10 Must-Read Education Stories From This Week

Photo: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels

10. Personal Data of 820,000 New York City Students Compromised

The breach of Illuminate Education, a taxpayer-funded software company the city’s Department of Education uses to track grades and attendance, resulted in a hacker gaining access to students’ names, birthdays, ethnicities and English-speaking, special-education and free-lunch statuses, sources said. Read Now

9. Approved Minneapolis Teachers Union Contract Includes Raises, Bonuses and Exemptions for ‘Underrepresented Populations’ From Layoffs

Minneapolis Public Schools students will return to class Tuesday, March 29, three weeks after teachers and educational assistants went on strike. Read Now

8. Nearly Half of Los Angeles Students Have Been Chronically Absent This Year

Nearly half of Los Angeles Unified students — more than 200,000 children — have been chronically absent this school year, meaning they have missed at least 9% of the academic year, according to data provided to The Times by the district in response to a public records request. Read Now

7. Washington State District Reportedly Adopts Race-Based School Discipline Policy

A school district in Washington state has passed a new policy that critics say encourages administrators to factor in race when disciplining students. Read Now

6. School Districts Bought AI Surveillance Cameras in the Name of COVID Safety, but the Tech May Be Here for Good

Through a network of security cameras, officials harnessed artificial intelligence to identify students whose masks drooped below their noses. Read Now

Commentary of the Week:

Photo: Max Fischer/Pexels

WEXLER: No, Anti-CRT Laws Don’t Actually Outlaw Lessons That Might Make Students Uncomfortable

Coverage and commentary have focused more on educators’ perceptions of and emotions about the legislation than on the actual language — making its “chilling effect” on instruction even frostier than necessary. Read Now

5. Teachers Union Given ‘Unprecedented Access’ in Crafting COVID School Reopening Guidance, Report Says

Republican lawmakers who sit on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis are releasing a report Wednesday revealing a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official’s testimony claiming that the agency coordinated with teachers’ unions at an extraordinary level in crafting its school reopening guidance, despite the agency’s earlier claims that such coordination was routine and nonpolitical. Read Now

4. No More Than 6% of Newark Students in Grades 3–7 Expected to Reach ‘Proficient’ Level on State Math Tests

Newark students have made scant academic progress so far this school year, according to sobering new test scores that underscore the severity of the pandemic’s toll on student learning and the extraordinary measures that will be required for students to recover. Read Now

3. Florida Governor Signs Parental Rights Bill, Prohibiting Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Instruction in Grades K-3

House Bill 1557, officially named the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, has garnered nationwide attention and controversy. Read Now

2. Biden Proposes $12 Billion Increase in Education Spending

Just two weeks after President Joe Biden signed into law the largest increase for federal education programs in an annual budget in more than a decade, the U.S. Department of Education aims for an even bigger investment in FY 2023 with a total of $88.3 billion in discretionary spending, a 15.6% increase from FY 2022. Read Now

1. 44% of High School Students Say They Felt Hopeless During the Pandemic, 66% Found It Harder to Complete Schoolwork

A greater proportion of U.S. high schoolers reported feeling persistently hopeless or contemplating suicide during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated an already growing mental health crisis among youth, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read Now

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