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10 Must-Read Education Stories from This Week

Biden Moves School Reopening Goalposts, Merit-Based Admissions Policies Stripped, Enrollment in Catholic Schools Drops, and More

10. Seattle School Board Commits to Ending Reliance on Fossil Fuels Over Next 20 Years, Estimating It Will Cost More Than $1 Billion

The commitment, approved unanimously by the Seattle School Board this week, would eventually mean an end to the district’s reliance on fossil fuels to heat buildings, prepare meals and transport students. Read Now

9. Rhode Island Families Are Leaving District Schools, So the Senate Just Approved a Three-Year Moratorium on Charter Schools

The 30-to-6 vote Wednesday night followed a passionate debate that pitted critics of charter public schools, almost all Democrats, against a handful of lawmakers who say charters offer parents a successful alternative to failing public schools. Read Now

8. ‘Inequalities Grow Before Our Eyes’: Alarming New Data Show Ohio’s Black Students Have Lost a Half-Year of Learning

The results of Ohio’s fall 2020 third grade reading tests offer a dire warning on the damage the pandemic could inflict on students across the country, particularly minority students. Read Now

7. Despite the Pandemic, Chicago-Area Catholic School Students Exceed Expectations on Standardized Tests

Despite fears of students falling behind because of the COVID-19 pandemic, an assessment of nearly 7,400 students at Chicago-area Catholic schools found students, especially those from economically disadvantaged communities, exceeded expectations, officials said this week. Read Now

6. In Lawsuit to Reopen Schools, San Francisco Cites Record High of Suicidal Children

The number of suicidal children in San Francisco has hit a record high and health experts say it is clear that keeping public schools closed “is catalyzing a mental health crisis among school-aged children,” according to a lawsuit the city filed Thursday to push its school district to reopen classrooms. Read Now


#CommentaryOfTheWeek:

photo: Jill Biden Twitter

SANZI: No, the Teachers Union President Is Not the Hero

She is not Glinda the Good Witch in this. She owns a big piece of how we got here and an honest reckoning of schools and COVID needs to include that. Read Now


5. Influx of Unaccompanied Minors Along Southern Border Could Pose Test for Schools

The number of children fleeing Mexico and Central America on their own has seen a dramatic increase in recent months. Some 3,364 unaccompanied minors were referred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement in December, up from a low of 39 in May, according to government records. Read Now

4. School Districts Brace for Pandemic-Related Special Ed Litigation

A few months after the pandemic began and schools closed to in-person learning, school administrative groups warned of a potential onslaught of special education litigation. Read Now

3. Enrollment in Catholic Schools Drops 6.4% Amid Pandemic and Economic Stresses

Among the factors were the closure or consolidation of more than 200 schools and the difficulty for many parents of paying tuition fees that average more than $5,000 for grades K-8 and more than $10,000 for secondary schools, according to the National Catholic Educational Association. Read Now

2. Efforts to Strip Merit-Based Admissions Policies at Selective High Schools Fuel Parent Activism

Covid-19 may have provided the impetus for the change, but the new policy also plays into a political phenomenon: in the past few years, pressure has been building for the city to reconfigure the school’s student body so that it more accurately mirrors the racial composition of the city. Read Now

1. Biden’s Schools Bid Pits CDC Science Against Union Clout

The administration has pledged to reopen 50% of U.S. classrooms at least one day a week within its first 100 days — a goal that may have already been met. Read Now

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