus Task Force Update, Pence said the CDC would be changing school reopening guidelines after Trump called them ‘tough and expensive.’

Schools or bars? Opening classrooms may mean hard choices

ABC News | Associated Press

A growing chorus of public health experts is urging federal, state and local officials to reconsider how they are reopening the broader economy, and to prioritize K-12 schools — an effort that will likely require closing some other establishments to help curb the virus spread and give children the best shot at returning to classrooms.

If transmission can be reduced in the wider community, it will make it safer for schools to reconvene.

“We should be prioritizing the reopening of those public spaces that have known benefits and low risks,” Jennifer Nuzzo said, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 Testing Insights Initiative. “And we think that schools are one of those.”

Justices Rule Teachers At Religious Schools Aren’t Protected By Fair Employment Laws

WOSU |

The U.S. Supreme Court has carved out a major exception to the nation’s fair employment laws. In a 7-2 vote, the court ruled on Wednesday that the country’s civil rights laws barring discrimination on the job do not apply to most lay teachers at religious elementary schools.

Pence says CDC changing school reopening guidelines after Trump called them ‘tough and expensive’

Columbus Dispatch |

“The president said today we just don’t want the guidance to be too tough,” Pence said at a news conference at the U.S. Department of Education. “That’s the reason why, next week, CDC is going to be issuing a new set of tools, five different documents that will be giving even more clarity on the guidance going forward.”

Trump Pledges To ‘Pressure’ Governors To Reopen Schools Despite Health Concerns

WOSU |

President Trump vowed to exert pressure on states to reopen their school districts this fall even as large parts of the country are experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“We hope that most schools are going to be open. We don’t want people to make political statements or do it for political reasons. They think it’s gonna be good for them politically so they keep the schools closed,” Trump elaborated. “No way.” He did not elaborate on what that means.

(more…)

Brown, Portman Support Expanding Broadband Access

Statehouse News Bureau |

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) are backing a piece of legislation that would build-up internet access in underserved areas like rural communities.

The Rural Broadband Acceleration Act would put $20.4 billion towards building rural broadband in two phases.

History texts under scrutiny amid growing bias awareness

Education Dive |

Uncomfortable details and nuance often take a backseat to the desire for a linear narrative and state standards established by legislators can politically taint texts during the adoption process, EdSurge reports.

A New York Times analysis shows how large states like California and Texas have different versions of the same textbooks — from major publishers such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Pearson and McGraw-Hill — influenced by partisan politics.

Some teachers advocate for historiography, which means students research history for themselves and contrast different points of view to ultimately reach their own conclusions. This method, they argue, teaches students how to think rather than what to think.

The coming child care crisis

AXIOS |

Schools and school districts are starting to release their plans for the fall, and, to ensure safety, many have come up with hybrid online and in-person schedules.

“Most working families need care for at least 40 hours a week, and schools were providing that,” says Adrienne Schweer, a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington think tank. “If that’s gone, there’s nothing to fill the void.”

Care for children under five is also in crisis, she says. The Center for America Progress projects that the pandemic will put up to 50% of day care centers out of business, erasing some 4.5 million slots for young kids.

Supreme Court Rules Montana Religious Schools Can Receive Funding

NPR |

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Montana’s exclusion of religious schools from a state scholarship program funded by tax credits violates the U.S. Constitution.

In the 5-4 decision, the court said that states need not fund private schools, but once they do, they cannot disqualify some private schools because they are religious.

U.S. Pediatricians Call For In-Person School This Fall

NPR |

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidance “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.”

The guidance says “schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being.” The AAP argues that based on the nation’s experience this spring, remote learning is likely to result in severe learning loss and increased social isolation.

Ambitious Research Project — to Review How Every School in America Responded to COVID-19

The 74 Million |

A new research effort underway at Tulane University aims to track how every K-12 school in the United States — district, charter and private — responded to the coronavirus pandemic and the abrupt shift to remote learning that came with it.

Led by economist and education researcher Douglas Harris, the project is part of REACH, the National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice, based at the university in New Orleans.

Education Dept. Rule Limits How Schools Can Spend Vital Aid Money

WOSU |

In a new rule announced Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos signaled she is standing firm on her intention to reroute millions of dollars in coronavirus aid money to K-12 private school students. The CARES Act rescue package included more than $13 billion to help public schools cover pandemic-related costs.

Parents Still Await a ‘Rallying Cry’ to Change How Race and History Are Taught in Schools

The 74 Million |

Experts have pointed out that the national dearth of culturally responsive education is one of the reasons this country still hasn’t confronted its history of race-based oppression. 

And while the U.S. has seen a recent reckoning prompted by protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police — in the form of the removal of cops from schools, declarations of Juneteenth as an official holiday, and the like — implementing the instruction needed to contextualize those events for students has proven a more difficult task. 

Scholars say that, barring a surge in public will, the path forward is a long, uphill battle.

RAND Research on Racial Equity

RAND Corporation is launching a new research center dedicated to issues of social justice and racial equity, among other initiatives. Below is a sampling highlighting RAND research that addresses this challenge from a variety of angles.

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5 reasons to make sure recess doesn’t get short shrift when school resumes in person

The Conversation |

Children will return to school for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic upended everything, they will most likely spend less time on school grounds. And as educational leaders decide how to schedule elementary school students’ days, they see catching students up on math, English and other academic subjects as a top priority.

Helping students heal from the stress and trauma of what they have been through this spring is also essential. We are founding members of the Global Recess Alliance, an international group of health and education experts who came together in the pandemic to advocate for saving school recess.

Coronavirus pandemic has worsened racial disparities in education, lawmakers told

Ohio Capital Journal |

Before the coronavirus, Black and Latino children were already less likely to have access to high-quality preschool. School districts with higher populations of students of color often have less money than majority white districts. And Black male students experience disproportionate suspension.

In Ohio, Black students are 4.8 times more likely to be suspended compared to white students.

(more…)

Why There’s A Push To Get Police Out Of Schools

WOSU |

Data show that schools with cops are more likely to refer children to law enforcement, including for non-serious violent behaviors. In 43 states and the District of Columbia, Black students are more likely to be arrested than other students while at school, according to an analysis by the Education Week Research Center.

Report: 2020 KIDS COUNT Data Book – Ohio drops in ranking

Broadly speaking, kids nationwide experienced gains in the Economic Well-Being domain and promising-but-mixed results in the Health, Education, and Family and Community domains. The positive strides realized — driven by effective policies and achieved before the coronavirus pandemic — serve as an encouraging reminder that the nation can advance the substantial work now needed to improve the prospects of its youngest generation.

Despite documented gains for children of all races and income levels, the nation’s racial inequities proved deep and stubbornly persistent during the reporting period, according to the data. The nation failed to provide African American, American Indian and Latino children with the support necessary to thrive while states failed to dismantle barriers facing many children of color.

(more…)

Students Launch Move School Forward Campaign Calling for Student Voice, Equitable Learning Opportunities in School Reopenings

Student Voice |

The Education Justice Collective, a group of youth-driven organizations including Student VoiceOur TurnThe Prichard Committee Student Voice Team and others, has convened students across the country to launch the Move School Forward campaign, a set of ten guiding principles regarding what students believe schools must prioritize in the fall amidst COVID-19.

Students’ priorities include elevating student voice, supporting marginalized students, closing the digital divide, adopting anti-racist policies, funding schools equitably and more.

The full set of guiding principles, along with the form for organizations to sign onto the Move School Forward campaign as a youth-driven Education Justice Collective member or an adult-driven supporting organization, can be found at moveschoolforward.org.

Student Voice is a by-students, for-students 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in all 50 states to equip students as storytellers, organizers and institutional partners who advocate for student-driven solutions to educational inequity. 

Amid concerns of widening equity gaps, Black educators suggest a starting point

Education Dive |

As schools shuttered across the country and transitioned to remote learning, many predicted worsening achievement gaps and lower engagement for Black students. With recent protests, increased trauma has been added to that list.

(more…)

National Archives Safeguards Original ‘Juneteenth’ General Order

 National Archives News |

On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s historic Emancipation Proclamation, U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3, which informed the people of Texas that all enslaved people were now free. Granger commanded the Headquarters District of Texas, and his troops had arrived in Galveston the previous day.

The official handwritten record of General Order No. 3, is preserved at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

General Order No. 3, issued by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, June 19, 1865. The order was written in a volume beginning on one page and continuing to the next. (RG 393, Part II, Entry 5543, District of Texas, General Orders Issued)  
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Guidance: U.S. Supreme Court – Title VII Prohibits Termination Based on Sexual Orientation

Ennis Britton |

Discrimination on the basis of homosexuality or transgender status requires an employer to intentionally treat employees differently because of their sex—the very practice Title VII prohibits in all manifestations.

While it was argued that Title VII was never intended to be read with such a broad brushstroke, the Court found that the use of the word sex was unambiguous and supported its holding.

Juneteenth

The Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order authored by President Lincoln with input from Frederick Douglass, was issued on January 1st, 1863, instantly freeing enslaved people in the Confederate states.

However, the Black residents in the Texas island city of Galveston, were not apprised of the news until June 19th, 1865.

Juneteenth, a contraction of the words “June” and “nineteenth” commemorates this day and freedom from slavery in the United States.

Learn more about Juneteenth and the virtual celebration at https://www.blkfreedom.org.

And, if you are looking for resources to begin conversations with your family or students about race, bias, civil rights, and current events, head over to https://www.hcesc.org/social-justice.

https://www.hcesc.org/social-justice

Supreme Court Upholds DACA

NPR, WKRC, The 74 Million |

The Supreme Court issued an opinion Thursday on President Donald Trump’s 2017 decision to cancel Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, overturns Trump’s decision to end the The U.S. Supreme Court is upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for now, handing a dramatic victory to immigration advocates and granting a respite to some 700,000 immigrants brought to the country illegally as minors.

(more…)

Study finds racial, gender gaps in principal hiring

EducationDive |

Key Findings:

  • Black and female assistant principals are less likely than their white and male counterparts to be promoted to principal. 
  • Analyzing Texas Education Agency data on promotions for almost 4,700 assistant principals in the state from 2001 to 2017, it was found that equally qualified black assistant principals were 18% percent less likely to be promoted than white candidates. In addition, when they did become principal, it took 5.27 years, compared to 4.67 for white candidates.
  • The researchers identified a gender gap specifically at the high school level, with women 5-7% less likely to be promoted to principal and waiting 5.62 years for the position, compared to 4.94 years for men. In a comment, Bailes noted that because serving as a high school principal is often a pathway toward top-level district positions, women who serve as elementary principals are “less likely to be tapped for superintendencies and other district leadership positions.”
(more…)

After Supreme Court Ruling, LGBTQ Advocates Revive Push For ‘Ohio Fairness Act’

WOSU |

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the protections against discrimination based on sex in Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act should also be applied to sexual orientation and gender identity.

There is continued push for a bill called the Ohio Fairness Act, HB369 and SB11, to extend these protections to housing and public accommodations.

Defund police in schools? How the movement got momentum after George Floyd’s death

The Columbus Dispatch |

From Chicago, New York and Los Angeles to smaller cities like Rochester, New York; Columbus, Ohio; and Portland, Maine and Fort Collins, Colorado, students and activists are demanding the discontinuation of school resource officers. They want the money spent on those programs to go to other peacekeeping strategies.

Police in schools contribute to the marginalization of students of color, they say. That’s because schools with large populations of black and brown students are more likely to have law enforcement on site, and in those places, students are more likely to be arrested for certain behaviors, rather than disciplined by an administrator.

Analyzing the Department of Education’s final Title IX rules on sexual misconduct

Brookings Institution |

Educational institutions that receive federal funds—which means all public elementary and secondary schools, and virtually all colleges and universities—will be expected to follow the new rules.

This policy brief attempts to fill this gap by examining seven features of the regulations to which schools at all levels—from kindergarten to graduate—must pay attention.

2020 is not 1968: To understand today’s protests, you must look further back

National Geographic |

Casting their eyes to the past, observers search for comparisons to today’s uprisings in the chaos of 1968. But the roots of 2020’s events go far deeper into the last hundred years of American history, which were punctuated by race riots, massacres, and clashes between the police and African Americans. 

Starting in 1919, three major waves of nationwide uprisings in the 20th century shed light on how the fight for racial equality has grown, how it’s changed, and what has stayed the same.

4 Ways Racial Inequity Harms American Schoolchildren

NPR |

Equity has long been a problem in American education. In many ways, the issues playing out between police and communities of color — including implicit bias and overly harsh punishment — are playing out in schools, too.

Four things to know about how racial inequity affects the nation’s school children:

  • Black students are more likely to be arrested at school.
  • Black students are more likely to be suspended.
  • Implicit bias isn’t just a police problem — it happens in preschool, too.
  • White school districts receive more funding on average than nonwhite districts.

Pandemic-Stricken Schools Tell Senate They Need Help to Reopen

New York Times |

In testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, education leaders from around the country said budget challenges were among their chief concerns as they drafted plans to resume in-person classes. 

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, has estimated that districts would incur nearly $1.8 million in costs to meet federal health guidelines, from $640 for no-touch thermometers to $448,000 for additional custodial staff; that is just for an average school district of about 3,700 students. 

(more…)

Report: Most districts lacked clear plans in shift to remote learning

EducationDive |

A new analysis of the remote learning plans of 477 U.S. school districts shows about a third have provided clear expectations for how teachers should provide instruction and track students’ participation and progress, according to the Center for Reinventing Public Education.

The researchers, who initially followed the learning plans of 81 districts in the sample, conducted the larger work in partnership with the RAND Corp. They note teachers are likely “going beyond their district’s expectations to continue instruction,” but that a lack of specific guidance can result in wide variation.

Some of the biggest differences across districts include an urban-rural divide in which 51% of urban districts set expectations for how teachers provide instruction remotely, compared to 27% of rural districts. Low-poverty districts were also more likely than high-poverty districts to deliver live instruction — 28.8% compared to 14.5%.

What Will It Cost to Re-Open Schools?

ASBO and AASA |

The cost analysis from the superintendents organization and the Association of School Business Officials International shows that in some cases school districts can expect to spend an additional $490 per student in order to cover costs associated with purchasing hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and other cleaning supplies, gloves, masks and other personal protective equipment, hiring additional custodial staff and nurses, and more. 

(more…)

For Years Before George Floyd’s Death, Schools Were Urged to Cut Ties With Police.

The 74 Million |

Inside the Student Campaign That Convinced Minneapolis to Act — and Sparked a Nationwide Trend

On Thursday, Portland, Oregon, Public Schools said it was discontinuing the use of police in its schools. 

In Rochester, New York, the city budget currently under consideration would put an end to placing police officers in schools, something students have been pushing for, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

And in Denver, Board of Education Vice President Jennifer Bacon and Secretary Tay Anderson announced a resolution Friday that calls for all police to be removed from the schools by year’s end.

The good-guy image police present to students often clashes with students’ reality

The Conversation |

When the police that students see in their schools are saying one thing, but the police on the street are doing something else, it puts students in a position where an authority figure is asking them to believe something that blatantly contradicts their own reality.

The banality of racism in education

Brown Center Chalkboard – Brookings Institution |

A study from 2015 looked at how Americans think about test score gaps in education. In a nationally representative sample of adults, the main finding was that Americans are far more concerned about, and willing to address, wealth-based gaps than race- and ethnicity-based gaps.

Most notable to the researchers, though, came from a question concerning how people explain the gaps that exist today. They asked, “How much of the difference in test scores between white students and Black students can be explained by discrimination against Blacks or injustices in society?” Nearly half (44%) of respondents chose “None.” Only 10% chose “A great deal.”

(more…)

News literacy critical as students face national ‘infodemic’

EducationDive |

Twitter flagging the president’s tweets is another example of how students are “inheriting an information ecosystem that has unfolded in ways we never imagined,” experts say.

The demand for programs that teach students to think critically about what they read or view — and to understand the purpose behind the message — began to spread following the “fake news” phenomenon of the 2016 presidential election. And now with the pandemic, news and media literacy organizations are adding lesson plans and resources related to COVID-19.

What some parents tell their children to keep them alive

Cincinnati Enquirer |

“The talk,” as several parents here referred to it, is actually a lot of conversations these Cincinnati parents have with their kids, all starting when their children were little.

Some Cincinnati-area parents talked to The Enquirer this week about what those potentially life-saving lessons look like in their homes.

‘This Is a Revolution’: Student Activists Across the Country Take Their Place — on the Front Lines and Behind the Scenes — in Historic Protests

The 74 Million |

Determined to enact change and inspired by the collective power of this moment, students who can are taking face masks and signs and joining peaceful protests. Some living at home, wary of putting their parents’ and siblings’ health in danger, are turning to Zoom calls with friends and posting Instagram Live stories. 

Others are observing for now, figuring out how they want to join a movement that is not without risk for peaceful demonstrators and has been overtaken by violence, looting and arson at night in multiple cities.

Educators call for schools to be ‘safe havens’ against racism

EducationDive |

California state Superintendent Tony Thurmond is among the state and district leaders condemning the killing of George Floyd and saying schools must to do more to address racial bias.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner suggested the school closures are a barrier during a time of turmoil. “Today we should be in a classroom helping students process all that is happening around us,” he said in a statement.

Falling Into the Gap Year

New York Times |

Many high school seniors who plan to attend college, already mourning the loss of their high school graduations, are now facing a Hobson’s choice. They can commit to going to college in the fall, though it may be virtual, or they can opt for a gap year, with limited opportunities.

Displaced: The Faces of American Education in Crisis

The 74 Million |

The 74’s Pandemic Reporting Initiative is setting out to track how life and work has changed for the diverse universe of characters who make our classrooms work.

From parents to teachers, counselors and even district warehouse managers, the pandemic has been a time of unprecedented hardships and challenges. Here are eight faces and stories from across the country that begin to capture the real story.

School lunch programs are losing millions feeding hungry kids. They could be broke by fall

USA Today |

In the past 10 weeks alone, school districts and nonprofit organizations tasked with feeding children during the pandemic have lost at least $1 billion. The losses continue to climb with every lunch and breakfast workers serve and could force programs across the county to go into debt or dip into money dedicated to teachers and classrooms to stay afloat.

All told, spending for many feeding programs has outstripped federal reimbursements for the emergency meals. The House’s most recent relief bill allocated $3 billion for child nutrition programs from now through September 2021, but the bill will face heavy challenges in the Senate, and school food coordinators say they’re unclear on how much of that money will go to individual districts even if it passes.

Researchers’ Urgent Message for Schools: Start Planning Now for a Precipitous ‘COVID Slide’ Next Year

The 74 Million |

New research from NWEA’s Collaborative for Student Growth Research Center suggests that when students head back to school next fall, overall they are likely to retain about 70 percent of this year’s gains in reading, compared with a typical school year, and less than 50 percent in math. 

Losses are likely to be more pronounced in the early grades, when students normally acquire many basic skills, and among those already facing steep inequities.

Sixth Circuit Finds a Constitutional Right to a Basic Minimum Education (updated)

Ennis Britton Co. LPA |

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a decision holding that there is a fundamental right to a “basic minimum education” that is potentially violated when the state fails to provide adequate public schools. On May 19, 2020 the Sixth Circuit vacated that ruling so that it can be considered by the entire Sixth Circuit bench.

The ruling allowed students from five of the lowest-performing schools in Detroit to sue Michigan officials over their inability to read.

NASA Live: Launch America

NASA |

For the first time in history, NASA astronauts have launched from American soil in a commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft on its way to the International Space Station.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley lifted off at 3:22 p.m. EDT Saturday on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Coronavirus pandemic forces millions of working women into “impossible” roles

CBS Face the Nation |

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for women in April was 16.2%, while the unemployment rate for men was 13.5. The numbers are higher for women as they are disproportionately and overrepresented in service sectors hit hardest by closures including industries such as leisure and hospitality, retail, education, and health services.

And even as the economy is beginning to reopen, many women will have to choose between going back to work and staying home to care for their families with schools, daycares, and summer camps closed.

A Bold Pitch To Boost School Funding For The Nation’s Most Vulnerable Students

NPR |

It’s a moonshot pitch to many district and state leaders that recommends distributing local property tax revenue more broadly — at the county or even state level. 

According to EdBuild, only 13 states currently do this.

Survey Shows Big Remote Learning Gaps For Low-Income And Special Needs Children

NPR |

Four out of 10 of the poorest U.S. students are accessing remote learning as little as once a week or less, according to a new survey from ParentsTogether, an advocacy group. 

By contrast, for families making more than $100,000 a year, 83% of kids are doing distance learning every day, with the majority engaged over two hours a day, the survey found.

Results and Technical Documentation from the Spring 2020 American Educator Panels COVID-19 Surveys

RAND Corporation |

The results presented in the report include frequency tables for survey items and are shown for the full national samples and for subsamples of schools serving large populations of students of color and students from lower-income households (or target schools) compared with other schools (non-target schools). 

This breakdown of target and non-target schools provides evidence regarding disparities in the supports and resources for teaching and learning across the United States.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RRA100/RRA168-1/RAND_RRA168-1.pdf

‘I’m on edge all day long.’ Schoolwork a mere afterthought for homeless youth

The Hechinger Report |

For many homeless students, school was often the only place they went every day, greeted the same adults and received warm meals. For them, school closures have been especially devastating.

The federal CARES Act, passed by Congress in late March, provided $13.5 billion for schools. But the only portion of that money that might aid homeless children is part of a larger pot of funding also intended to help districts serve other low-income kids, students with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities and youth in the foster care system.

A Looming Financial Meltdown For America’s Schools

NPR |

With the nation’s attention still fixed on the COVID-19 health crisis, school leaders are warning of a financial meltdown that could devastate many districts and set back an entire generation of students. Schools receive nearly half of their funding from state coffers.

But with businesses shuttered in response to the pandemic and the unemployment rate already nearing 15% — well above its 10% peak during the Great Recession — state income and sales tax revenues are crashing.

Report: Pooling school taxes would increase per-pupil funding by almost $1K

EducationDive |

  • Per-pupil spending would increase for the majority of students in the nation — 69% — if local property tax revenues for schools were pooled at the county or state level, according to a new report from EdBuild, a nonprofit focusing on education funding equity.
  • In 49 states, funding for nonwhite students and those eligible for the National School Lunch Program would increase or stay the same under such a model. And on average, funding per student would increase by almost $1,000.
  • “Schools can do a lot with that money,” the authors write, providing a list of examples. “Districts could increase the average annual teacher’s salary for these students by 26%. Many more school counselors could be hired, nine more per school building. One additional teacher’s assistant could be hired for every other classroom.”

1 in 5 teachers are unlikely to return to reopened classrooms this fall, poll says

USA Today |

These teachers say they are unlikely to go back to school if their classrooms reopen in the fall, a potential massive wave of resignations. While most teachers report working more than usual, nearly two-thirds say they haven’t been able to properly do their jobs in an educational system upended by the coronavirus. 

A separate poll of parents with at least one child in grades K-12 finds that 6 in 10 say they would be likely to pursue at-home learning options instead of sending back their children this fall. Nearly a third of parents, 30%, say they are “very likely” to do that.

Remember the MOOCs? After Near-Death, They’re Booming

New York Times |

Children and college students aren’t the only ones turning to online education during the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of adults have signed up for online classes in the last two months, too — a jolt that could signal a renaissance for big online learning networks that had struggled for years.

Here’s When Major Companies Say Workers Can Return To The Office

Forbes |

Even as businesses across the county slowly reopen and stay-at-home orders end, there’s one group of employees that may largely stay home past the summer months: white collar office workers.

Crayola launches box of crayons with diverse skin tones

USA Today |

“With the world growing more diverse than ever before, Crayola hopes our new Colors of the World crayons will increase representation and foster a greater sense of belonging and acceptance,” said Crayola CEO Rich Wuerthele in the statement.

Asked whether she is using crisis to support private school choice, DeVos says ‘yes, absolutely’

Chalkbeat |

In an conversation with DeVos on SiriusXM radio, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Catholic archbishop of New York, suggested that the secretary was trying to “utilize this particular crisis to ensure that justice is finally done to our kids and the parents who choose to send them to faith-based schools,” including through a new program that encourages states to offer voucher-like grants for parents.

“Am I correct in understanding what your agenda is?” Dolan asks.

“Yes, absolutely,” DeVos responded. “For more than three decades that has been something that I’ve been passionate about. This whole pandemic has brought into clear focus that everyone has been impacted, and we shouldn’t be thinking about students that are in public schools versus private schools.”

Online programs used for coronavirus-era school promise results. The claims are misleading.

USA Today and The Hechinger Report |

Misleading research claims are increasingly common in the world of ed tech. None of the studies behind IXL’s or Matific’s research claims were designed well enough to offer reliable evidence of their products’ effectiveness, according to a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University who catalog effective educational programs. Edgenuity’s boast takes credit for substantial test score gains that preceded the use of its online classes.

How feasible are school reopening plans for fall?

EducationDive |

Common trends across reopening plans from prominent education, government and health organizations suggest doing so may be easier said than done.

Education Dive overlapped federal guidelines with draft state recovery plans and guidance released by institutes or organizations —​ including the American Federation of Teachers, the American Enterprise Institute, the World Health Organization and Learning Policy Institute —​ to identify common themes being considered and assess their feasibility based on input from district leaders and health officials.

Popular options for hybrid models discussed by district and state leaders include weekly or daily rotations of students, with an emphasis on those needing in-person instruction the most. 

How Three Mothers Of Students With Special Needs Are Getting Through The Pandemic

WFPL – Louisville Public Media |

With schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, managing nontraditional instruction (NTI) at home is a huge challenge for many families. But for parents of children with disabilities, the task is monumental.

Spring Hiring: Facing an Uncertain Fall and a Grim Economic Forecast, Many Districts Are Rethinking How — and Whether — to Bring On New Teachers

The 74 Million |

About 100,000 teachers are hired in the U.S. every year, says Dan Goldhaber, a director of the Center for Education Data and Research at the University of Washington. “That varies a lot depending on economic conditions,” he adds.

School closures changing districts’ methods, terms for bargaining with unions

EducationDive |

With distance learning possibly extending into fall, teacher contracts settled or being negotiated prior to school closures due to the coronavirus are now being reexamined. Talks have been structured differently based on the speed of the outbreak and holes in previous contracts, and some changes could last post-pandemic.  

Disengaging from distance learning

CNN |

Amid the Covid-19 crisis, many find this new system of learning, in which parents work full time and teach their children, untenable. Many kids aren’t participating because they can’t. But in some cases, kids are opting out without dropping out.

Supreme Court Weighs Whether Religious Schools Can Fire Lay Workers

WOSU/NPR |

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority signaled Wednesday that it is on the verge of carving out a giant exception to the nation’s fair employment laws. Before the court were two cases, both involving fifth grade teachers at parochial schools in California. One, a veteran of 16 years teaching at her school, contends her firing was a case of age discrimination.

The other said she was fired after she told her superior that she had breast cancer and would need some time off. Both schools denied the allegations but maintain that regardless, the fair employment laws do not apply to their lay teachers because they all teach religion for 40 minutes a day.

AAEF survey reveals majority of educators plan to use distance learning tools when schools reopen

Highland County Press |

The Association of American Educators Foundation (AAEF), a 501(c)(3) organization supporting the mission of the Association of American Educators (AAE), a national professional association serving educators in all 50 states, Monday released the first results of their Educator Survey on Distance Learning.

The survey addressed five critical areas of concern as educators faced the transition to distance learning in response to the coronavirus.

These key areas include satisfaction with communication from school and district leadership, experiences with various distance learning tools and platforms, preparation as a result of training and professional development, prioritization of equity and inclusion during distance learning and educators’ opinions of policy regarding pre-existing online schools.

New CARES Act Guidance Creates Confusion, Offers Private Schools More Emergency Funds

WBST – Indiana Public Broadcasting |

As written into the federal CARES Act, financial support from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund is supposed to go to schools – public and private – based on their number of low-income students, also known as Title I formula. But the new, unexpected guidance contradicts that idea and says the limited pot of funding going to school districts should be shared with private schools based on total enrollment instead.

What Italian teachers have learned from two months of home schooling

via The Guardian |

Schools in northern Italy were the first in Europe to close. Since then, teachers, parents and kids across the country have all had to adapt to a new existence – and the results have surprised everyone.

Students have always felt fretful because of their weekly tests and the stigma of being held back a year. But now many teachers feel insecure, too: not just because education seems like the last priority of government, but because they are scared of digitalised learning and fear being replaced by screens.

Closed Schools Are Creating More Trauma For Students

via NPR |

Between closed schools, social isolation, food scarcity and parental unemployment, the coronavirus pandemic has so destabilized kids’ support systems that the result, counselors say, is genuinely traumatic.

School counselors say the coronavirus pandemic has so destabilized kids’ lives that the result is genuinely traumatic. And closed schools make it harder for counselors to help.

The coronavirus crisis spotlights the inequalities in American education

Lewis Echevarria is a sophomore in Camden, New Jersey. Originally from Puerto Rico, he has to jump through multiple hoops each day to submit his work: overcome an often bad internet connection, catch up on assignments on a palm-sized screen and find the answers to questions his parents — who both speak little to no English — can’t answer.

Echevarria is one of millions of students that lack access to the basic tools they need to continue their education from home, now that schools all over the country have closed down and more than a dozen states have announced classes will remain virtual through the end of the school year.

Many don’t even have access to internet. Data from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration showed that in 2017, about 7 million school-age children were in households without home Internet service.

Idle Time, Family Dynamics and Low Self-Esteem Make Perfect Recipe for Cyber Bullying

via Spectrum News 1 |

Millions of kids sitting at home and looking for ways to socialize, may find themselves in situations they didn’t plan for, including cyberbullying. Adolescent therapists say it’s bound to happen since kids are spending more time on technology during this COVID-19 age than before.

Coronavirus for kids without internet: Quarantined worksheets, learning in parking lots

via The Columbus Dispatch |

Across the nation, many internet providers have agreed to waive late fees and end disconnects for families in financial hardship. But millions without high-speed internet at home, especially in rural Appalachian communities, have been left to fend for themselves as governments shut down their school buildings and mandate distance learning.

Report: Financial Crisis Looming for K–12 Schools? Flexibility Needed, Not Bailouts

via Heritage Foundation |

Key take-aways:

  • Special-interest lobbyists want lawmakers to spend triple the annual amount of federal spending on K–12 schools.
  • These groups have a history of making financial requests that do not match either available resources or school needs.
  • Policymakers should reject these demands and extend the spending flexibility afforded to schools through the CARES Act.

Foster care services prepare for uptick in child abuse cases due to no in-class instruction

via WLWT |

Lighthouse Youth and Family Services said school systems are their number one reporter of child abuse and neglect in the home, so when kids aren’t in class, cases are likely going unreported.

American schools may look radically different as they reopen

via AP News |

Key take-aways:

  • California Gov: could mean requiring schools to stagger schedules, with some students arriving in the morning and the rest in the afternoon. 
  • West Contra Costa USD: schools will likely extend virtual learning into the fall or possibly figure out a rotation mixing online learning and classroom education
  • NASBE: Everything is being considered from masks and gloves to cutting class sizes and adding portable classrooms.

Survey: Superintendents want assessment, accountability flexibility during coronavirus closures

via Education Dive |

In an AASA survey, some district leaders also report plans to bridge equity gaps by distributing Wi-Fi hotspots or working with providers on service affordability.

The survey was launched on March 20 through March 25, 2020, on K-12 insights survey platform, to detail the fiscal impact of COVID-19 on our nation’s public school system and answer how ed-technology is supporting or impeding districts’ abilities to deliver curriculum and instruction.

While the study was not experimental and did not employ random sampling, the survey garnered a total of 1,608 responses from a sample of AASA members from 48 states, which consisted of superintendents, associate superintendents, aspiring superintendents and other school system leaders.

The report represents the first of a series of studies that AASA will release about the impact of COVID-19 on school districts and only speaks to the preliminary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on district operations.

e112c604-f6a0-4cf7-9639-11a5864cd9ff_NSPRA_Coronavirus_2020

Our fragile child care ‘system’ may be about to shatter

via The Hechinger Report |

Ninety percent of child care in the U.S. is privately run, Evans Allvin of NAEYC said. The vast majority of these small business owners are women operating on thin profit margins.

Who’s watching out for vulnerable kids when schools are closed?

via Dayton Daily News |

Educational professionals are mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect, filing one in five claims nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

AAEF releases survey results on virtual instruction preparedness

via Highland County Press |

This national survey of AAE members includes classroom educators, administrators, support specialists and school staff in all educational settings, with 94 percent of respondents serving in public district and public charter schools.

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9 Out Of 10 Children Are Out Of School Worldwide. What Now?

via NPR |

Right now students are out of school in 185 countries. According to UNESCO, that’s roughly 9 out of 10 schoolchildren worldwide. The world has never seen a school shutdown on this scale.

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From Wi-Fi to Food Drops: How Districts Are Tackling the Big Issues Now

via Edutopia |

Most education leaders say the U.S. has never faced anything like this before. The leader of Chiefs for Change on the short and long view as coronavirus continues. Edutopia spoke to him about the macro issues emerging in education as the coronavirus closes almost every K-12 school in the nation—an event Mike calls “a crisis without precedent.”

Mike Magee is the chief executive officer of Chiefs for Change, a network of district and state education leaders dedicated to changing the status quo around education equity in the United States. Magee was formerly a teacher of American literature and philosophy at Haverford College, and won the Elizabeth Agee Prize in American Studies for his 2004 book Emancipating Pragmatism.

Access to food; access to internet/tech – two big issues with closing schools

via Cincinnati Enquirer |

Read the complete article at the Cincinnati Enquirer.

When Should Schools Close For Coronavirus?

via NPR |

The fact remains that canceling school is a difficult decision because no one knows better than educators just how much some children depend on the support they get there.

Virus-driven shift to online classes brings home the digital divide

via AXIOS |

The “digital divide” between internet access haves and have-nots has long been an abstract public-policy debating point, but this public health crisis is bringing the issue home in a concrete way.

School Board Meetings During a Pandemic

via Ennis Britton Co., LPA |

It is important for public school district boards of education to understand state laws regarding board meetings so that you have a plan in place to effectively maintain operations during this and future pandemics.

It is possible that legislative measures will be taken that will allow public bodies to operate differently than before in response to the public health needs of the community.

Pamela Leist, Ennis Britton Co., LPA

One in three girls from poor households has never attended school

via DW and UNICEF |

A new study has revealed that one out of three adolescent girls from the poorest households around the world has never been to school. Gender discrimination and ethnic origin are some of the reasons behind the exclusion.

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The War on Science

via CBSN Originals |

In the age of misinformation, evidence-based science is under fire.

Private schools with questionable curriculums, public schools that sidestep scientific topics, and a growing abundance of conspiratorial YouTube videos are hindering our ability to separate scientific facts from beliefs or opinions.

Yet as Adam Yamaguchi reports in this CBSN Originals documentary, educators are finding ways to fight back.

Study: Boosting soft skills is better than raising test scores

via Hechinger Report |

In a large study of more than 150,000 students in all 133 of Chicago’s public high schools, economist Kirabo Jackson of Northwestern University has calculated that schools that build social-emotional qualities such as the ability to resolve conflicts and the motivation to work hard are getting even better short-term and long-term results for students than schools that only boost test scores.

The study is available from the National Bureau of Economic Research. Results suggest that adolescence can be a formative period for socioemotional growth, high-school impacts on SED can be captured using self-report surveys, and SED can be fostered by schools to improve longer-run outcomes. These findings are robust to tests for plausible forms of selection.

March is Music in Our Schools Month

via National Association for Music Education |

This March, music educators and music students will be celebrating music education in their schools and communities with concerts and classroom activities that show how “Music Changes Lives,” the theme of the 2020 observance of Music In Our Schools Month®.

(more…)

Wikipedia Lacks Profiles Of Women. These College Students Are Changing That

via WVXU |

Wikipedia is a well-known first stop on the internet when it comes to researching just about anything – except, perhaps, notable women.

Not only are 84% to 92% of editors on the site male, but the vast majority of Wikipedia profiles are about men, with fewer than 20% of pages devoted to women.

Earlham College Associate Professor of Psychology Rachael Reavis leads a research lab where students research and publish profiles about prominent women on Wikipedia. 

What Would a Coronavirus Outbreak in the U.S. Mean for Schools?

via The New York Times |

The obstacles to teaching remotely are evident: American children have uneven access to home computers and broadband internet. Schools have limited expertise in providing instruction online on a large scale. And parents would be forced to juggle their own work responsibilities with what could amount to “a vast unplanned experiment in mass home-schooling,” said Kevin Carey, vice president for education policy at New America, a think tank.

Map in widely used U.S. history textbook refers to enslaved Africans as “immigrants,” CBS News analysis finds

via CBS News |

A two-month-long CBS News investigation and analysis of how black history is being taught in U.S. public schools found what students learn often depends on where they live and the textbooks they are using.

The analysis, published during Black History Month, also found major problems in the way students are being taught topics like slavery.

Bar transgender athletes from girls sports? Ohio lawmakers say yes

via Journal-News |

Republican state Rep. Jena Powell calls her new bill the Save Women’s Sports Act, but LGBTQ advocates call it an attack on transgender youths.

The OHSAA adopted a transgender policy in December 2018 that allows athletes to participate on teams that match their gender identity. The policy requires athletes and their families to make a request to the school administration, which in turn gives notice to the state athletic association. The OHSAA executive director then takes action on the request.

Twenty-five states have inclusive policies for transgender high school athletes.

Audio: Teacher Unions Question Efficacy Of School Safety Drills

via WVXU |

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss school safety drills and how they are implemented in the classroom are American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten; Cincinnati Public Schools Board Member Mike Moroski; Spencer Center for Gifted and Exceptional Students School Counselor Tracy Redding; and Ohio Students for Gun Legislation Executive Director Ethan Nichols.

Ohio Ranks 42nd In Nation For Dealing With Youth Homelessness

via WVXU |

True Colors United and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty have partnered to release the State Index on Youth Homelessness.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia were evaluated on their efforts to prevent and end youth homelessness. Information is based on 2019 data.

The report looked at 61 metrics in Ohio, and found the state needs policies to prevent homeless young people from coming into contact with the criminal justice system and needs more state-level help to protect them.

Should all schools focus on STEM learning?

via Cleveland.com |

Although most will agree education in STEM areas is necessary, not everyone believes an emphasis on STEM should dominate K-12 education.

Advocates of STEM learning say it helps students apply science and math skills in everyday life, and the earlier that bridge is built, the better. Still, schools have to bend over backwards in order to earn official STEM certification, and some say an emphasis on STEM means less time for things like arts and history. Should all elementary schools offer an emphasis in STEM, or is a more balanced approach necessary?

How corporations are forcing their way into America’s public schools

via Salon |

An apt case study of the growing corporate influence behind Career-Technical Education (CTE) is in Virginia, where many parents, teachers and local officials are worried that major corporations including Amazon, Ford and Cisco — rather than educators and local, democratic governance—are deciding what students learn in local schools.

CTE is a rebranding of what has been traditionally called vocational education or voc-ed, the practice of teaching career and workplace skills in an academic setting. While years ago, that may have included courses in woodworking, auto mechanics, or cosmetology, the new, improved version of CTE has greatly expanded course offerings to many more “high-demand” careers, especially in fields that require knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Special ed parents bring their battles with Ohio school districts to federal court

via ABC6 |

In a case representing 260,000 students in Ohio’s public education system, parents of special education kids testified in Columbus Tuesday to say they’ve been treated unfairly.

In the agreement, both parties came up with a five-year plan to improve inclusion, test scores and positive reinforcement for Ohio’s special education students. A newly formed advisory committee will come up with the plan details that will include early intervention, less discipline, and more professional development.

From Peter Clark to Rodger Horton, black educators are still rare. And that needs to change.

via WCPO |

In Ohio, non-white teachers made up 5.64 percent of the workforce in the 2018-19 school year. Students of color, meanwhile, represented 31 percent of pupils. Kentucky’s demographics were similar. Just 4.8 percent of the Commonwealth’s teachers were non-white, while 24.2 percent of students were something other than white.

2 Big Teachers Unions Call For Rethinking Student Involvement In Lockdown Drills

via NPR |

The advocacy group Everytown For Gun Safety is joining with the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association — the nation’s largest education unions, with several million members — in calling for schools to reassess the use of lockdown drills.

In a white paper out Tuesday, the groups say they do not recommend active shooter training for students.

School lunch program still serving 4 in 10 Ohio students

via The Columbus Dispatch |

That’s 717,740 children, about 2,400 more than last school year, according to newly released data reported by schools to the Ohio Department of Education.

Parents, educators line up against proposed SNAP changes on Capitol Hill

via Journal-News |

Changes could also mean up to 500,000 children could close their eligibility for free school lunches. 

Sexual crimes against children rising according to officials in Brown County

via Brown County Press |

Investigators fear that a recent increase in adult on child crime is just the beginning of a new pattern. And the concern extends to juvenile court as well. 12, 13, and 14 year olds are committing these same types of offenses against their five, six or seven year old family members or family friends.

Local professionals are pointing to a number of factors, including what they consider the breakdown of the traditional family structure.

Number of Homeless Students Now Matches the Entire Population of New Hampshire

via VICE |

The National Center for Homeless Education, run out of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and supported by the U.S. Department of Education, has been examining and analyzing federal data on student homelessness since the 2004-05 academic year.

Since that academic year, the number of homeless students nationwide has more than doubled.

New study finds that students who prepared for kindergarten have better long term success

The study, conducted by the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and a research arm of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, focused on a group of about 8,000 CPS students who entered kindergarten in 2004 through 2006.

Findings included a positive link between kindergarten readiness and several academic outcomes some more than a decade after kindergarten.

445403412-2020-CPS-kindergarten-readiness-study

Researchers Link Autism To A System That Insulates Brain Wiring

via KQED MindShift |

The finding could help explain why autism spectrum disorders include such a wide range of social and behavioral features.

For kids seeking opportunity, some Ohio neighborhoods are worlds apart

The latest “Child Opportunity Index” has been released for 100 metro areas where about two-thirds of the nation’s children live. Neighborhoods are ranked from very-high to very-low opportunity according to 29 conditions within education, health and environment, social and economic areas.

For the most part Ohio’s large cities are close to or above the national median when looking at overall scores. However Ohio metro areas fare poorly when it comes to the gap in opportunities between neighborhoods, racial and ethnic inequalities, and disparities in life expectancy.

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National News Literacy Week

National News Literacy Week (Jan. 27–31), a joint initiative of the News Literacy Project and The E.W. Scripps Company, is designed to raise awareness of news literacy as a fundamental life skill and to provide the general public, as well as educators and students, with easy-to-adopt tools and tips for becoming news-literate. The News Literacy Project (PDF) is a national education nonprofit offering nonpartisan, independent programs that teach students how to know what to trust in the digital age.

Officiating shortage threatens future of sports

via Canton Repository |

While the low pay is a factor in the officiating decline — high school football officials make about $75-$80 a game, but middle school officials might only pull in about $25 — the main problem is the growing lack of sportsmanship among fans.

2019 Ohio Remediation Report: Fewer Ohio college students need remedial classes – lower-income students still lag

About 27% of Ohio graduates who enrolled in public higher education institutions in fall 2018 needed remediation in either math or English down from about 30% for students who enrolled in fall 2014. Nearly 39% of Ohio high school graduates who qualify for federal Pell grants needed remediation in either math or English in 2018.

Read the full report from the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

What does gentrification mean for local schools? Fewer students

via Chalkbeat |

Those declines in enrollment may come because gentrification displaces some families, while new entrants don’t have children or are skeptical of neighborhood schools. Gentrification also often coincides with an expansion of alternatives to neighborhood schools, as has happened in Denver, where families can choose from a menu of district and charter school options.

The latest findings also show that gentrification is relatively rare. But where it does happen, the changes have real — and complex — consequences for students, as schools may be forced to grapple with budget cuts but neighborhoods also see declining crime rates.

Report: Inequities in Advanced Coursework

via Cleveland Scene |

The report from the Education Trust examined the underlying causes of the disparities and found two main drivers: schools that enroll the most black and Latino students have slightly fewer seats available in advanced courses; and schools that are considered more racially diverse, are less likely to enroll black and Latino students in those courses.

The Education Trust is a national nonprofit that works to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families. 

The learning effect of air quality in classrooms

via The Hechinger Report |

In recent studies, researchers are scrutinizing the physical environment that surrounds students, especially the temperature and air quality in classrooms.

In a study soon to be released in American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, researchers examined 10 million students across the country and found that they had lower scores if they experienced hotter school days in years preceding the test, with extreme heat being particularly damaging. They calculated that every Fahrenheit degree increase in the outdoor temperature over a school year reduced that year’s learning by 1 percent.

Several other studies in the article are referenced pointing to the impact of heat and air quality on test scores.

Two States. Eight Textbooks. Two American Stories.

via The New York Times |

The NY Times analyzed some of the most popular social studies textbooks used in California and Texas and examined how political divides shape what students learn about our nation’s history.

What they found is described as “hundreds of differences — some subtle, others extensive” through an analysis of eight commonly used American history textbooks in California and Texas.

Expansion of Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program puts state’s complicated school funding formula in spotlight

via WLWT |

Tom Brinkman, a Republican state representative from Mount Lookout, voted to expand Ohio’s EdChoice school voucher program last summer. “School districts make out on this,” Brinkman said.

Mad River Schools to start Sept 8th, go fewer days, add 30 minutes daily

via Dayton Daily News |

Many local schools have tweaked their calendars the past few years, but Mad River schools is planning a much larger overhaul this fall, starting the year more than three weeks later and going to school fewer days, but making each school day longer.

https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/local-education/local-school-start-way-later-fewer-days-add-minutes-daily/mMRba901vB0PtS5xxMeKLK/

State avoids “loophole” for charter school money, rejects applications for millions

via The Plain Dealer |

The Ohio Department of Education on Friday announced the 63 charter schools that did qualify to share in the $30 million fund, but they also rejected some large applications for the money, with a decision that is drawing complaints.

https://www.cleveland.com/news/2020/01/state-avoids-loophole-with-charter-school-money-rejects-applications-for-millions.html

Freedom Center Exhibit To Bring Awareness And Fight Against Human Trafficking

via WVXU Cincinnati

According to the Freedom Center, in 2018, Ohio was ranked the 5th highest state with known human trafficking cases. Inside the 275 belt loop, where human smuggling isn’t as prevalent, trafficking happens. The issue is that people aren’t aware of the practical knowledge that could help prevent and possibly help save the victims. Motel X is separating fact from fiction when it involves sex trafficking stereotypes and labor trafficking stereotypes.

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Roundup of 2020 education predictions and trends

Edweek, Forbes, Larry Ferlazzo, and others give their take on what is coming for 2020 in education across the nation.

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Rate of uninsured Ohio children nearly doubled in two years

via WCPO Cincinnati

More than 41,000 kids under the age of six are uninsured in the state of Ohio, and that number has been increasing over the last two years.

Over the last two years, the number of uninsured children under the age of six has grown nationally. In Ohio, the number rose from 3.6% to 5% in just two years, above the national average of 4.3%.

(more…)

Education’s Role In Influencing The Next Generation Of Healthcare Models Around The World

via Forbes

Social-emotional learning (SEL), problem solving, and other “soft skills” emphasized in today’s classroom environments are now highly sought after in the professional development provided by businesses and organizations. Recent research by Harvard’s David Deming even suggests that soft skills will soon outweigh hard skills in workplace importance. 

Ohio Supreme Court will hear case over bullying, teacher liability

via The Toledo Blade

The case stems from the 2015-16 school year when the cheek of a kindergarten student at Toledo Public Schools’ DeVeaux Elementary School was allegedly “punctured” with a sharpened pencil by a fellow kindergartner after a series of other alleged bullying incidents.

Under Ohio state law, educators are immune from liability unless it can be shown they acted with “malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner.”

Read the full article in The Toledo Blade.

Encouraging young women to pursue careers in STEM related fields

via WCPO and Cincinnati Enquirer

Procter & Gamble, GE Aviation, and other local businesses encouraged more than 200 girls in grades six through nine to pursue careers in science via an all-day workshop on Nov. 20 at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. The goal: reach girls with an experience that is fun and begin to reduce the gap between men and women going into these type of careers.

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A HundrED innovations for 2020

The third global innovation collection, HundrED 2020, highlighting 100 of the brightest innovations in K12 education from around the world was announced at the Helsinki Education Week conference. The invite-only three-day event took place from November 6-8th with 250 educators, innovators, and education funders. Their goal: to share, celebrate, and collaborate with the goal of helping pedagogically sound, ambitious innovations spread across the world.

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Suicides dramatically increasing across Ohio, according to Ohio Department of Health

In 2018, suicide was the 11th leading cause of all death in Ohio among all ages, the leading cause of all death among Ohioans 10‐14 years of age and the second leading cause of all death among Ohioans 15‐34 years. Suicide accounted for 17.5% of all injury‐related deaths in 2018 and was the second leading injury‐related cause of death among Ohioans 15 years and older.

Source: Suicide Demographics and Trends, Ohio, 2018, Ohio Department of Health

A copy of ODH’s full 2018 Ohio Suicide Demographics and Trends Report is available here.

More information about Governor DeWine’s RecoveryOhio initiative is available here. A copy of the RecoveryOhio Advisory Council Initial Report is available here.

Experts Worry Active Shooter Drills In Schools Could Be Traumatic For Students

An increase in realistic active shooter simulations worry experts as to the impact on staff and students.

Melissa Reeves, a professor at Winthrop University and former president of the National Association of School Psychologists, talked with NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro about changes in how school shooting drills are carried out and her concerns about how drills can impact the psychological development of young children.

Read the full article via NPR.org.

Gender similarities observed in the brain during mathematics development

via npj Science of Learning.

Researchers measured 3–10-year-old children’s neural development with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during naturalistic viewing of mathematics education videos. Across all analyses, girls and boys showed significant gender similarities in neural functioning, indicating that boys and girls engage the same neural system during mathematics development.

Kersey, A.J., Csumitta, K.D. & Cantlon, J.F. Gender similarities in the brain during mathematics development. npj Sci. Learn. 4, 19 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41539-019-0057-x

Read the research at npj Science of Learning.

Too much screen time changes children’s brains

The study put 47 healthy Cincinnati-area children between 3 and 5 through magnetic resonance imaging of their brains as well as cognitive testing. While the study did not learn how screen time changed the brains, it did show that skills such as brain processing speed were affected.

What Causes Teachers to Leave?

via Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University |

A new meta-analysis synthesizes the findings from 120 research papers on the causes of teacher attrition and retention. Contrary to popular opinion, perhaps, they find that measuring and acting on differences in teacher quality does not lead to decreased morale or higher attrition rates.

Read the research report posted on Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.

Why Recess Should Never Be Withheld as Punishment

via Edutopia |

“Experts argue that recess is necessary for a child’s social and academic development, and skipping it as punishment for misbehavior or to accommodate more seat time is a serious mistake.”

China’s Efforts to Lead the Way in AI Start in Its Classrooms

via The Wall Street Journal |

video

The increasingly aggressive and sometimes intrusive use of high-end technology in education is pivotal to Beijing’s goal to make the AI industry a fresh driver of economic expansion. Virtually unobstructed access to a potential sample pool of around 200 million students allows Chinese scientists and researchers to amass an unrivaled database, which is indispensable to develop advanced algorithms.

Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal.

E-sports recruiting players who don’t use a field or gym

via Cincinnati Enquirer |

Nationwide, there are almost 400 e-sports programs at America’s colleges and universities. Ohio schools are among those leading the charge. Only California, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania have more such programs, according to a list provided by Next College Student Athlete.

The National Association of Collegiate esports (NACE) is a nonprofit organization that has produced $15 million in scholarships and aid for esports athletes and now which includes 130 schools and roughly 3,000 competitors.

Computer vision, will it transform education?

via Forbes

Computer vision is a field of artificial intelligence that trains computers to interpret and understand the visual world using digital images from cameras and videos. Some believe that the use of computer vision in education can help to maximize a student’s academic grades by studying a student’s behavioral patterns during the learning process.

But the ethics of placing students under continuous surveillance to learn is up for debate.

full article available from Forbes

How to Keep Teachers From Leaving the Profession

via The Atlantic

Decades of research in the United States and abroad show that effective teaching is not an innate skill, but a complex craft that requires a great deal of on-the-job training, including participation in peer networks.

After 38 years in education, Judith Harper thinks what teachers are missing is more time to learn from one another.

full article available at The Atlantic

What makes education innovation succeed?

via The Hechinger Report

Transcend, a nonprofit that advises educators in the process of transforming their schools, has been testing and refining what it takes to achieve sustainable change, and just published a list of the five conditions it believes are necessary for innovation to flourish: conviction, clarity, capacity, coalition and culture.

full article available from The Hechinger Report

States Adopting New Mindset on Assessments

via The Journal

Even as many states are backing away from high-stakes testing in math and English language arts that take place at the end of the school year, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re “backsliding,” according to a new report from Bellwether Education Partners. Rather than “rolling back” advancements in test quality, accessibility and rigor under the weight of political pressures or demands for reductions in time spent on testing, some states are reforming their approach to assessment in innovative ways.

The new report from Bellwether, a nonprofit that does research and consulting in education, identified four “example” areas where states are doing “promising work.”

full article available from The Journal

What Statistics Can and Can’t Tell Us About Ourselves

via The New Yorker

In the era of Big Data, we’ve come to believe that, with enough information, human behavior is predictable. But number crunching can lead us perilously wrong.

But perhaps the real problem is how difficult we find it to embrace uncertainty.

full article available from The New Yorker

Schools Say No to Cellphones in Class. But Is It a Smart Move?

via EdWeek

Schools have put in place restrictions or bans on students’ use of cellphones in school. The changes represent a pivot away from the more open student cellphone policies that districts instituted in previous years. But not everyone thinks this is in the best interest of student learning.

full article available from Education Week

The Power of Community with Peter Block (hosted by Will Richardson)

via Modern Learner Podcast

From the Modern Learners Podcast. In this episode, Peter Block and Will Richardson discuss the definition of community, the ways in which schools are focused on competition and individualism, and how to build a different narrative for what learning looks like in schools.

Peter Block is an author, consultant and citizen of Cincinnati, Ohio. His work is about empowerment, stewardship, chosen accountability, and the reconciliation of community.

Hear a recording of the podcast at https://modernlearners.com/69-peter-block/.

“The Career Path Less Taken” premiers on CET

via CET

Produced with WOSU Public Media and WVIZ/PBS ideastream, The Career Path Less Taken explores what it takes to get in-demand, well-paying jobs in Ohio that don’t require a four-year degree. The program features Colerain HS pre-engineering students in addition to other career-tech schools/students.

This turnaround model is spreading. Is it a better way to help struggling schools or just a new brand of takeover?

via ChalkBeat

The changes coming to South Bend are part of a larger movement to offer schools some of the powers that district central offices have traditionally held — the kind of autonomy usually granted to charter schools. Sometimes the efforts are branded as “innovation” or “partnership” zones.

Often, they involve bringing in charter school operators to run district schools. Sometimes they weaken the local teachers union. In Indianapolis, for example, innovation school teachers aren’t covered by the local union contract.

Read more at https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/us/2019/08/20/school-turnaround-empowerment-zones/.

What’s Lost When We Rush Kids Through Childhood

via Edutopia

The author of The Importance of Being Little on the costs of our collective failure to see the world through the eyes of children.

“I sometimes ask teachers to get down on the floor of their classroom and just look around from the height of a 4-year-old, or try to put on a snowsuit with the motor abilities of a young child. It’s eye-opening to reflect on the many ways that adults inflict adult pacing, adult expectations, and adult schedules on young kids.

And for what reason?”

full article available from Edutopia

Education Technology And The Shift In How We Learn

via Forbes

So for all the benefits that technology in learning and teaching can benefit many students, there are issues that remain to be examined beginning with how much of this new technology fails to offer human interaction to include those disciplines where practice is part of learning.

Other practices such as memorization of facts and laziness in non-tech studying methods is also a by-product of the tech revolution in education. 

Read the full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/julianvigo/2019/08/23/education-technology-and-the-shift-in-how-we-learn/#3f5fd16d2a2c

Arming School Personnel

via Ennis Britton Co., L.P.A.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office recently released an opinion in response to a request for legal advice on the issue of arming school staff. The letter requested, among other things, an analysis on how the training requirements under R.C. 109.78(D) apply to school employees authorized by the board of education to carry or possess a deadly weapon on school property under R.C. 2923.122(A).

full article available from Ennis Britton Co., L.P.A.

How Testing Kids For Skills Can Hurt Those Lacking Knowledge

via KQED MindShift

Natalie Wexler, an education journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post and other publications, writes about the need for knowledge and not just the acquisition of skills.

“Education certainly shouldn’t end with facts. But if it doesn’t begin there, many students will never acquire the knowledge and analytical abilities they need to thrive both in school and in life.

The bottom line is that the test-score gap is, at its heart, a knowledge gap. The theory behind skills-focused instruction is that if students read enough, diligently practicing their skills, they will gradually advance from one level to the next, and their test scores will improve.”

Read more at https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/54054/how-testing-kids-for-skills-hurts-those-lacking-knowledge

Excerpted from THE KNOWLEDGE GAP by Natalie Wexler, published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019 by Natalie Wexler.

Removing unruly students doesn’t fix their behavior

John Banchy is the president and CEO of The Children’s Home.

Ryan constantly exhibits unruly behavior while his teacher tries to maintain an environment conducive to learning in a class of 20 young students.

Susan is typically defiant every Monday morning in math class.

Eric constantly annoys his teacher until he is removed from the classroom.

But it’s only part of the story.

It turns out Ryan has an undiagnosed mental health condition. He consistently engages in bad behavior to avoid the coursework that frustrates him.

Susan is in a single-parent home and she watches both of her young siblings all day and night, every weekend, while her mom is working two jobs. She returns to school on Monday beyond fatigued.

Eric is embarrassed that he can’t understand his school work and feels relieved when separated from the class.

These are real scenarios for some of our kids at The Children’s Home. They are three stories out of the 11,000 children and families we help every year.

In the American public school system, the current model for students exhibiting behaviors like these is to suspend the child from the classroom for days or even weeks.

This model needs to change.

John Banchy

Read John Blanchy’s full opinion in the Cincinnati Enquirer.