‘A different kind of horrific’ for K-12 as states anticipate revenue shortfalls

Threatened with budget cuts from falling tax revenues on one hand and unprecedented expenses on the other, superintendents are faced with difficult decisions regarding layoffs and program cuts this fall. While some states are now revising budget projections and making plans to rework the numbers, others have stayed silent on whether, or how deeply, K-12 will take a hit. Some leaders have claimed their districts will be shielded, at least for the time being, from Read More

Universities Weigh Reopening for Students

Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California, is open for business this fall — but to get there, you really have to want it. Tucked amid verdant hills 23 miles east of San Francisco, accessible by a single road and a single entrance, the small, private Roman Catholic school receives almost no visitors by accident. This, in the age of a pandemic, is good news indeed for its administrators. “We can control who comes in or out in a Read More

‘Feels Very Anticlimatic’: Seniors Reflect On Ending High School Amid The Pandemic

Prom portraits are often windows into the past, capturing a moment in time with a special person, or friends you’ve lost touch with. It’s a celebration of hard work; a well-earned break from studying and stress. Frozen in time — often to the delight and amusement, decades later, of future generations — are cultural trends in fashion and hair : Why did you pick that dress? Sneakers with a suit –really? Yet for the class Read More

With Pandemic, Privatization Advocates Smell a Big Opportunity

For public educators, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a crisis, which they’re tackling through hard work, creativity, and communication with students and families. Educators are streaming lessons, delivering meals, and bridging gaps in technology—with enormous approval from parents. But for for-profit education businesses and proponents of school privatization, especially Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the pandemic is something else. It’s an opportunity, a chance to steer hundreds of millions of dollars in public money away from public Read More

Will early learning, after-school shift toward home-based care?

When Philadelphia launched its new pre-K initiative in 2017, financed through a beverage tax, the city’s Office of Children and Families not only invited centers to become part of the program, but also opened up funding to providers operating home-based early learning programs.  One of them is Adrienne Briggs, whose Lil’ Bits Family Child Care Home has earned four “stars” in Pennsylvania’s Keystone STARS quality rating system (STARS stands for standards, training/professional development, assistance, resources Read More

How some colleges plan to reopen this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic

Some universities across the country have started to reveal plans to open their campuses in the fall, after the coronavirus pandemic forced universities across the nation to shut down in favor of remote learning. The University of Notre Dame announced earlier this week it will welcome students back to campus this summer, starting the semester two weeks earlier than usual. Students there will skip fall break, allowing them to complete the semester by Thanksgiving. The university hopes that by Read More

NEA Hosts Tele-Town Hall to Mobilize Support for Coronavirus Relief Bill

The message of NEA’s “We Rise Together” campaign, a national call to demand Congress pass the HEROES Act to help stabilize education funding, couldn’t be any clearer: “If we don’t do something, it’s going to get worse,” cautioned NEA President Lily Eskelsen García, during a national tele-town hall with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), and award-winning actor Bradley Whitford, as well as thousands of education activists. The group underscored throughout the hour-long call that the “something” is to take collective action to urge Read More

Trump Counters Fauci, Says States Should ‘Absolutely’ Reopen Schools

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP countered Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House coronavirus taskforce, saying Wednesday that the virus has had “very little impact” on children and that schools should “absolutely” reopen. “I think you should absolutely open the schools,” Trump said, a mantra he’s repeated in recent weeks as he and White House officials pressure governors to begin reopening their economies. “Our country has got to get back Read More

AP Tests Begin Online And At Home — But Not For Everyone

Starting Monday, Advanced Placement exams, which test high schoolers’ knowledge of college material, will take an unusual form. The high-anxiety, college credit tests normally last three hours and are taken in person. But this year, in response to disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak, the College Board, which administers AP exams, shortened the tests to 45 minutes and moved them online. The new format has raised questions about fairness. For many students, changing the test site from Read More

When After-School Is Shut Down, Too

When Jessyka Bagdon set out to move her tap dancing classes online, big questions started popping up right away: What about kids who don’t own their own tap shoes? How to tap dance at home without ruining the floor? And then came the really big challenge: Online programs like Zoom are designed for meetings, not dance classes. “They’re made to pick up voices,” she explains, not the clickety clack of tap-dancing shoes. “So how do Read More