Readout of Vice President Pence and Secretary DeVos’ Conference Call with Education Stakeholders

WASHINGTON – Today, Vice President of the United States Mike Pence and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos held a conference call with leaders of several national K-12 education organizations to answer their questions and to provide an update on what the Department of Education has done so far to support students, parents, and educators during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Vice President and Secretary began the call with opening remarks and provided an update 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

As Schools Close Because Of Coronavirus, Nearly 300 Million Kids Aren’t In Class

As cases of coronavirus disease continue to be identified in countries around the world, the effort to stem its spread has kept some 290 million students home from school. According to the United Nations, as of Tuesday, 22 countries on three continents have closed schools because of the virus. “We are working with countries to assure the continuity of learning for all, especially disadvantaged children and youth who tend to be the hardest hit by Read More

Following Rally, Virginia Educators Push to Restore Collective Bargaining

Thousands of educators from across Virginia stood up on Monday to exercising their choice to join a union. In front of the Capitol building in Richmond, they lobbied their legislators to fund their public schools, fight for increased pay, and support their freedom to collectively bargain. After decades of draconian laws forcing teachers out of the profession, educators in Virginia now enjoy a pro-public education majority in the General Assembly for the first time in Read More

Education Dept. Unveils Fix For Student Loan Program’s ‘Bureaucratic Nightmare’

Public servants with student loans were furious, and the U.S. Department of Education heard them. The department revealed Thursday that it will simplify the process for borrowers to apply for an expansion of the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. The move comes after a damning Government Accountability Office review, first reported by NPR. In that 2019 review, the federal watchdog found that during the expansion program’s first year, the department turned away 99% of applicants. The 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

Paraeducator Raises Funds for Students Affected by Puerto Rico Earthquakes

Students in Puerto Rico were supposed to return to school in early January after winter break, but after hundreds of earthquakes and aftershocks rocked the island, dozens of schools, buildings, homes and businesses were reduced to piles of cement blocks and rubble. The series of tremors, which started December 28 and reached a fever pitch with a massive 6.4 quake January 7th, has left more than 8,000 Puerto Ricans displaced from their homes. Sleeping in 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