‘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
‘Too much masking is real’: More districts call on students to mask up outside, but scientists are skeptical
It wasn’t long after school started in California’s Solana Beach School District that some classrooms shifted to remote learning because of positive COVID-19 cases. During the first four weeks of school, there were 19 positive cases among students and staff and eight classrooms in quarantine. But on Aug. 30, the 2,800-student district began requiring students to...
By Linda Jacobson | September 22, 2021
California offered high schoolers a chance to change their lowest grades during the pandemic, but few applied. Here’s why and how districts are reacting
California gave all high schoolers a two-week window this summer to change their 2020-21 letter grades to pass/no pass, an overture meant to soften the academic blow of COVID-19 on their GPA, but turns out very few took the state up on its offer. Districts across the state reported they did not receive nearly as...
By Marianna McMurdock | September 21, 2021
Chatterji: From AP to IB to dual enrollment, there’s a troubling racial gap in access to advanced HS courses. Here are some ways to close it
This essay originally appeared on the FutureEd blog. Amid back-to-school debates over vaccinations, mask requirements and the right lens for learning history, the troubling lack of opportunities for many high school students to take advanced coursework they need for success in college and beyond has unfortunately fallen off the education policy radar. Advanced coursework can include International...
By Roby Chatterji | September 20, 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
Shortage of afterschool workers over COVID-19 fears and low pay leads to long waitlists and uncertainty for working parents
For years, a patchwork of afterschool programs in Dallas have provided care for thousands of children and reassurance to working parents their kids are in a safe place for the hours after classes end. Then the pandemic hit—and like so many other facets of family life in America, Dallas’ afterschool programs felt the effects, closing...
By Cheryn Hong | September 15, 2021
‘I don’t know that the tests would survive’: As students enter third pandemic school year, researchers make case for assessments
In the spring of 2020, facing massive disruptions to in-person instruction, state education chiefs urged then-U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to waive federal test requirements that had been in place for nearly 20 years. She granted a blanket, one-year “accountability waiver.” But in February, with a new administration in place, then-Education Secretary nominee Miguel Cardona...
By Greg Toppo | September 14, 2021
Poll: Across political spectrum, appetite for change in education is down; half of parents favor vaccines for kids, many want online option
In its first public opinion poll on education policy since the start of the pandemic, the journal Education Next finds that support for a number of highly visible school reforms is flagging. Between 2019, the last time the survey was conducted, and this past spring, backing for increased school spending, academic standards, public charter schools...
By Beth Hawkins | September 13, 2021
‘The first big domino to fall’: Los Angeles district mandates student vaccines as Biden unveils aggressive COVID testing plan
The Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest, voted Thursday to require all eligible students to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10 — a move that could prompt other districts across the country to follow suit and fuel ongoing opposition from families and politicians opposed to such mandates. Los Angeles students must get their second...
By Linda Jacobson | September 10, 2021
From reopening schools to mask mandates, education policy expected to play key role in upcoming Newsom recall vote in California
Updated September 15 California Gov. Gavin Newsom decisively beat back a recall effort Tuesday, as almost two-thirds of voters chose to keep him in office for the remainder of his first term. While mail-in votes await to be counted, the race was called for the no votes. Republican Larry Elder, the frontrunner to replace Newsom...
By Linda Jacobson | September 9, 2021