Education has been a news centerpiece for some time now, including our struggling students, school choice, dress codes, and the words we use, too. Here, a sampling of recent school-wise headlines:
**** “The Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative Seeks to Rid Stanford, and Perhaps the World, of Troubling Words Like ‘American,’” by Sheila McClear, Los Angeles Magazine ( A few of the other listed words: fireman, freshman, master, blind study, black box, beating a dead horse, killing two birds with one stone…)
**** “Michigan [Department of Health] and California Institutions Ban the Word ‘Field’ As Racist,” by Jeremiah Poff, Washington Examiner (Included, such terms as field work, field worker, field of study.)
**** “ED’s Research Chief: We Don’t Understand Our Most Struggling Learners,” by Education Week’s Sarah D. Sparks.
**** “Big Changes Needed to Reverse Plunging Student Achievement, Education Secretary Says,” by Libby Stanford, Education Week.
**** “What Happened When One of the First Large School Districts Adopted a Four-Day Week,” by Caitlyn Peetz, Education Week
** 93% of districts have dress code policies, and, while they vary widely, most target revealing, distracting, and controversial clothes or those that pose a safety threat to students. However, schools are now urged to rethink these codes, as they can be “sexist, racist, and/or classist.”
** Finds EdChoice: 32 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico all have policies that support school choice, including tax credits for parents who switch schools, private school scholarships, and education savings accounts; several other states look to follow suit.
** Maryland’s Baltimore County School District’s proposed fiscal 2024 budget includes “significant cuts” to programs for gifted and talented students to promote equity.
** New York City’s Department of Education, together with its Department for the Aging, is launching a high school pilot program on ageism “to curb discrimination against the city’s oldest residents—by educating some of its youngest.”
** Before the pandemic, about 36% of students started school in September a full year behind in at least one major subject. Today, that figure has soared to 50%, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
** Since the pandemic’s start through March 2022, school districts have spent about $1.7 billion–$199 per student—of their COVID-19 federal relief funding on tutoring, according to Georgetown University’s research center.
** According to FairTest, just 8 states still mandate high school exit exams, down from 13, as they reportedly neither promote academic achievement nor employment rates; they do, however, increase dropout rates for students of color and those from low-income families.
** In a December 2022 American Federation of Teachers poll, 66% of voters said, “The culture wars distract public schools from their core mission of educating students.”
** According to a recent Purpose of Education Index, in 2019 college preparation ranked #10 on a list of 57 K-12 priorities. In 2022, that figure dropped to #47.
** 93% of districts have dress code policies, and, while they vary widely, most target revealing, distracting, and controversial clothes or those that pose a safety threat to students. However, schools are now urged to rethink them, as they can be viewed as “sexist, racist, and/or classist.”
** A HolonIQ report finds that, in 2022, venture capital investments in U.S.-based ed-tech companies dropped by almost 50%. As the report put it: “The party’s over, and it’s back to fundamentals and outcomes.”
** Recently, the CDC added COVID-19 vaccines to its immunization schedule for children and adults: 2 or 3 doses of the vaccine for infants 6 months and up; Moderna or Pfizer vaccines for those 5 to 11, and additional Novavax vaccines for those 12 to 18.
~ With my thanks and well wishes, Carol