As the pandemic set in, charter schools saw their highest enrollment growth since 2015, 42-state analysis shows
Charter schools experienced more growth in 2020-21 — the first full year of the pandemic— than they’ve seen in the past six years, according to preliminary data released earlier this month from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. In contrast to traditional public schools, which saw a significant, 1.4 million drop in student enrollment during the tumultuous...
By Linda Jacobson | September 29, 2021
‘Staggering’: New research shows that child obesity has soared during pandemic
Since COVID-19 first shuttered schools last spring, American children have been subjected to a kind of natural experiment in inactivity. The last 18 months have seen three school years interrupted sporadically by closures, quarantines, and virtual instruction, during which time children have spent more time in front of screens than ever before. And the physical...
By Kevin Mahnken | September 28, 2021
New TikTok trend has students stealing, vandalizing their schools for fame — a ‘devious lick’ for them, but another blow for struggling schools
A new TikTok trend that has turned students into clout-seeking kleptomaniacs may be nothing more to them than a “devious lick” — a successful theft for social media consumption — but for cash-strapped schools it could be a serious blow. In the last several weeks, a slew of videos have flooded TikTok showing students vandalizing and stealing paper...
By Mark Keierleber | September 27, 2021
‘We left those students behind’: 1.9 million low-income youth boxed out of afterschool programs, despite surging parent interest in STEM offerings
Every year, millions of students nationwide participate in afterschool and summer programs that help them gain skills in science, technology, engineering and math — also known as STEM. But even as student interest surges and the programs continue to expand, financial and transportation barriers have boxed many young people out of these pivotal learning opportunities,...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | September 23, 2021
‘Too much masking is real’: More districts call on students to mask up outside, but scientists are skeptical
It wasn’t long after school started in California’s Solana Beach School District that some classrooms shifted to remote learning because of positive COVID-19 cases. During the first four weeks of school, there were 19 positive cases among students and staff and eight classrooms in quarantine. But on Aug. 30, the 2,800-student district began requiring students to...
By Linda Jacobson | September 22, 2021
California offered high schoolers a chance to change their lowest grades during the pandemic, but few applied. Here’s why and how districts are reacting
California gave all high schoolers a two-week window this summer to change their 2020-21 letter grades to pass/no pass, an overture meant to soften the academic blow of COVID-19 on their GPA, but turns out very few took the state up on its offer. Districts across the state reported they did not receive nearly as...
By Marianna McMurdock | September 21, 2021
Chatterji: From AP to IB to dual enrollment, there’s a troubling racial gap in access to advanced HS courses. Here are some ways to close it
This essay originally appeared on the FutureEd blog. Amid back-to-school debates over vaccinations, mask requirements and the right lens for learning history, the troubling lack of opportunities for many high school students to take advanced coursework they need for success in college and beyond has unfortunately fallen off the education policy radar. Advanced coursework can include International...
By Roby Chatterji | September 20, 2021
Ask the doctor: Did we miscalculate the risk of COVID for kids?
Not so long ago, it seemed the data on COVID-19 held a degree of comfort when it came to children: not too many of them got infected, fewer still got sick and almost none were hospitalized. As for schools, they were not believed to be super spreaders of the virus, for either adults or students....
By Asher Lehrer-Small | September 16, 2021
Shortage of afterschool workers over COVID-19 fears and low pay leads to long waitlists and uncertainty for working parents
For years, a patchwork of afterschool programs in Dallas have provided care for thousands of children and reassurance to working parents their kids are in a safe place for the hours after classes end. Then the pandemic hit—and like so many other facets of family life in America, Dallas’ afterschool programs felt the effects, closing...
By Cheryn Hong | September 15, 2021
‘I don’t know that the tests would survive’: As students enter third pandemic school year, researchers make case for assessments
In the spring of 2020, facing massive disruptions to in-person instruction, state education chiefs urged then-U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to waive federal test requirements that had been in place for nearly 20 years. She granted a blanket, one-year “accountability waiver.” But in February, with a new administration in place, then-Education Secretary nominee Miguel Cardona...
By Greg Toppo | September 14, 2021