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
How an AI app that detects COVID carriers by their cough could help reopen schools
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, school districts and public health experts have sought to solve a key missing link for safe in-person learning: how to identify asymptomatic COVID-19 cases among students and staff. Asymptomatic carriers might come into school buildings and transmit the virus unknowingly, officials worry. In Los Angeles, the district superintendent...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | January 21, 2021
Analysis: Every state & district needs to create a learning recovery task force — now. Here are some reasons why
The damage wrought to American education by the COVID-19 pandemic beggars description, and so we are reduced to metaphor: Schools have been hit by an earthquake, a hurricane, a war. There is a need for disaster relief for children who have lost precious time in school and are traumatized by the effects of COVID-19 on...
By Elliot Haspel and Maggie Thornton | January 20, 2021
Nearly a year into remote learning, UCLA report captures the depth of America’s ‘digital divide,’ with 1 in 3 households facing limited tech access
Mariah Hawkins wants to become a nurse. At 15, she is a 9th-grade student at iLEAD Academy in northern Kentucky, a selective regional high school where students take college-level courses in preparation for fast-growing STEM careers. In December, the school received a $100,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Rural Tech Challenge. Yet just...
By Brendan Lowe | January 14, 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
Analysis: What does ‘attendance’ mean for remote learners in a pandemic? How 106 districts are dealing with absenteeism, student engagement & grades
As districts close out their first academic quarter, educators are reporting increased absenteeism rates for both remote learners (double the rates they saw before the pandemic) and in-person learners. About a third of educators say unexcused absences will impact student grades and, potentially, prevent some kids from passing to the next grade level. Our analysis of reopening...
By Bree Dusseault and Alvin Makori | January 7, 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
How missing Zoom classes could funnel kids into the juvenile justice system — and why some experts say now is the time to reform truancy rules
Marissa McClellan, who leads child protective services in Pennsylvania’s capital city, has been struggling to fall asleep at night. But it’s not the pandemic’s growing death toll or the collapsing economy that’s keeping her up. She’s worried about the children who aren’t showing up for school. Ever since the pandemic pushed schools into disarray, education...
By Mark Keierleber | January 4, 2021
Research shows changing schools can make or break a student, but the wave of post-COVID mobility may challenge the systems in ways we’ve never seen
The closing months of 2020 have brought little certainty to the question of when the COVID-19 pandemic will end. Through the beginning of a new school year, the drawn-out climax of a disputed election, and even the development of three separate vaccines, coronavirus infections and deaths have surged in a frightening second wave that has...
By Kevin Mahnken | December 28, 2020
Analysis: An open letter to President-elect Biden — a Tutoring Marshall Plan to heal our students
A version of this essay originally appeared on Robert Slavin’s blog. Dear President-elect Biden: Congratulations on your victory in the recent election. Your task is daunting; so much needs to be set right. I am writing to you about what I believe needs to be done in education to heal the damage done to so...
By Robert Slavin | December 22, 2020