By Wayne D’Orio

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Pioneered by the state of Minnesota in 1985, the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program lets certain high school students take free classes at public and private colleges throughout the state. Originally intended to give rural students access to a wider range of classes, the program has grown increasingly popular in the last few years, with 10,500 high schoolers participating in 2018–19. Now, with COVID ushering in a widespread adoption of online learning, enrollment has spiked.

While that’s good news for students, it can be bad news for districts, which lose funding for each college class a student…


By Linda Jacobson

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Almost half the teachers who left the field early over the past year blame the pandemic, a new survey shows. But many say they would be willing to return when their schools begin frequent coronavirus testing or when teachers and students have been vaccinated.

Those who stepped away because of COVID-19 cite stress, child care responsibilities and health concerns as their top reasons for leaving, according to data released Monday from the RAND Corp. In fact, teachers were almost twice as likely to blame their departures on stress (43 percent) than inadequate pay (24 percent).

“High stress…


By Kevin Mahnken

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Susana Cordova, former superintendent of Denver Public Schools. (Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Denver schools began 2021 on a hopeful note, welcoming students back to classrooms after a lengthy digital hibernation.

As in other urban districts, it’s an undertaking that demands pinpoint coordination between principals managing hybrid schedules, teachers still awaiting vaccination shots, and families who aren’t totally sold on giving up remote instruction. But despite the logistical hurdles, and even the worrisome spike in COVID outbreaks at schools and colleges throughout Colorado, some of the anxiety around returning to school is beginning to abate.

If the district’s leaders have begun to address one excruciating hangover from 2020, however, they’ll…


By Linda Jacobson

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Students — even those in high school — can return to classrooms full time in communities with low to moderate spread of COVID-19 as long as schools enforce universal mask wearing and 6 feet of distance between students, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday in updated school reopening guidance.

The agency also recommends handwashing, cleaning and contact tracing for all schools. But vaccinations for teachers, routine coronavirus testing and upgraded ventilation are “extra layers of support” that don’t have to be in place before schools reopen, said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

“The science…


By Asher Lehrer-Small

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Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo is expected to join the Biden cabinet as U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The Senate will vote on her confirmation in the coming days or weeks. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

When those who worked alongside Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo reflect on the chief executive’s education legacy, they are unsparing in their praise.

“Hero” and “champion” are the first words that come to mind for Vic Fay-Wolfe, a University of Rhode Island professor who spearheaded the governor’s statewide computer science education initiative.

Meghan Hughes, president of the Community College of Rhode Island, where Raimondo’s tuition-free higher education program spurred dramatic boosts in student enrollment and outcomes, feels similarly.

“She’s helped us prove what’s possible,” Hughes said.

The governor’s leadership, Rhode Island Commissioner of Education Angélica Infante-Green told…


By Greg Toppo

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As families nationwide fret about “COVID learning loss” due to months of remote instruction and uncertain class schedules, key educators are advocating an unusual remedy: a national volunteer tutoring force, a sort of digital Peace Corps meets Homework Helpers.

Three former U.S. education secretaries — Margaret Spellings, Arne Duncan, and John King — have endorsed the idea, and a proposal to fund it, alongside other COVID-related remedies, is kicking around Congress.

Speaking at a recent webinar sponsored by The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, King told educators, “I am a huge fan of the idea of a national…


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By Mark Keierleber

Five days after extremists used the fringe video gaming platform Dlive to livestream a mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, a youthful white nationalist logged onto the site and offered his take about the future of a movement he helped create.

In a drawn-out rant, the alt-right provocateur Patrick Casey downplayed the Capitol insurrection while deriding social media platforms for cracking down on hate speech supporting an overthrow of the U.S. government. …


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Two young girls knitting as part of Junior Activities of the New Orleans Chapter of American Red Cross, New Orleans, Louisiana, in September 1918. (American National Red Cross Photograph Collection via Getty Images)

Analysis by Chad Aldeman

I have some bad news: The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to linger for decades.

One mechanism is through education. As my series on educational disruptions has shown, children who miss school time suffer academic losses in the short run, and those effects are noticeable decades later in the form of worse economic outcomes and other quality-of-life metrics. In the case of a series of teacher strikes in Argentina, researchers even found that the harmful effects passed down from one generation to the next.

But babies born during the pandemic may also suffer. At…


By Linda Jacobson

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(Los Angeles Unified School District)

For anxious teachers nationwide pushing for widespread COVID-19 testing before they return to the classroom, Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner believes he has the answer.

The district has tested roughly 400,000 staff members, students and their families for the coronavirus since September, using a Microsoft-developed website that tallies positive cases and thoroughly tracks whether contacts have been traced. The program involves three universities, two health care companies and a pair of labs — one of which sold Beutner on its ability to return results by 5 a.m. each morning.

“We think we’ve built a system that…


By Asher Lehrer-Small

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EDlection 2020: Follow our analysis as additional winners are declared at The74Million.org/Election — and get the latest results, news and investigations delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for The 74 Newsletter.

While it was the outcome of the presidential election that had the nation on edge through Saturday when Joe Biden was finally declared the winner, contests up and down the ballot in 2020 will have long-term consequences for education coast to coast. …

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The 74 is a non-profit, non-partisan news site covering education in America.

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