Biden seeks key school data to reopen schools — but the agency that collects it needs resources to do it

Dozens of organizations concerned about the NCES sent a letter (see below) Monday to key U.S. legislators asking them to give $10 million to the agency so that it can do the data collecting that Biden is seeking.

“Essential to reopening schools and returning students and teachers to the classroom safely and securely is taking rapid steps based on accurate, timely, and objective statistics,” says the letter.

Its signatories include the American Statistical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, the National Center for Learning Disabilities and the two national teachers unions: the National Education Association and the

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What you need to know about standardized testing

Ravitch worked from 1991 to 1993 as assistant secretary in charge of research and improvement in the Education Department of President George H.W. Bush, and she served as counselor to then-Education Secretary Lamar Alexander, who had just left the Senate where he had served as chairman of the Senate Education Committee. She was at the White House as part of a select group when George W. Bush first outlined No Child Left Behind (NCLB), a moment that at the time she said made her “excited and optimistic” about the future of public education.

But her opinion changed as NCLB was

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Connect STEM Learning to Real-World Experiences with New Resources from the STEM Careers Coalition 

Did you know that offshore oil rigs are decommissioned and sunk to create artificial reefs around the United States?  

New “anywhere” activities from the STEM Careers Coalition help educators bring the real-world to life by making the connections between NGSS-aligned curriculum and current scientific innovation. 

As a first-of-its-kind STEM initiative, the STEM Careers Coalition is working to address the STEM workforce and inspiration gap by connecting industry and classrooms at unprecedented scale. The Coalition currently provides a catalog of standards-aligned classroom activities, student activation and career-focused resources to support educators, students and families in STEM exploration. 

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This Week at DE: Week of January 31

Hi everyone! My name’s Vashti Williams and I work on our digital content team at Discovery Education. My team helps curate the hundreds of channels you see in Discovery Education Experience – all with the goal of providing you timely and relevant resources to help you build your lesson plans. We produce DE Original content and work with many trusted content partners to help you navigate important discussions with your students and help connect them to the real world. 

That being said, I’m excited to kick off February by highlighting new

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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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