Introducing the McGraw Hill Equity Advisory Board
Our journey with educational equity has always been of a dual nature: we are learners, observing the creative approaches skilled educators use every day to empower students, and we are leaders, continuously working to apply evolving research to new instructional solutions that can support districts’ equity initiatives. Through that journey, and through our position as both listeners and contributors, learners and leaders, we recognize the importance of making a commitment.
Read more from Sean Ryan, McGraw Hill School Group President, here.
Advanced Education Research & Development Fund announces new national campaign
The Advanced Education Research & Development Fund has announced a new national effort to analyze and mitigate achievement gaps between low-income and higher-income pre-K-12 students. With a total of $200 million, the fund will support project proposals from teachers, researchers, parents or product developers on how assessment could be done better. Between now and 2023, the program will select about five research ideas to span three to five years with budgets of $20 million to $40 million. Temple Lovelace, director of the Assessment for Good program, comments: “As districts embark on leading-edge, innovative formats for instruction this fall, assessment must also evolve in a complementary fashion. It is time for our assessment practices to foster promise and ignite learning in new and imaginative ways.”
Ed. Dept. issues harassment response guidance
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released a Q&A document Tuesday highlighting procedures schools should take when responding to reports of sexual harassment. The document does not specifically address the rights of students who identify as transgender, but it does explain schools’ obligations in responding to complaints of sex discrimination. The resources, which follow policy based on 2020 amendments by the Trump administration, were made public while the department is conducting a comprehensive review of Title IX changes which will likely lead to proposed new rules.
Fauci clarifies updated AAP mask guidance
Anthony Fauci on Tuesday addressed conflicting coronavirus pandemic masks guidance for children returning to school this fall, recommending that parents do what is “locally asked for." Speaking on "CBS This Morning," Fauci was asked about the American Academy for Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendation that all students older than two years old wear masks regardless of vaccination status, which contradicts that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which said earlier this month that fully vaccinated students and teachers do not need to wear masks, and that even unvaccinated people don’t need to wear masks outside during gym or recess. He said the reason the AAP issued its guidance is because of the “high degree of infection dynamics,” adding: “If you look at the map of the country right now, there’s an uptick in cases in virtually all the states in the United States, and for that reason they want to go the extra mile to make sure that the children are protected in school.”
Poor first-time pass rates on teacher licensure exams prompt training quality concerns
Many aspiring teachers do not pass their state’s licensing exam on the first attempt and almost a quarter of those candidates who fail do not try again. For test takers of color, the rate of those who walk away from their teaching ambitions is even higher, at 30%. The first-time pass rates on elementary teacher licensure tests and the disaggregated data on race and ethnicity were released by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a Washington-based think tank. NCTQ underlined significant differences among teacher-prep programs even within the same state, with an average 56 percentage point gap between the institutions with the highest first-time pass rate and those with the lowest pass rate. Six states, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, South Carolina and Virginia, have at least one teacher-prep program where not a single test taker passed on their first attempt. “First-time pass rates may be a reasonable indicator of the quality of preparation candidates are getting,” comments Hannah Putnam, a project lead on the report.
Healthy turnout for Hollister School District summer classes
Emma Veltri, summer school principal at Hollister School District's Marguerite Maze Middle School, has reported a strong turnout for summer instruction. She remarked: “That is our goal, to get them excited to come back to school and excited to be a Maze Hawk.”
Hollister Free Lance
Masks for Stanislaus students
The Modesto Bee features an editorial on the issue of masks in schools, noting that "Perhaps nowhere is the battle more pitched than right here in
Stanislaus County. Last week, an earnest group of parents and educators,
joined by a few pupils, pleaded and demanded that the county Board of Supervisors use its
influence to shift deciding power from wary California leaders to local
school districts, which may be less likely to require masks." It concludes that masks are the "best way to keep our kids learning in schools. And keeping our schools open is something we all can agree on."
The Modesto Bee
Yoga classes increasingly a feature of California school days
Many schools in California are introducing yoga to daily routines, with Jesus Maldonado, an after-school teacher in the Hueneme Elementary School District south of Ventura, stating: "Yoga is a good way for students to connect with themselves. Sometimes, when there’s a lot going on,
they forget to think about themselves. This gives them a chance to relax
San Francisco Examiner
Calls to cut federal funding for charter schools
A provision tucked into the hefty federal budget proposal put forth by the House Appropriations Committee would cut money for charter schools by $40 million and could potentially even limit many charter schools from receiving any federal funds whatsoever. Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, has warned that the move would impact a majority of 3.3 million charter school students, who are overwhelmingly children of color and from low-income families. She told CNN that the language could impact schools that contract out for cafeteria services, special education services, or back office staff, some of the same things local district schools also hire private companies for. Without contracting out, schools may not be able to offer the services to special needs students that they are legally required to provide, Rees added.