Analysis: Remote or in person? Underspending or running deficits? What school reopening decisions mean for district budgets
How are school district budgets faring this year? That depends. Many districts are struggling financially. They have spent large sums of money dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic — buying technology, purchasing cleaning supplies, hiring more substitute teachers and attempting to address student learning loss and disengagement. This story, of districts in distress, is an easy...
By Chad Aldeman | March 15, 2021
Analysis: Mentors, team teaching, 7-week class cycles 12 months a year — some school innovations in staffing and scheduling during COVID-19
An Arkansas school district has one teacher leading instruction for several classes while others support children in small groups. A suburban Cleveland elementary school teamed up teachers and restructured its school day to expand staff planning time. A St. Louis charter school is making sure every educator also serves as an education navigator or coach...
By Lynn Olson | March 12, 2021
Study: Chicago tutoring program delivered huge math gains; personalization may be the key
A year after mayors and governors announced the first school closures related to COVID-19, many have turned to personalized tutoring to cope with disruptions to learning. Families that could afford to hire private instructors began doing so even before the 2020-21 school year began, while governments in Europe launched full-fledged programs to work with thousands...
By Kevin Mahnken | March 11, 2021
‘Teacher cams’ could revolutionize education after the pandemic ends, but some critics see a massive student privacy risk
On any given school day, just one or two students show up in-person for Houston teacher Trevor Toteve’s lectures. With the bulk of his class opting to learn remotely during the pandemic, several beam themselves into the classroom via webcam. But most students appear as static, black boxes. Toteve urges the high schoolers in his...
By Mark Keierleber | March 8, 2021
What do predictions of ‘herd immunity’ mean for schools?
After nearly a year of disastrous COVID news, it emerged in mid-February like a light at the end of the tunnel. Infections began dramatically falling and “herd immunity,” some experts began to say, could spell the end of the pandemic in the not-so-distant future. At some point this year — estimates range from mid-summer to...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | March 4, 2021
Virtual art classes, outdoor vocational programs: How jails and prisons are evolving amid the pandemic
This article, which originally appeared at The Marshall Project, is being co-published here via the SoJo Exchange from the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous reporting about responses to social problems. When his father died last year of an overdose, Rodney Watson thought he would miss the funeral and his last chance to say...
By Keri Blakinger, The Marshall Project | February 25, 2021
Learning loss in California: New analysis digs into how students — particularly English learners — are falling behind during the pandemic
When leading assessment providers released data in November on pandemic-related learning loss, the news wasn’t as dreadful as some had predicted. But new attempts to dig deeper into the results from two states now show that many students, particularly those in the elementary grades, have made far less progress than they would have in a...
By Linda Jacobson | February 23, 2021
Student survey: 1 in 4 high school seniors had their post-graduation plans changed by the pandemic
COVID-19 is changing what students plan to do after high school, with those more affected by the pandemic more likely to have altered their post-graduation expectations, a new student survey reveals. One in four high school seniors said their postsecondary plans had changed since the start of the pandemic, an increase from 18 percent of...
By Laura Fay | February 22, 2021
An educator’s view: Virtual teaching takes work. 5 remote learning lessons from an online high school principal
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, many educators learned very quickly that online learning takes work. In the spring, teachers and administrators had to take on the near-impossible task of moving all their classes and interactions online with no warning. Fall brought its own uncertainties, as districts around the country struggled to reconcile the need to...
By Megan Bowen | February 18, 2021
Developing: Los Angeles teachers union decries new CDC guidelines on reopening schools, demands teachers and school staff be vaccinated before returning to classrooms
Shortly after the Centers for Disease Control unveiled new federal guidance surrounding reopening schools for in-person learning — guidance that prioritizes masking and social distancing as key strategies and outlines a new color-coded system for measuring surrounding community spread — the union representing more than 35,000 Los Angeles teachers pushed back against the suggestion that...
By LA School Report | February 17, 2021