‘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
Peering 30 years into the future, economists see lost earnings for the pandemic generation of students — but summer school might help
The year 2050 may seem a long way off, but in 29 years our current crop of K-12 students will be well into their careers. How will this chaotic school year have affected them? Recent findings from the University of Pennsylvania warn that over the next three decades, our recent COVID-related U.S. school closures, as...
By Greg Toppo | August 18, 2021
Returning this fall, by popular demand: virtual school. For communities of color, it’s largely a matter of trust
As more Americans receive Covid-19 vaccines and schools move to reopen widely, leaders are doing their best to make sure everyone gets the memo: School is happening in-person this fall. California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently told reporters, “We must prepare now for full in-person instruction come next school year.” In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said in...
By Greg Toppo | May 18, 2021
Now recruiting: Online army of volunteer tutors to fight ‘COVID slide’
As families nationwide fret about “COVID learning loss” due to months of remote instruction and uncertain class schedules, key educators are advocating an unusual remedy: a national volunteer tutoring force, a sort of digital Peace Corps meets Homework Helpers. Three former U.S. education secretaries — Margaret Spellings, Arne Duncan, and John King — have endorsed...
By Greg Toppo | February 10, 2021
To test, or not to test: Students missed a lot of learning this spring, but experts disagree on how — or even whether — to measure ‘COVID slide’
When Melissa Brennan begins school this fall at Mattie Lou Maxwell Elementary School in Anaheim, Calif., she’ll sit one-on-one with each of her special-needs kindergartners and first-graders and take the time to assess their basic skills. Brennan expects that the process will take place not in person, but over a video conferencing platform. “I’ll Zoom...
By Greg Toppo | August 10, 2020
After school, students are ‘playing the whole game’ in activities from drama to sports to debate. Backers of project-based learning ask: Why can’t all of education look like this?
In 2013, attorneys at the California Innocence Project, weighed down by a backlog of casework, turned for help to an unusual group: humanities students at High Tech High Chula Vista, a nearby charter school. The students, all juniors, trained on a past case handled by the San Diego nonprofit, which reviews pleas from prisoners who...
By Greg Toppo | September 30, 2019