10 Must-Read Education Stories From This Week

Black Homeschool Families Quintuple, Closure Politics Produced 66-Day Learning Gap, and Pharrell Williams Plans to Open a Group of Private Schools

10. Pennsylvania Governor Claims His State Ranks 45th in School Funding, but Critics Say He’s Got a Math Problem

Is it true, as Gov. Tom Wolf said at a Tuesday press conference, that Pennsylvania ranks 45th in school funding in the U.S.? Read Now

9. Public Records Request Reveals Oregon Education Department Used Money From Struggling Student Program to Pay for Lecture on Race

The Oregon Department of Education reallocated money from a fund to encourage school attendance to pay New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones, who created the ahistorical “1619 Project,” $50,000 for two lectures. Read Now

8. Coalition of Kentucky School Districts Sue Over New School Choice Law

In a suit filed in Franklin Circuit Court Monday, the Council for Better Education contends that education opportunity accounts are unconstitutional. Read Now

7. As More Minnesota Students Fail, Schools Eliminate D’s and F’s From Report Cards So High Schoolers Can Graduate

With students struggling to learn from home during the coronavirus pandemic, many schools in Minnesota and elsewhere removed D’s and F’s from report cards in favor of pass-fail grades that don’t hurt grade-point averages. Read Now

6. Less That Half of Students Read at Grade Level in Oklahoma’s Best School District

The Jenks Public Schools district has been identified as the best school in Oklahoma in a national review, despite that same evaluation finding less than half of students at the district read at grade level. Read Now

Commentary of the Week:

photo: antoniohugophoto

PETRILLI: Five Pandemic-Era Education Practices That Deserve to Be Dumped in the Dustbin

Just as there are some innovations that we should strive to maintain in the post-Covid era, there are others we should leave behind. Read Now

5. Struggling Schools Don’t Get a Boost From State Takeovers, Study Shows

A new national study casts significant doubt on the idea that states, at least, are better positioned to run schools than locally elected officials. Read Now

4. Cardona Suggests the Biden Administration Will Step In to Protect Transgender Students’ ‘Right to Compete’ in Girls’ Sports

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona told ESPN that transgender girls have a “right to compete” and suggested that the Biden administration will step in to protect those students’ civil rights, as multiple states enact legislation banning transgender athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s sports. Read Now

3. New Data Reveal Politics’ Influence on School Closures Produced a 432-Hour In-Person Learning Gap

Through the pandemic, schools in Republican states offered in-person learning at nearly twice the rate of those in Democratic states, according to new data, amounting to an estimated 66 additional days — or 432 hours — of face-to-face instruction for those students. Read Now

2. Singer Pharrell Williams Plans to Open a Group of Small Private Schools for Students From Low-Income Families

“If the system is fixed and unfair, then it needs to be broken,” Williams said in a news release. “We don’t want lockstep learning where so many kids fall behind; we want bespoke learning designed for each child, where the things that make a child different are the same things that will make a child rise up and take flight. Read Now

1. Black Homeschool Families Quintuple During Pandemic

In recent years, homeschooling has moved far beyond being the preferred learning method of a handful of American families, increasing in popularity as parents become less satisfied with more traditional choices. Read Now

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