Can’t Leave The House? Try Playing Competitive Video Games

For millions of college students around the country, coronavirus lockdowns effectively canceled their hobbies and extracurriculars. But that’s not the case for Madison Cragle, a graphic design major at the State University of New York at Canton. She’s co-captain of her school’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate team — an esports team. That’s right, varsity video games. “There’s a joke going around that once the quarantine ends, everyone’s going to be like a thousand times better Read More

School meal programs seek relief, plan for uncertain summer

School districts are distributing millions of meals for students per week — primarily through grab-and-go sites and school bus deliveries — but nutrition experts are shifting their focus toward how to keep feeding students over the summer. Waivers from the federal government allowing schools to serve all students in “non-congregate settings” and granting some flexibility over what’s included in meals will expire June 30. Advocacy organizations, such as the School Nutrition Association and the Food Research 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

PISA results highlight US teens’ limited financial knowledge

U.S. 15-year-olds understand some common principles of money management and can make simple financial plans and solve “routine” problems related to budgeting, according to the latest results of an international financial literacy assessment. But results of the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment in financial literacy — conducted in 20 countries — shows they’re not as skilled at interpreting complex documents, such as bank statements, or looking at the long-range consequences of financial decisions. On 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

Coronavirus Brings ‘Homework Gap’ to the Forefront

Even before he launched his distance learning classroom last week, middle school band director Blake Bogan knew he faced some unique challenges. “Most of my job is listening to students and helping them mix and blend their sound with their peers,” says Bogan, who teaches at Raceland Middle School in Raceland, La. It’s a rural town of roughly 10,000 about an hour’s drive southwest of New Orleans. Since perfecting the mix and blend of a Read More

Schools Face Nightmare Scenario After Coronavirus Crisis

SCHOOL OFFICIALS FROM the country’s biggest school districts recently sent a message to Congress: Inject the K-12 system with a serious infusion of cash ahead of what forecasters say is the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, or brace for the catastrophic results of hallowed out school budgets. “Dark clouds are forming on the educational horizon that will spell disaster if Congress does not intervene,” 62 superintendents from school districts like New York City, Los Read More

Teachers Union Blasts Trump, Lays Out Plan for Reopening Schools

THE AMERICAN FEDERATION of Teachers, the 1.7-million member teachers union, issued guidance Wednesday for how and when schools should safely reopen, slamming President Donald Trump for his comments to governors suggesting they look at opening schools. “Our blueprint serves as a stark contrast to the conflicting guidance, bluster and lies of the Trump administration,” said AFT president Randi Weingarten. The 20-page guidance, which Weingarten said would evolve as the status of the coronavirus epidemic evolves, includes five major Read More

DeVos To Use Coronavirus Relief Funds For Home Schooling ‘Microgrants’

This week, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that more than $300 million from the first coronavirus rescue package will go to two education grant competitions for K-12 and higher ed. States will be able to apply for a piece of the $180 million allotted to the “Rethink K-12 Education Models Grant” and $127.5 million allotted to the “Reimagining Workforce Preparation Grant.” The money is 1% of the more than $30 billion set aside for education in the CARES Read More

Ready for what? New research weighs high schools’ ‘promotion power’

A few years ago, Jessica Baghian, the assistant superintendent and chief academic policy officer for the Louisiana Department of Education, was speaking on a panel at the Association for Education Finance and Policy conference. She said she was “riffing on” her frustration over K-12 accountability systems that fail to communicate what happens to students after they graduate from high school. “It felt like we were missing an opportunity to tell schools more about what happens to Read More