California celebrates its linguistic diversity while shortchanging bilingual ed
California always seems to be ahead of the curve. Huge numbers of you are reading this column on Apple devices designed in Cupertino — and you got here by clicking a link on one of the social media companies with headquarters just down the road from there in Silicon Valley. The Golden State: it’s where...
By Conor Williams | November 21, 2023
‘Whole Child, Whole Life’ book offers 10 ways for kids to live, learn & thrive
Parents and caregivers have been struggling for pretty much as long as I’ve been in the game. Ten years ago, I had a playground chat with a mother of a toddler who felt like she was failing on all these complicated goals she had for her kid. This deeply unhappy stranger helped me realize something:...
By Conor Williams | November 1, 2023
Commentary: The pandemic’s virtual learning is now a permanent fixture of America’s schools
The rocket’s engine roars to life, and moments later, it slides up, up and up and away from the launchpad. An embedded video of the flight deck shows a worried, bug-eyed face behind the helmet visor — the astronaut’s pulling some G’s. He’s gone positively green. But wait — because this is a launch in Kerbal Space...
By Conor Williams | May 18, 2023
Why actually working isn’t enough to defend effective education ideas
There’s an old conversational set piece in the lively world of early education policy that goes something like this: a study comes out showing that pre-K programs do a solid job of raising children’s knowledge and skills, and even improve kindergarten readiness, but seem to be less effective at producing higher third-grade reading scores or some other...
By Conor Williams | August 10, 2022
Schools Are Now the Leading Target for Cyber Gangs as Ransom Payments Encourage Attacks
Shockwaves & Innovations: How Nations Worldwide Are Dealing with AI in Education
Report: In 24 States, Using False Address to Get Into a Better School is a Crime
‘It’s Trendy, It’s New’: Is The Future of Healthy School Lunch Vending Machines?
California Teen, a ‘16 Under 16 in STEM’, Gets a Big Surprise on The Kelly Clarkson Show
Williams: Schools are more likely to do what’s easiest for them if no one’s watching. Why standardized tests are critically useful, especially now
A clammy, sniffling toddler in the Washington, D.C. park near my house would have looked and sounded pretty normal — back in January 2020. But now, folks were giving the maskless toddler and her parents a wide berth as the two had an animated argument about their community’s right to know about those sniffles. Did they really...
By Conor Williams | December 20, 2021
A parent’s plea: After 18 lonely months of COVID, the kids are not alright. Here’s why this back-to-school season must balance learning with healing
It felt like this fall would — at long last — be different. Last March according to the National Center for Education Statistics, just short of 40 percent of U.S. students were still learning entirely remotely. Roughly the same percentage were back attending full-time in-person learning (another 23 percent of students were enrolled in hybrid learning)....
By Conor Williams | September 1, 2021
Williams: Let’s keep the innovations the pandemic brought to teaching English learners and reaching their families
Here, in the wrenching 13th — or perhaps 14th, depending on how you mark the tragedies — month of the pandemic, so many American families are frayed. Even with vaccines bringing us nearer to something like its end, the strains of the long lockdown are weighing on pretty much every parent, caregiver and kid. And...
By Conor Williams | May 24, 2021
Williams: The politics — and economics — around why we should make pre-K universal are changing
After a flurry of proposals early in the presidential primary campaign, as predicted, public education reassumed its usual place near the bottom of the national political hierarchy. The dynamics followed the normal pattern from recent years. While plenty of the presidential debates — and intervening media coverage — featured discussion of higher education affordability and...
By Conor Williams | April 29, 2020
Williams: Coronavirus pandemic reveals the reality — and the risk — of America’s child safety net being its public schools
What’s a school for in the 21st century? Start with the bedrock: they’re for helping children develop academic skills and access core content, right? Those famous R’s: reading, writing, ‘rithmetic, you know the deal. We also count on them to grow democratic citizens — informed, aware, civic-minded community members. But that’s just the beginning. Public...
By Conor Williams | March 18, 2020
Remembering LA parent leader whose example inspired families across the country seeking integrated schools
The first time Courtney Everts Mykytyn and I spoke, we almost didn’t get around to talking about schools. I was trying to interview her for an Atlantic Monthly article I was writing about privileged families hoarding access to dual language immersion programs. But we couldn’t stop talking about our kids. Hers were about a decade...
By Conor Williams | January 6, 2020