‘The first big domino to fall’: Los Angeles district mandates student vaccines as Biden unveils aggressive COVID testing plan
The Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest, voted Thursday to require all eligible students to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10 — a move that could prompt other districts across the country to follow suit and fuel ongoing opposition from families and politicians opposed to such mandates. Los Angeles students must get their second...
By Linda Jacobson | September 10, 2021
From reopening schools to mask mandates, education policy expected to play key role in upcoming Newsom recall vote in California
Updated September 15 California Gov. Gavin Newsom decisively beat back a recall effort Tuesday, as almost two-thirds of voters chose to keep him in office for the remainder of his first term. While mail-in votes await to be counted, the race was called for the no votes. Republican Larry Elder, the frontrunner to replace Newsom...
By Linda Jacobson | September 9, 2021
As Biden pushes nation toward universal pre-K, home-based child care could help fill gaps in the system. But a new report urges caution
When a little girl in Chris Nelson’s family child care center painted a picture of a purple cow, a boy in the program was quick to correct her: Cows, he said, could only be black and white. So the North Troy, Vermont, provider began organizing cow-related field trips so the preschoolers could reach their own...
By Linda Jacobson | September 8, 2021
Virtual pre-K filled a void for ‘overwhelmed’ parents last year, but experts disagree about its role — and federal funding — in a post-pandemic world
As in most pre-K classrooms, Geneva Gadsden’s students — known as the All Stars — rotate through different stations, from dress-up corners to building block areas. But the All Stars, the Happy Owls and other groups of preschoolers at the Whitted School in Durham, North Carolina, also take turns with Chromebooks, spending 15 minutes a...
By Linda Jacobson | August 17, 2021
Twitter breaks, meditative walks, security guards: How school leaders are responding to an unsettling season of public outrage
As one of 27 district leaders on a national COVID recovery task force, Virginia Beach schools Superintendent Aaron Spence helped craft a list of the issues his counterparts across the country would need to consider as they reopened schools. But during one meeting earlier this year, he said he interrupted the conversation with a more...
By Linda Jacobson | July 29, 2021
More than a quarter million fewer students applied for financial aid during pandemic, signaling COVID’s effect on college entry
More than a quarter of a million fewer high school seniors have applied for financial aid since the beginning of the pandemic, and the slip is particularly striking in schools with high minority and low-income student populations — an early indicator that the decline in college enrollment among disadvantaged students is continuing. The analysis, released...
By Linda Jacobson | July 26, 2021
With some parents mad over issues from school closures to critical race theory, leaders fear impact on fall enrollment
Momentum may be building toward a full school reopening this fall, but some families say it’s too late. “My daughter will never go back to public school,” said Michelle Walker of McMinnville, Oregon, outside Portland. She took out a loan to move her fourth-grader MacKenzie into a private school and is working to mobilize families...
By Linda Jacobson | July 15, 2021
Updated CDC guidance relaxing mask requirements for some students, but not others, puts school districts in tough spot
Friday’s updated school reopening guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts districts in a tough spot — do they require all students to wear masks indoors or just those who haven’t been vaccinated? District leaders say it would be difficult to implement a policy where masks are optional for some but not...
By Linda Jacobson | July 14, 2021
Can right answers be wrong? Latest clash over ‘white supremacy culture’ unfolds in unlikely arena: Math class
To learn the geometric concept of transformations this year, Crystal Watson’s eighth-graders drew up blueprints of apartments. As they worked, she asked them to imagine designing affordable housing for Black and Hispanic families like theirs in Cincinnati who have been priced out of their neighborhoods. But when she had them add a hallway down the...
By Linda Jacobson | June 29, 2021
Biden’s $20 billion education equity proposal would create ‘powerful incentive’ for states to close funding gaps between districts
Educators welcome President Joe Biden’s plan to spend $20 billion — on top of the federal government’s current funding for high-poverty districts — to address the needs of schools with the greatest concentrations of disadvantaged students. But with the new administration already getting a late start on the budget process and Republicans cringing at the...
By Linda Jacobson | June 9, 2021