Charter school advocates, San Diego NAACP raise objections to Biden’s pick for number two spot at Education Department
President Joe Biden’s nomination of Miguel Cardona for education secretary has been largely well received. But his choice for the number two spot at the department is prompting some objections from education interest groups. Charter school leaders and some members of the Black community have sounded alarms over the nomination of Cindy Marten, superintendent of...
By Linda Jacobson | January 26, 2021
Biden expected to make narrowing digital divide an ‘early, urgent priority’ to help students during pandemic
With millions of students still lacking reliable internet to complete their assignments and interact with teachers, the incoming Biden administration is expected to take multiple steps to address the digital divide, according to sources who have participated in conversations with the transition team. Bart Epstein, CEO of the nonprofit EdTech Evidence Exchange, said he understands...
By Linda Jacobson | January 25, 2021
New survey: As afterschool participation falls to lowest rates since 2009, California is a promising outlier in meeting parental demand
For every child in an afterschool program in the U.S., three are waiting for a spot, according to new data released Tuesday. And the demand for programs has increased by 60 percent since 2004. More than half of the 31,000 respondents to the Afterschool Alliance’s “America After 3 p.m.” survey said cost is what’s keeping their children...
By Linda Jacobson | January 19, 2021
Caught in a financial ‘triple squeeze,’ districts could see annual costs of $2,500 per student to address pandemic-related learning loss
Getting students to where they’d be academically if the pandemic hadn’t occurred could cost schools an average of $12,000 to $13,500 per student over the next five years, according to a new estimate that assumes most will need some additional learning time. Conducted by Education Resource Strategies, a nonprofit consulting firm that works with districts on...
By Linda Jacobson | January 13, 2021
L.A. pods: In parks, backyards and old storefronts, small groups offer children some of what they’ve lost in months of online instruction
Los Angeles Pam Marton and Sharon Fabian — longtime educators in the Los Angeles schools and friends since kindergarten — were set to celebrate their retirement this year with a trip to Croatia when the pandemic cancelled their plans. It wasn’t long, however, before they “started getting emails and calls from … families, parents who...
By Linda Jacobson | January 5, 2021
New requirement to publish per-pupil spending data could help schools direct funding to the neediest students. But even in the face of budget cuts, state implementation lags
When the Tennessee Department of Education released school report cards in June, it included per-student spending data for every school in the state — a federal requirement intended to demystify complex budget data that has long been out of reach for parents. Done well, experts predicted, the change had the potential to draw more parents...
By Linda Jacobson | December 7, 2020
As first lady, Jill Biden to ‘bring a lot more power’ to helping students in military families
Educators might be excited to have one of their own in the White House next month, but there’s another constituency that future first lady Jill Biden is planning to highlight as part of her work in the administration. “You are going to have a military family back in the White House,” she told families of...
By Linda Jacobson | December 2, 2020
‘The numbers are ugly’: Chronic absenteeism among California elementary students could be surging by more than 200 percent
Eleven districts in California are seeing an 89 percent surge in chronic absenteeism among students in elementary grades compared to last year at this time, according to new data presented to the California Department of Education. That means nearly one in five students has missed 10 percent of school so far this year. But the...
By Linda Jacobson | December 1, 2020
As California’s new charter law takes effect, schools bracing for shutdowns could win a reprieve from pandemic
Last year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new charter school law intended to settle a longstanding feud between charter operators and those calling for tighter restrictions on their growth. Known as Assembly Bill 1505, the compromise between charters and the teachers union gave local districts the authority to consider whether the opening of a...
By Linda Jacobson | November 24, 2020
Makeup of Senate means Biden will likely lack votes and ‘big buckets of funding’ for expansive education agenda
President-elect Joe Biden might have won the White House, but his expansive education plan will soon hit a Congress that has far fewer Democrats than envisioned under the “Blue Wave” forecast prior to the election. Democrats’ hopes for flipping the Senate now largely depend on capturing two seats in Georgia that won’t be decided until...
By Linda Jacobson | November 17, 2020