10 Must-Read Education Stories From This Week

Public School Enrollment Still Dropping, Fathers Respond to School Crime, World’s First Virtual Reality Charter School Announced, and More

10. Teachers Union Sues Over New Hampshire’s Ban on Teaching ‘Divisive Concepts’

The New Hampshire chapter of the American Federation of Teachers filed the litigation on behalf of several parents and teachers, asking a U.S. District Court judge to block the new law, which prohibits teaching about systemic racism and sexism in public schools and state-funded programs. Read Now

9. California Teachers Accused of Coaching Student Into Coming Out as Transgender Behind Parents’ Backs

School staff reportedly changed the student’s name and pronouns and also called Child Protective Services when the parents objected to the transition, according to a twitter thread by LibsofTikTok posted early Thursday morning, which included video of the parents addressing the school board of the Spreckels Union School District on Wednesday. Read Now

8. ‘Students Shouldn’t Be Scared’: Tampa Teens Who Asked for Protection From Sexual Harassment Say They Were Punished Instead

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights says it’s kept an active eye on Hillsborough County Public Schools for 10 years — ever since the agency found the district retaliated against a student who reported sexual abuse. Read Now

7. Illinois’ Chronic Absenteeism Rate Has Risen to 21.2%

Despite a push to fully reopen schools this fall, truancy officers and experts say the problem persists as families deal with a lack of transportation due to a school bus driver shortage and the number of students being quarantined after possible exposure to COVID is increasing. Read Now

6. Only 13% of Newark Fifth Graders Are Meeting State Standards in Math

Eighty-seven percent of Newark fifth graders are in need of “strong support” in math, according to a recent standardized test that offers a window into how much the COVID pandemic has harmed their learning. Read Now

Commentary of the Week:

photo: Getty Images

MANDEL: Parents Like Me Are Fed Up With Inconsistent Democratic Policies Aimed at Our Kids

For adults, life is closer to pre-pandemic normalcy. But for kids, school disruptions and restrictions continue. Read Now

5. Maryland Can’t Bar Christian School From Voucher Program Over Beliefs on Sexuality, Judge Rules

A federal judge has ruled that Maryland unlawfully discriminated against a Christian school due to its traditional views on marriage and gender identity when the state denied it access to a voucher program. Read Now

4. School Choice Advocate Announces World’s First Virtual Reality Charter School

School choice advocate Erika Donalds-led Optima Domi announced it is launching the world’s first virtual reality charter school. Read Now

3. White House Considered Teachers Unions’ Labor Disputes Before Releasing Reopening Guidance, Emails Show

Additionally, White House staffers facilitated a meeting between Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky and the head of the nation’s largest teachers union, National Education Association President Becky Pringle, the emails also show. Read Now

2. Louisiana Black Fathers Group Looks to Expand ‘Dads on Duty’ as a National Response to School Crime

The dads’ work has drawn praise from diverse voices, from charter school superintendent and podcaster Ray Ankrum — who started a Twitter thread celebrating Black fathers — to conservative Congressman Josh Hawley of Missouri, who highlighted how the dads “changed the atmosphere of an entire campus.” Read Now

1. Where Are the Students? For a Second Straight Year, Public School Enrollment Is Dropping

The troubling enrollment losses that school districts reported last year have in many places continued this fall, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt public education across the country, an NPR investigation has found. Read Now

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