ACT scores fall to lowest level in 30 years
In yet another data point on missed learning during the pandemic, ACT scores from this year’s high school graduates dropped to their lowest level in three decades, according to a report released Wednesday. Exam-takers averaged 19.8 out of a possible 36 total points on the college admissions test, the first time since 1991 that nationwide results dipped...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | October 17, 2022
Q&A: Seeing the nuances behind the chronic absenteeism crisis
Students who miss at least 10% of school days are more likely to face reading difficulties by third grade, less likely to earn a high school diploma and are at higher risk of juvenile delinquency. There’s a word to describe when students surpass this troubling threshold: chronic absenteeism. It makes intuitive sense. Students who spend less time in the classroom...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | August 8, 2022
Do masks in school work? As mandates fall, pair of new studies may finally put debate to rest
Schools that required students and staff to wear masks saw significantly less coronavirus spread than those that did not, a pair of brand-new studies reveal. One report, which was reviewed and approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tracked cases in 98 percent of school districts in Arkansas from August to October 2021. It...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | March 16, 2022
Over 1 million HS grads skipped college in 2020. Only a tiny fraction re-enrolled in 2021
Sign up here for LA School Report’s newsletter. The first summer of the pandemic brought disappointing news to school counselor Marianne Matt. Many of the seniors who she had supported through the spring college admission process at Capital High in Madison, Wisconsin — where about three-quarters of students are Black or Hispanic, and 4 in...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | March 3, 2022
In the ‘Crosshairs’: Beleaguered School Superintendents Face COVID Wave of Firings
Facing Regional Shortages, U.S. Schools Now Employing 160,000 ‘Underqualified’ Teachers
L.A. vs. the Wonks: District’s 8th-Grade Reading Miracle on NAEP Draws Scrutiny
State of Play: Girls’ Athletics Rising — With or Without Trans Kids on the Team
16 Under 16: Meet The 74’s 2022 Class of STEM Achievers
Pfizer requests FDA authorize COVID shots for kids under 5
Children under 5 years old may be eligible for coronavirus shots as soon as the end of February — much earlier than previously expected. On Tuesday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that they requested the Food and Drug Administration authorize a two-dose regimen of their vaccine for children under 5. Meanwhile, the companies will continue to research the...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | February 3, 2022
Senior White House Education Advisor on how schools can access COVID testing to curb Omicron amid ‘supply crisis’
The Omicron surge may be peaking in some regions across the U.S., but schools are still buckling under the weight of high student and staff caseloads — and as school leaders labor to keep their doors open, many districts have found themselves running short on a relied-upon resource: COVID tests. There is a “COVID test...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | January 26, 2022
Ask the doctor: Navigating the ‘new math’ of Omicron in schools
It’s a tricky moment in the pandemic for parents. Mere weeks ago — though it may feel like a lifetime — K-12 operations seemed to be moving toward something of a pandemic equilibrium. Studies had confirmed that COVID spread less in classrooms than the surrounding community, children as young as 5 had gained access to vaccinations and,...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | January 18, 2022
‘We are here’: Debates over teaching history exclude Native people, Rhode Island Indigenous parents say
Growing up in Charlestown, Rhode Island, Chrystal Baker remembers reading a textbook in history class that said the Narragansett Indigenous people, who have lived in southern New England for tens of thousands of years, were extinct. “We’re not extinct,” the young student ventured, nervous about contradicting the lesson, but feeling she had to speak up....
By Asher Lehrer-Small | December 8, 2021
As threat of Omicron variant looms, school closures continue ticking upward
Even before the World Health Organization labeled the Omicron coronavirus strain a new “variant of concern” Friday, school closures were continuing to increase across the country. Last week, 621 schools across 58 districts announced new closures for a variety of reasons including teacher burnout, staffing shortages and virus outbreaks, according to counts from Burbio, a...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | December 2, 2021
CDC approves Pfizer shots for kids ages 5 to 11, roll out to begin Wednesday
Updated, Nov. 2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Tuesday evening endorsed the unanimous vote of a CDC vaccine advisory panel recommending Pfizer-BioNTech’s pediatric coronavirus vaccine for use in children ages 5 to 11. Her sign-off means shots can begin Wednesday for some 28 million children in this younger age group. The...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | October 28, 2021