The new face of homeschooling: Less religious and conservative, more focused on quality
By the time LaToya Brooks began homeschooling her three daughters last fall, the Atlanta mother had to ask herself: Why didn’t I do this sooner? A former public school band teacher, Brooks said she was largely inspired by the grim pandemic realities of her kids’ schooling: Her 7-year-old, born late in the year, was stuck...
By Greg Toppo | February 13, 2023
As OpenAI’s ChatGPT scores a C+ at law school, educators wonder what’s next
Though computer scientists have been using chatbots to simulate human thinking for more than 70 years, 2023 is fast becoming the year in which educators are realizing what artificial intelligence means for their work. Over the past several weeks, they’ve been putting OpenAI’s ChatGPT through its paces on any number of professional-grade exams in law, medicine, and business, among others....
By Greg Toppo | February 8, 2023
In 2022 midterms, career and technical education emerged as rare source of bipartisan agreement
In 2022, 36 states elected governors, and the races saw clear partisan divides on education topics from school safety to teacher pay. But a new analysis suggests that the 72 Democrats and Republicans running to lead their states found a few select issues they could all agree upon. Foremost among them: expanding career and technical...
By Greg Toppo | January 31, 2023
After charter school battles, top Biden education official offers an olive branch
Public charter schools may have lost some of the luster they enjoyed with centrist Democrats in Washington, D.C., a decade or two ago, but a top Biden administration education official this week sought to reassure the sector that it enjoys broad support on both sides of the aisle. “I do not believe that the bottom...
By Greg Toppo | January 18, 2023
The future of the high school essay: We talk to 4 teachers, 2 experts and 1 AI chatbot
ChatGPT, an AI-powered “large language” model, is poised to change the way high school English teachers do their jobs. With the ability to understand and respond to natural language, ChatGPT is a valuable tool for educators looking to provide personalized instruction and feedback to their students. O.K., you’ve probably figured out by now that ChatGPT...
By Greg Toppo | January 5, 2023
Biden administration’s new Title IX rules expand protections to trans students
The Biden administration is pursuing sweeping new changes to federal Title IX law to restore “crucial protections” for victims of sexual harassment, assault, and sex-based discrimination that it maintains they lost during the Trump administration. Under the proposed changes, announced Thursday, the law would protect victims against discrimination based not just on sex but on...
By Greg Toppo | June 24, 2022
‘Oregon Trail’ at 50: How three teachers created the computer game that inspired — and diverted — generations of students
In 1971, a trio of Minneapolis educators, using a hulking teletype machine connected to a mainframe miles away, designed the legendary game of westward expansion (and dysentery) that would help revolutionize personal computing. Despite more than 65 million copies sold, they never saw a dime. Do you want to eat (1) poorly (2) moderately or...
By Greg Toppo | December 6, 2021
‘I don’t know that the tests would survive’: As students enter third pandemic school year, researchers make case for assessments
In the spring of 2020, facing massive disruptions to in-person instruction, state education chiefs urged then-U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to waive federal test requirements that had been in place for nearly 20 years. She granted a blanket, one-year “accountability waiver.” But in February, with a new administration in place, then-Education Secretary nominee Miguel Cardona...
By Greg Toppo | September 14, 2021
Peering 30 years into the future, economists see lost earnings for the pandemic generation of students — but summer school might help
The year 2050 may seem a long way off, but in 29 years our current crop of K-12 students will be well into their careers. How will this chaotic school year have affected them? Recent findings from the University of Pennsylvania warn that over the next three decades, our recent COVID-related U.S. school closures, as...
By Greg Toppo | August 18, 2021
Returning this fall, by popular demand: virtual school. For communities of color, it’s largely a matter of trust
As more Americans receive Covid-19 vaccines and schools move to reopen widely, leaders are doing their best to make sure everyone gets the memo: School is happening in-person this fall. California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently told reporters, “We must prepare now for full in-person instruction come next school year.” In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said in...
By Greg Toppo | May 18, 2021