Education News – August 2022
School is just around the corner, and we’re in for an interesting time with the first semester where Covid remains present, but most of the previous mitigations are not.
These are some of the stories that have recently caught our attention.
A new law will allow Chicago Public School students to take up to five mental health days.
From the cutting off your nose to spite your face file, after voters in Jamestown Township voted to eliminate public funding for their public library over their objection to the library shelving books with LGBTQ themes, they expressed surprise that this might mean that the library would actually close once it ran out of funds.
It’s still too early to tell for sure, but it looks like lots of school districts are going to be looking at significant teacher shortages when school starts in the fall. Some are calling the possible impending shortage a “catastrophe” in the making.
There continues to be ongoing debates about what math students should learn in high school, and how they should learn it. Good. We should keep debating these things. Nothing is fixed in stone.
At Slate, Kevin Carey breaks down the the “sham” of merit aid for college scholarships and how the system has schools behaving more like car salesmen then institutions of higher learning. It’s a sobering piece that shows how parents and students must be cognizant of the bottom line when it comes to college costs. It also well illustrates how our current system which requires institutions to chase as much revenue as possible via tuition is bad for students and distorts the institutional mission.
In semi-related news, a student is suing Columbia University as part of a class action, arguing that because it has been alleged that they lied in order to improve their prestige ranking, and that this has been discovered, the student’s degree is now worth less.
A Virginia congressman wants to put cameras in K-12 schools. This is an absolutely terrible idea, starting with it being a violation of every child’s privacy. There’s plenty of other reasons it’s bad as well. If it ever gains any traction, I’ll have to list them. The list will be long.
There’s no doubt that schooling has been disrupted by the pandemic, resulting in challenges for students and schools. I’m not a huge fan of the blanket term “learning loss,” because I think it narrows the discussion in terms of what we should be thinking about, but I still recommend this piece from Matt Barnum at Chalkbeat taking a careful look on the effects and recovery from the first two years of the pandemic.