A lack of testing data created by the pandemic may keep funds and other resources from the schools that need them most by preventing states from identifying struggling schools, some education advocates say. University of Missouri researchers caution that inadequate testing data for the current school year may create an even greater impact, but Center for Assessment director Scott Marion is calling for testing flexibility to allow states to try different approaches for assessing students.
The Illinois State Board of Education has extended the USDA's Seamless Summer Option, allowing participating schools in the state to continue providing free meals to students until the end of the 2021-22 school year. In addition, reimbursement for each meal will be higher than usual.
The California State Board of Education approved a plan that will make this spring's mandatory Smarter Balanced standardized math and English assessments in California up to two hours shorter, depending on grade level, by keeping performance tasks while cutting in half the number of multiple-choice questions. Parents can see the overall math and English scores but not individual component scores, a change that drew opposition from some advocates.
Longer teacher professional development sessions that focus on a mindset of growth rather than gaps is one way Chicago charter school Principal Latrice Franklin has prepared to welcome kindergarten students to campus this year. Franklin and other education experts talk about additional tactics for helping young learners, such as sending specialists into classrooms rather than pulling students out.
Aquinas High School, a Catholic school in Wisconsin, signed a partnership with Viterbo University to expand access to university classes and college and career preparation for high-school students. Under the agreement, high-school students would be permitted to receive up to one year of college credits before graduating from high school.
A Catholic school in Minnesota is celebrating its 20th year in operation. Officials say the terrorist attacks of 9/11, which took place seven days after the school opened, strengthened the school's mission to educate responsible citizens -- represented in its motto, "Faith, Knowledge, Virtue."
President Joe Biden on Monday established the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics. The program, led by US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, is focused on several targets, including eliminating funding inequities and improving access to high-quality teachers for students who are Hispanic.
Amid the negative effects and loss associated with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are a couple of unexpected upsides for students -- school flexibility and reinforced familial relationships -- write Laura Clary and Tamar Mendelson, faculty in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School for Public Health. Almost half of the 150 ninth- to 12th-graders surveyed said the pandemic had either positively affected their lives or their lives remained the same.
During the early days of at-home learning last year, the San Diego Unified School District focused on providing tech programs to energize and inform teachers, but focus quickly shifted into workshops about pedagogy and social and emotional learning for both teachers and students, says Julie Garcia, district director of instructional technology. Insights gained have led the district now to focus on building connections between students and teachers and giving students more ownership of learning, Garcia says.
Heather Weimert, a teacher at St. Peter's Catholic School in Tilden, Wis., says she and her students were attending mass Sept. 11, 2001 when they learned of the attacks. Weimert says on that day and now as she teaches about 9/11, she focuses, in part, on teaching her elementary-school students understanding through empathy.
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