Tough love: Study shows kids benefit from teachers with high grading standards
They might not want to hear it, but it’s true: Students assigned to teachers with tougher grading policies are better off in the long run, research suggests. According to a paper released last fall through Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform, eighth- and ninth-graders who learned from math teachers with relatively higher performance standards earned better...
By Kevin Mahnken | March 30, 2023
Q&A: Educator & Khan Academy founder Sal Khan on COVID’s staggering math toll
By some measures, Sal Khan is the most influential math teacher in U.S. history. The 46-year-old entrepreneur and former financial analyst is the founder of Khan Academy, a nonprofit site offering thousands of free video lessons on a range of K-12 subjects. Since its beginnings as a YouTube channel (which itself grew out of Khan’s...
By Kevin Mahnken | February 16, 2023
A DARPA for K–12? Omnibus bill includes substantial new funds for education R&D
Funding increases written into the recently passed $1.7 trillion federal omnibus package will provide a substantial jumpstart to education research and statistics this year — and could even evolve into an entity mirroring DARPA, the Pentagon’s storied research and development branch. The law, passed by bipartisan majorities and signed by President Biden in the closing days of...
By Kevin Mahnken | January 9, 2023
14 Charts this year that helped us better understand COVID’s impact on students, teachers and schools
The pandemic had to end sometime. Historians will ultimately place its climax at some point in 2022. It was the year that Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s most prominent public health authority, declared that the country was “out of the pandemic phase,” as COVID case rates plummeted from their Omicron highs. By the fall, President Biden...
By Kevin Mahnken | December 21, 2022
Teachers felt more COVID anxiety than healthcare workers, study finds
Teachers were far more likely than other workers to experience anxiety during the first year of the pandemic, a newly released study has found. And among teachers, those who worked remotely for most of the 2020-21 school year reported higher rates of depression and loneliness than those who worked in-person. The study, which leverages a...
By Kevin Mahnken | November 28, 2022
Despite COVID backlash, Thurmond sails toward second term as California schools chief
California’s race for state superintendent is in its final days. But according to some local observers, the outcome has been in hand for most of the year. Incumbent Superintendent Tony Thurmond might have avoided campaigning entirely, in fact, if he’d picked up just a few extra points of support in the June primary. Instead, he...
By Kevin Mahnken | November 3, 2022
Heading into midterms, GOP finds all school politics is local
The staging is classic for a campaign ad in late-September: a close-up of a disappointed-looking woman sitting at a kitchen table. The speaker is a mother of five in Wichita, and the target of her reproach is Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly. A Democrat, Kelly was America’s first governor to order K-12 buildings closed in the spring of...
By Kevin Mahnken | October 25, 2022
Nation’s report card shows largest drops ever recorded in 4th and 8th grade math
National testing data released this morning reveals severe damage inflicted on student math and reading performance, reaffirming COVID-19’s ongoing educational toll. Even as some states have shown evidence of academic recovery this year, federal officials cautioned that learning lost to the pandemic will not be easily restored. Eighth-grade math scores on the National Assessment of...
By Kevin Mahnken | October 24, 2022
New poll: Majority of adults don’t trust educators to handle sensitive topics
New polling on the American education system shows widespread approval of local schools — along with ominous signs of dissatisfaction among both parents and the public at large. In a report published today by PDK International, a professional organization for teachers, over 1,000 adults expressed higher levels of faith in their community’s public schools than have ever...
By Kevin Mahnken | September 6, 2022
Q&A: Education reporter Anya Kamenetz on COVID failures & students’ Stolen Year
At the moment in March 2020 when American schools were transitioning to remote instruction — around the time when people were making jokes about Corona beer and commentators still mused about spending two weeks to “flatten the curve” — Anya Kamenetz was making calls. Kamenetz had spent years covering the heaviest stories on the education...
By Kevin Mahnken | September 1, 2022