Study: AI uncovers skin-tone gap in most-beloved children’s books
The most popular, award-winning children’s books tend to shade their Black, Asian and Hispanic characters with lighter skin tones than stories recognized for identity-based awards, new research finds. The discovery comes on the heels of a half decade of advocacy to diversify the historically white and male-centric kids’ literature genre, leading to modest gains in racial...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | October 11, 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
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
‘Buried’ CDC guidance emphasizes universal masking in schools, says properly protected ‘close contacts’ needn’t quarantine
Some key absences complicated the return to school in Wayne Township, Indiana: 461 to be exact. After just eight days in classrooms, 37 positive coronavirus cases in the 16,000-student district outside Indianapolis had triggered hundreds of student quarantines, forcing young people to miss out on classes and extracurriculars. Superintendent Jeff Butts knew he had to...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | August 25, 2021
‘A rising tide that lifts all boats’: Having more immigrant peers can boost scores for U.S.-born students, new study finds
March marked an all-time monthly high in solo youth crossings at the U.S. southern border. Those children and teenagers could be an unexpected boon for native-born students should they reach American classrooms, a timely new study suggests. The research, which analyzes a decade’s worth of data from over 1.3 million Florida students, links the presence of immigrant classmates...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | August 3, 2021
When parents disagree over doses for kids: How mothers’ caretaking instinct may be slowing youth COVID vaccination
Fatou and Modou have two healthy children. A 5-year-old boy who likes to build Lego towers. A 7-year-old girl who’s into anime. With each parenting decision the couple has faced over the years — picking a religious Sunday school for their kids, setting bedtime — they have mostly been on the same page. But now,...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | July 20, 2021
Spread of Delta variant marks ‘most dangerous’ time in pandemic for kids, may force schools to re-up safety measures, experts say
The highly contagious Delta COVID variant quickly spreading through the U.S. may force schools to double down on mitigation measures in order to reopen safely later this summer and into the fall, health experts say. It’s “one of the most dangerous time periods [in the pandemic] for people who aren’t vaccinated,” said Taylor Nelson, a...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | July 7, 2021
Gender gap in vaccination narrower among youth than adults, early numbers show
As young people continue to line up for coronavirus shots, the gender breakdown appears, well, surprisingly even. Compared to a persistent gap between adult men and women in vaccination rates, with women rolling up their sleeves considerably more than men nationwide, early data indicate that the split has been far less pronounced among youth. In...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | June 17, 2021
‘Doomed’ by 8th grade: Underserved students thrive in college, but disparities in access start early & persist insidiously, new report reveals
When it comes to understanding which students make it not just to, but through college, substantial past education research has identified steep differences along lines of race, gender and class. A recently released report, however, provides an alternate narrative. The study, which links middle and high school achievement to postsecondary outcomes in five New England...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | April 21, 2021
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