Countdown: 10 Must-Read Education Stories from This Week

An Attack on Homeschooling, New Disappointing NAEP Scores, a ‘Rude Awakening’ for Parents and More

10. Parents Ponder Holding Kids Back a Grade after Coronavirus School Closings

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a friend of President Donald Trump, has given parents in that state the option of holding their children back a year because of the pandemic. Read Now

9. Four Hours a Day: How Teacher Contracts Are Shaping Remote Learning

The crisis has tasked teachers with learning new methods of teaching and following a different set of work rules governing pay, hours, and required duties. Read Now

8. Government Accountability Office: There Are Serious Problems with Education Department Data On Restraint, Seclusion in Schools

The Education Department’s quality check system largely overlooked the fact that 70 percent of school districts across the country reported zero incidents of restraint and seclusion, practices which are disproportionately used on students with disabilities. Read Now

7. Districts Say They Resisted Shift to Online Learning Due to Equity, but Parents Say Special-Needs Kids Were ‘Scapegoated’

While districts across the country transitioned to teaching online, Philadelphia was one of many that resisted the change. Read Now

6. Report: Teacher Pension Debt Is ‘Crowding Out’ Funding for Education

Between 2001 and 2018, the proportion of state education funding used to pay teacher retirement costs increased from 7.5% to 14.4%, creating a tug of war between pension liabilities and spending on teacher raises, lower class sizes, and programs for students, such as arts, sports and other enrichment opportunities. Read Now

It’s Halftime! This Week’s #CommentaryOfTheWeek:

Photo: Syda Productions

HESS: New Civics, History, and Geography Scores Disappoint

There are many reasons why the scores were so lackluster. But supporting NAEP data reveal a couple factors worth considering. Read Now

5. Detroit Students Have the Right to an Education, Federal Appeals Court Rules

In a ruling legal scholars said could affect disadvantaged children across the country, Sixth Circuit Court Judge Eric Clay wrote in an opinion siding with a group of Detroit students in their suit against the state of Michigan that education “is essential to nearly every interaction between a citizen and her government.” Read Now

4. Charter Schools Disproportionately Represented in U.S. News’s Top 100 Best Public High Schools

Two charter schools, BASIS Chandler in Chandler, AZ (#7) and Haas Hall Academy in Bentonville, AR (#8), claim spots in the nation’s top ten public high schools and 21 charter schools rank in the top 100. Read Now

3. ‘Rude Awakening’: While Overseeing Lessons at Home, Parents Shocked to Find Out How Far Behind Their Children Are Academically

“He went almost all year without anyone catching this,” says Nehemiah Frank. “If this pandemic hadn’t happened, we might not have caught it.” Read Now

2. 8th Graders’ NAEP Scores: Only 15% Proficient in U.S. History, 24% Proficient in Civics, 25% Proficient in Geography

Eighth-graders’ scores on national U.S. history and geography tests have declined since 2014, while their performance in civics has held steady at the basic level, according to National Assessment of Educational Progress results released Thursday. Read Now

1. Harvard University Law Professor Sparks Backlash after Calling for a Ban on Homeschooling Because It’s ‘Authoritarian’

Elizabeth Bartholet told Harvard Magazine that it gives parents “authoritarian” control over their kids — and can even expose them to white supremacy and misogyny. Read Now

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