Learning loss in California: New analysis digs into how students — particularly English learners — are falling behind during the pandemic
When leading assessment providers released data in November on pandemic-related learning loss, the news wasn’t as dreadful as some had predicted. But new attempts to dig deeper into the results from two states now show that many students, particularly those in the elementary grades, have made far less progress than they would have in a...
By Linda Jacobson | February 23, 2021
Inside the new CDC guidance on reopening classrooms: Masks and social distancing key safety strategies, vaccinations not a precondition for in-person learning
Students — even those in high school — can return to classrooms full time in communities with low to moderate spread of COVID-19 as long as schools enforce universal mask wearing and 6 feet of distance between students, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday in updated school reopening guidance. The agency also...
By Linda Jacobson | February 16, 2021
Inside the $130 billion Biden schools proposal: Big on safety and teacher retention, but experts warn may not fully address student learning loss
The $130 billion for K-12 in President Joe Biden’s proposed relief plan doesn’t cover the full price tag of what the administration thinks it will cost to reopen schools, according to a White House breakdown of expenses. The various categories, such as $50 billion for reducing class sizes and $3 billion for school nurses, total...
By Linda Jacobson | February 8, 2021
Cardona, in mostly gentle prodding from Senate, offers views on testing, transgender students and reopening schools
Vowing to “forge opportunity” out of the tragedy of the pandemic, education secretary nominee Miguel Cardona faced mostly friendly questioning from senators Wednesday in a confirmation hearing that focused largely on reopening schools, but also touched on the divisive question of whether transgender students should compete against girls in sports. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington...
By Linda Jacobson | February 4, 2021
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