1. Virginia’s Fairfax County Schools has withheld National Merit awards from hundreds of students, done, says its website “to keep equity at the center of the curriculum” and “to eliminate gaps in opportunity, access, and achievement for students.” D’s and F’s were also eliminated.
  2. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public schools lost more than one million students during the 2019-20 school year. At the same time, the number of homeschooled students doubled to about 5 million.
  3. A Pew Research Center’s 2022 nationally representative survey of 13- to 17-year-olds found that:
    • 80% check their social media at least hourly.
    • More than 33% do so “almost constantly.
  1. The Seattle Public School District recently filed a lawsuit against Big Tech for intentionally designing their offerings “to hook young people to their platforms and creating a mental health crisis.”
  2. Finds a recent Stanford University study, the pandemic affects the emotional and decision-making centers of the brain similar to toxic stress. Plus, kids down for 10 months “showed 3 to 4 years of premature aging in the brain.
  3. Turns out the virtual reality devices used in our K-12 schools “may collect more than one million pieces of specific personal data, everything from how users’ pupils are dilating to what makes them blush.
  4. The artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT can write just about anything from lesson plans and responses to parent emails to recommendation letters, potentially depersonalizing teachers’ relationships with students and their parents.
  5. In TIME Magazine’s October ’22 “The Cost of America’s Teacher Shortage,” Katie Reilly writes that:
    • 53% of public schools reported being understaffed.
    • 36,000 teacher positions remain unfilled.
    • A pay gap of 23.5% exists between teachers and those in similar professions.
  1. Says the Equitable Institute, in 2022, K-12 pension plans’ unfunded liabilities topped $816 billion.
  2. The recently introduced American Teacher Act, if passed, will set a federal minimum teacher salary of $60,000 “to show appreciation for educators…”
  3. For the fiscal year 2023, K-12 funding rose 5.3% to $79.6 billion, $3.2 billion more than last year’s budget.

And so it goes… 

With thanks and good wishes, Carol