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
As coronavirus cases surge, new antibody study shows young children may be less likely to spread virus; could spell good news for in-person elementary and middle school learning
A new study continues to build the case that the risks of in-person learning for elementary and middle school students may be lower than many officials originally feared, but comes just as surging coronavirus cases nationwide are prompting multiple districts to delay reopening. The paper, published in the journal Nature Immunology, examined 47 youth and 32...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | November 23, 2020
Drive-thru Thanksgiving: CA district offers immunizations, groceries and turkeys to more than 200 students
More than 200 students in one California district received turkeys, groceries and their required school immunizations at a drive-thru clinic last week. With Thanksgiving looming, the event for West Contra Costa Unified School District families in Richmond, California, on Thursday attempted to solve two problems at once — many families in the district are vulnerable to...
By Laura Fay | November 23, 2020
Analysis: The path to universal COVID-19 testing in schools — what the government and states can do now in preparation for the 2021 surge
Despite the availability of new COVID-19 tests that are faster and more cost-effective, significant barriers to universal testing in schools remain. To date, the absence of quality COVID-19 tests has forced superintendents and principals to rely on a combination of masking, screening for symptoms, social distancing and good hygiene practices. Although testing has always been...
By Mario Ramirez and Andrew Buher | November 23, 2020
Analysis: Schools need help bringing special-needs kids back to class. If they can’t, here are 3 paths for supporting learning online
Since COVID-19 upended American life, story after story has highlighted students with disabilities falling behind and families bringing lawsuits to force schools to serve students with special needs. Schools struggle to consistently engage students with disabilities in distance learning, and attendance is often lower for these students than for any others. Virtual learning, by and large, is not working for students...
By Ashley LiBetti | November 19, 2020
Using tutors to combat COVID learning loss: New research shows that even lightly trained volunteers drive academic gains
As students seek to cope with the threat of learning losses wreaked by COVID-19 and months-long school closures, some families have already hit upon a solution of sorts: hiring professional tutors. The idea — commonsensical for the well-off, but prohibitively expensive for most — has engendered a storm of controversy. If a small portion of...
By Kevin Mahnken | November 2, 2020
Parents and educators hope the rise of online learning lives on after the pandemic, report finds. But researchers say privacy protections shouldn’t be sacrificed
Although the pandemic forced students into an abrupt shift to haphazard online learning earlier this year, a majority of parents and educators support the boom in education technology and hope online learning goes on after the public health emergency subsides, according to a new report. But researchers argued that the surge in digital education shouldn’t...
By Mark Keierleber | October 29, 2020
Survey: More than half of teachers felt less successful after COVID-19
New public opinion research indicates that COVID-19 and the hurried transition to remote learning presented teachers with an array of challenges that seriously damaged their sense of self-efficacy. The quality of school working conditions, including fair expectations and clear communication, was found to be critical in sustaining the educators’ perceptions of professional success. While over...
By Kevin Mahnken | October 28, 2020
Report estimates that up to 500,000 students across California — and 1 to 3 million kids nationwide — have been missing from schools since March
Between 1 to 3 million students in the U.S. possibly haven’t attended school since pandemic-related closures began in March, according to estimates released last week by Bellwether Education Partners. Pulling from news reports and federal data sources, the team of researchers predict that between 10 and 25 percent of students in the most marginalized populations have...
By Linda Jacobson | October 27, 2020
Politics, not science, is driving school reopening decisions to a ‘really dangerous’ degree, research suggests
Over seven months after much of society shut down in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no uniform policy guiding school districts through the return of tens of millions of students to in-person education. In most jurisdictions, officials have spent the last few months balancing risks and responsibilities, resulting in millions of American students...
By Kevin Mahnken | October 22, 2020