1. On the horizon: Linguistic Fingerprinting “to determine whether a text has been written by a specific person based on an analysis of their previous writings,” writes Ed Surge’s Jeffrey Young. (Akin to fingerprinting except related to the way we write.)
  2. As of February 8, 2025, the Boy Scouts of America will be known instead as Scouting America and be welcoming to all.
  3. The U.S. Department of Education has now finalized its rewrite of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. As reported by Education Week’s Evie Blad, it includes protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, explaining that “A school would violate the law if it “denies a transgender student access to a sex-separate facility or activity consistent with that student’s gender identity.” It also includes directives on how schools and colleges should handle reports of sexual assault and harassment. “Pending is a ruling on transgender student athletes.

    ”All federally funded schools must comply to receive federal funding. Nevertheless, Oklahoma, Florida Louisiana, Montana, and South Carolina have directed their school districts not to comply. Meanwhile, 11 states now “have laws that restrict access to restrooms and locker rooms based on sex at birth…”

  4. A recent study in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis found that kids who repeated third grade based on their performance on state reading tests “went on to perform more than 18 percentile points higher in both English/Language Arts and math in fourth grade. Plus, they continued to do better than students “who had squeaked through to the fourth grade.”
  5. Harvard’s Tom Kane and Dartmouth’s Douglas Staiger, using different calculations, both estimate that the 48 million students in public schools during the 2020-21 academic year will lose $600 billion in lost lifetime income. Plus, on average, those students will earn almost 6% less in their future careers because of pandemic closures—with some losing as much as 9%.
  6. According to an October Education Research Center data report, the U.S. spends more than $14,000 on each public-school student, not $9,000 as many educators think. The monies come from state aid and local tax dollars; the federal government kicks in about 10% for such priorities as special education and support for high-poverty schools.
  7. In January, Biden announced his new “Improving Student Achievement Agenda to “give students more time and support to succeed using accountability measures established in the Every Student Succeeds Act. Also, the U. S. Education Department plans to increase its state monitoring and create new grant programs this year.
  8. Writes The 74”s reporter, Mark Keierleber, “Between May 2020 and June 2022, more than 50 districts nationwide ended their resource officer programs or cut their budgets following widespread Black Lives Matter protests and concerns that campus policing has detrimental effects on students.”
  9. Education Week’s Elizbeth Heubeck reports that, “At last count, 62% of 2022 high school graduates attended 2- or 4-year colleges right after graduation. However, although students’ readiness has reached historic lows, including the lowest ACT and declining SAT scores, 80% of those students felt “very” or “mostly” prepared.
  10. It appears that Vanderbilt University will be the first to cross the $100,000 price tag. Other highly selective schools like Tufts and the University of Southern California come in at or near the $90,000 mark.

And so it goes…

With my thanks and well wishes, Carol