Education News – September 2022
With the school year underway, the school and education news has ratcheted up as various fault lines in place before the pandemic have been fully revealed, and everyone tries to grapple with a changing world.
These are some of the things we’ve had our eye on.
Because of a decade of enrollment declines that accelerated during the pandemic, Chicago Public Schools is no longer the third largest district in the country, slipping behind Miami-Dade County and into fourth place. At 322,000 students, the total has dropped almost 20% from the high of 400,000 in 2012-2013.
School funding in Illinois is lagging well behind what it would take to “fully fund” all public schools. 1.7 million students across Illinois got to school in officially underfunded districts. It would take an increase in funding of $1.5 billion per year for the next five years for those schools to reach recommended funding levels on par with fully funded schools.
PEN America released a big report on the state of book banning and censorship, and the news isn’t good, with over 2500 instances of books being banned recorded over a twelve month period. Books featuring protagonists of color, and/or dealing with race or racism are the most likely titles to be challenged.
Writing with Joel Boyd, the superintendent of the Lowell Massachusetts Public School, previous Educational Endeavors interview subject Professor Jack Schneider makes a case for using standardized tests more responsibly, as tools to show where students need more resources, rather than as a rationale to punish lower-performing schools.
Recent coverage of higher education at Slate should help parents and student know more about the ways the system conspires against them accessing post-secondary educational opportunities in the most efficient, and cost effective ways. First, EE’s staff writer John Warner explains “the great student swap” which is driving up the cost of tuition for everyone. Also check out Kevin Carey’s plan for trying to make sure we fully fund our public higher education institutions without resorting to another necessary cancellation of student loan debt.
On the lighter side, enjoy “The Middle School Teacher’s Lounge: A Restaurant Review” from Jesse Pearson, writing at McSweeney’s.