Photo Tour: What back to school looked like in 16 countries around the world, where little about the classroom (or family garage) feels familiar amid the pandemic
The first day of school is a major milestone, no matter your grade, age or hometown. But back to school during this strange and disorienting year, amid an ongoing public health crisis, means something much different. Depending on where you live, it feels radically different too. Over the past few weeks, as new photos have...
By Meghan Gallagher | September 22, 2020
‘Confusion reigns’ for parents seeking child care and pre-K. But some experts don’t see Biden’s sprawling early-childhood plan as a fix
Few education policies have attracted bipartisan support quite like expanding young children’s access to preschool. Red states, such Alabama, are just as likely to have popular state-funded programs as blue states like New Jersey. But for all the talk about universal preschool in recent years, the numbers show most states remain far from realizing it....
By Linda Jacobson | September 17, 2020
How the Common App, the College Advising Corps and an AI chatbot are saving the college dreams of low-income students during the pandemic
Last spring, college adviser Anthony Scales took on some extra duties that put him on the front lines of an effort to rescue the college dreams of tens of thousands of students — an effort best described by a cliche: They’re building it while flying it. At the high-poverty, all-minority Sumner High School in St....
By Richard Whitmire | September 16, 2020
An education system, divided: How internet inequity persisted through 4 presidents and left schools unprepared for the pandemic
As COVID-19 shut down its schools, Hamilton County, Tennessee, was ideally situated for the switch to virtual learning. At least in theory. Home to the regional tech hub of Chattanooga, Hamilton County has been celebrated for its pioneering, municipally owned fiber-optic network and the economic revival it has powered over the past decade. The area’s...
By Kevin Mahnken | September 15, 2020
How the Teaching Lab is helping schools and educators forge relationships remotely during the pandemic
Prior to the pandemic, the nonprofit Teaching Lab ran professional development for educators around the country, helping them implement anti-racist curricula in historically undeserved communities. In total, the organization has reached more than 6,000 educators and 500,000 students. Now, with a new $100,000 grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Teaching Lab is moving its operations online and...
By Zoë Kirsch | September 14, 2020
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
Individualize instruction, remove barriers, track student progress: Some tips for making distance-learning special ed work
“Can you give an example of an online lesson that’s effective for students with disabilities?” That’s the question Elizabeth Barker has fielded over and over as schools have prepared to reopen. But it’s the one question that Barker, a special education expert with NWEA, a nonprofit data and assessment provider, can’t answer. Because students in...
By Beth Hawkins | September 9, 2020
Los Angeles superintendent calls $150M COVID-19 testing effort ‘necessary and appropriate,’ but what he really wants is a national plan
While the Los Angeles Unified School District is not opening its schools anytime soon, the system’s massive COVID-19 testing and tracing initiative could be the “missing piece” that will allow students to return to classrooms and keep them there, said Superintendent Austin Beutner. The $150 million-per-year program — involving multiple research and health care partners...
By Linda Jacobson | September 2, 2020
Educators spend $13 billion a year on ed tech for K-12 classrooms. EdTech Genome Project is looking to help them make better choices
Educators in the United States spend $13 billion annually on ed tech but have no way to collectively track the success of those technology tools. That’s why the EdTech Evidence Exchange, part of the University of Virginia, has launched the EdTech Genome Project — to create a framework to give K-12 school and district decision...
By Tim Newcomb | September 1, 2020
Charters were quicker to provide instruction, regular contact during closures, reports say. But that’s also how they ‘keep the kids,’ one expert explains
Charter schools appeared to follow a more routine class schedule and stay in closer contact with students and families following shutdowns than district schools, according to a new analysis out Tuesday from Public Impact and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. But similar percentages of both charter and district schools distributed devices to students, and districts...
By Linda Jacobson | August 31, 2020