Graduation rates of high-schoolers in at least 20 states fell during the 2020-21 school year -- the first full school year held during the coronavirus pandemic -- according to an analysis of data from 26 states. Robert Balfanz, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, says the decline is cause for concern, as is whether students who did earn a diploma learned less than they have in previous years.
Despite some challenges, experts expect a rise in online credit recovery programs. Efforts were underway before the coronavirus pandemic to improve such programs, including in Los Angeles schools, where a teacher was brought in to oversee online credit recovery.
Seven school districts in Virginia -- Fairfax County, Alexandria, Arlington County, Falls Church, Hampton, Prince William County and Richmond -- filed a lawsuit against Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Monday seeking to overturn an executive order regarding wearing masks in schools. In the lawsuit, the school districts say Youngkin's order, which makes wearing masks optional, goes against the authority given to local school boards in the state constitution.
Top private nonprofit institutions such as Harvard and Georgetown universities offer students from low-income households the highest return on investment, but public colleges offer the largest number of students the greatest median ROI, reports Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. The ROI is still lower for students from low-income households because they have lower graduation rates and are more likely to seek certificates instead of degrees.
Hippos make distinctive noises known as wheeze-honks that help them identify each other, a study in Current Biology suggests. "This recognition ability supports the social relationships between individuals," says Nicolas Mathevon, who led the research.
Some middle-schoolers in Niagara Falls, N.Y., are building robots, operating drones and learning to code in preparation for advanced STEM classes. Students also compete in events such as the Vex IQ Challenge, and placed 7th in one global competition, says district superintendent Mark Laurrie.
Swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky explains how STEM figures into her swimming competitions as the face of the STEM Forward educational initiative, says Alejandra Ceja of Panasonic North America, which is partnering with Ledecky and Discovery Education. The program, which has tools for teachers and activities for students and families, works especially to inspire students of color and illustrates how certificates or two- or four-year degrees can lead to STEM careers.
Schools in Beijing are initiating a physical-education programme at the middle-school level, with rollouts to other grade levels in the future, according to the Education Commission. Students will have the chance to learn sports such as swimming, badminton and gymnastics.
Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz., is expanding its aviation technology course offerings with a new program that trains and certifies students to test aviation hardware for continued use. The program, which will be launched next fall, is funded by a $490,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.
School principals have had to deliver a lot of bad news over the past two years, an unpleasant, though accepted, part of the job. Here, four school leaders share tips they have learned from giving unwelcome news, including planning ahead -- even writing a script -- and being direct and empathetic.