‘It’s patchwork’: Rural teachers struggle to connect in pandemic
CLARKSDALE, Miss. — Kayden Rosebur’s first year of high school didn’t go as she expected. Instead of meeting new friends and dashing through the hallways between bells, the 15-year-old joins her classmates remotely from her house in the rural Mississippi Delta. Her unstable internet service keeps her disconnected. She has met her teachers in person only twice — to take exams. She doesn’t feel comfortable in class because no one turns on their cameras or makes conversation. She frequently turns her assignments in late because a computer program malfunctions or her connection drops. To get aroun...
South Carolina bill banning trans girls from women's sports takes first steps in the state House
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A bill that would effectively ban transgender girls from participating in high school and middle school women's sports took its first steps in the South Carolina House on Wednesday. The bill was approved by a panel of lawmakers in a House Judiciary subcommittee by a vote of 3-1 after hearing testimony from dozens of residents. Lawmakers voted to move the bill forward after South Carolina Superintendent Molly Spearman and other critics of the legislation called on lawmakers to vote against the initiative. "My responsibility as state superintendent is to make sure every child fe...
The State (Columbia, S.C.)
Pipe bomb and loaded gun found at Sacramento elementary school, deputies say
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Authorities on Tuesday found a pipe bomb and a loaded homemade gun near the front office of Baker Elementary School in south Sacramento, sheriff's officials said. The pipe bomb and the homemade gun, also known as a "zip gun," were found on the sidewalk just outside the front office Tuesday morning, before children students arrived on campus, said Sgt. Rodney Grassmann, a Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman. "It was a real bomb and a real zip gun," Grassmann said. "They were both loaded and ready to go." He said the metal pipe with a fuse was found with metal shrapnel, ga...
The Sacramento Bee
Students at John Hancock College Prep in Chicago say school should be renamed because Hancock owned slaves
CHICAGO — John Hancock is best remembered for his sweeping self-confidence and outsize signature, but there’s more to the story of the wealthy Boston merchant who risked his life for American independence. The great champion of freedom from Britain owned two or three slaves, according to the 1980 biography “The Baron of Beacon Hill.” That little-known fact is at the center of a battle brewing at Chicago’s John Hancock College Prep High School, where students are highlighting Hancock’s history as a slave owner in their drive for a new school name. Members of the school’s Social Justice Club pub...
Mac Engel: Texas high schools are losing thousands of coaches. How some are tackling the crisis.
Coaches are leaving Texas high schools at a rate of about 6,000 per year. With the state’s population of nearly 30 million and counting, that number may not look that bad, but ... “We are at a crisis point,” said Joe Martin, the executive director of the Texas High School Coaches Association. “That 6,000 (obtained from the Texas Education Agency) was from 2017. We know now those numbers are even bigger today. “The pandemic is going to push this even bigger because of the struggles all coaches and teachers are facing. We think the attrition rate is closer to 20 percent.” This is not just a Texa...
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Some worry a drop in financial aid applications means fewer low-income students are considering college
Colleen McCaffrey, a senior at Northeast High in Philadelphia, spends much of her time trying to persuade her classmates to fill out federal college financial-aid forms. It’s a tougher sell this year. ”The hardest thing is just getting to people,” said McCaffrey, who’s part of Peer Forward, a program that trains teenagers to help their peers prepare for college. “In the past, we had assemblies. We could go into homerooms and talk to people in person. You can’t do that this year.” At Northeast, the city’s largest high school, about 46% of the 833 seniors have completed their Free Application fo...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
New standards for Illinois teachers in training are latest flashpoint in culture wars
CHICAGO — As dean of Illinois’ largest teacher preparation program, Jim Wolfinger works to cultivate socially aware educators who can inspire students in any setting — whether that’s an urban neighborhood with racially diverse families or a small farming community. “The literature for a long time has told us: If we think of teaching as simply delivering the content, then you’re going to struggle with many of the kids in the classroom, because it’s not connected to their personal lives,” said Wolfinger, who leads the College of Education at Illinois State University. But in recent weeks, a poli...
These twin-sister Philly physicians have their patients’ backs – and each other’s, too
PHILADELPHIA –Even for identical twins, Elana McDonald and Delana Wardlaw have a lot in common. Both Philadelphia physicians, the sisters graduated together from Central High School (class number 251), Temple University, and Penn State’s College of Medicine. They inherited their parents’ belief in the power of education. They also learned well their mother’s lessons about standing up for yourself, for what you believe in, and for the people you love. And if you ask which twin is the outgoing one and which is more demure, their answer doesn’t miss a beat: “There is no quiet one,” says McDonald,...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Will Bunch: How Biden got it wrong about Penn, the Ivies, student debt and America's 'college problem'
A generation ago, when Bill Clinton wanted to prove to Middle America that he wasn’t a cartoon leftist, he publicly bashed a previously obscure Black woman hip-hop artist named Sista Souljah. Last week, President Joe Biden — ever eager to cling to his centrist bona fides while pushing a mostly progressive economic agenda — found his Sista Souljah moment in the hypothetical persona of a young and presumably woke Penn grad demanding taxpayers retroactively finance their elite education. Indeed, America’s new 46th president dropped the healer-in-chief schtick and seemed to get his back up when a ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
CDC study on school virus outbreak ties spread to teachers
Amid debate over reopening public schools closed for almost a year by the coronavirus pandemic, a new federal study Monday indicated that when there were outbreaks on campus, they were chiefly driven by infected teachers. The study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined nine case clusters in a Georgia elementary school district in suburban Atlanta. “Educators were central to in-school transmission networks,” said the study, which also noted that “all nine transmission clusters involved less than ideal physical distancing, and five involved inadequate mask use by studen...
The Mercury News