Coronavirus Public Health Emergency Underscores Need for Department of Education’s Proposed Distance Learning Rules

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos proposed new rules today that would govern distance learning for higher education students. Although work on the proposed Distance Learning and Innovation regulation started more than a year ago, the COVID-19 National Emergency underscores the need for reform and for all educational institutions to have a robust capacity to teach remotely. “With our support, colleges and universities were among the first to transition to online and distance learning so learning could continue during Read More

‘Panic-gogy’: Teaching Online Classes During The Coronavirus Pandemic

As colleges across the country pivot online on very short notice, there are a host of complications — from laptops and Internet access to mental health and financial needs. Digital learning experts have some surprising advice: do less. “Please Do A Bad Job Of Putting Your Courses Online” is the title of one popular blog post by Rebecca Barrett-Fox, an assistant professor of sociology at Arkansas State University. Her point: “your class is not the highest priority of their or your Read More

Tuition-Free College Programs Gain Momentum

TIMARI RAY IS THE FIRST of her generation to attend college, and she says this wouldn’t be possible without the Tennessee Promise scholarship. “It keeps me motivated because I know that if I didn’t, you know, pass this class or if I fail the class or dropped out or anything, I know that I would literally lose everything,” says Ray, a freshman seeking her associate degree at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee. She is speaking about Tennessee’s Read More

How scaffolding lessons can strengthen critical thinking development

Assigning students real-world projects can help them build critical thinking skills, and incorporating scaffolding can help guide them further while also deepening these skill sets, seeing them in a context of how they might potentially be used when faced with solving real-world problems at work or in the classroom. Scaffolding is used at the university level, for example, to help students strengthen the skills they’ll need when they move on into the workplace, noted Lynn Read More

Ed Dept proposes easier access to federal funds for religious schools, emphasizes school prayer

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a press release she hopes the reinforcement of old guidelines and changes in grant requirements will “protect the constitutional rights of students, teachers, and faith-based institutions” and “level the playing field” between public and religious schools.  However, education organizations are claiming this is an effort to push a larger agenda expanding private and religious schools while sidelining public education. “DeVos and Trump are trying to rewrite the Constitution Read More

How Making A Podcast Enriched Students’ Lives

English teacher Tim Wasem says he’s still getting his head around it. “I have students coming in this semester … who are asking, like, ‘When are we gonna do the podcast challenge? When’s that gonna happen?’ “ That’s because a year ago, an unlikely team of 11th-graders at Elizabethton High School in east Tennessee won NPR’s first-ever Student Podcast Challenge. Their 11-minute entry told the story of how the nearby town of Erwin is trying Read More

San Diego Schools Sue Juul Labs Over Youth Vaping Epidemic

San Diego’s public school schools have filed suit against Juul Labs, Inc., the largest U.S. producer of e-cigarettes, accusing the company of deliberately marketing its vaping products to young people, effectively rolling back years of progress made by anti-smoking campaigns. A 40-page complaint filed in San Diego Superior Court on behalf of the San Diego Unified School District on Tuesday alleges that Juul’s product “disrupts the learning environment,” causing an increase in student absences due Read More

Report: Florida, Ohio called ‘advanced leaders’ in K-12 media literacy efforts

As the U.S. enters another presidential election year, 14 states have “some media-literacy language on the books,” according to a new report detailing legislative efforts to integrate media literacy instruction into curriculum. But “action is too slow compared to the urgent need,” wrote Erin McNeill, president and board member of Media Literacy Now, a nonprofit advocacy organization that defines media literacy as the “ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create and take action with all forms of communication.” The Read More

America’s parents want paid family leave and affordable child care. Why can’t they get it?

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – The dilemma at dinner concerns a little less than $25 and how much it’s worth to this family of four. Whitney and Tim Phinney couldn’t have imagined how much time they would spend scrutinizing amounts like these, weighing options that never seem ideal. But then they had children in America. Tim, a stay-at-home dad in suburban Denver, is struggling. He would prefer to return to his career, but the family can’t afford full-time child care Read More

NCAA to Congress on Pay-to-Play Laws: ‘We Need Your Help Right Now’

THE NCAA FOR DECADES has tried to prevent Congress from interfering with its operation of a billion-dollar system of amateur athletics, but on Tuesday its president met with members of Congress and delivered a very different message: “We need your help right now.” The about-face comes as more than 20 states plan to consider various legislative proposals that would allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness – so called pay-to-play laws that Read More