SCHOOL NEWS SATURDAYS

Thank you to everyone who tuned in every Saturday during the first few months of the COVID crisis.

When we started collecting the education headlines Drudge-style and doing live video news roundups about school closures in American K-12 and higher education in March 2020, there weren't yet many good sources of updates and analysis for parents. We broadcasted live every Saturday for twelve weeks!

Curating the news every day turns out to be quite the little project, however, and there are—thank goodness—now excellent outlets that get the headlines out to you more quickly.

See the full archive of daily(ish) headlines here:
► School News Saturdays Headlines Archive:  http://schoolnewssaturdays.com/

You can watch the recorded video broadcasts (and marvel at how many of my predictions came true!) here:
► SNS Live Episodes Archive on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMEYavlXQ6Ae8uLL_btHnnw

Below is the collection of sources that still remain excellent resources for news and information about k-12 and higher education, applying to college, family and personal finance, homeschooling, and other relevant topics. I hope you find something useful here.  

See the full show archives at YouTube >>

COVID Response and Stay-at-Home Coverage

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Resources for the College Search, Application, and Financing Process

 

ABOUT FINANCIAL AID/ FAFSA/ SCHOLARSHIPS

The Urban Institute's online resource "Understanding College Affordability

"Financial Pursuit" is a self-paced, digital module for students to learn about how to pay for college. (grades 6-12)

Federal Reserve Bank of SF's tool to calculate a ROI on college

 FAFSA4caster: Estimates your eligibility for federal student aid. 

Comparing Financial Aid Tool (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

NACAC's finance resource list

Paying for College Guide (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

Filling the Tuition Gap (NYTimes)

Going Merry - Scholarship Applications Made Simple

ScholarshipOwl.com

7 Things You Need Before You Fill Out the FAFSA

StudentAid.gov

MoneySmart The FDIC's curriculum for Young Adults from MyMoney.gov

FAFSA Demo

FAFSA Process Infographic

FAFSA detailed instructions

How to pay for college from LendEDU


ABOUT MAJORS, VOCATION AND CAREER EXPLORING

How to Increase Happiness, According to Research  (The Atlantic, 2020)

13 Books to Help Decide What to Do With Your Life (Vista College)

The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (World Economic Forum)

Students At Most Colleges Don’t Pick ‘Useless’ Majors (ABCNews, 2017)

Six Myths About Choosing a College Major (NYTimes, 2017)

Major Influence: Where Students Get Valued Advice on What to Study in College (Gallup)

 How to Pick a Career (that actually fits) by Tim Urban

YouScience

16Personalities.org

80,000 Hours

Rockport Institute

CareerFinder Tool from College Board 

Learning and Education Resources

LEARNING ONLINE

Math tutoring for high school students via live lecture/webcast at 3Blue1Brown

Project Gutenberg, 60,000 free e-books, including some of the world's great literature.

10 Free Financial Literacy Games for High School Students, From Edutopia, a list of games students can use to learn money management and financial decision-making. 

How to Teach Writing Remotely (The Atlantic, 2020)

K12 Online Schools

Complete List of 100+ Free Online High Schools (PrepScholar, 2018)

List of Free Online Public Schools, K-12 (ThoughtCo.)

Learning Apps for Stir Crazy Kids(The Guardian) 

Museums with online virtual tours

A Homeschooling Guide for Public Schoolers (The Organic Prepper)

Visit the Louvre for an online tour

Or the National Gallery of Art

Take a virtual dairy farm tour

Best Math Websites

Virtual Field Trips

https://www.activityhero.com/

Are we missing something?

We're doing our best to find the news that helps you make the best decisions you can. How are we doing?

NEWS HEADLINE ARCHIVES March-April, 2020

For more recent and up-to-the-minute headlines, please visit our new site at www.schoolnewssaturdays.com

California searches budgets to fund summertime K-12 school openings to combat learning loss

April 28, LAist—[State Gov. Gavin] Newsom said state officials are considering asking the schools to begin the 2020-21 school year much earlier than normal — perhaps even as soon as late July.

State officials haven't made any definitive decisions to change the school calendar yet. Newsom said he wanted to float the idea publicly so parents, students and teachers can start preparing for a possible early start. Read more


Elite colleges back away from rescue cash amid criticism of endowments

April 22, Politico—Even though a big chunk of the money set aside by Congress is intended to directly target students with emergency grants for needs like housing and food, the nation’s wealthiest universities are under intense pressure from the Trump administration to reject the funds because of their multi-billion-dollar endowments. Story

DeVos encourages universities to use discretion regarding formulaic CARES distributions

April 9, DeptofEd—"In addition, if you determine that your institution’s students do not have significant financial need at this time, I would ask that you consider giving your allocation to those institutions within your state or region that might have significant need." Read DeVos's Letter

Harvard University says it will not accept Stimulus Funding April 22, Harvard.edu— Following mounting political pressure, Harvard University announced today that it will not accept the federal stimulus funding it was awarded. Full announcement

Princeton announces over Twitter it won't either April 22, Twitter—#PrincetonU has determined it will not accept funding allocated under the CARES Act. Princeton has not yet received any of these funds, and never requested any of these funds. See here.

Stanford follows suit: April 22, Twitter—“Therefore, Monday morning we contacted the Department of Education to ask that our application for relief funds under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund section of the CARES act be rescinded.(5/6)” here


An Argument for ‘Remote’ Rather Than ‘Online’ Instruction

April 29, InsideHigherEd—Might high-touch, residential colleges be better off tweaking the synchronous instruction they've done this spring rather than making a bigger shift if campuses are still closed to students in the fall? One campus official makes that case. Read more.


 

 

Colleges Won't Refund Tuition. Autumn May Force a Reckoning

May 1, NYTimes—Educators at schools from Brown to Northern Arizona know the experience is lacking. So why won’t they give some money back?

The coronavirus shows no sign of diminishing this year’s undergraduate degrees as a credential. But for the other two goals, the status quo can fall short. Read story


College Students Demand Coronavirus Refunds

April 10, WSJ—Online classes fail to give them the in-person experience promised, students say. Story


To Fight Coronavirus, Colleges Sent Students Home. Now Will They Refund Tuition?

March 19, WSJ—Stanford cancels some housing, dining charges; Harvard, Ohio State to return part of room-and-board fees. Story


Will Your College Open This Fall?

April 28, Forbes—Here is a list of some (not all) of the colleges and universities that have announced plans to reopen their campus this fall, or at least when they will make an announcement to reopen. Of course, public health or other data may change the overall decision (or timing of any announcement of a decision). Read column


Private Polling Causes More Cause for Concern About Fall Enrollment

April 28, InsideHigherEd—One in six students who'd planned to attend four-year colleges full-time no longer plan to do so, private polling says. Data show cause for concern even about those who've already put down deposits. Read more


California may start next school year in July if coronavirus is under control

April 28, SFChron—“Our kids have lost a lot with this disruption,” Newsom said during a news conference. “There’s been a learning loss. And you can either just roll over and just accept that or you can do something about that.”

Newsom said an earlier start to the school year could allow California to close the gap for students who have fallen behind this spring. Districts across the state began closing campuses in March as the coronavirus spread, forcing students to finish the last two to three months of the year remotely. Original story

 

Southern New Hampshire University Sets Out to Reimagine Campus-Based Learning, Offers Full Tuition Scholarships for Incoming Freshmen

April 22, snhu.edu— Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) announced today its plans to redefine and reimagine the traditional campus-based learning model to bring more affordable, flexible, and accessible degree pathways to students and families. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic downturn, and the great uncertainty facing higher education, SNHU is accelerating its work to develop new campus-based models that will bring campus tuition down to $10,000 per year by 2021, a 61 percent reduction from its current rate. Full Story

Beloit College president explains the college’s motivation to develop new approach to semester schedule April 2, Beloit College

Rethinking the Academic Calendar, April 20, InsideHigherEd (Article on Beloit)

Is This the End of College as We Knew It? April 19, InsideHigherEd (opinion)

Cal State Fullerton announces plans for online this fall. Will others follow?

April 21, LATimes—Fullerton is one of only a handful of universities in the country to announce their intent to proceed with remote instruction this fall. None of the other 22 California State University campuses have decided yet, according to systemwide spokesman Michael Uhlenkamp. Full Story

Harvard Newspaper Asks Administration to Consider Postponing Fall Semester

April 20, Harvard Crimson—First, a Harvard College education simply cannot be replaced by classes over Zoom.” Read full editorial

How to Responsibly Reopen Colleges in the Fall

April 16, InsideHigherEd—If we do this right, we can guard the health of students, faculty and staff, as well as the broader community, Claire Laporte and Leonard Cassuto write. Read full opinion

Class action lawsuits begin as students seek to recover costs

April 20, InsideHigherEd—At least five institutions and university systems are facing class action lawsuits filed by students who want refunds on spring semester tuition and other fees.  Read more


Students are suing their colleges for coronavirus-related refunds

April 13, CNBC—Because the nature of their education has so drastically changed, many students are asking for their money back.  Story


 

Universities consider possibility of canceling in-person classes until 2021

April 15, CNN—A number of universities are beginning to consider the possibility that in-person classes may not resume until 2021.

Boston University has already canceled all "in-person summer activities" on its primary campus. But the school's coronavirus recovery plan includes protocols should officials deem it not safe to return in-person for the fall semester, and says classes would continue to be held remotely through the fall semester." Full story.

Boston University emphasizes planning is for contingencies: current plan is to open campus in fall

April 10, BU Today: "Boston University is planning to resume its on-campus, residential program in the fall of 2020, following the recommended best health practices around the coronavirus pandemic." (statement  at BU Today)


Closed Schools Would Stay Shut in First Phase of Trump Reopening Guidelines

April 16, EdWeek—The new guidelines rely heavily on testing for the coronavirus; in their first phase, schools that are now closed would not reopen, but could resume operations in subsequent phases. Read more


Texas universities answer questions about college admissions changes due to COVID-19

April 16, KVUE Austin—Answers from UTAustin, TAMU, TXST, and UofH are insightful to all families trying to understand potential changes. Full article


How pass/fail grades might affect admissions and transfers for students 

April 13, InsideHigherEd—Many colleges and universities, after looking at the havoc the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked on student lives, have decided to offer a more forgiving grade structure. Full article


STATE-BY-STATE DATA ON GRADUATION REQUIREMENT CHANGES

See full data updated every Friday at EducationWeek, here

Head of AP Program at College Board answers questions about how Coronavirus is affecting this year’s tests April 17, EdWeek

How coronavirus is impacting SAT and other standardized testing

April 17, ABC News—The College Board canceled its June SAT test.

College Board cancels June SAT tests and floats an ‘unlikely’ scenario: College admission exams at home

April 15, WashPost—"The spring wave of SAT cancellations continued Wednesday as the College Board announced it will scrap the college admissions test scheduled for June 6 nationwide because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now comes what the testing organization calls an “unlikely” scenario: the prospect that the high-stakes SAT could be administered online, and at home, this fall." Full story.


ACT to offer students summer test date options and ACT test online at home

April 16, The ACT Test—IOWA CITY, Iowa—In response to uncertainty and school cancellations due to COVID-19, ACT announced today it will offer a flexible schedule for summer 2020 test dates and test-at-home options for fall/winter 2020. Full announcement

April ACT Testing Postponed

The ACT TestACT has rescheduled its April national and international tests in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). All students registered for April test dates will receive an email from ACT informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June or a future test date. Full announcement


June SAT and SAT Subject Test Administration Cancelled

April 15, College Board—To keep students safe, and in alignment with public health guidance and school closures across 192 countries, we will not be able to administer the SAT or SAT Subject Tests on June 6, 2020. Full announcement.


April 15, NYTimes—The coronavirus is forcing the SAT and ACT to develop digital versions of the standardized tests in case schools remain closed. Critics fear that could deepen inequities. More here.

College Board's Press Release here.
Latest news updates on SAT here.


How Will The Online SAT Impact College Admissions?

April 15, Christopher Rim @Forbes (Opinion)—"Colleges and universities across the country have put forth exam-optional policies in light of the unprecedented situation, which means that students are not required to submit their standardized test scores. Others, however, like Yale University, have resisted such policy changes, claiming that they “expect there will be sufficient opportunities for all applicants to complete [standardized testing] before the next admissions deadlines.”" Full opinion


 

NYU prof rips colleges for being "drunk on exclusivity,” says coronavirus will force change

April 19, YahooFinance—“[What] we're about to see in education is the disruption that we've been predicting for decades, as parents see via Zoom classes that paying $68,000 for their tuition, and what is actually going on in universities is no longer worth it,” according to [Scott] Galloway.

“You're going to see a massive consolidation of the most powerful players, aided by big technology, and you're going to see an incredible destruction among the second and third-tier universities who have benefited from the cartel that is education," he added. More here


Self-service college shopping soaring

April 16, EAB—study shows a 93% increase in virtual campus tours over last year. More data


Ways to experience campuses without actually going there.....

April 13, WashPost— In light of the closures, admissions offices are allowing interested juniors as well as admitted seniors a better window into life on campus. Read more at WashPost

College Week Live Virtual Visits
YouVisit Virtual Campus Visits


How Colleges That Serve More Part-Timers Ended Up With Less Coronavirus-Relief Aid

April 16, ChronHIgherEd—"The situation is the result of the formula that Congress chose to allocate the more than $12.5 billion that will go specifically to colleges. In the law, Congress specified using the measure of “full-time equivalent” students rather than a simpler head-count figure to allocate the dollars." Full story


A perfect storm for hands-on technical education and job training programs 

April 13, ChronHigherEd—Low-Income Students Count on Finding Jobs. But the Pandemic Has Halted Their Job Training. Full story


 

Nevada Education News

Rockstar Academics world headquarters is proudly at home in Northern Nevada.

Nevada Interrupted: For UNR professor and some of his students, transition to online learning has been a rough road

April 28, NVIndependent—

The adjustment comes with challenges for educators like Reynolds School of Journalism Assistant Professor Ben Birkinbine, who called the transition “rough.”

“What a lot of people don’t realize is that basically for every hour of instruction, to try and put that online takes at least double the amount of time, if not triple,” Birkinbine said. “One of the things that many people also may not realize is that every semester we have students that have various learning disabilities, including the need for accessible content.”

He also mentioned that getting students to participate is another challenge, adding that only about 20 percent of his class of 70 students remotely attended an exam review for the Introduction to Media and Society course he teaches. Read story

Sisolak: Schools closed for remainder of 2019-20 year, details criteria to reopen economy

April 21, RenoGazetteJournal—Gov. Steve Sisolak said Nevada schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year during a press conference where he detailed the criteria that will signal when the state's economy can begin to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic…

Coronavirus-related travel and social distancing protocols have crushed the Nevada's tourism-driven economy in recent weeks, prompting huge waves of casino worker layoffs that have overwhelmed the state’s unemployment office…

Sisolak on Tuesday unveiled a framework to gradually restart the state’s COVID-clobbered economy — starting with gyms, certain restaurants and some outpatient surgery facilities, and working slowly toward casinos and other nonessential businesses first shuttered on March 17…

Sisolak said he was working closely to coordinate Nevada’s recovery efforts with other western governors working on similar plans, including top officials in California, Oregon and Washington.

Full Story

Video of Press Conference (Re: Schools, starting at 33 minutes)

Governor decides to keep school buildings closed for the duration of the Spring

April 21, ElkoDailyFreePress—“Nevada has a long-standing tradition of local control and, as such, district and school leaders are empowered to make decisions regarding the content of distance education, curriculum, and grades,” [Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone] Ebert said. “This applies to decisions regarding how best to handle graduation and other end-of-year milestones within the rules established by the Governor’s Emergency Directives and the guidance from public health officials.” Read more

Sisolak statement: reopening NV following White House Direction

April 22, ThisisReno—After much anticipation, pressure from elected officials and protests to reopen Nevada in Carson City and Las Vegas, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak on Tuesday released a partial plan for what it will take to reopen businesses in the state. Full story 

UNR College of Education adapting course material to online

April 16, UNR.edu—Professors in the College of Education are making alternative assignments to ensure meaningful education continues during trying times. Read more

Nevada protestors take to the streets amid pandemic

April 18, ThisisReno—Hundreds of Nevadans crowded in front of the Nevada State Capitol Building in Carson City protesting to reopen Nevadan businesses, like restaurants, small businesses, churches, hair salons and golf courses. Story and video report

 

 

Sisolak issues emergency directive, class of 2020 to graduate on time

April 15, Las Vegas FOX5—Gov. Steve Sisolak on Wednesday issued an emergency directive to support the class of 2020 graduating on-time. The directive aims to get diplomas in the hands of students so they are prepared to enter college. More here

Carson City School District submits tentative budget

April 12, NVAppeal—Sales tax numbers are dipping by 30 percent, creating a $450 million loss to the schools…

Despite Sisolak’s notification to state agencies to make ready for cuts, [School district chief financial officer Andrew] Feuling said, it’s most likely now that the state will stay at the $7,285 per pupil funding amount for school districts rather than reducing that rate. He said the last time he could find Nevada changed that figure in the middle of a biennium was 1993. Read full article


One high school student's story of coming graduation, without the in person crossing of the stage

April 21, RenoGazetteJournal—Staff at Sparks High are checking in with students, Susy says, but it’s not the same as seeing them in the hallways or lingering a little longer in a class to chat about an exam.  Read the story here

Budget cuts for Great Basin College system

April 10, ElkoDailyFreePress— In response to the economic decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents has approved a budget reduction proposal as requested by Gov. Steve Sisolak.

The cuts, which will total up to $124.7 million over a two-year period, cover Great Basin College and other institutions in the system.

President Joyce Helens said she is “confident” that GBC can move forward without cutting positions.Full story

Nevada suspends some financial policies

April 8, Las Vegas KNSV—“This is the right thing to do for our students to make sure they have every opportunity to succeed,” said Regents Chair Jason Geddes. Story

Nevada regents vote to ease grading and financial requirements

April 7, LVReviewJournal—The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents voted at an emergency meeting Tuesday to temporarily suspend a rule that prevented students with outstanding account balances from registering at NSHE schools or accessing their academic records and diplomas. Read more

Nevada regents suspend policies for students facing financial hardship

April 7, Reno KTVN—Suspending the policy through September 30, 2020, will allow students with delinquent accounts to register for courses and access their academic records for the summer and fall terms only; Students with and without outstanding balances from spring or summer 2020 who register for the fall 2020 semester will be required to pay the balance for their courses or have a payment plan in place by the beginning of the semester, under the temporary policy suspension. More here

 

 

Cox communications is offering 60 days of free internet service for online learning in Clark County

April 7, NVIndependent Story here

Sisolak asks state agencies to prepare for up to $687 million in budget cuts

April 4, NVIndependent—The first-term governor didn’t downplay the grim financial outlook facing the state. He said government budgets are “taking significant hits” and will not meet previous revenue projections…

Nevada’s state government, which is largely dependent on sales tax revenue, is likely to endure a massive financial hit over the coming months ...

Prior to the arrival of COVID-19, Sisolak said his office had started the process of building a child and family-centered government.

“Education was a key part of that plan,” he said. “Unfortunately for all of us, some of those efforts will have to be put on hold temporarily as we now face a new reality.” Full report

Nevada state superintendent issues guidance for graduation

April 3, NvIndependent—The Nevada Department of Education issued a nine-page guidance document Friday suggesting that school districts “consider alternatives to in-person graduation ceremonies.” The paper also seeks to provide some clarity about how school districts should handle graduation requirements for the Class of 2020. It touches on four key areas — attendance, course completion, class rank and assessments — and gives school districts broad discretion. Full story

Washoe County School District Trustees grapple with uncertainty

April 2, ThisisReno—The March 31 meeting focused primarily on budget matters and fund summaries, but discussion also touched on the district’s superintendent search, which has been underway since the June 2019 release of Traci Davis. Read more

Nevada seniors, year disrupted

April 3, NVIndependent—Class of 2020 students wait in limbo for graduation decisions. Full story

UNR College of Education adapting course material to online

April 16, UNR.edu—Professors in the College of Education are making alternative assignments to ensure meaningful education continues during trying times. Read more

Sisolak issues emergency directive, class of 2020 to graduate on time

April 15, Las Vegas FOX5—Gov. Steve Sisolak on Wednesday issued an emergency directive to support the class of 2020 graduating on-time. The directive aims to get diplomas in the hands of students so they are prepared to enter college. More here

UNLV will distribute $11.8 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to students

April 29, 2020, LVReviewJournal—UNLV — among other colleges and universities nationwide — was awarded the funding through the CARES Act passed by Congress.

In a Tuesday letter to students and employees, UNLV Vice President for Student Affairs Juanita Fain wrote: “We understand this global pandemic has presented incredible challenges for most of our students.”

Federal money, though, will provide only “some relief to a subset of our students,” she wrote.

UNLV will distribute the first round of funds — each ranging from about $500 to $1,000 — to students automatically based on financial need. The letter doesn’t specify how many students will receive aid.

Students who qualify based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid information will be notified on or before Friday through the MyUNLV online portal. They’ll have to take action to accept the funds.

Students who don’t receive automatic aid will have until May 15 to request assistance, Fain wrote. A request form will be available on or before May 6, and information will be sent to students via a campuswide email. Original story here.


Dr. Kristen McNeill named new Washoe County School District superintendent

April 28, Reno News 4 & Fox 11—

The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees voted 6 to 1 on Tuesday to appoint Dr. McNeill to the permanent role during Tuesday's meeting. Trustee Jacqueline Calvert was the only member who voted against the appointment of Dr. McNeill.

McNeill, who has been serving as the interim, took over when former superintendent Traci Davis was fired after a 6-1 vote in July 2019. More here

Watch the Board of Trustees Meeting on YouTube


 

Regents approve NSHE budget cuts, along with student surcharge

April 11, LasVegas KTNV—Each of the proposals submitted to the Regents emphasized mitigating financial impacts to low-income students and avoiding layoffs. NSHE used approximately $60 million from the federal legislation known as the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ or ‘‘CARES Act” to first meet the gap in the budget reduction.

NSHE then used savings from not filling vacant positions, enacting a hiring freeze, repurposing capital funds, reducing operating costs, and other contracts as part of the reduction proposal.

Lastly, NSHE proposed a temporary per credit surcharge…calculated in proportion to current student fees at NSHE’s institutions. Read more

UNR Regents approve proposal for steep budget cuts, an attempt to avoid layoffs

April 10, NVIndependent—The Board of Regents approved a proposal for sweeping reductions Friday that would cut between $68 and $124 million from the Nevada System of Higher Education budget amid the most drastic crunch to hit state revenues since the 2008 financial crisis…

…all eight institutions across the higher education system agreed to enact strict hiring freezes and slash operating budgets as a means to meet even the least-damaging cut scenario of 6 percent for 2021…

Only at the highest-cut scenarios, 10 and 14 percent in 2021, will the system enact furloughs. Full story

K-12 Schools, Grading, and Standardized Testing

Amid Coronavirus Shutdown, States Tweak Graduation Requirements for Class of 2020

April 8, EdWeek—"States are moving swiftly to manage the educational fallout from school closures and other disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic for high school seniors, with more than 30 states already having enacted changes to their graduation criteria or guidance on smoothing out the unexpected bumps to students’ K-12 careers." Full Story

 


How the coronavirus shutdown will affect school district revenues

April 9, Brookings Institution—Facing a pandemic-triggered economic slowdown, U.S. school districts now need to consider doing something they haven’t had to do in recent budget boom years: Draft a budget that assumes they’re headed for a financial fall. (Read the rest.)


Betsy DeVos Releases First Coronavirus Emergency Aid for K-12 Schools

April 14, EdWeek—Governors can now officially apply for billions in aid intended to help public schools address the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Tuesday. (Full story.)


 

National Survey Tracks Impact of Coronavirus on Schools: 10 Key Findings

April 10, EdWeek—"The disruption in K-12 education due to the coronavirus is way more than anyone could have imagined just a couple of months ago. A system that has relied primarily on face-to-face interactions in school buildings for generations is now operating almost entirely virtual. That big, rapid shift has dampened morale among both teachers and students, and it has exposed huge equity problems in K-12 schools." Read more


Grading Students During the Coronavirus Crisis: What's the Right Call?

(Education Week) April 1—"It’s a tough call. Districts must balance what’s fair for students, considering that many don’t—or won’t—have full access to their teachers. There’s also an art to the messaging—they don’t want to communicate that they’re blowing off the rest of the school year." Full Story.


UC to ease admission requirements: No SAT, no letter grades due to coronavirus

(LA Times) April 1—The University of California announced Wednesday that it will greatly ease some admission requirements for fall 2020 and beyond by eliminating SAT scores and letter grades for required courses, saying that “grave disruption” to schools during the coronavirus crisis calls for maximum flexibility in evaluating students. Full report.


At-home AP Exam details Released

April 3—College Board has released details about the much-anticipated online AP exam process and dates. According to College Board, "Students can take the exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone. Taking a photo of handwritten work will also be an option."  More details:

  • Exams will be given from May 11 through May 22.
  • Make-up test dates will be available for each subject from June 1 through June 5. 
  • Students can take the exam at home or in schools, if they reopen.
  • Each subject’s exam will be taken on the same day at the same time, worldwide.
  • Options will be available for students who do not have access to connectivity required to review for the test and/or take the test online. 

Full details here.
See the schedule of exams here.
More about plans to ensure exams are secure here.
The  (online?!) form for students who don't have internet or a device.

Remote Education vs. Online Learning vs. Homeschool

April 8, NTTimes—Teachers at some schools across the country report that fewer than half of their students are participating in online learning. Article here.


New York City Tells Teachers to Stop Using Zoom for Distance Learning

April 7, USNews—Security concerns prompt New York City to stop using Zoom for online learning. Full story.


The 3 Biggest Remote Teaching Concerns We Need to Solve Now

April 2, EdSurge (Opinion)—"In some teacher preparation programs, pre-service teachers are not provided with any opportunities to engage with technology in meaningful ways. Other programs provide a standalone workshop or course about education technology. Meanwhile, fully infused programs, in which education technology is embedded across the curriculum, are rare.." Full opinion.


Sample Shows Significant Uptick, But Many Districts Still Not Providing Online Instruction

April 3—The Center for Reinventing Public Education is tracking the progress of 82 districts' progress rolling out remote learning plans for their constituents. It is slow and uneven progress.

The sample includes the nation's largest districts, and is thus not a representative sample of all districts nationwide.  See full analysis here. 


81% of Colleges Have Moved Entirely Online through End of Spring Term

April 2—79% anticipate delivering grades and degrees to be posted in the "normal timeframe," however according to a survey of institutions released by AACRAO on Thursday, April 2. Read more. 


Everybody Ready for the Big Migration to Online College? Actually, No 

(NYTimes) March 13—"One consequence of coronavirus: It will become more apparent that good online education is easier said than done." Full Story. 


The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning

(Educause Review) March 27—"Well-planned online learning experiences are meaningfully different from courses offered online in response to a crisis or disaster. Colleges and universities working to maintain instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic should understand those differences when evaluating this emergency remote teaching."  Read more.


From Wi-Fi to Food Drops: How Districts Are Tackling the Big Issues Now

March 27, Edutopia—Most education leaders say the U.S. has never faced anything like this before. The leader of Chiefs for Change on the short and long view as coronavirus continues. Read more.

 

Coursera Launches CourseMatch, A New Tool In Its Coronavirus Response Initiative

April 15, Forbes—Coursera, the online learning platform and one of the pioneers of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS),  announced today that it was launching CourseMatch, a machine learning solution that will automatically match Coursera courses to on-campus courses at colleges and universities across the globe. Read More


The Disparities in Remote Learning Under Coronavirus (in Charts)

April 10, EdWeek—"The messy transition to remote learning in America’s K-12 education system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been marked by glaring disparities among schools, according to nationally representative surveys of U.S. teachers and school district leaders administered by the EdWeek Research Center." full report


The K-12 Educator’s Guide to Safe and Effective Videoconferencing

April 9, EdWeek—Here's a guide to making your videoconferences more secure, pleasant, and productive. full story and downloadable guide


An Unexpected Tool for Remote-Learning During Coronavirus: Public TV Stations

April 6, EdWeek—School districts are getting help from an old school tech solution—television stations—that includes a cross-country public broadcast initiative to deliver remote e-learning activities while the unprecedented wave of school shutdowns affecting more than 55 million students continues. More here. 

Enrollment Crisis for Higher Education

April 15, NYTimes—The pandemic has already cost universities millions of dollars. As they consider the possibility of remote classes into the fall, they’re worried about losing students, too. Read more.


Why The Coronavirus Will Kill 500-1,000 Colleges

Apri 7, Forbes—Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, a large number of universities were in fair to poor financial shape, partly the result of a roughly 11% enrollment decline in U.S. higher education over the last decade (enrollment has fallen at an even greater pace at the lower reputation schools), and partly because of declining public support. Three types of schools especially were in trouble: non-selective private colleges with modest endowments, usually with a liberal arts emphasis; the bottom and middle tier state schools, especially in states, mostly in the East and Midwest, with stagnant population growth; and the community colleges." Go to article.


UK universities plead for billions of pounds in support

April 9, TheGuardian—Institutions promise to limit student intake and cut spending in return for bailout funding. Full story.


How Much Colleges Could Get from Higher Ed Relief Fund

Read the full report here.
Explore the data by state and type of institution here.

 Government cannot forget about higher education amid this crisis

April 5, The HIll (Opinion)—"Colleges and universities across the country are both a national treasure and a national responsibility. An educated population is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy and a dynamic economy where everyone is given the chance to succeed. But the coronavirus outbreak has jeopardized the future of higher education here in the United States, and it has become more important than ever for the government to step in to help protect the future of our cherished colleges and universities." Full opinion.


For Higher Education, Nothing Matters More Than September

 March 28, Forbes—"For many colleges, there are two large infusions of cash revenue each year. When students pay for the fall semester and then again for the spring semester. Cash flow gets very tight in the weeks before those tuition checks start coming in and less wealthy colleges often dip into a line of credit to carry them through. If they are denied normal tuition revenue this fall, as well as room and board revenue (room and board revenue often spells the difference between a deficit and a surplus for many institutions), they will be in crisis mode. " Full story


How Covid-19 is Accelerating the Disruption of Higher Education

Coronavirus Pushes Higher Education to the Brink

April 4, Bloomberg (Opinion)—Long-simmering troubles at America’s colleges and universities are about to boil over, consuming debt-ridden schools and redefining the campus experience. Read more.


Pandemic's New Victim? Free College

(Inside Higher Ed) April 3—Though they don't necessarily doom the plans, the financial struggles of states amid the coronavirus pandemic have become a major obstacle to free college proposals from presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Full Story


From Boom to Bust: It’s a New and Scary World for Higher Ed Fundraising

(Inside Philanthropy)—“My expectation is, there’s going to be a number of schools going out of business as a result of this,” said Rebecca Blank, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Read More. 


Fall Semester for Higher Ed Still Nowhere Near Normal

(PhilonEdTech) March 31—"What has become clear, however, is that it is unlikely that Fall 2020 will be any kind of normal, and there is reasonable likelihood that many schools will remain with online delivery (i.e. no face-to-face courses). Even for the schools that are able to start the fall term with face-to-face courses, I could easily see the need for another rapid transition to online if we hit a second peak of COVID-19 outbreaks." More here.