At national literacy summit, state education chiefs warn of reading stagnation
Reading instruction in American schools is so rife with poor curriculum and pedagogical dogma that a prominent academic likened it to “the equivalent of chemistry departments teaching alchemy.” “We’ve had about 130 years of bad practice,” David Steiner, director of the Institute for Education Policy at Johns Hopkins University, told the audience at a national...
By Kevin Mahnken | February 3, 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
Do parents actually want their kids in integrated schools? New Harvard survey reveals mixed messages
As schools across the country remain starkly segregated by both race and income, parents expressed widespread support — in theory — for integrating America’s public schools, according to a new report. For many, however, that support appears to stop at their own doorstep. Across America’s increasingly partisan political divide, parents say they support racial and...
By Mark Keierleber | February 3, 2020
Cal State University approves plan to add new admissions requirement — but delays making formal change before studying impact
California State University overwhelmingly decided Wednesday to move forward with a new admissions requirement, but will delay making formal alterations to state regulations until the consequences of the change are studied. Until last week, the CSU Board of Trustees were expected to cast votes on Wednesday either greenlighting or rejecting a controversial addition to admissions standards:...
By Taylor Swaak | January 29, 2020
Mothers of invention: Frustrated with the educational status quo and conventional parent organizing, two Latinas gave birth to a national parents union
For a moment, the issues seemed insurmountable. Some 150 parent activists, all strong-willed veterans of battles with their respective education establishments, were gathered in a New Orleans hotel ballroom trying to hammer out statements of joint belief. It was important to arrive at precise wording, the organizers running the meeting told them, because the statement...
By Beth Hawkins | January 28, 2020
New poll: Majority of Democratic voters prefer candidates who would preserve federal charter school spending
With the 2020 presidential primaries about to kick off in Iowa, a new poll shows that a majority of voters are less likely to support candidates who want to eliminate federal charter school funding. The results of the sixth annual poll, conducted for the American Federation for Children, an organization that advocates for school choice,...
By Brendan Lowe | January 27, 2020
Listen up, candidates: Most teachers feel their voices aren’t being heard, new survey reveals
As the Democratic presidential hopefuls release campaign promises to woo America’s K-12 educators — a key voting bloc — teachers feel left in the dark on major policy conversations, a new survey revealed. Just a third of educators said their perspectives are considered a “great deal” in teachers union policy decisions, and the numbers fall...
By Mark Keierleber | January 27, 2020
For the first time in more than 20 years, LAUSD is in full control of its special ed system. As parents worry about accountability, the district shifts its focus
This month marks a notable milestone for L.A. Unified: For the first time in more than two decades, it’s now in full control of its special education system. Until this month, the nation’s second-largest school district had unique court-ordered mandates to improve and expand services for its nearly 62,000 special education students, stemming from a 1996...
By Taylor Swaak | January 22, 2020
Haves and have-nots: The borders between school districts often mark extreme segregation. A new study outlines America’s 50 worst cases
The Rust Belt city of Rochester in upstate New York has the most economically segregating school district border in the country, walling off the high-poverty education system from its affluent neighbors next door, according to a new report. About half the children in Rochester live in poverty, many of whom struggle to get adequate food,...
By Mark Keierleber | January 22, 2020
Rethinking remedial education: New study shows college students did better in ‘corequisite’ courses built around extra instruction and support
A first-of-its-kind study found mixed evidence that a type of reform meant to improve the odds that college students graduate is truly effective. The researchers homed in on corequisite courses, an instructional model that allows students to skip remedial math and English courses and instead take college-level, or gateway, classes with additional instructional support. The...
By Mikhail Zinshteyn | January 21, 2020