Reticent families in NYC, LA could prove true test for school reopenings, even as Gallup poll reveals overwhelming parent support nationwide
Seventy-nine percent of parents support in-person learning for schools in their communities, according to a Gallup poll from mid-March. But as Los Angeles Unified School District prepares to welcome students back to classrooms in April, and as New York City gives families another chance to enroll their children for in-person learning through April 7, parental decisions may prove the true...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | April 6, 2021
Many rural remote learners are receiving little to no live teaching, federal survey reveals
More students than previously understood may be attending school virtually, survey data released in March by the U.S. Department of Education reveal. And many students — particularly remote learners from rural schools — are getting little to no live instructional time with teachers. While the survey finds that over three-quarters of elementary and middle schoolers attend schools that offer...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | April 1, 2021
As U.K. variant spurs lockdowns abroad and takes hold in U.S., schools should be prepared to ‘pivot quickly,’ experts say
As a more contagious strain of COVID-19 sweeps across the United States, infectious disease experts say schools should brace for a challenging spring. First identified in Britain, the variant has been doubling its total U.S. cases every 10 days and has already become the dominant strain in Florida, according to reports. Dr. Michael Osterholm, director...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | March 22, 2021
What do predictions of ‘herd immunity’ mean for schools?
After nearly a year of disastrous COVID news, it emerged in mid-February like a light at the end of the tunnel. Infections began dramatically falling and “herd immunity,” some experts began to say, could spell the end of the pandemic in the not-so-distant future. At some point this year — estimates range from mid-summer to...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | March 4, 2021
A pre-COVID education study with big implications for remote learning during the pandemic: When parents take over, children give up easier
* One lace loops to make the trunk. A squirrel runs around the tree, jumps into a hole at the bottom, and comes out the other side. Pull it though and… huzzah! * Teaching a child to tie their shoes isn’t always easy. If you’ve embarked on this painstaking task, watching as little fingers fumble...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | March 1, 2021
Segregation by income increasing in classrooms, new study finds, may reflect influence of wealthy parents
It’s a foundational premise of the American dream: that through hard work and diligent study, young people can use education to access opportunities that were denied to their parents. However, mounting evidence suggests that segregation — not just by race, but also by income — within the school system may stymie those meritocratic aspirations. Income-based...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | February 2, 2021
How an AI app that detects COVID carriers by their cough could help reopen schools
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, school districts and public health experts have sought to solve a key missing link for safe in-person learning: how to identify asymptomatic COVID-19 cases among students and staff. Asymptomatic carriers might come into school buildings and transmit the virus unknowingly, officials worry. In Los Angeles, the district superintendent...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | January 21, 2021
As coronavirus cases surge, new antibody study shows young children may be less likely to spread virus; could spell good news for in-person elementary and middle school learning
A new study continues to build the case that the risks of in-person learning for elementary and middle school students may be lower than many officials originally feared, but comes just as surging coronavirus cases nationwide are prompting multiple districts to delay reopening. The paper, published in the journal Nature Immunology, examined 47 youth and 32...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | November 23, 2020
Dear Future Me: For 26 years, NJ teacher had his 6th-graders write letters to their future selves. This year he got to see them opened
New Jersey this year missed out on prom, college tours, and the usual pomp and circumstance of graduation because of the pandemic. But thanks to a devoted local middle school teacher, these 12th-graders retained one rite of passage very unique to their suburban town: reading a letter from their sixth-grade selves that took them back...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | November 18, 2020