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Education #4

  • The student bait & switch
  • Saving music education
  • US student debt crisis
  • Making education equitable
Published every Friday


Trump administration drops restrictions on online-only instruction for foreign students

The Trump administration has rescinded its policy that would bar international students who only take online courses from staying in the US, a federal judge announced Tuesday in Boston.

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Editor’s Note:

The US government has reversed its decision requiring online-only international students to leave the country. Priscilla Alvarez writes about the decision and analyzes how it could benefit the entire education sector.

Brookings Institution

Progress on social mobility takes more than two viewpoints

A recent article in the Economist positioned the debate on social mobility in the United States with two leading economic views as fully representative. One view, grounded in dozens of analyses by Raj Chetty and colleagues of large administrative data, is that neighborhoods and place have an outsized influence in interfering with social mobility. This view points to the value of public investment in neighborhoods and housing with a particular lens on desegregation by race and social class. The other, grounded in analyses of evaluations of early childhood programs by James Heckman, is that children’s early learning environments — whether at home or in nonparental settings — have an outsized influence in shaping social mobility. This view points to the value of public investment in high-quality early education interventions, including home visiting but also preschool. These views — and the effort to present them as contradictions — are mostly right and also almost entirely wrong.

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The Margins (Substack)

The International Student Bait-and-Switch

People sometimes ask me why and how I came to the United States. There are multiple reasons. The first is, it was easier for me to come here than go to college in Turkey. Even though I was always a good student, I always hated standardized testing, especially the stress that came with it. Back in my day in Turkey, the way you entered college was taking a test offered only once a year, and hoping to score good enough to get into a good school. There were essays, no recommendation letters, and definitely no extra-curricular, except for the cram schools you had to go to after regular school.

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Rolling Stone

Steve Van Zandt’s Plan to Save Music Education During the Pandemic

Steve Van Zandt is trying to stay busy. “I’ve been producing records, and executive-producing records over the phone, believe it or not,” he says from his Greenwich Village home. “But I am looking for something to do in a semi-permanent way, you know?”

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Editor’s Note:

Music education is an important aspect of overall learning, despite the fact that it is not often discussed in the mainstream media. This Rolling Stone interview with Steve Van Zandt highlights the reasons why music curricula are lagging behind and also presents a few solutions.


Debt Nation: The Faces and Lives Behind America’s Student Loan Crisis

I hadn’t realized that college was optional until my best friend told me our junior year of high school that she wasn’t taking the SAT. As a child, I’d spent nights and weekends with my mom in the library as she finished her Ph.D., and I saw the material differences it made in our lives when she got that degree. I spent the summer before high school traversing the state of Texas for my older brother’s campus visits.

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NY Magazine

America’s Teachers Face an Impossible Choice

Arizona is sick. The state led the whole world in confirmed cases of COVID-19 last week, the New York Times found; the virus helped fill 89 percent of its intensive care beds. But next month, students and teachers will go back to school, and for some, that will mean walking back into classrooms for at least part of the week. The prospect puts teachers and other school workers in a vice. They can go to work, and risk life-threatening infection, or they can stay home. But staying home might not mean quitting. Two years ago, Arizona teachers joined the Red for Ed walkouts over low pay and a lack of funding for schools. Some say they’re considering a new round of protests, and they’re not alone. In other Red for Ed states, teachers are ready to protest again, this time for their lives.

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The Seattle Times

To make education equitable, policy won’t cut it. Educators need ‘courage to act’

Susan Enfield had an ambitious goal: End out-of-school suspensions, a practice that’s particularly harmful for most students of color at Highline schools. And it worked to some extent, at least for a couple of years.

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Dhaka Tribune

OP-ED: Give exams a smaller role in our learning system

A common perception among children and parents has persisted — that exams are the main reason for anyone to go to schools. Somehow, the whole exciting journey of learning new things, finding out interesting facts about the world, and finding out ways to solve problems that bother us, are lost and forgotten in the face of looming examination stress.

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Editor’s Note:

The role of exams in education has been a long-debated topic. Nazarul Islam, an educator based in Chicago, presents his views and argues that exams should have a much smaller role compared to the current state of affairs.

Jerusalem Post

Jewish early childhood education needs innovative educators: Here’s why

Early childhood education is hungry for investment in the future leaders of our community.

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The Baltimore Sun

COVID-19 leaving most private schools in financial despair

Across the country, private schools are in existential trouble thanks to COVID-19. Long financially struggling as they have had to compete against free public schools, several have already permanently closed, including two in Baltimore and five across Maryland. We are in danger of losing something precious: the only institutions able to provide something markedly different from government-controlled K-12 schooling. If not done right, government aid threatens to make matters even worse.

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