Back to Class #78

Deepnews Digest #78

Back to Class

Editor: Christopher Brennan
It’s a question that has been looming over the heads of parents, students and administrators since lockdowns began in the spring. What happens when everyone is supposed to go back to school? This week’s Digest, chosen in part by our Twitter followers, is the return to classes, online or off. Read up on issues of safety, technology and equality, all gathered together with the Deepnews Scoring Model.
Editor’s note:
Coronavirus, including its impact on education, has been and continues to be global. In that vein, Deepnews is launching five new newsletters on regions that are traditionally undercovered by the biggest newspapers in North America and Europe: Africa, East Asia, Latin America, The Middle East, and South Asia. They are available now as part of our free trial or, for subscribers, through the My Newsletters page of your account.
Published every Friday


Pandemic learning “pods” don’t have to be just for the rich

It’s almost August. School starts in many parts of the country in less than a month. And the coronavirus pandemic is still raging, with Florida hospitals full and 18 states setting single-day records last week.

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New York Times

How 2 New York Schools Became Models for Coping in a Pandemic

Vulnerable children need creative solutions, educators say: “The entire system has missed something if they don’t rethink what the fall semester looks like.”

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Irish Examiner

Special report: Demand for new student accommodation in Cork could be hit by the pandemic

Thousands of student beds are under construction all over Ireland, aiming to bridge the gap between supply and demand in the student accommodation market.

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Editor’s Note:

Housing is a major issue in Ireland, and that includes student housing. Here the Examiner covers accommodation built to deal with the demand, though now faces the possibility that the demand has dried up. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Salt Lake Tribune

Parents on Salt Lake City’s west side — where the virus has hit the worst in Utah — don’t want to send their kids back to school

On the west side of Salt Lake City — where the prevalence of the coronavirus has been the worst in the state — parents are feeling scared and frustrated and ignored.

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Chalkbeat Chicago

Can Chicago find its missing students in time for fall?

The school district has grappled with how to reach students who fell out of contact with their schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Hill

Congress should consider the evidence in funding college students’ success

As it considers another COVID relief package, Congress should provide additional financial support to unemployed and underemployed workers seeking new skills. Research on the 2008 recession makes clear why that matters: 95 percent of the jobs created in the wake of that recession required a college education. In both good and bad economic times, the likelihood of securing a fulfilling career with good wages and work conditions increases with a college credential.

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LA Times

Parents rush to hire tutors and create learning pods. But not everyone has options

The advertisements started popping up on social media almost immediately after Los Angeles Unified School District said campuses would remain closed for the start of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Inside Higher Ed

Will virtual learning be better this fall? Will it be better enough?

As colleges head toward the remote fall they dreaded, they must deliver a more compelling learning experience than last spring’s. Most think it will be better, but it may not give students what they crave.

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Washington Post

As public schools go all virtual in fall, parents eye private schools that say they will open their campuses

Valerie Kindt wants to return to work full time. Kindt, the mother of a rising third-grade son, scaled back her hours to part time at an international nonprofit organization in April so she could guide her son through his daily four hours of remote-learning lessons at his D.C. public school. But she thinks this is a pivotal time in her career and fears what being a part-time employee will mean for her professionally.

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Editor’s Note:

The disruptions to daily life, including work, that a lack of schooling for children has caused is moving some parents to seek other options. Here Perry Stein covers a gamble on schools that say they will still reopen in-person in the fall. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

The Conversation

Parents with children forced to do school at home are drinking more

We found that parents who are stressed by having to help their children with distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic drink seven more drinks per month than parents who do not report feeling stressed by distance learning. These stressed parents are also twice as likely to report binge drinking at least once over the prior month than parents who are not stressed, according to our results. Binge drinking, which varies by gender, is when women consume at least four, or men have at least five alcoholic beverages (which includes beer, wine, or liquor) within a couple hours of each other.

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Telangana Today

A new dawn for education

It can be stated with a lot of confidence, hope, expectation and even pride that few documents are as comprehensive and inclusive, idealistic and pragmatic, broad-based and focused — such binaries are endless — as the National Education Policy 2020. Its title shows a determination to achieve consistency; its contents show its categorical assertion of flexibility and feasibility. The document addresses, systematically, every aspect of India’s education system to consolidate its strengths, and conquer its weaknesses.

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Chalkbeat Colorado

What is a cohort and how will it help schools keep students safe?

Public health officials say it’s inevitable that cases of COVID-19 will turn up in Colorado schools as the school year starts. But as they do, officials stress the use of cohorts as a key way to prevent uncontrolled outbreaks.

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Star Tribune (Minnesota)

‘Localized’ Minnesota school plan sets thresholds for reopening

Gov. Tim Walz’s “Safe Learning Plan” allows for online, hybrid or in-person classes.

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Deutsche Welle

School haircut controversy reflects authoritarian attitudes

In a new post-COVID-19 world, many of Thailand’s antiquated school rules remain. But some students are rebelling against an education system which they say nurtures a culture of unquestionable acceptance of authority.

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Editor’s Note:

The pandemic has also been a time for reevaluating how things are done. Emmy Sasipornkarn takes the opportunity to examine the Thai school system now getting back in session. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Education Dive

Trump administration pares back DACA ahead of an uncertain fall

The announcement comes nearly six weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the program, saying the administration did not follow proper administrative procedures in its attempt to end it.

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Mail and Guardian (South Africa)

Children will learn under lockdown

If a student in any programme, at whatever level, does not work on the curriculum, it is a given that there will be a loss of learning. In the long summer holidays in the United States, this is known colloquially as the “summer slump”. It is inevitable that, around the world, there will be a pandemic slump. It is not easy to make peace with that.

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CT Post

Parents: Distance learning a ‘disaster’ for kids with disabilities

As remote learning continues in summer-school programs and remains a possibility for the upcoming school year, parents of children with disabilities call the system a “disaster” that fails to provide students with services they are legally entitled to and desperately need.

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The Guardian

Around 30,000 jobs may be on the line at universities – we have to fight back | Jo Grady

Universities employ armies of casualised staff, who are seen as disposable when a crisis hits. This isn’t fair

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Inside Higher Ed

Regional public colleges prepare to return to on-campus learning

Many regional public universities plan to open campuses this fall, against a backdrop of financial, political and enrollment pressure — and a push by many students to return.

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Scientific American

Reimagining Colleges and Universities to Make Them More Equitable

COVID-19 could amplify the persistent lack of diversity in higher education — but it also gives us a chance to fix it

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Distance learning makes universities more vulnerable to cyberattack

TechRepublic’s Karen Roby spoke with Carlos Morales of VP and general manager of DDoS Security Services at NetScout Systems, which provides application and network performance management products, about security concerns with remote learning at universities.

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Editor’s Note:

One of the biggest changes to school this year will of course be the technology. Here Karen Roby chats with an expert about the cybersecurity dangers that could lurk in the upcoming months. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Caixin Global

In Depth: Chinese Students at U.S. Colleges Face Uncertain Future

Until a few weeks ago, Zhao Litian was envisioning a fall semester of science experiments, conversational Russian lessons and long runs through the wooded gorges of upstate New York.

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College Campuses and Towns Have No Good Choices

Partial reopenings are an invitation to Covid-19 outbreaks while shutdowns will squeeze tuition and local spending.

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‘We have each other’: Saddled with remote learning, college students create off-campus dorm experiences of their own

Like thousands of students across the country, Harlow Brooks has resigned herself to the fact that her first year of college will be different from what she expected.

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Daily Nation (Kenya)

What the lost academic year means for candidates

As Covid-19 swept through the country and infection rates rose relentlessly, the Kenyan government declared 2020 a non-academic year for primary and secondary schools. That announcement meant that approximately 15 million learners would have to repeat their classes next year, including nearly two million primary and secondary school candidates.

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