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Education Articles & More
Our best education articles of 2022, readers and editors pick the most interesting and insightful articles from the past year about teaching, learning, and the keys to well-being at school. .
Our most popular education articles of 2022 explore how to help students feel connected to each other and cultivate character strengths like curiosity and humility, amid the many stressors and pressures that young people are facing today. They also offer support for educators’ and school leaders’ well-being, and reflect on hopes for transformative change in education.
If you are looking for specific activities to support your students’ and colleagues’ social and emotional well-being in 2023, visit our Greater Good in Education website, featuring free research-based practices, lessons, and strategies for cultivating kinder, happier, and more equitable classrooms and schools. For a deeper dive into the science behind social-emotional learning, mindfulness, and ethical development, consider our suite of self-paced online courses for educational professionals, including our capstone course, Teaching and Learning for the Greater Good . Or join one of our new communities of practice that focus on educator well-being, offering space for rest, reflection, togetherness, and hope—and some science, too!
Here are the 12 best education articles of 2022, based on a composite ranking of pageviews and editors’ picks.
Six Ways to Find Your Courage During Challenging Times , by Amy L. Eva: Courage doesn’t have to look dramatic or fearless. Sometimes it looks more like quiet perseverance.
Calm, Clear, and Kind: What Students Want From Their Teachers , by Jenna Whitehead: Researchers asked students what makes a caring teacher—and these same qualities may help support your well-being as an educator.
How to Help Teens Put Less Pressure on Themselves , by Karen Bluth: Self-compassion can help teens who are struggling with toxic perfectionism. Five Ways to Support the Well-Being of School Leaders , by Julia Mahfouz, Kathleen King, and Danny Yahya: Burnout rates are high among principals. How can we fight burnout and promote self-care?
How to Help Your Students Develop Positive Habits , by Arthur Schwartz: Small habits repeated regularly can help students cultivate character strengths like patience, gratitude, and kindness.
Can We Make Real, Transformative Change in Education? , by Renee Owen: A new program is preparing leaders to facilitate systemic change in education in order to better serve all students.
Five Ways to Help Students Feel Connected at School Again , by Jennifer de Forest and Karen VanAusdal: According to students themselves, they are yearning for opportunities to connect with friends and peers as they head back to school.
How to Prepare for the Stresses of College , by Erin T. Barker and Andrea L. Howard: Researchers explain the most common causes of stress and distress at college, and what students can do to thrive during a big life transition.
How Humility Can Make Your Students the Best People Ever , by Vicki Zakrzewski: Simple ways for educators to help students move from “me” to “we.”
Four Ways to Inspire Humble Curiosity in Your Students , by Amy L. Eva: Humility and curiosity can encourage students to be passionate about learning and open to others’ perspectives.
What Middle Schoolers Can Teach Us About Respect , by Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman and Lia E. Sandilos: Teens are developing a nuanced understanding of what respect means. Here are some ideas for cultivating more of it in the classroom.
Why Teachers Need Each Other Right Now , by Amy L. Eva: Here are four simple ways to find social support as an educational professional.
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The 10 Most Significant Education Studies of 2022
In our annual ritual, we pored over hundreds of educational studies and pulled out the most impactful—from a new study on the sneaky power of sketchnotes to research that linked relationships and rigor.
This past year didn’t feel normal, exactly, but compared with the last few trips around the sun, well—it sufficed. In 2021, when we sat down to write our annual edition of the research highlights, we were in the throes of postpandemic recovery and wrote about the impact of a grueling year in which burnout and issues of mental and physical health affected educators everywhere.
This year, we crossed our fingers and turned to best practices once again, reviewing hundreds of studies to identify the most impactful and insightful educational strategies we could find.
What turned up?
We found evidence that sheds new light on the misunderstood power of brain breaks, took a close look at research that finds a surprising—even counterintuitive—rationale for teachers to focus on relationships, and located both the humor and the merit in asking kids to slither like a snake as they learn about the “sss” sound of the letter S .
All that, and a lot more too, in our once-a-year roundup that follows.
1. There’s No Conflict Between Relationships and Rigor
Observers sometimes assume that teachers who radiate empathy, kindness, and openness are “soft” and can be taken advantage of by students. But new research shows that when you signal that you care about kids, they’re willing to go the extra mile, giving you the flexibility to assign more challenging school work.
That’s the main takeaway from a 2022 study that examined teaching practices in 285 districts, comparing relationship-building strategies with the flexibility that teachers had in assigning challenging and complex work. The researchers found that the most effective teachers build their classrooms by getting to know their students, being approachable, and showing that they enjoy the work—and then deftly translate emotional capital into academic capital.
“When students feel teachers care about them, they work harder, engage in more challenging academic activities, behave more appropriately for the school environment, are genuinely happy to see their teacher, and meet or exceed their teacher’s expectations,” the researchers conclude.
2. Highlighting Isn’t Very Effective Until Teachers Step In
Students often highlight the wrong information and may rely on their deficient highlighting skills as a primary study strategy, leading to poor learning outcomes, a new analysis of 36 studies suggests. As little as two hours of tutoring, however, can dramatically improve their capabilities.
The researchers determined that “learner-generated highlighting” tended to improve retention of material, but not comprehension. When students were taught proper highlighting techniques by teachers, however—for example, how to distinguish main ideas from supporting ideas—they dramatically improved their academic performance. Crucially, “when highlighting is used in conjunction with another learning strategy” like “graphic organizers or post-questions,” its effectiveness soars, the researchers said.
The need for explicit teaching may be linked to changing reading habits as students graduate from stories and fables to expository texts, which require them to navigate unfamiliar text formats, the researchers note. To bring kids up to speed, show them “examples of appropriate and inappropriate highlighting,” teach them to “highlight content relatively sparingly,” and provide examples of follow-on tactics like summarizing their insights to drive deeper comprehension.
3. A Landmark Study Strikes a Resounding Note for Inclusion
When the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act called for greater inclusion—mandating that students with disabilities receive support in the “least restrictive environment”—one goal was to ensure that educational accommodations didn’t interfere with the students’ social and emotional development in classrooms full of their peers. The law also confronted age-old prejudices and established a binding legal obligation in favor of inclusion.
But thus far, rigorous evidence of the academic benefits has been thin.
Now a new large-scale study appears to put the matter beyond dispute. When researchers tracked nearly 24,000 adolescents who qualified for special education, they discovered that spending a majority of the day—at least 80 percent—in general education classes improved reading scores by a whopping 24 points and math scores by 18 points, compared with scores of their more isolated peers with similar disabilities.
“Treat the general education classroom as the default classroom,” the researchers firmly state, and push for separate accommodations only when all other options have been exhausted.
4. Sketchnotes and Concept Maps Work—Even Better Than You Might Think
Simple concept maps, sketchnotes, and other annotated jottings—akin to doodling with a purpose—can facilitate deeper comprehension of materials than more polished drawings, a new study finds.
Representational drawings, such as a simple diagram of a cell, may help students remember factual information, the researchers explain, but they “lack features to make generalizations or inferences based on that information.” Organizational drawings that link concepts with arrows, annotations, and other relational markings give students a clearer sense of the big picture, allow them to visualize how ideas are connected, and provide a method for spotting obvious gaps in their understanding. On tests of higher-order thinking, fifth graders who made organizational drawings outperformed their peers who tried representational drawings by 300 percent.
To reap the benefits in class, have students start with simple diagrams to help remember the material, and then move them up to sketchnotes and concept maps as they tease out connections to prior knowledge.
5. Brain Breaks Are Misunderstood (and Underutilized)
Conventional wisdom holds that the development of a skill comes from active, repeated practice: It’s the act of dribbling a basketball that ultimately teaches the basketball star.
But recent studies reveal that the intervals between practice sessions are at least as crucial. In 2021, researchers used brain scans to observe neural networks as young adults learned how to type. During breaks, the brains of the participants appeared to head back to the keyboards, unconsciously replaying the typing sequences over and over again at high rates of speed as they flipped the material between processing and memory centers dozens of times in the span of 10 seconds. The researchers concluded that brain breaks play “just as important a role as practice in learning a new skill.”
In 2022, we learned that the kinds of breaks make a difference, too. One study compared in-classroom breaks like drawing or building puzzles with outdoor breaks like running or playing in sandboxes. In a nod to the power of movement—and free time—it was the kids playing outside who returned to class ready to learn, probably because indoor games, like indoor voices, required children to engage in more self-regulation, the researchers speculated. Meanwhile, an analysis examining “green breaks” —brief strolls in a park or visits to a school garden—concluded that students who partook in the activities performed better on tests of attention and working memory.
Depriving kids of regular breaks, it turns out, is a threat to the whole proposition of learning. To commit lessons to memory, the brain demands its own time—which it sets aside to clean up and consolidate new material.
6. On Classroom Design, an Argument for Caution—and Common Sense
When it comes time to decorate their classrooms, teachers often find themselves on the horns of a dilemma: Should they aim for Pinterest-worthy interior design or opt for blank walls on the strength of research that emphasizes the risks of distracting students?
A study published in February this year argues for minimalism. Researchers tracked the on-task behavior of K–2 students and concluded that visually ”streamlined” classrooms produced more focused students than “decorated” ones. During short read-alouds about topics like rainbows and plate tectonics, for example, young kids in classrooms free of “charts, posters, and manipulatives” were paying attention at significantly higher rates.
But it might not be a simple question of more or less. A 2014 study confirmed that posters of women scientists or diverse historical figures, for example, can improve students’ sense of belonging. And a recent study that observed 3,766 children in 153 schools concluded that classrooms that occupied a visual middle ground—neither too cluttered nor too austere—produced the best academic outcomes. A 2022 study reached similar conclusions.
Classroom decoration can alter academic trajectories, the research suggests, but the task shouldn’t stress teachers out. The rules appear to be relatively straightforward: Hang academically relevant, supportive work on the walls, and avoid the extremes—working within the broad constraints suggested by common sense and moderation.
7. For Young Children, the Power of Play-Based Learning
Children aren’t miniature adults, but a bias toward adult perspectives of childhood, with its attendant schedules and routines, has gradually exerted a stranglehold on our educational system nonetheless, suggests the author and early childhood educator Erika Christakis.
How can we let little kids be little while meeting the academic expectations of typical schools? A new analysis of 39 studies spanning several decades plots a middle path for educators, highlighting the way that play gently guided by adults, often called play-based learning, can satisfy both objectives.
Teachers of young students can have a “learning goal” in mind, but true play-based learning should incorporate wonder and exploration, be child-led when possible, and give students “freedom and choice over their actions and play behavior,” the researchers assert. Interrupt the flow of learning only when necessary: gently nudge students who might find activities too hard or too easy, for example. The playful approach improved early math and task-switching skills, compared with more traditional tactics that emphasize the explicit acquisition of skills, researchers concluded.
To get the pedagogy right, focus on relationships and ask questions that prompt wonder. “Rich, open-ended conversation is critical,” Christakis told Edutopia in a 2019 interview —children need time "to converse with each other playfully, to tell a rambling story to an adult, to listen to high-quality literature and ask meaningful questions.”
8. A Better Way to Learn Your ABCs
Getting young kids to match a letter to its corresponding sound is a first-order reading skill. To help students grasp that the letter c makes the plosive “cuh” sound in car , teachers often use pictures as scaffolds or have children write the letter repeatedly while making its sound.
A new study suggests that sound-letter pairs are learned much more effectively when whole-body movements are integrated into lessons. Five- and 6-year-olds in the study spent eight weeks practicing movements for each letter of the alphabet, slithering like a snake as they hissed the sibilant “sss” sound, for example. The researchers found that whole-body movement improved students’ ability to recall letter-sound pairings and doubled their ability to recognize hard-to-learn sounds—such as the difference between the sounds that c makes in cat and sauce —when compared with students who simply wrote and spoke letter-sound pairings at their desks.
The approach can make a big difference in the acquisition of a life-changing skill. Educators should “incorporate movement-based teaching” into their curricula, giving special consideration to “whole-body movement,” the researchers conclude.
9. Why Learners Push the Pause Button
Some of the benefits of videotaped lessons are so self-evident that they hide in plain sight.
When teaching students foundational concepts, a video lesson equipped with a simple pause button, for example, may allow students to reset cognitively as they reach their attentional limits, a 2022 study concluded. Pause buttons, like rewind buttons, are also crucial for learners who encounter “complex learning materials,” have “low prior knowledge,” or exhibit “low working memory capacities.”
Increasingly, the intrinsic value of targeted video lessons is borne out in research. In a feature on Edutopia , we looked at research suggesting that video learning supported self-pacing and flexible, 24/7 access to lessons; that questions embedded in videos improved academic performance, increased note-taking, and reduced stress (see these 2015 and 2020 studies); and that video versions of lectures tended to “make content more coherent ” to students.
To modernize their classrooms, teachers might record their most important lessons and make them available to students as study aids so they can pause, rewind, and review to their hearts’ content.
10. An Authoritative Study of Two High-Impact Learning Strategies
Spacing and retrieval practices are two of the most effective ways to drive long-term retention, confirms an authoritative 2022 review spanning hundreds of studies on the topic—and students should know how and why the strategies are effective.
In the review, researchers explain that students who prefer techniques like reading and rereading material in intense cram sessions are bound to fail. Instead, students should think of learning as a kind of “fitness routine” during which they practice recalling the material from memory and space out their learning sessions over time. Teaching kids to self-quiz or summarize from memory—and then try it again—is the crucial first step in disabusing students of their “false beliefs about learning.”
The effect sizes are hard to ignore. In a 2015 study , for example, third-grade students who studied a lesson about the sun and then reread the same material scored 53 percent on a follow-up test, the equivalent of a failing grade, while their peers who studied it once and then answered practice questions breezed by with an 87 percent score. And in a 2021 study , middle school students who solved a dozen math problems spread out across three weeks scored 21 percentage points higher on a follow-up math test than students who solved all 12 problems on the same day.
What education policy experts are watching for in 2022
Subscribe to the brown center on education policy newsletter, daphna bassok , daphna bassok nonresident senior fellow - governance studies , brown center on education policy @daphnabassok stephanie riegg cellini , stephanie riegg cellini nonresident senior fellow - governance studies , brown center on education policy michael hansen , michael hansen senior fellow - brown center on education policy , the herman and george r. brown chair - governance studies @drmikehansen douglas n. harris , douglas n. harris nonresident senior fellow - governance studies , brown center on education policy , professor and chair, department of economics - tulane university @douglasharris99 jon valant , and jon valant director - brown center on education policy , senior fellow - governance studies @jonvalant kenneth k. wong kenneth k. wong nonresident senior fellow - governance studies , brown center on education policy.
January 7, 2022
Entering 2022, the world of education policy and practice is at a turning point. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the day-to-day learning for children across the nation, bringing anxiety and uncertainty to yet another year. Contentious school-board meetings attract headlines as controversy swirls around critical race theory and transgender students’ rights. The looming midterm elections threaten to upend the balance of power in Washington, with serious implications for the federal education landscape. All of these issues—and many more—will have a tremendous impact on students, teachers, families, and American society as a whole; whether that impact is positive or negative remains to be seen.
Below, experts from the Brown Center on Education Policy identify the education stories that they’ll be following in 2022, providing analysis on how these issues could shape the learning landscape for the next 12 months—and possibly well into the future.
I will also be watching the Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking sessions and following any subsequent regulatory changes to federal student-aid programs. I expect to see changes to income-driven repayment plans and will be monitoring debates over regulations governing institutional and programmatic eligibility for federal student-loan programs. Notably, the Department of Education will be re-evaluating Gainful Employment regulations—put in place by the Obama administration and rescinded by the Trump administration—which tied eligibility for federal funding to graduates’ earnings and debt.
But the biggest and most concerning hole has been in the substitute teacher force —and the ripple effects on school communities have been broad and deep. Based on personal communications with Nicola Soares, president of Kelly Education , the largest education staffing provider in the country, the pandemic is exacerbating several problematic trends that have been quietly simmering for years. These are: (1) a growing reliance on long-term substitutes to fill permanent teacher positions; (2) a shrinking supply of qualified individuals willing to fill short-term substitute vacancies; and, (3) steadily declining fill rates for schools’ substitute requests. Many schools in high-need settings have long faced challenges with adequate, reliable substitutes, and the pandemic has turned these localized trouble spots into a widespread catastrophe. Though federal pandemic-relief funds could be used to meet the short-term weakness in the substitute labor market (and mainline teacher compensation, too ), this is an area where we sorely need more research and policy solutions for a permanent fix.
First, what’s to come of the vaccine for ages 0-4? This is now the main impediment to resuming in-person activity. This is the only large group that currently cannot be vaccinated. Also, outbreaks are triggering day-care closures, which has a significant impact on parents (especially mothers), including teachers and other school staff.
Second, will schools (and day cares) require the vaccine for the fall of 2022? Kudos to my hometown of New Orleans, which still appears to be the nation’s only district to require vaccination. Schools normally require a wide variety of other vaccines, and the COVID-19 vaccines are very effective. However, this issue is unfortunately going to trigger a new round of intense political conflict and opposition that will likely delay the end of the pandemic.
Third, will we start to see signs of permanent changes in schooling a result of COVID-19? In a previous post on this blog, I proposed some possibilities. There are some real opportunities before us, but whether we can take advantage of them depends on the first two questions. We can’t know about these long-term effects on schooling until we address the COVID-19 crisis so that people get beyond survival mode and start planning and looking ahead again. I’m hopeful, though not especially optimistic, that we’ll start to see this during 2022.
The CTC and universal pre-K top my list for 2022, but it’s a long list. I’ll also be watching the Supreme Court’s ruling on vouchers in Carson v. Makin , how issues like critical race theory and detracking play into the 2022 elections, and whether we start to see more signs of school/district innovation in response to COVID-19 and the recovery funds that followed.
Electoral dynamics will affect several important issues: the selection of state superintendents; the use of American Rescue Plan funds; the management of safe return to in-person learning for students; the integration of racial justice and diversity into curriculum; the growth of charter schools; and, above all, the extent to which education issues are leveraged to polarize rather than heal the growing divisions among the American public.
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November 7, 2023
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The Evolution of Technology in K–12 Classrooms: 1659 to Today
Alexander Huls is a Toronto-based writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times , Popular Mechanics , Esquire , The Atlantic and elsewhere.
In the 21st century, it can feel like advanced technology is changing the K–12 classroom in ways we’ve never seen before. But the truth is, technology and education have a long history of evolving together to dramatically change how students learn.
With more innovations surely headed our way, why not look back at how we got to where we are today, while looking forward to how educators can continue to integrate new technologies into their learning?
DISCOVER: Special education departments explore advanced tech in their classrooms.
Using Technology in the K–12 Classroom: A History
1659: magic lantern.
- Inventor: Christiaan Huygens
- A Brief History: An ancestor of the slide projector, the magic lantern projected glass slides with light from oil lamps or candles. In the 1680s, the technology was brought to the education space to show detailed anatomical illustrations, which were difficult to sketch on a chalkboard.
- Interesting Fact: Huygens initially regretted his creation, thinking it was too frivolous.
- Inventor: Nicolas-Jacques Conté
- A Brief History : Versions of the pencil can be traced back hundreds of years, but what’s considered the modern pencil is credited to Conté, a scientist in Napoleon Bonaparte’s army. It made its impact on the classroom, however, when it began to be mass produced in the 1900s.
- Interesting Fact: The Aztecs used a form of graphite pencil in the 13th century.
- Inventor: James Pillans
- A Brief History: Pillans — a headmaster at a high school in Edinburgh, Scotland — created the first front-of-class chalkboard, or “blackboard,” to better teach his students geography with large maps. Prior to his creation, educators worked with students on smaller, individual pieces of wood or slate. In the 1960s, the creation was upgraded to a green board, which became a familiar fixture in every classroom.
- Interesting Fact: Before chalkboards were commercially manufactured, some were made do-it-yourself-style with ingredients like pine board, egg whites and charred potatoes.
1888: Ballpoint Pen
- Inventory: John L. Loud
- A Brief History: John L. Loud invented and patented the first ballpoint pen after seeking to create a tool that could write on leather. It was not a commercial success. Fifty years later, following the lapse of Loud’s patent, Hungarian journalist László Bíró invented a pen with a quick-drying special ink that wouldn’t smear thanks to a rolling ball in its nib.
- Interesting Fact: When ballpoint pens debuted in the U.S., they were so popular that Gimbels, the department store selling them, made $81 million in today’s money within six months.
LEARN MORE: Logitech Pen works with Chromebooks to combine digital and physical learning.
1950s: Overhead Projector
- Inventor: Roger Appeldorn
- A Brief History: Overhead projects were used during World War II for mission briefings. However, 3M employee Appeldorn is credited with creating not only a projectable transparent film, but also the overhead projectors that would find a home in classrooms for decades.
- Interesting Fact: Appeldorn’s creation is the predecessor to today’s bright and efficient laser projectors .
- Inventor: Chester Carlson
- A Brief History: Because of his arthritis, patent attorney and inventor Carlson wanted to create a less painful alternative to making carbon copies. Between 1938 and 1947, working with The Haloid Photographic Company, Carlson perfected the process of electrophotography, which led to development of the first photocopy machines.
- Interesting Fact: Haloid and Carlson named their photocopying process xerography, which means “dry writing” in Greek. Eventually, Haloid renamed its company (and its flagship product line) Xerox .
1967: Handheld Calculator
- Inventor: Texas Instruments
- A Brief History: As recounted in our history of the calculator , Texas Instruments made calculators portable with a device that weighed 45 ounces and featured a small keyboard with 18 keys and a visual display of 12 decimal digits.
- Interesting Fact: The original 1967 prototype of the device can be found in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History .
1981: The Osborne 1 Laptop
- Inventor: Adam Osborne, Lee Felsenstein
- A Brief History: Osborne, a computer book author, teamed up with computer engineer Felsenstein to create a portable computer that would appeal to general consumers. In the process, they provided the technological foundation that made modern one-to-one devices — like Chromebooks — a classroom staple.
- Interesting Fact: At 24.5 pounds, the Osborne 1 was about as big and heavy as a sewing machine, earning it the current classification of a “luggable” computer, rather than a laptop.
1990: World Wide Web
- Inventor: Tim Berners-Lee
- A Brief History: In the late 1980s, British scientist Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web to enable information sharing between scientists and academics. It wasn’t long before the Web could connect anyone, anywhere to a wealth of information, and it was soon on its way to powering the modern classroom.
- Interesting Fact: The first web server Berners-Lee created was so new, he had to put a sign on the computer that read, “This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER IT DOWN!”
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What Technology Is Used in Today’s K–12 Classrooms?
Technology has come so far that modern classrooms are more technologically advanced than many science labs were two decades ago. Students have access to digital textbooks, personal devices , collaborative cloud-based tools , and interactive whiteboards . Emerging technologies now being introduced to K–12 classrooms include voice assistants, virtual reality devices and 3D printers.
Perhaps the most important thing about ed tech in K–12 isn’t what the technology is, but how it’s used.
How to Integrate Technology into K–12 Classrooms
The first step to integrating technology into the K–12 classroom is figuring out which solution to integrate , given the large variety of tools available to educators. That variety comes with benefits — like the ability to align tech with district objectives and grade level — but also brings challenges.
“It’s difficult to know how to choose the appropriate digital tool or resource,” says Judi Harris, professor and Pavey Family Chair in Educational Technology at the William & Mary School of Education. “Teachers need some familiarity with the tools so that they understand the potential advantages and disadvantages.”
Judi Harris Professor and Pavey Family Chair in Educational Technology, William and Mary School of Education
K–12 IT leaders should also be careful not to focus too much on technology implementation at the expense of curriculum-based learning needs. “What districts need to ask themselves is not only whether they’re going to adopt a technology, but how they’re going to adopt it,” says Royce Kimmons, associate professor of instructional psychology and technology at Brigham Young University.
In other words, while emerging technologies may be exciting, acquiring them without proper consideration of their role in improving classroom learning will likely result in mixed student outcomes. For effective integration, educators should ask themselves, in what ways would the tech increase or support a student’s productivity and learning outcomes? How will it improve engagement?
Integrating ed tech also requires some practical know-how. “Teachers need to be comfortable and confident with the tools they ask students to use,” says Harris.
Professional development for new technologies is crucial, as are supportive IT teams, tech providers with generous onboarding programs and technology integration specialists. Harris also points to initiatives like YES: Youth and Educators Succeeding, a nonprofit organization that prepares students to act as resident experts and classroom IT support.
KEEP READING: What is the continued importance of professional development in K–12 education?
But as educational technology is rolled out and integrated, it’s important to keep academic goals in sight. “We should never stop focusing on how to best understand and help the learner to achieve those learning objectives,” says Harris.
That should continue to be the case as the technology timeline unfolds, something Harris has witnessed firsthand during her four decades in the field. “It’s been an incredible thing to watch and to participate in,” she notes. “The great majority of teachers are extremely eager to learn and to do anything that will help their students learn better.”
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Hanmei Hoffman and her husband Derrick Hoffman farm in Greeley, Colorado, where most of their produce is sold to schools. Here she's moving boxes of cucumbers from a refrigerated container and loading them onto a waiting truck to deliver them to schools along Colorado's Front Range. Rae Solomon/Harvest Public Media hide caption
Shots - Health News
Growing 'farm to school' movement serves up fresh, local produce to kids, harvest public media.
October 24, 2023 Some school meal programs buy fruit and veggies from local farms, improving kids' diets and supporting the agricultural economy. A boost in federal funds to expand these efforts runs out next year.
Shannon Vasconcelos works for College Coach, a division of child care operator Bright Horizons that provides college admissions advising as a benefit for employees of client companies. Kirk Carapezza/WGBH hide caption
A new benefit at top companies: College admissions counseling
October 23, 2023 A growing number of companies say it's a way to keep workers. Critics call it another leg up for families that can already afford counseling.
Union academic workers and supporters march and picket at the UCLA campus amid a statewide strike by nearly 48,000 University of California unionized workers on Nov. 15, 2022, in Los Angeles. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption
UAW vs. the Detroit Big 3 automakers
Uaw members aren't all assembling cars. more and more are unionized grad students.
October 19, 2023 At its peak, the United Auto Workers union had 1.5 million members. Today, the "A" in UAW might as well include academia, as roughly 100,000 of the union's 383,000 members work in higher education.
The latest college campus freebies? Naloxone and fentanyl test strips
October 18, 2023 The teen fentanyl crisis is following students onto college campuses. Here's what students and staff are doing about it.
A Scholastic Book Fair banner pictured outside a school in Queens, New York. Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images hide caption
U.S. book bans are taking a toll on a beloved tradition: Scholastic Book Fairs
October 17, 2023 Scholastic created a separate fair category for diverse books, which it says is to help schools navigate the complexities of book bans. Librarians accused the company of caving to censorship.
A UNC student group gives away naloxone amid campus overdoses
October 16, 2023 At UNC-Chapel Hill, three students died from fentanyl poisoning in just the last two years. A student-led group is working to make overdose medication more available.
7 surprising ways the public library can help you save money
October 16, 2023 Baking pans, legal help, language classes and more — libraries can provide so much more than books. See if your local branch offers these free or discounted resources and services.
Columbia University closed campus to the public ahead of pro-Israel and pro-Gaza rallies on Thursday. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption
U.S. students are clashing over the Israel-Hamas war. What can colleges do?
October 14, 2023 The conflict has heightened tensions on U.S. campuses. What is the role and responsibility of colleges right now?
'curlfriends: new in town' reminds us that there can be positives of middle school.
October 13, 2023 The first volume in author-artist Sharee Miller's debut YA graphic novel series reminds us of the many possibilities and excitements interwoven within the challenging years of early teenagerhood.
Darryl George will be sent to an alternative school program, from Oct. 12 through Nov. 29 for "failure to comply" with multiple campus and classroom regulations, the Barbers Hill High School principal said in a letter. Michael Wyke/AP hide caption
A Black Texas student suspended for his hairstyle is shifted to an alternative school
October 12, 2023 Darryl George, a junior at Barbers Hill High School, who was suspended for wearing a natural hairstyle, will be placed in a disciplinary alternative education program through Nov. 29.
An ACT Assessment preparation book is seen in 2014 in Springfield, Ill. High school students' scores on the ACT college admissions test for 2023 dropped to their lowest in more than three decades, showing a lack of student preparedness for college-level coursework, the nonprofit organization that administers the test said Wednesday. Seth Perlman/AP hide caption
ACT test scores for U.S. students drop to a 30-year low
October 12, 2023 Scores have fallen for six consecutive years, and the trend accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The average scores in reading, science and math showed test-takers weren't ready for college.
HBCUs have been underfunded by $12 billion, federal officials reveal
October 9, 2023 Federal officials have told 16 states that they've been underfunding their Historically Black Colleges and Universities by some $12 billion. ( Story aired on All Things Considered on Oct. 6, 2023 .)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot has made "school choice" one of his top issues for the state. A special legislative session starting Monday will take up the issue of school vouchers for the second time this year, plus controversial border enforcement measures. Sue Ogrocki/AP hide caption
Controversial issues to come up in Texas special legislative session
The texas newsroom.
October 9, 2023 School vouchers and border security are the focus of a special legislative session beginning this week in the Texas Statehouse. Both are key issues for the state's Republican governor.
The Week in Cartoons Nov. 6-10
Med schools embrace climate lessons.
Schools training the nation’s future physicians are incorporating climate change into courses, preparing students for challenges posed by the planet’s shifting patterns.
Steven Ross Johnson Nov. 6, 2023
The War on College Campuses
The war in Gaza has compounded distrust about and within the higher education community in America – with little prospect in sight for dissipating the toxic environment.
Lauren Camera Nov. 2, 2023
The Week in Cartoons Oct. 23-27
Academia Must Condemn Hamas Attacks
The barbaric attacks force us to again confront the type of world in which we want to live. Academia must choose morality and human rights.
Eric J. Gertler Oct. 12, 2023
The Week in Cartoons Oct. 9-13
Schools Stock Overdose Reversal Meds
More than 30 states have laws allowing schools or school employees to carry, store or administer naloxone, but concerns about being a 'bad school' have fueled a reluctance among some officials to stock it.
KFF Health News Oct. 4, 2023
Best States for Equality in Test Scores
A U.S. News analysis shows where scores on key pre-college tests varied the least across racial and ethnic groups.
Julia Haines Oct. 3, 2023
The Week in Cartoons Oct. 2-6
An averted government shutdown has lawmakers looking for a budget deal as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy fights to hold on to his post.
Biden’s End-Around on Student Loan Debt
The Education Department announced a new plan to provide debt cancellation for potentially five groups of student borrowers after broader loan forgiveness was halted by the Supreme Court.
Lauren Camera Sept. 29, 2023
Articles on Special education
Displaying 1 - 20 of 38 articles.
Daily report cards can decrease disruptions for children with ADHD
Gregory Fabiano , Florida International University
Achieving full inclusion in schools: Lessons from New Brunswick
Melissa Dockrill Garrett , University of New Brunswick and Andrea Garner , University of New Brunswick
Pandemic shut down many special education services – how parents can help their kids catch up
Mitchell Yell , University of South Carolina
Police response to 5-year -old boy who left school was problematic from the start
Elizabeth K. Anthony , Arizona State University
Decades after special education law and key ruling, updates still languish
Charles J. Russo , University of Dayton
ADHD: Medication alone doesn’t improve classroom learning for children – new research
William E. Pelham Jr. , Florida International University
Students of color in special education are less likely to get the help they need – here are 3 ways teachers can do better
Mildred Boveda , Penn State
Students with disabilities are not getting help to address lost opportunities
John McKenna , UMass Lowell
5 tips to help preschoolers with special needs during the pandemic
Michele L. Stites , University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Susan Sonnenschein , University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Children on individual education plans: What parents need to know, and 4 questions they should ask
Tori Trajanovski , York University, Canada
3 ways music educators can help students with autism develop their emotions
Dawn R. Mitchell White , University of South Florida
‘Generation C’: Why investing in early childhood is critical after COVID-19
David Philpott , Memorial University of Newfoundland
Federal spending covers only 8% of public school budgets
David S. Knight , University of Washington
Coronavirus: Distance learning poses challenges for some families of children with disabilities
Jess Whitley , L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa
How lockdown could affect South Africa’s children with special needs
Athena Pedro , University of the Western Cape ; Dr Bronwyn Mthimunye , University of the Western Cape , and Ella Bust , University of the Western Cape
5 tips to help parents navigate the unique needs of children with autism learning from home
Amanda Webster , University of Wollongong
Ontario’s high school e-learning still hasn’t addressed students with special needs
Pam Millett , York University, Canada
Excluded and refused enrolment: report shows illegal practices against students with disabilities in Australian schools
Kathy Cologon , Macquarie University
The British government is failing pupils with special needs – here’s how to change that
Mel Ainscow , University of Manchester
Why I made an app to document the seclusion and restraint of special education students
Gabriela Marcu , University of Michigan
- Children with disability
- Inclusive education
- K-12 education
- Learning disability
- Special education services
- Special needs
Senior Lecturer, Department of Educational Studies, Macquarie University
Associate Professor, Tarleton State University
Professor of participation and learning support, The Open University
Assistant Professor of Economics, The University of Texas at Austin
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Memphis
Associate Professor of Economics, Carleton University
Assistant Professor of Special Education, UMass Boston
Senior Research Fellow, University of Warwick
Assistant Professor of Special Education, Boston University
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney
Assistant Professor, Nazarbayev University
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Best Education Articles of 2021: Our 21 Most Shared Stories This Year About Students, Learning Recovery, Mental Health, School Politics & More
It feels as if schools have now entered a third phase of the pandemic filled with child vaccines, adult boosters, rolling quarantines and learning recovery efforts — and of course mounting questions about the infectious new Omicron variant. If the 2019 school year was defined by emergency measures and campus closures, and the 2020 school year was about triaging the best possible classroom plans for unvaccinated school populations, the 2021 school year has thus far been one steeped in hope and urgency: Hope that vaccines will bring an end to the global health emergency and allow classrooms to safely return to normal, and urgency surrounding the students who have been pushed off track over the past 20 months — from core skills to key milestones to college and career goals.
Our most widely circulated education coverage this year focused largely on how school is still looking a whole lot different today than it did two years ago, how educators and policymakers are both recognizing the need for urgent learning recovery efforts, and how emerging political fights over schools and curriculum are straining an already stretched system.
These were our 21 most shared and debated articles of 2021:
Exclusive Data: An Inside Look at the Spy Tech That Followed Kids Home for Remote Learning — and Now Won’t Leave
Investigation: When the pandemic forced Minneapolis students into remote learning, district officials partnered with Gaggle, a digital surveillance company that uses artificial intelligence and a team of content moderators to track the online behaviors of millions of kids across the U.S. every day. Now, public records obtained by The 74 offer an unprecedented look at how the Minneapolis school district deployed a controversial security tool that saw rapid national growth during the pandemic but carries significant civil rights and privacy concerns. The data highlight how Gaggle puts children under relentless digital surveillance long after classes end for the day. In Minneapolis, officials say the tool helps identify youth at risk of suicide. But some worry that rummaging through students’ personal files and conversations on their school-issued Google and Microsoft accounts could backfire. Read Mark Keierleber’s full report .
— Read Our Previous Coverage: ‘Don’t get Gaggled’ — Minneapolis school district spends big on student surveillance tool, raising ire after terminating its police contract ( Read more )
With Up to 9 Grade Levels Per Class, Can Schools Handle the Fallout From COVID’s K-Shaped Recession?
Learning Loss: Wealthy newcomers from expensive cities like New York and San Francisco propelled housing prices in Austin, Texas, into the stratosphere in 2020, pushing out families of modest means and sending demographic shockwaves through the area’s schools. It’s just one manifestation of the pandemic’s K-shaped recession, a downturn barely felt by the affluent people at the top of the K but devastating to the people at the bottom. As schools prepared to reopen this past fall, research was showing that COVID had put the most disadvantaged students even further behind while propelling privileged children ahead and hollowing out the middle. Meaning the span of academic mastery in individual classrooms — seven grade levels in “normal” times — had widened even further, to as many as nine grade levels. In this chapter of The 74’s series examining the link between the pandemic’s economic turmoil and challenges in classrooms, Beth Hawkins takes you inside an Austin school that’s poised to meet the needs of its “bookend students” — the kids furthest ahead and behind — and may be a model for addressing the COVID classroom crisis. Read our full dispatch from Texas — and see other chapters from our K-shaped report:
— Early Education: D.C.’s missing students and the rush to avert a COVID classroom crisis ( Read more )
— School Funding: Will fallout from COVID’s K-shaped recession finally fix Delaware’s Jim Crow-era school funding rules? ( Read more )
— Prepared For the Crisis: Recession, recovery & robotics — Can CTE and Reno’s reinvented schools avert the COVID classroom crisis? ( Read more )
— Rebuilding Towards Equity: Trailblazing leader was hired to fix Colorado Springs schools. Will doubling down on his reforms avert crisis? ( Read more )
— 74 Explains: WATCH — How COVID’s K-shaped recession could widen achievement gaps:
— Inside Our Special Report: The fallout from the pandemic’s K-Shaped recession may be felt by students for years ( See our full series )
Chaos Theory: Amid Pandemic Recovery Efforts, School Leaders Fear Critical Race Furor Will ‘Paralyze’ Teachers
Critical Race Theory: Calls for teachers to wear body cameras, mountains of records requests and threats against school administrators are among the flashpoints in an emerging new front in the nation’s culture wars, as parents and other opponents of critical race theory push back against its perceived influence in the classroom . As of June, when this feature was originally published, nine states had banned implementation of the once-obscure theory, which in the minds of many encompasses a host of racial and equity-related initiatives, from culturally responsive teaching to social-emotional learning. For many teachers, the backlash felt like a new kind of McCarthyism, where they fear being harassed, fined or fired for a wide array of classroom activities associated with the examination of structural racism in America. “It’s a huge distraction at a time when we can’t afford a distraction,” Dan Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, told reporter Linda Jacobson ahead of the start of the 2021 school year. “This has been a year the majority of students were not exposed to the kind of learning they should have been exposed to. Now you’re going to paralyze teachers because they are afraid to teach.” Read our special report .
— From July: On the Front Lines — From security guards to twitter breaks, how school leaders are responding to an unsettling season of public outrage ( Read more )
How White Extremists Teach Kids to Hate
School Safety: Five days after extremists used the fringe video gaming platform Dlive to livestream a mob attack on the U.S. Capitol in January, a youthful white nationalist logged on to the site and offered his take about the future of a movement he helped create — a radical agenda, experts warn, that’s targeted at teens . As the Capitol riot reawakens many Americans to the persistent reality of white supremacists among us, experts on extremism are sounding the alarm about the ways alt-right groups weaponize video games and streaming platforms to recruit and radicalize impressionable young minds. For teenagers whose isolation has been heightened by the pandemic, the desire for connection makes them particularly vulnerable, particularly in the current political climate. But experts say parents and educators can intervene before it’s too late. Read more Mark Keierleber’s report .
Fearing a ‘Second Pandemic’ of Student Trauma, School Leaders Are Doubling Down on Mental Health First Aid Training
Mental Health: Between April and October of 2020, emergency room visits rose 24 percent for kids ages 5 to 11 and 31 percent for ages 12 to 17 over the year before, a trend experts attribute to pandemic stressors adding to the already mounting crisis of anxiety-related disorders in young people. As students then returned to in-person learning last winter, these symptoms began showing up in classrooms — and teachers became the first line of defense . Fearing what this might mean for the start of the 2021 school year, educators began signing up for Mental Health First Aid certification over the summer. The course, administered by nonprofits including Communities in Schools, reminds adults nationwide that they aren’t “superheroes” — but they can guide young people toward getting help with a mental health challenge while decreasing the stigma and judgment around the struggles many are facing in the pandemic’s wake. In the first installment of a special three-part series produced in partnership with Texas Tribune, Bekah McNeel looked at how this training helped educators at one Texas school — as well as other teachers around the country — deal with their students’ often hidden mental health issues. Read our special report .
— Also in This Series: How a mental health ‘desert’ in Texas became a beacon of counseling services for thousands of children and families ( Read more )
— Through Students’ Eyes: Second graders ‘show’ their pandemic challenges through art — and ‘tell’ how their teacher helped them stay strong ( Read more )
Social-Emotional Learning or ‘White Supremacy with a Hug’? Yale Official’s Departure Sparks a Racial Reckoning
SEL: For seven years, Dena Simmons drove efforts to make the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence’s popular social-emotional learning program, RULER, more culturally relevant for students with life experiences like hers — a Black girl from the Bronx. Her message resonated with educators across the country in districts struggling with the racial mismatch between teachers and students. “Dena’s star was certainly on the rise … because she brought a perspective in content that was transformational,” Andre Perry of the Brookings Institution told reporter Linda Jacobson. But Marc Brackett, the Yale center’s director and a well-known guru on the role of emotions in learning, saw things differently. Emails shared with The 74 and interviews with Simmons and other former staff members at the center show Brackett balked at efforts to include political figures, such as former President Barack Obama, and current texts, such as a book about a transgender boy, into RULER’s lessons. Such approaches, Brackett warned, could get the program “banned.” Simmons’s frustrations peaked in 2020, when she became the target of racial slurs during an online event meant to foster racial healing, and she resigned in January. The clash at the Yale center — and the response to her departure — tell a larger story about what some see as a pressing need to address historical discrimination and others criticize as efforts to politicize the SEL curriculum. As one leader in the world of social-emotional learning said, “There is a measure of urgency that was not present two years ago.” Read our full investigation .
Texas Teachers Go Door to Door as Kids Disappear From Remote Classes
Remote Learning: Middle school teacher Brandee Brandt pounded on the door of a San Antonio apartment for the third time. “It’s Ms. Brandt! Davey, are you there?” she called. Finally, Davey’s older brother cracked open the door. “You really aren’t going away are you?” he said, trying to sound annoyed as a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. “You know we’re not giving up!” Brandt replied. During the first half of the 2020-21 school year, teachers from Rawlinson Middle School visited around 100 homes , seeking out kids in urgent need of support and engagement. With half the school’s 1,350 students learning remotely during that timeframe, and thus at a higher risk of chronic absence, the teachers come knocking at the first sign of trouble. “I felt a sense of urgency,” Principal Sherry Mireles said, “If they’re not getting their schooling, it’s our responsibility. “I’m not going to allow a 12-, 13-, 14-year-old to drop out. Not on my watch.” Bekah McNeel rode along this spring and has the story .
— The COVID Warriors: See our special series on the educators going above and beyond to save the pandemic generation at The74Million.org/COVIDWarriors .
How Are States Spending Their COVID Education Relief Funds?
School Funding: Asked by the U.S. Education Department to identify the top issues facing students and schools in the wake of the pandemic, state education officials are remarkably consistent: Their plans for spending their share of federal COVID relief aid for education demonstrate a strong need to expand learning opportunities and address students’ social and emotional needs. But an analysis by FutureEd, a think tank at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, finds that states that have submitted to the department are pursuing those goals in a variety of ways. Contributors Brooke LePage and Phyllis W. Jordan of FutureEd break down how, from tutoring and mental health supports to universal pre-K, museum trips — even a student film festival — states are looking to spend their COVID ed relief funds. Read the essay, and click through our interactive maps .
A Better Equation: New Pandemic Data Supports Acceleration Rather than Remediation to Make Up for COVID Learning Loss
Learning Acceleration: In a report released last May, researchers offered some advice for education leaders . As they decide how to spend their federal stimulus dollars and address learning losses in the school year to come, they should consider the lackluster impact of remediation — the typical gap-closing practice of making up missed material before moving on — and new evidence suggesting there’s a better way. TNTP and Zearn analyzed the experiences of 2 million students during the current academic year and found that, on Zearn’s math app, classrooms featuring acceleration — a strategy in which students are challenged by grade-level lessons and instructed in specific missing skills as needed — saw dramatic growth. Students receiving this kind of support completed over 25 percent more grade-level work than they would have using remediation. By contrast, students in remediation continued to struggle. Beth Hawkins talks to the team about their findings .
Long-Term NAEP Scores for 13-Year-Olds Drop for First Time Since Testing Began in 1970s — ‘A Matter for National Concern,’ Experts Say
Student Achievement: Over the past few years, education observers have grown accustomed to downbeat news from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, with multiple rounds of the test pointing to largely stagnant scores across various subjects. The release this year of results from NAEP’s 2020 long-term trends assessment offers revelations that are startling as well as discouraging: For the first time in the half-century history of that test, reading and math scores for 13-year-olds significantly declined . Black and Hispanic students in that age group both lost ground in math since the test was last given, in 2012, and the lower performance of 9-year-old girls opened up a gender gap with boys that did not exist nine years ago. Worst of all were the plunging scores of low-performing students — especially those scoring at the 10th percentile, who declined an astonishing 12 points in eighth-grade math. “It’s really a matter for national concern, this high percentage of students who are not reaching even what I think we’d consider the lowest levels of proficiency,” said George Bohrnstedt, a senior vice president at the American Institutes for Research. Read Kevin Mahnken’s full report .
From Tragedy to Triumph to Failure: How 9/11 Helped Pass No Child Left Behind — And Fueled its Eventual Demise
History: Two decades have passed since the morning that changed America forever — a morning that found President George W. Bush in a Florida elementary school, reading with students and attempting to jump-start the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act . Within months of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, a collective sense of grief and purpose led the federal government to declare war on terrorism, even as it pledged to provide an excellent education for every child. But while it is generally acknowledged that Congress passed the landmark legislation partially as a demonstration of national unity, some believe the Bush administration’s emphasis on the global war on terror set back the mission of education reform, as attention waned and bipartisanship dissolved. “That whole sweet thing that was put together in the ’80s and came together in various states and then saw this incredible peak in Washington in 2001 — all of that largely fell apart because of 9/11, and the failure of everyone on all sides to hold it together in the wake of 9/11,” former Bush adviser Sandy Kress told The 74’s Kevin Mahnken. Read our full feature .
Can Right Answers Be Wrong? Latest Clash Over ‘White Supremacy Culture’ Unfolds in Unlikely Arena: Math Class
Math Skills: A document outlining how to be an “antiracist math educator” has sparked criticism for promoting the idea that focusing on getting students to produce the right answer is one way that “white supremacy culture” shows up in math class. Educators drawing inspiration from the document, part of a larger math equity project at The Education Trust-West — funded with $1 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — say the emphasis on accurate calculations shuts down students’ thinking process and turns math into a competition. They say the middle grades especially are a period when many Black and Hispanic students turn off math, resulting in persistent racial disparities in advanced high school classes. Making math more culturally relevant by linking concepts to socioeconomic issues, they say, can help students see the reasons for math in their lives. But some Black scholars think the document only reinforces teachers’ bias against students of color. “The workbook’s ultimate message is clear: Black kids are bad at math, so why don’t we just excuse them from really learning it,” Erec Smith of York College of Pennsylvania told reporter Linda Jacobson. And even math educators devoted to increasing equity said the document can widen divides at a time of political polarization. Read our full report .
One Fate, Two Fates. Red States, Blue States: New Data Reveal a 432-Hour In-Person Learning Gap Produced by the Politics of Pandemic Schooling
School Closures: 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 of face-to-face instruction for those students. The numbers, provided to The 74 by the school calendar tracking website Burbio, deliver a cumulative view of schooling decisions throughout COVID-19 and reinforce evidence of a partisan divide long highlighted by researchers. Averaged from September through May, states that voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election gave students the chance to learn in the classroom 74.5 percent of the time, compared to 37.6 percent of the time in states that voted for Joe Biden. The full impact of that disparity remains largely unmeasured, says Chad Aldeman, policy director at Georgetown University’s Edunomics Lab. But he suspects the effects on students could be vast. “Time is a rough proxy for learning,” he told The 74’s Asher Lehrer-Small. “So lost instructional time is likely to lead to lost learning.” Read our full report .
‘Equal Treatment, not Special Treatment’: Conservative Supreme Court Justices Appear Ready to Strike Down Religious Barriers to Public School Choice Funding
SCOTUS: Maine allows private religious schools to participate in its tuition benefit program for families that don’t have a public high school in their community — except for schools that seek to instill religious beliefs in their students. That caveat is at the heart of Carson v. Makin , a school choice case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in December . Plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Bindas, with the libertarian Institute for Justice, argued that the state is discriminating against religion. He is representing two families that were told they could not receive a tuition benefit because they wanted their children to attend religious schools. Based on the justices’ questioning, experts said, states would likely no longer be able to defend such rules after the court rules next year. “Very few of the justices paid any attention to the longstanding principle at the heart of American constitutional tradition — that taxpayers should not be forced to fund religious education,” said Alex Luchenitser of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Read Linda Jacobson’s full report on the arguments.
Districts Are Receiving Billions for Academic Recovery, But Some Parents Struggle to Find Tutoring for Their Children
Personalized Learning: Research showing that so-called high-dosage tutoring could give struggling students the academic boost they need to recover from the pandemic created a buzz earlier this year. Parent advocacy groups and policymakers expected to see districts use relief funds on such programs. But nearly halfway through the school year, some districts aren’t using their American Rescue Plan aid to offer tutoring, according to reviews from Burbio and the Center on Reinventing Public Education. Others limit services to specific students or have struggled to find enough tutors. That leaves parents such as Aida Mieja of Los Angeles to pick up extra shifts cleaning offices in order to pay $470 for a private tutor for her ninth grade daughter. In districts such as Nashville, leaders signed up about half the number of tutors they had hoped to recruit this fall. “It’s this giant puzzle,” Keri Randolph, the district’s chief strategy officer, told reporter Linda Jacobson. Tutoring, she said, is “hot and sexy right now, but people have no idea how hard it is.”
— Research: Study shows Chicago tutoring program delivered huge math gains — and personalization may be the key ( Read more )
Genocide ‘In My Own Backyard’: North Carolina Educators Ignored State’s Eugenics History Long Before Critical Race Theory Pushback
Curriculum: Even as a young girl, the shadow of a dark history hung over Orlice Hodges. At 7 years old, her grandmother offered an explanation — chilling, in retrospect — of what happened to young women taken away by social workers: They went to Black Mountain to get “fixed.” As she got older, the North Carolina woman would learn the awful meaning. “’Fixed’ meant sterilization,” said Hodges, who was told by family members that her own aunt had been a victim. From 1929 to 1974, North Carolina’s eugenics program sterilized over 7,600 people — in its latter years, disproportionately targeting Black women. To this day, reports Asher Lehrer-Small, none of the state’s 10 largest school districts include the episode in social studies curricula , despite a two-decades-old recommendation from a governor-appointed committee calling on the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to do just that. An exhibit that included first-person accounts and victims’ medical records commissioned “to ensure that no one will forget what the State of North Carolina once perpetrated upon its own citizens” toured colleges and universities for a few years in the early 2000s before being packed away in a state office basement. That North Carolina’s K-12 schools have almost without exception ignored this tragic history offers a compelling example of how knowledge of racially motivated, government-inflicted harm was suppressed long before the recent debate over critical race theory. Read the full report .
Shipwreck Camp Delivers A Treasure Trove of Science With the Search for Sunken Boats in Lake Erie
STEM: About 6,000 ships have sunk in the Great Lakes in the last 150 years, costing thousands of lives and leaving cargo under water. Those wrecks are now providing a big hook for a summer camp to teach science to teenagers drawn in by the chance of seeing one up close . Case Western Reserve University’s Shipwreck Camp taught students about waves, the lakes, shipping history and how to search for artifacts this summer before taking students to the lake to search for the Adventure and W.R. Hanna, two ships that sank just offshore around 1900. “Shipwreck camp is a thinly veiled exposure to Great Lakes science and technology,” says James Bader, head of the center that runs the camp. “We don’t hide it very well.” Patrick O’Donnell visits the camp — and brought back these photos and videos from the middle of Lake Erie .
— Summer STEM: Saturday science lessons in the park, as Cleveland school district sneaks learning into hands-on experiments at festival ( Read more )
Will the Tea Party of 2022 Emerge from the Debate over Schools? Virginia Election Offers GOP Template for Midterms
EDlection: It took weeks for number-crunchers in both parties to pull apart meaningful conclusions from November’s gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey. But the races — especially in Virginia, where a well-liked Democrat was denied a second term in a state that Joe Biden won by 10 points last year — have made a few things clear. One is that education, an issue that voters have overwhelmingly trusted Democrats to manage in years past, could be a major vulnerability for the party as the 2022 midterms approach . The other is that, with the midterms now less than a year away, both parties have significant incentives to seize the initiative on K-12 schools. The GOP, which appears to have harnessed public outrage over COVID-related closures and school equity initiatives, has already announced plans to make a national education pitch with a proposed “parents’ bill of rights,” and polling indicates that their base hasn’t been this animated about the state of schools in recent memory. “In many ways, the critical race theory debate of 2021 is just the latest version of the death panel conversation from Obamacare, or the Willie Horton story of 1988,” political scientist Stephen Farnsworth told The 74’s Kevin Mahnken. “The question is whether this can be weaponized to benefit Republicans.” Read our full report .
With Nearly Half of Parents Expected to Forgo Child COVID Shots, Schools Brace for New Wave of Vaccine Hesitancy
Vaccines: Now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has green-lit a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, schools are bracing for a new source of tension: In poll after poll, nearly half of parents say they do not want their kids to get it . As 74 contributor Greg Toppo writes, that could mean new skirmishes in schools already divided over social distancing and mask wearing. Even requiring the vaccine might not settle the dispute: An October poll found that 46 percent of parents simply wouldn’t send their child to school if COVID shots were required. The sources of vaccine hesitancy range from risk assessment — many parents aren’t especially worried their children will get seriously sick from coronavirus — to fears of some Black parents based on the nation’s history of mistreating research subjects in their communities. But many education experts say that without vaccination, children are likely to spend more time in quarantine, which could exacerbate learning loss. Read the full story .
New Federal Data Confirms Pandemic’s Blow to K-12 Enrollment, With Drop of 1.5 Million Students; Pre-K Experiences 22 Percent Decline
Disenrollment: Preliminary data released in June by the National Center for Education Statistics show that public school enrollment dropped 3 percent in 2020-21 from the year before . The sizable decline — about 1.5 million students, compared with 2019-20’s total population of 51.1 million — was felt across the country, with the biggest decreases in Puerto Rico (minus 5.51 percent), Mississippi and Vermont (tied with minus 5.02 percent). The drop was concentrated heavily among the youngest children: Kindergarten enrollment fell by 9 percent, pre-K by an astonishing 22 percent, even as the high school ranks thinned by just .4 percent. Most of those young learners are expected to return to in-person classrooms, but Robin Lake, head of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, said schools and districts need to prepare now to meet academic and social-emotional needs that had been deferred in the interim. “These kids are owed a lot in terms of the time they’ve missed learning things, playing with other kids, all of that stuff,” she told The 74’s Kevin Mahnken. “So we’re encouraging school districts to put those kinds of supports in place this summer and try to reach as many kids as possible to address some of those foundational skills.” Read the full report .
‘Oregon Trail’ at 50: How Three Teachers Created the Computer Game That Inspired — and Diverted — Generations of Student
Games: If you’re of a certain age, chances are you encountered the computer game The Oregon Trail sometime during your school years — you know, the one where you light out in a covered wagon for Oregon’s Willamette Valley, beset by bandits, bad weather and, of course, dysentery. The game now exists in 14 languages and so revolutionized computer gaming that it earned a place in the World Video Game Hall of Fame. It’s a highly improbable trajectory for a game launched in 1971 — 50 years ago today — five years before the first personal computers even came on the market. The Oregon Trail was the brainchild of three Minneapolis student teachers, who brought history to life by placing players in the shoes of settlers facing life-or-death decisions — via a hulking teletype machine connected to a mainframe miles away. Despite sales that would ultimately exceed 65 million copies, however, the trio never saw a dime for their efforts. But they tell 74 contributor Greg Toppo they are not bitter. One said he is still stopped by autograph seekers, who tell him, “’You really saved my life in middle school because of this program.’ It’s just incredible how many people we touched.” Read the full feature .
…And a quick postscript for the time capsule:
Photo History: Back in early March we realized it had been precisely a year — 52 weeks since the pandemic first swept through the nation, going on to close school after school like a relentless set of dominoes Over the course of a month, The 74’s Meghan Gallagher researched and assembled a photo history of that first pandemic year at schools , amassing 52 photos that captured just how much had changed in educators’ and students’ lives. They are now a haunting time capsule revisiting solemn scenes and sadness across the education landscape — masked students, sports without spectators, dining rooms turned into classrooms and socially distanced lunch periods. But these pictures also show students, their families and educators in moments of resilience and inspiration, reflecting how Americans found new ways to celebrate such milestones as graduations. The images are a reminder that it has been a school year like no other, one we won’t soon forget. See the full photo gallery .
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On The 74 Today
Finding common ground.
A former K-5 public school principal turned author, presenter, and leadership coach, DeWitt provides insights and advice for education leaders. He can be found at www.petermdewitt.com . Read more from this blog .
11 Critical Issues Facing Educators in 2023
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For several years, I wrote a list of 10, 11, or even 15 critical issues facing education at the end of a year to give a glimpse into issues to consider for the following year. Then COVID happened and blew my last list of issues up. Why? Because it never occurred to me to put a pandemic on the list of critical issues in 2019.
We have educational issues to consider every year that also highlight what teachers, leaders, and students face. Education has often been a dumping ground for criticism of educators who are tasked with teaching children content, feeding them when they come in hungry because they live in poverty or are homeless, and, at the same time, practicing school safety drills because students and teachers have to prepare for fending off the next school shooter.
Television shows and movies poke fun at educators and school, politicians have “plans” about how they can do it better, although the large majority of them ever step foot in a school since they graduated. During all of that “entertainment,” educators are supposed to just go in and do their jobs for the love of education and children.
And that’s exactly what they do.
11 Issues for 2023
These issues were chosen based on the number of times they came up in stories on Education Week or in workshops and coaching sessions that I do in my role as a leadership coach and workshop facilitator.
For full disclosure, some of the issues will be difficult to read, but they are the reality for teachers, leaders, staff, and students around the country. With that being said, the issues on the list are not exhaustive, and as always, if you have an issue to add to the list, find me on social media and let me know which ones are a top priority for you.
Guns – Recent research from the Centers for Disease Control shows that firearms are the leading cause of death for children. This research study cites the CDC report and says there were 45,222 total firearm-related deaths in the United States in 2020, and around 10% of those were children and teens . Just to be intentional, because people will accuse me of a political argument, what this has to do with schools is the fact that the children who are killed or injured are our students. These deaths and this topic have an enormous impact on schools.
Politics in education – In the last couple of years, school leaders and teachers have had to fight rumors about teaching critical race theory, and we know states like Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Florida have governors or secretaries of education who want to ban conversations around equity, race, and social-emotional learning. Politics have always been a part of education, but the last few years have brought an increased level of it into our classrooms and schools.
Social-emotional learning – Critics believe that social-emotional learning is about indoctrinating students, which is wholly inaccurate. Social-emotional learning is about teaching students about empathy and how to self-regulate their behavior so they can better deal with stress and anxiety. This will continue to be an issue playing out in schools, and we will see work by researchers like Marc Brackett and his team at Yale be at the forefront of this issue.
The Flu – I’m not putting this on the list because I didn’t anticipate COVID in 2019. It’s on the list because, according to the CDC , there are millions of children each year who get the flu. Currently, we know that the respiratory virus RSV has affected millions of children under the age of 5, which does impact preschool- and kindergarten-age children, as well as their siblings or grandparents. Between the flu and RSV, schools will continue to see an increase in student absenteeism. Considering the COVID learning-loss debate that hit schools after COVID, that discourse will only continue. Here’s a recent story written by my Ed Week colleague Evie Blad covering student absences.
De-implementation – This is not as self-serving as it may seem. I say that because I have done a great deal of research on the topic of de-implementation and written a book about it . It’s on the list because it is a topic that school leaders are exploring. No longer should the conversation about workload be one that we push to the side, and de-implementing ineffective practices is a way to make the workload more manageable. Here is a YouTube video with 5 areas to consider when de-implementing.
Substitute teachers – In many states, it is no longer required that substitute teachers have an associate degree. There are states that have lowered the requirement to a high school diploma, yet there is still a shortage of substitute teachers. The lesser standard also brings into question the ability of substitute teachers to cover important core content for students.
Poverty – According to the National Center for Children Living in Poverty, there are 11 million children in that situation. Countless schools around the country are tasked not only with educating students but also feeding them breakfast and lunch as well. During COVID, school leaders, teachers, and staff made bag lunches for these students on a daily basis.
Teacher shortage – My Ed Week colleague Madeline Will recently wrote a story highlighting just how bad the teacher shortage is in the United States . However, this is not just a problem in the United States. Countries around the world are experiencing the same issue. Please check out this article by Ed Week reporter Caitlynn Peetz for the sobering statistics behind this issue.
Teacher-prep programs – Not only should there be conversations about how colleges and universities are preparing our nation’s teachers, but a big issue for 2023 is how those same colleges and universities are recruiting prospective teachers to enter the profession in the first place.
Tutoring programs – With a lot of coverage about COVID learning loss, tutoring as a means of “catching kids up” is going to be a big topic in 2023. Education Week is planning to do a series of articles and provide research on the topic, and I will be moderating a conversation on the topic for A Seat at the Table in 2023.
A love for learning – I know this sounds hokey, but it’s not. There are countless teachers, leaders, and staff trying to inspire a love for learning for themselves and their students. Too often, education is seen as a system of compliance rather than an institution of inspiration and creativity. We need to change that in 2023. Will the political rhetoric allow us to do that?
The opinions expressed in Peter DeWitt’s Finding Common Ground are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.
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World University Rankings 2024 by subject: education
The education subject table uses the same trusted and rigorous performance indicators as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024, but the methodology has been recalibrated to suit the individual fields.
It highlights the universities that are leading across the following disciplines: education, teacher training, and academic studies in education.
This year’s table includes 703 universities, up from 655 last year.
View the World University Rankings 2024 by subject: education methodology
The University of California, Berkeley tops the table, breaking Stanford University’s six-year streak.
China’s Tsinghua University rejoins the ranking in seventh place. Canada’s University of Toronto and the US’ University of California, Los Angeles also join the top 10.
Meanwhile, the UK’s University of Oxford moves up from sixth to third place this year.
Institutions from the US, UK and Australia are most-represented in the top 100 of this table.
The highest-ranking newcomer is China’s Tianjin University, which places in the 201-250 band.
Read our analysis of the subject rankings 2024 results
View the full results of the overall World University Rankings 2024
To raise your university’s global profile with Times Higher Education , contact [email protected]
To unlock the data behind THE ’s rankings and access a range of analytical and benchmarking tools, click here
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- World University Rankings 2024 by subject: results announced
To the Editor:
Re “ If Everyone Gets an A, No One Gets an A ,” by Tim Donahue (Opinion guest essay, nytimes.com, Oct. 23):
Mr. Donahue illuminates the problem of grade inflation in contemporary education. Yet the essay seems hung up on an outdated system of ranking student performance and an outdated solution: modestly tougher grades.
Doubling down on this grading system misses the opportunity to reiterate the real goal of a quality education: learning, which letter grades, as he points out, do not measure in a meaningful way.
We know that the richness of learning cannot be reduced to singular data points. Several alternatives to traditional grading already exist to facilitate student growth and learning: narrative evaluations, labor-based grading and self-assessments, to name a few.
When Mr. Donahue claims that “grading offers a singular place to teach such lessons of resilience,” he could have emphasized his own discipline of English, and the writing process itself with its complex cycle of drafting, incorporating feedback and revising.
Real writing, as any teacher of English knows, takes time, reflection, patience and resilience. There is a lifetime’s worth of lessons in that process that mere letters just can’t measure.
Jeffrey C. Kessler Chicago The writer is a senior lecturer in the English department at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
I strongly disagree with Tim Donahue’s idea that if everyone gets an A, then it loses its value. Grades are not a limited resource, and they should not be used as a measure against your fellow students. This just creates artificial competition and conflict.
Grades should be a measure of how well you were able to understand the concepts that were taught. If a class is designed for a population, then its mastery should be achievable by that population. If a student can’t do well, then the teacher has not written the course well for that student.
The goal of education should never be trying to make some people feel superior. It should be to make everyone smarter, to get them to push their minds further and to help them gain the knowledge and skills to live up to their potential.
Jonathan Loving Long Beach, Calif.
As a senior at the University of Michigan studying a pre-med curriculum, I’m reminded of “weed out” culture, which is especially common among pre-med courses like organic chemistry. This approach, designed to filter out lower performers, can foster an extreme fear of failure and breed an unhealthy environment.
Before transferring to the University of Michigan, I was a student at Middlebury College and, before that, at a community college. I’m someone who wasn’t a very confident student in high school, and these schools really helped me grow.
Did they inflate grades? Yes. In my general chemistry course at Middlebury, we even got to submit test corrections on an exam — unheard-of for a pre-med course at the University of Michigan. However, I was able to enjoy the material more in these environments, which gave me an advantage once I transferred.
Middlebury and community college taught me not to be afraid of difficult subjects such as linear algebra and organic chemistry. If I had begun college at the University of Michigan, I would have never had the confidence to major in an engineering discipline and probably wouldn’t have been able to complete the pre-med curriculum.
Loving to learn and building confidence are unbelievably important, and if grades are a bit inflated, I am OK with that.
Ethan Kahana Ann Arbor, Mich.
I commend Tim Donahue for acknowledging the elephant in the classroom: Grades, at least how they’re implemented currently, do not mean anything in particular. In fact, more often than not, they are primarily used as indicators of compliance, not competency, growth or creativity.
There is also, as he writes, a G.P.A. arms race being waged from high school to high school across the country, with the abandonment of standardized testing requirements only fueling the fire.
I disagree, however, with Mr. Donahue’s proposed remedy. Simply grading harder does not address nor repair the fundamental brokenness of contemporary grading; it would only put one’s own students at a disadvantage to those enrolled in more generously graded classes.
Yes, grading is a hollow and arguably useless metric at present. Let’s acknowledge this reality and move to institute more comprehensive, transparent metrics for our students, if not instead of grades, then in spite of them.
Matt Morone Hillsdale, N.J. The writer is a high school English teacher.
Re “ Lucrative Hernia Surgery Injures Many Patients ” (“Operating Profits” series, front page, Oct. 30):
As leaders of the American Hernia Society, we are disturbed by the imbalanced portrayal in your article of hernia surgeons performing advanced techniques.
Component separation has increased in use over many years with improved outcomes in patients with complex ventral hernias. Peer-reviewed publications continue to demonstrate that robotics results in lower rates of complications, shorter recovery time and lower cost of care.
Robotics has allowed all surgical areas to increase use of minimally invasive techniques. We continuously study surgical outcomes and complications to identify strategies to decrease complications.
In addition to years of medical school and residency training, the American Hernia Society offers various resources to safely learn new procedures, including hands-on training and ongoing mentorship by experts.
We continue to adhere to our drive for quality patient care, advancing the science and treatment of hernia and promoting the highest standards of professional skill and competence among abdominal wall surgeons.
Archana Ramaswamy Loma Linda, Calif. The writer is the president of the American Hernia Society. The letter was also signed by 14 other board members of the society.
Re “ The Path to Reducing Pedestrian Deaths Is Steep but Straight ,” by Jamelle Bouie (Opinion newsletter, Oct. 21):
Regarding pedestrian accidents, I feel there are more factors from the driver’s viewpoint that need to be taken into account.
Among these are pedestrians: who wear dark clothing without any reflective material at night; who assume they are always clearly visible to drivers; who appear suddenly from behind trucks or S.U.V.s on busy two-way streets; who stand on corners (looking at their phones), not making clear their intention to cross.
In short, pedestrians must adopt a heightened situational awareness and an appreciation for the driver’s circumstances and limitations when crossing, just as drivers must do at all times for traffic and pedestrians.
Bill Kessler Westfield, N.J.
While I agree that most pedestrian deaths are a result of carelessly operated motor vehicles, Jamelle Bouie did not address the injuries and fears caused by irresponsible cyclists and operators of mopeds.
There seems to be a laissez-faire attitude in New York City regarding the illegal operation of two-wheeled vehicles on sidewalks and against the stream of traffic. When will the safety of elderly New Yorkers be considered as much as the convenience of bicyclists?
Edward Temple Brooklyn
- Book Reviews
Vol. 23, No. 4
The Top 20 Education Next Articles of 2020
Race and the pandemic dominate the discussion
Our annual look back at the year’s most popular Education Next articles is itself a popular article with readers. It’s useful as an indicator of what issues are at the top of the education policy conversation.
This year, as our list indicates, race and the Covid-19 pandemic dominated the discussion.
The top two articles of the year—“ ‘The 1619 Project’ Enters American Classrooms ,” by Naomi Schaefer Riley, and the “ The Better of the Two Big Antiracism Bestsellers ,” by John McWhorter—both tackled the intersection of race and education issues.
Seven of the others dealt with aspects of the novel coronavirus—“ How Will the Coronavirus Crisis Affect Children’s Learning? Unequally ,” “ A Blueprint for Back to School ,” “ Reopening Resilient Schools ,” “ The Rapid Rise of Pandemic Pods ,” “ How the Coronavirus Crisis May Improve Teacher Quality ,” “ The Stress of this Moment Might Be Hurting Kids’ Development ,” and “ A Survival Guide for Distance Teaching .”
Charter schools may be out of favor with the incoming presidential administration, but our readers maintain a lively interest in the topic. “ Charter Schools Show Steeper Upward Trend in Student Achievement than District Schools ” and “ Charter Schools and their Enemies ” both made the list.
Because the list operates on a calendar-year basis, articles posted late in the year are less likely to make the cut. One that nearly did, despite a November publication date, was Chester E. Finn, Jr.’s profile of outgoing U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, who will be leaving office when Congress adjourns. “No one living today has had more far-reaching influence on American K-12 education,” Finn wrote in “ Leadership Makes a Difference: Lamar Alexander and K-12 Education .”
We could not have predicted either the pandemic or the post-George Floyd racial reckoning at this time last year. Who knows what 2021 will bring? We hope for our readers the year ahead is one of good health and of continued learning.
The full Top 20 Education Next articles of 2020 list follows:
1. “The 1619 Project” Enters American Classrooms Adding new sizzle to education about slavery—but at a significant cost. By Naomi Schaefer Riley
2. The Better of the Two Big Antiracism Bestsellers Kendi’s How To Be An Antiracist lacks subtlety, but it beats White Fragility. By John McWhorter
3. How Will the Coronavirus Crisis Affect Children’s Learning? Unequally. It’s not a vacation. There’s still half a semester of curriculum to learn. By Paul T. von Hippel
4. A Blueprint for Back to School What will it take to get schools ready? By John Bailey and Frederick Hess
5. Charter Schools Show Steeper Upward Trend in Student Achievement than District Schools First nationwide study of trends shows large gains for African Americans at charters By M. Danish Shakeel and Paul E. Peterson
6. The Rise of Dual Credit More and more students take college classes while still in high school. That is boosting degree attainment but also raising doubts about rigor. By Kelly Field
7. Reopening Resilient Schools With a hybrid learning model and proper safeguards, schools can successfully open By John Bailey
8. Teachers Need to Be Taught To Teach Students to Behave Many educators lack basic training in classroom management. By Tom Bennett
9. The Rapid Rise of Pandemic Pods Will the parent response to Covid-19 lead to lasting change? By Michael B. Horn
10. Miami-Dade County Public Schools Bucks the “Staffing Surge” Trend Lowered expenses, but not at the expense of student achievement By Michael Q. McShane
11. The Stubborn Myth of “Learning Styles” State teacher-license prep materials peddle a debunked theory By William Furey
12. Nudging and Shoving Students Toward Success What the research shows about the promise and limitations of behavioral science in education By Philip Oreopoulos
13. The Grade-Level Expectations Trap How lockstep math lessons leave students behind By Joel Rose
14. Charter Schools and Their Enemies At 90, Thomas Sowell reminds charter schools how to fight. And why. By Robert Pondiscio
15. Linking Social-Emotional Learning to Long-Term Success Student survey responses show effects in high school and beyond By C. Kirabo Jackson, Shanette C. Porter, John Q. Easton, Alyssa Blanchard, and Sebastián Kiguel
16. The Costs of Cutting School Spending Lessons from the Great Recession By C. Kirabo Jackson, Cora Wigger, Heyu Xiong
17. How the Coronavirus Crisis May Improve Teacher Quality Recession hiring boosts teacher quality and student learning By Martin R. West, Markus Nagler, Marc Piopiunik
18. Better School Counselors, Better Outcomes Quality varies, and can matter as much as with teachers By Christine Mulhern
19. The Stress of This Moment Might Be Hurting Kids’ Development But relationships, routines, and resilience can help By Pamela Cantor, M.D.
20. A Survival Guide for Distance Teaching Lessons in “fighting the tide of passivity” By Kathleen Porter-Magee
Congratulations to all of our authors!
— Education Next
P.S. You can find the Top 20 Education Next articles of 2019 here , 2018 here , 2017 here , 2016 here , 2015 here , 2014 here and 2013 here .
P.P.S. You can find the Top 10 Education Next blog posts of 2020 here.
Last updated December 17, 2020
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A Systematic Literature Review on Cyber Security Education for Children
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Aggravated assaults drove higher violent crime rate at Maryland colleges in 2022
Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at The Baltimore Sun.
The violent crime rate across 21 Maryland colleges and universities reached a nine-year high last year, driven by an increase in reports of aggravated assaults, according to a Baltimore Sun analysis.
The violent crime rate grew 58% from 2014 to 2022, with a dip during pandemic years, according to the analysis of crime data the schools are required to report to the federal government.
Last year, the average violent crime rate was 2.2 crimes per 1,000 students, up from 1.5 in 2021. Enrollment was about 151,500 across the 21 schools in 2022.
Of violent crimes — murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — reported across the 21 institutions last year, nearly half were aggravated assaults, with the majority reported by three schools: The Johns Hopkins University, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland College Park. More than two-thirds of all aggravated assaults happened on campus.
School safety experts say the ways the pandemic disrupted social systems and harmed individuals’ mental health may help account for the recent uptick in the violent crime rate.
This fall, Morgan State University canceled its homecoming celebrations after five people, four of them students, were injured in an Oct. 3 shooting on campus. Days later, two teens were wounded in a shooting at Bowie State University.
[ Morgan State stands in the middle among Maryland schools in federal data on campus crime ]
The recent shootings have sparked new conversations on campus security. At an annual student town hall the week after the shooting, Morgan State President David Wilson unveiled a plan to enclose 90% of campus and restrict the public’s “unfettered access” to the school.
The Sun examined nine years of crime data, from 2014 through 2022, from 21 four-year institutions. It included an institution in the analysis if its combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment was at least 1,000 and it had on-campus housing. The federal Clery Act requires schools that participate in federal student financial programs to report crimes on and near campus and at certain off-campus properties.
An aggravated assault is when a person attacks another “for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury,” according to the Clery Act regulations, and often includes a weapon that could cause death or great bodily harm. When a weapon such as a gun or knife is used, it’s counted as an aggravated assault, even if a victim is uninjured.
The Johns Hopkins University reported 81 aggravated assaults last year, with 52 reported on campus at the Homewood academic campus, the Bayview Medical Center and its medical campus in East Baltimore. The remaining assaults happened on “public property,” which typically includes roads, sidewalks and parking lots within the campus and “immediately adjacent and accessible from it.”
The greatest number of assaults were reported for the school’s East Baltimore location, which includes the Johns Hopkins Hospital. “Hospitals get a lot of assaults, patients on staff and doctors,” said Shayne Buchwald-Nickoles, a university spokesperson.
The Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus pictured on Tuesday. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)
In four of the university’s reported aggravated assaults last year, witnesses reported an attacker had a firearm, although it’s unclear what those guns were, including if any were toys. “If someone comes and makes a report and says, ‘I think they had a gun,’ we have to include it,” Buchwald-Nickoles said.
Hopkins is in the final stages of forming its own sworn police force , which will patrol the Homewood, East Baltimore and the Peabody Institute campus areas. Some students and neighbors have objected to its implementation; the university has said it’s needed “to improve our ability to respond to our community’s growing public safety needs.”
Bowie State University had the second-highest number of aggravated assaults in the 2022 data, with 27 reported last year. Bowie State spokesperson Cassandra Robinson said she didn’t know how many incidents involved students, but said none of the attacks involved a weapon.
“This is definitely an anomaly for our campus. It’s not something we’d seen before. It’s definitely something we’re looking at to see what kind of interventions can be successful in reducing it,” Robinson said. Adding more resources for students and staff to work on conflict resolution and managing emotions are among those interventions, she said.
Bowie State added more security and police officers following the October shooting, and began checking earlier in the evening the IDs of those entering campus.
Two security cars near parking lots outside the Student Center at Bowie State University. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun )
Maryland institutions are not unique in seeing new safety challenges after the pandemic. Campus safety consultant S. Daniel Carter, president of Safety Advisors for Educational Campuses LLC, said schools he advises across the country have identified “post-pandemic student behavior” as a major factor in changes such as a greater number of liquor law violations.
Odis Johnson Jr., executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, said the uptick in violent crime on Maryland campuses is consistent with a recent trend of violence in K-12 schools and in cities generally as young people readjust from 2020 and 2021. Campus crime had been declining nationwide over the last decade, Johnson said, until recently.
“For kids who have been perhaps quarantined for two years, maybe their skill set for managing complex relationships just wasn’t what it used to be,” Johnson said. That’s on top of a youth mental health crisis documented in reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We were unaware that students would actually come back needing some support and more resources for adjustment,” Johnson said. “I think schools were unprepared, and perhaps dropped the ball on anticipating some of these challenges.”
He said schools, both K-12 and universities, should offer extra support for students, including mental health resources, and ensure that security measures don’t stigmatize certain students or unnecessarily heighten fears about violence.
The "M" Circle at the University of Maryland, College Park. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)
The University of Maryland, College Park noted in its most recent annual security report that the campus saw a “noticeable increase” in vehicle thefts and aggravated assaults in 2022. A spokesperson for university Chief of Police David Mitchell did not respond to questions from The Sun about the reported assaults and what factors might account for the increase.
“We have implemented a number of safety and security measures across campus,” Lt. Rosanne Hoaas said in an email to The Sun, including “high-visibility patrols,” a unit that analyzes data to improve crime prevention and response, automated license plate readers, cameras and technology designed to “listen” for possible gunfire. “The health and safety of every member of our campus community remains our highest priority,” Hoaas said.
The university’s annual security report detailed its 10 reported aggravated assaults, which involved 18 victims. Weapons in the seven on-campus cases included a gun that fires gel-filled balls, a BB gun, a knife and a brick. Off-campus, drivers aimed firearms at five people in two separate “road rage incidents.” Other reports stemmed from a fistfight and five incidents involving paint pellets.
The total crime rate for the 21 Maryland colleges and universities was down slightly from pre-pandemic levels at 3.9 crimes per 1,000 students in 2022. The property crime rate was also down from pre-pandemic rates, with 1.1 crimes per 1,000 last year.
There were five “willful killings” — a term used by the U.S. Department of Education — in the 2022 violent crime rate for the Maryland institutions The Sun analyzed. Morgan State reported two, while three were reported by Johns Hopkins for its East Baltimore location. The number of such nonnegligent killings is usually zero or one for Maryland schools, outside of three reported in 2016 and five reported in 2017.
Experts caution that institutions’ self-reported crime statistics are just a starting point for evaluating a school’s safety. Annual security reports detail how schools collect such data and implement security policies, while campus climate surveys can provide a fuller picture of sexual violence.
A number of factors can influence overall crime reporting on campuses, including location, size and the percentage of students who live in dormitories, said Abigail Boyer, associate executive director of the nonprofit Clery Center, which works to help universities follow the law. More reported crime can also be a positive, as it can mean students trust campus authorities.
“Higher numbers aren’t necessarily a bad thing,” Boyer said. “They might indicate that you’re building a culture where people are coming forward because they’re comfortable in the response they might receive.”
Colleges the center has worked with that receive grants from the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Violence Against Women find that as they implement new reporting protocols and prevention procedures, they see an increase in reporting of offenses like harassment, stalking and sexual assault, Boyer said.
The Evening Sun
Jane Stapleton, co-director of the University of New Hampshire’s Prevention Innovations Research Center, calls Clery Act crime data “a piece of the puzzle” in understanding what’s happening at schools.
Underreporting is common when it comes to relationship violence and sexual misconduct, so surveys that allow students to anonymously share experiences can be a better tool, Stapleton said.
At the 21 Maryland institutions, the sexual crime rate of 1.3 reports per 1,000 students, including rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape, hasn’t changed much since 2014, gradually increasing before dropping slightly the year before the COVID-19 pandemic started.
Tom Saccenti, CEO of the National Association of Campus Safety Administrators and a former campus police chief, says schools’ annual reports provide a good snapshot of institutions’ security policies than can help parents evaluate campus safety.
Saccenti said there has been a gradual increase nationally in the number of institutions with sworn police agencies since the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech.
On Oct. 6, shortly after the Bowie State and Morgan State shootings, St. Mary’s College announced that the school would add armed security guards. However, the change had been in the works since April, following a yearlong review of national trends, said Jerri Howland, vice president of student affairs at St. Mary’s.
Baltimore Sun editor Steve Earley and reporter Caitlyn Freeman contributed to this article.
The Baltimore Sun’s analysis uses data from 2014 through 2022. Data from 2014 to 2021 is from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education/Campus Safety and Security Survey and was retrieved from the online Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool . Data for 2022 was pulled from institutions’ individual security reports. Data from 2013 was not included due to disaggregated sexual crime data.
Enrollment data is 12-month full-time equivalent data from the National Center for Education Statistics/Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Data was matched to crime years using the last year of the school year (2012-2013 enrollment data was used for 2013 crime data, for example).
The Clery Act requires that all postsecondary institutions participating in Title IV student financial assistance programs disclose crime statistics and other security information to students and the public via security reports to be published by Oct. 1 of each year.
Schools also must report data directly to the U.S. Department of Education via the Office of Postsecondary Education/Campus Safety and Security Survey (this year’s deadline to complete the survey was Oct. 18). The 2022 data is in the process of being reviewed by the Education Department, which is expected to publish it in early 2024. While the Education Department checks data for errors and cleans it, the department does not make any effort to independently verify it.
Data represents crimes reported to local, state, institution law enforcement, or other institution officials. The Clery Act requires institutions to make a good faith effort to obtain data from local or state law enforcement. For example, the University of Maryland, College Park, notes on page 58 of its most recent security report that its statistics include crimes reported anonymously to its CARE office. A crime’s inclusion means only that it was reported; it should not be taken to mean there was a conviction, arrest, or that the crime was even investigated. If a reported crime was investigated, however, and sworn law enforcement determined the report to be unfounded, an institution may leave it out of its crime statistics. It must report it in a separate category for unfounded incidents, data for which is also available via the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool.
These are the crime types captured by the data:
- Willful killing
- Negligent manslaughter
- Statutory rape
- Aggravated assault
- Motor vehicle theft
These are the three ways The Sun’s analysis categorized crimes:
Violent crime: Willful killing, rape, robbery and aggravated assault
Property crime: Burglary, motor vehicle theft and arson
Sexual crime: Rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape
Institutions and campuses included
The 21 colleges and universities in this analysis are all four-year institutions in Maryland that have a combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment of at least 1,000 students and that have student housing on campus. The only institution that meets these criteria and is not included is the U.S. Naval Academy, which is not Title IV eligible. The compiled data is for all Maryland locations an institution reported crimes for, unless otherwise noted.
Bowie State University’s and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s in 2022 public reports did not disaggregate sexual crimes into rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape categories, but instead classified a sexual crime as either forcible (rape, fondling) or nonforcible (incest, statutory rape). Because of this, the analysis includes the eight forcible crimes — five at Bowie State and three at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore — toward the violent crime rate, as well as additional calculations.
All Maryland locations an institution reported data for were included, with a few exceptions.
- Data for Towson University in Northeastern Maryland, a site in Harford County, was not available prior to 2018.
- Johns Hopkins’ Bayview Medical Center did not have data available prior to 2016.
- The University System Of Maryland at Hagerstown, the Universities at Shady Grove and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland are locations shared by multiple institutions. Data for these locations was excluded to prevent duplicates.
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