New York City’s entire public school system will shut on Thursday, signaling that a second wave of the coronavirus has arrived as the city is still struggling to revive from its devastating spring, when it was a global epicenter of the pandemic. The shutdown was prompted by the city’s reaching a 3 percent test positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average, the most conservative threshold of any big school district in the country. Schools in the nation’s largest system, with 1.1 million students and 1,800 schools, have been open for in-person instruction for just under eight weeks. view article arw

With the impending change of administrations in Washington, public education advocates across the country have taken to social media to express their joy in the inevitable departure of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education. As one of the most consistently polarizing figures of the Trump administration — and as someone perceived by educators as a foe more than an ally — DeVos has presided over efforts to expand government funding for private religious schools and charter schools by redirecting funding from public education. view article arw

T74: Biden’s education secretary

November 1208:40 AM

We begin today with some eye-popping numbers out of California: new data that shows an 89 percent surge in chronic absenteeism among some elementary school students over last year, meaning nearly 1 in 5 children missing 10 percent of school. And that's just in 11 select districts that are part of a program to increase attendance; statewide, the surge could be as high as 220 percent. Linda Jacobson has the numbers. view article arw

Now that President-elect Joe Biden has named a 20-person education transition team, the education world is trying to glean insight from its makeup as to what the next president will do to try to improve America’s public schools.  Some progressives are worried that the list of members is heavy with former members of the Obama administration, whose controversial education policies ultimately alienated teachers’ unions, parents and members of Congress from both major political parties. Some conservatives are concerned that four of the team’s members come from national teachers’ unions. And others wonder what it means that Biden chose Linda Darling-Hammond — the first Black woman to serve as president of the California Board of Education and an expert on educational equity and teacher quality — to lead the team.    (12) view article arw

Supporters of three education-related ballot initiatives in California are hoping the potential for what one advocate called “record-shattering” turnout on Tuesday will give their measures a lift at the polls.  Voters in the Golden State will decide if a tax assessment formula that has been in place for more than 40 years should be amended — potentially providing more than $4 billion for public schools. They will also decide on bringing affirmative action back in college admissions and allowing 17-year-olds to vote in primaries. view article arw

French schools held a nationwide minute of silence Monday in tribute to a teacher who was beheaded for opening a class debate on free speech by showing students caricatures of the prophet of Islam.  Samuel Paty was killed on Oct. 16 outside his school in suburban Paris by an 18-year-old refugee of Chechen origin to punish him for showing the caricatures published by the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which triggered a newsroom massacre by extremists in January 2015.  Since their re-publication in September at the start of the ongoing Paris trial over the killings, France has endured three attacks blamed on Muslim extremists: one by a Pakistani refugee that injured two people outside the newspaper’s old headquarters, the slaying of the schoolteacher, and a deadly knife attack last Thursday in a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice. France's anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened investigations into all three, and France is now at its highest level of alert. view article arw

Responses can still be submitted over the phone or online at  Thursday is the last day to be counted in the 2020 Census, the agency announced earlier this week after a long back and forth about when data collection would end.  The 2020 Census is still accepting responses online at, by phone, or by mail -- as long as it's postmarked by Oct. 15. There are options to respond online and over the phone in 13 different languages.    (16) view article arw

KUTV — Cheri Kiesecker of Colorado-based, Parent Collation for Student Privacy, reviewed a lawsuit filed by the Utah Online School of Utah against a company called K12 Inc.  Kiesecker says she was stunned by what she read.  “Honestly, I find it disturbing that companies can access student information and use it for marketing purposes," says the student privacy watchdog. view article arw

A coalition of education groups is urging Congress to provide at least $200 billion to help schools weather the covid-19 pandemic at a time when state revenue is lagging and school districts are facing unprecedented needs.School superintendents have been warning for months that they need more help from the federal government for the 2020-21 school year to adapt to the new learning environments that are necessary to keep students engaged during the pandemic. view article arw

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It's the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility. Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, says in an article in the Washington Post, "Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans' rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism."  view article arw

A Mississippi school district has been ordered to desegregate its schools after what the Justice Department called a five-decade-long legal battle. The Cleveland School District, about two hours northwest of Jackson, was told that it must consolidate its schools in order to provide real desegregation for students in the city of about 12,000. view article arw