Here’s a brief update on the latest in the world of education:

  • Because 57% of teens and 63% of parents worry about a shooting happening in their school, just about every public schools conducted some kind of lockdown drill. This, despite the fact that, says a Harvard professor, the chance of a public school student being killed by a gun is about one in 614 million.

    Moreover, more school drills actually set up a look-alike active shooter scenario, complete with the firing of either blanks or rubber bullets—with the potential of scaring students instead of preparing them for the real thing.

  • When it comes to homework, some types are more useful than others, providing practice and the honing of skills. Some, though, are just so much time-consuming busy work, frustrating both kids and parents, too, and doing nothing to promote a love of learning.

    Most experts agree that homework is inappropriate at the elementary school level, with reading being the only type assigned. For older kids, some research finds it helpful, with several studies a connection between homework and better unit test results—but the type matters, as does the amount.

  • Some schools are battling the distractions of mobile devices in the classroom by banning them—but not everyone is on board. For starters, some kids feel anxious without their phones, fearing they might be left out of text conversations. Meanwhile, lunch time gives kids a chance to check their mobiles for messages, even contact parents about, say, a changes pick-up time. Of course, kids always find ways around such prohibitions. In this case, they buy a “dummy” phone to hand it, while keeping the “real” one in their pocket. Some parents, too, have gotten embroiled in the phone debate, wanting to be able to contact their kids any time in case of an emergency, or whatever. Maybe they forget that the main office phone still works…
  • This just in: According to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, while most of us believe that securing a higher education goes a long way toward ensuring a successful life, many of our teenagers think a high school diploma is enough. According to the survey: While more than 50% of 13- to 29-year-olds believe a college education leads to economic success, 40% believe a bachelor’s degree only somewhat prepares people well—or not well at all—given today’s economy. At the same time, 45% say a high school diploma is “good preparation for future successful workers.

    Meanwhile: High school graduates’ median income, in 2018, was $730/week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was $1,200 for those with a bachelor’s degree, and $1,400 for those with a master’s degree.

And so it goes…