New data suggest pandemic may not just be leaving low-income students behind, it may be propelling wealthier ones even further ahead
The pandemic may be exacerbating achievement gaps not only by leaving some students behind but by propelling more privileged children even farther ahead academically, new data suggest. Participation and mastery rates in Zearn Math, an online math program for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, offer a glimpse into the crisis: When schools shut down...
By Laura Fay | September 10, 2020
Will ‘free college’ survive COVID-19? How the pandemic could devastate college promise programs — and why the November election might be their only hope
Timari Ray, who recently finished her first year at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, says she probably wouldn’t be able to afford higher education without the Tennessee Promise, which in 2014 made community college free for most students in the state. Thanks to the Promise, she’s planning to transfer to the University of...
By Laura Fay | August 4, 2020
Ambitious research project — to review how every school in America responded to COVID-19 — aims to deliver its first findings in early July
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...
By Laura Fay | June 29, 2020
More than half of students are not tuning in to online classes, informal teacher survey shows
As remote learning ramps up and more states announce that school closures will last through the end of the academic year, a new teacher survey suggests many students are still missing from their virtual classrooms during the coronavirus pandemic. Fifty-five percent of teachers said more than half of their students have not been tuning in...
By Laura Fay | April 20, 2020
‘We’re doing school in a different way’: One non-profit took early lead in preparing districts for distance learning during pandemic
When she read in late February that the coronavirus could infect as many as 70 percent of Americans, Emily Freitag was “primed” to prepare for its effect on schools. She grew up near New Rochelle, New York, one of the first U.S. hotspots of the virus, and her husband, who analyzes international hotel data, saw...
By Laura Fay | April 2, 2020
For the first time EPA could order schools to test water for lead, but experts warn that doesn’t mean it will be safe to drink — or that lead will be removed
As Newark, New Jersey, Flint, Michigan, and other cities continue to grapple with lead in their water supplies, the Environmental Protection Agency is mulling changes to the decades-old regulation meant to protect Americans from the highly damaging contaminant. Among the proposed changes to the Lead and Copper Rule are a first-time national requirement to test...
By Laura Fay | February 3, 2020
Most states missing key student data from their report cards. 3 parent empowerment groups have advice for making them better
Who should own education data? If you ask the Data Quality Campaign’s Brennan McMahon Parton, it’s the community — students and their families have the right to know how their schools are doing for all students, she says. But some states are making that pretty difficult. That’s why her organization partnered with two other parent...
By Laura Fay | December 9, 2019
As schools diversify, principals remain mostly white — and 5 other things we learned this summer about America’s school leaders
While kids were running through sprinklers and eating popsicles this summer, a handful of education researchers crunched the numbers about their principals. Reports released this summer offer new insight into America’s school principals, from their racial diversity to how turnover affects student achievement. The new papers add to a growing body of research about principals...
By Laura Fay | September 16, 2019
California lawmakers consider softening proposed crackdown on medical exemptions from vaccines amid protests, concerns from governor about overstepping parents
Confronting a national measles outbreak, California lawmakers this week are mulling how to tighten the state’s already-strict vaccine policy for students while balancing parental rights. State Sen. Richard Pan, a pediatrician representing Sacramento, on Tuesday announced changes to legislation he previously unveiled intending to stop unnecessary exemptions from mandatory immunizations. According to a statement from Pan’s...
By Laura Fay | June 18, 2019
‘Media literacy is literacy’: Here’s how educators and lawmakers are working to set students up for success online
Michael Danielson gives students in his ninth-grade media literacy class a simple piece of homework each night: Pay attention. The assignment is meant to prod them into thinking critically about the countless messages that bombard them every day. They report back to their teacher and classmates at the start of each class with “media literacy...
By Laura Fay | April 17, 2019