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Education Extra Credit

From the SEL backlash to college "success coaches," SmartBrief editors round up some bonus education stories.

3 min read


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SmartBrief education writers and editors read hundreds of articles, studies and press releases each week — too many to summarize and fit neatly into the sections of our newsletters. Our new weekly roundup, Education Extra Credit, shares some additional topics of note from the past week or so, as well as occasional highlights from our education newsletters. 

What topic is especially important to you? Send us your thoughts or links, and we can share some of the feedback with all our readers. 

SEL joins CRT and other political footballs. Doing away with jargon may be the easiest way to bridge schooling-related divides as criticism of social-emotional learning programs ramps up. Sharing specifics instead of just rebranding a program ensures everyone is talking about the same thing and helps build trust in schools and teachers, experts say.

How to keep student-data analytics from being a useless appendage. Analyzing data on students’ academic progress can’t be one extra thing for teachers to do; it needs to be embedded into school and classroom culture, complete with training, and can’t be tossed at them as a midyear surprise.

“Coaches” get college dropouts to re-enroll. More than a million students dropped out of college during the pandemic, so “success coaches” working for 25 colleges and nonprofit InsideTrack reached out to 27,000 of them and got 3,000 to re-enroll. The coaches “really help students who may not have that system of support that provides guidance, encouragement, advice on how you navigate the path in the midst of so much uncertainty,” Julian Thompson of the United Negro College Fund says.

Continuing education becomes an employment perk. Employers are trying to help fill the skills gap — and boost employee retention — by paying for continuing education in hard and soft skills. Another article we featured in Thursday’s SmartBrief on Professional, Continuing and Online Education explains that many employers don’t even know what skills their employees have.

Diane Benson Harrington is an education writer at SmartBrief. Reach out to her via email or LinkedIn.


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