High Schools

The quickest and most effective way Biden can help millions of American go to college

Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, a nonprofit membership group that advocates for effective higher education policy, writes in the piece below that President Biden can and should move quickly to fix the problem by doubling the maximum Pell grant.

Mitchell challenges policymakers to “be honest about where we are” in terms of helping increase college access, and he warns that “we risk squandering several decades of progress in providing opportunity to low-income and minority learners at the precise moment we must recommit to equity and justice for all.”

By Ted Mitchell

In the shadow of

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Biden administration urged to allow states to cancel spring standardized testing

“It does not take a standardized assessment to know that for millions of America’s children, the burden of learning remotely, either full- or part-time, expands academic learning gaps between haves and have nots. Whenever children are able to return fully to their classrooms, every instructional moment should be dedicated to teaching, not to teasing out test score gaps that we already know exist. If the tests are given this spring, the scores will not be released until the fall of 2021 when students have different teachers and may even be enrolled in a different school. Scores will have little to

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More states seek federal waivers from standardized tests as Biden extends deadline for requests

This is the second straight year that states are asking for waivers. In 2020, Betsy DeVos, then the education secretary in the Trump administration, told all states they did not have to administer the tests after schools were abruptly closed when the pandemic hit. She said last year, however, that if she remained education secretary, she wouldn’t give the waivers again.

This week, the U.S. Education Department sent a letter to chief state school officers this week saying the Feb. 1 deadline for seeking a waiver was being extended though it didn’t set a new deadline. It promised states that

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No, a military band did not play ‘Hit the Road Jack’ to Trump — and other news literacy lessons

The material comes from the project’s newsletter, the Sift, which takes the most recent viral rumors, conspiracy theories, hoaxes and journalistic ethics issues and turns them into timely lessons with discussion prompts and links. The Sift, which is published weekly during the school year, has more than 10,000 subscribers, most of them educators.

The News Literacy Project also offers a program called Checkology, a browser-based platform designed for students in grades six through 12 that helps prepare the next generation to easily identify misinformation. Checkology is available free to educators, students, school districts and parents. Since 2016, more than

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San Francisco school board votes to rename dozens of schools — including Washington and Lincoln

The San Francisco Unified board’s action is part of a movement ongoing for years to get school districts around the country to remove from schools the names of Confederate figures and others who symbolize the country’s racist past.

The resolution, based on the work of the School Names Advisory Committee that met for more than a year on the issue, calls on the public to submit new names for the schools by April 19 — timing that was questioned by San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D).

She said in a statement that she understood “the significance of the name

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Is there really a ‘science of reading’?

Thus began the fight over teaching phonics or “whole language” — and more recently what is known as “balanced literacy.” We’ve also been hearing declarations that a “science of reading” proves that employing phonics in a particular war is the best and right path to teach young children how to read.

The following post looks at this broad issue and whether there really is a “science of reading” that has finally settled how reading should be taught.

It was written by David Reinking, professor emeritus at Clemson University and a former president of the Literacy Research Association; Victoria J. Risko,

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Teacher: What’s missing from calls for summer school to stem ‘learning loss’

At the moment, the option being raised more often than others seems to be some form of summer school, with several governors, including those of Virginia and California, raising the issue. University of Virginia cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham wrote a piece in the New York Daily News about why he thinks it is the best option.

This post about summer school and how to address the issue of lost student learning is from an admittedly exhausted veteran teacher, Larry Ferlazzo, who has some ideas about the current debate and what is missing from the conversation.

By Larry Ferlazzo

Many people

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Fiction or nonfiction? What kids really like to read.

The three write about social justice, science, engineering and other topics. This was first published in Publishers Weekly and I was given permission to publish it.

By Cynthia Levinson, Melissa Stewart and Jennifer Swanson

As nonfiction writers for young readers, we were dismayed — though not surprised — by his statement that “the books students choose to read are almost always fiction.” We frequently encounter adults who mistakenly believe that when kids hear “nonfiction,” they think, as Mathews wrote: “Nonfiction? You mean textbooks. Ugh.”

We wish he could accompany us on a school visit — live or virtual — because

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