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

Seattle Students Without Measles Vaccine Prohibited From School

STUDENTS IN SEATTLE Public Schools will not be allowed to return to the classroom until they provide proof that they have been vaccinated against measles. In a notice to families, the district said that students must be vaccinated by Jan. 8 or they cannot attend classes. Proof of immunization must be provided to the school nurse, and families of students not up to date with their vaccines will receive notices. Free immunization clinics for students will be Read More

Teachers Get Even With Bevin in Kentucky

KENTUCKY’S DEMOCRATIC Attorney General Andy Beshear leads current Gov. Matt Bevin by more than 5,000 votes in a high-profile gubernatorial race that drew more than 1.4 million people to the polls – a race considered by many as a bellwether for the potential impact educators may have in 2020. For nearly three years, teachers have displayed a historic wave of activism across the country over issues of pay, increased funding, support services and the creep of Read More

Ed-Tech Usage Levels Are Low: What Should Schools Do?

Evaluating the usage of ed-tech products is tricky, complicated, and oftentimes confusing. But it can be done. Consider the case of the Granite County school district in Utah. It partnered with a company called LearnPlatform to measure whether time spent on three particular pieces of software led to a bump in student achievement. The district found that one program had great results for English-language learners and Native American students. Another seemed to get results when Read More

Georgia Professor Holds Student’s Baby, A Life Lesson Bundled On Her Back

When a student at Georgia Gwinnett College couldn’t find a replacement babysitter in time for her anatomy and physiology class earlier this month, she did what student-parents sometimes have to do – she brought her child to class with her. Ramata Sissoko Cisse, an assistant professor of biology for anatomy and physiology, had scheduled an important lecture for that day. It focused on the integumentary system — the organ system comprised of the skin, hair, Read More

Kids in poor, urban schools learn just as much as others

Schools serving disadvantaged and minority children teach as much to their students as those serving more advantaged kids, according to a new nationwide study. The results may seem surprising, given that student test scores are normally higher in suburban and wealthier school districts than they are in urban districts serving mostly disadvantaged and minority children. But those test scores speak more to what happens outside the classroom than how schools themselves are performing, said Douglas Read More

The Case For Summer Vacation

Put down those popsicles. No more sleeping in. Beach time is over. Economists have long hated summer vacation. All those wasted school facilities! All that educational backsliding! Kids are getting dumber! The conventional wisdom is that summer vacation is a relic of agricultural times, when kids had to help out their parents on the farm. But the economist William Fischel says that story is completely wrong. “When the U.S. was a farming country, in the Read More

Four States Now Require Schools to Teach LGBT History

Starting next school year, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history will be part of the curriculum in Illinois public schools. Democratic Governor J. B. Pritzker signed House Bill 246 into law Aug. 9, making Illinois the fourth state to mandate teaching LGBT history, after California, New Jersey, and Colorado. The Illinois legislation takes effect in July 2020. The law mandates that history classes in public schools “include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Read More

As Scrutiny Of China Grows, Some U.S. Schools Drop A Language Program

The Defense Department wants more Americans to speak Chinese, and it provides millions of dollars to train students at U.S. universities. China’s government, through language centers known as Confucius Institutes, has been doing the same thing, for the same reasons, and at some of the same U.S. universities. But a new law has forced these American universities to choose: They can take money from the Pentagon or from the Confucius Institute — but not both. Read More

Textbook Giant Pearson Makes Major Shift Away From Print to Digital

CALLING IT A “generational business shift,” textbook publishing giant Pearson announced Tuesday that all future updates to its 1,500 U.S. titles will occur digitally, a move company officials say will push the academic publishing industry into the 21st century and save students money by ending lengthy and expensive print revisions. “The history of this business is as a college textbook publisher, and really over the last 20 years, like many of the other industries like newspapers Read More