Education News Roundup #43 Remote Attendance Change, MS Sibling Priority, Collusion at Top Colleges, Banks Hints Remote Option, District 30 Diversity Plan

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Issue #43: January 15, 2022

Top Story
NYC Education Department Quietly Opens Door For Teachers To Allow More Remote Learning
Gothamist, 1/14/2022

The New York City Department of Education has updated its attendance policy to give educators discretion on allowing students to learn remotely during the current COVID surge, and to count those students as present for attendance purposes — a possible sign of movement towards a remote option for all students.

The policy update appeared online Friday afternoon without any formal announcement, a day after Mayor Eric Adams acknowledged the school system is considering a remote option. The change follows growing protest over his refusal to entertain the notion and a sharp decline in student attendance since COVID cases surged over the winter holidays. 
Other Top Headlines
MS Sibling Priority
NYC to make it easier for siblings to stay together in middle school
Chalkbeat NY, 1/12/2022

When middle school applications opened Wednesday, education department officials announced a new policy that makes it easier for siblings to attend the same school. The change applies to students who will start middle school in the 2022-23 school year.

School Collusion
Yale, Georgetown, Other Top Schools Illegally Collude to Limit Student Financial Aid, Lawsuit Alleges
Wall Street Journal, 1/10/2022

Sixteen major U.S. universities, including Yale University, Georgetown University and Northwestern University, are being sued for alleged antitrust violations because of the way they work together to determine financial-aid awards for students.

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Other Headlines

Learning Loss Losses
What Will It Take to Put K-12 Education on a Better Path?
RealClearEducation, 1/14/2022

The learning loss leads to substantial economic effects. According to an analysis from Dan Goldhaber, Thomas Kane, and Andrew McEachin, the deficit represents $43,800 in lifetime earnings per student. Multiply that by the 50 million students currently enrolled in public schools, and the figure is staggering: $2 trillion. Clearly, the impact is not only hurting our students today but will also be carried with them into their adult years.

Colleges Lost More Than 475,000 Students Last Year
National Student Clearinghouse, 1/2022

America has failed to learn from the safe opening of classrooms abroad
The Economist, 1/13/2022

NYC might create a remote option this school year, Chancellor David Banks tells parents
Chalkbeat, 1/13/2022

Banks hinted that one way to resolve that dilemma would be for teachers to livestream their classrooms, a model that educators have said is challenging to pull off — challenges that Banks acknowledged. The city’s current agreement with the teachers union prohibits schools from requiring teachers to livestream their classrooms. Banks said officials are meeting with the teachers union this afternoon.

“That’s my first goal was to say, ‘Can we turn that agreement around and just do a livestream and let kids just participate in the class?’” he said.

D30 Diversity Plan
NYC school district braces for another classroom diversity tussle
NY Post, 1/12/2022

The Department of Education has tapped a consulting firm to probe diversity in District 30 — which includes Long Island City and Astoria — and to eventually propose a new zoning format.

…District observers said they are expecting a contentious process that will echo a bruising school diversity campaign in District 28 that eventually fizzled with the onset of the coronavirus.

Adams: No Remote Learning Option in NYC Schools for 6 Months
The 74 Million, 1/12/2022

Schools See Big Drop in Attendance as Students Stay Away, Citing Covid-19
Wall Street Journal. 1/12/2022

More NSBA Fallout
New FOIA Document Asserts NSBA Letter Was Drafted at Request of Education Secretary
Parents Defending Education, 1/11/2022

In newly obtained emails between National School Boards Association board members Marnie Maldonado and Kristi Swett dated October 5-6, 2021, Ms. Swett —an officer of the NSBA board currently serving as secretary-treasurer —asserts that Chip Slaven (who was, at the time, the interim executive director of NSBA) “told the officers he was writing a letter to provide information to the White House, from a request by Secretary Cordona” [sic].

Analysis: Nearly One-Quarter of States Are Leaving the Public in the Dark About 2021’s Standardized Tests. That’s a Huge Problem
The 74 Million, 1/11/2022

Students Walk Out
NYC students walk out of schools to protest COVID-19 conditions
NY Post, 1/11/2022

Sources at several schools said that both administrators and teachers quietly signed off on the walk out and told students that they would not be subject to unexcused absences.

CDC changes school quarantine guidance: Will NYC follow new protocols?
SI Live, 1/11/2022

School Hack Attacks
Thousands of School Websites Went Down in a Cyberattack. It’ll Happen Again, Experts Say
EdWeek, 1/10/2022

“One of the things that we’ve seen in K-12 education is [increased] targeting of schools and districts for ransomware attacks,” said Amy McLaughlin, the cybersecurity director for the Consortium for School Networking, a group that represents chief technology officers in school districts. “And I think that we’re also starting to see an uptick in targeting of vendors who support K-12 schools and districts.”

Long Island school boards association side with Hochul in mask fight
NY Post, 1/10/2022

Union Collusion
Whoops: Leftist ‘Teen’ Group Says Teachers Union Is Behind Protest Asking Kids To Skip School
The Daily Wire, 1/10/2022

A purported student group called “Teens Take Charge” announced an action mirroring teachers’ union demands, saying New York City students would walk out of school on Tuesday to protest the lack of a “remote” option for teachers and students.

…Thirty minutes later, Teens Take Charge sent a “corrected” announcement saying the walk-out was an organic movement by kids, not the list of special interest groups. “CORRECTION: The Student Walk Out is organized by a concerned group of New York City public school students, not any existing organization,” it said.

Remote learning has failed our kids
The Spectator World, Op-Ed by Justin Spiro, 1/10/2022

Failing Passports
Kid-focused businesses grapple with new vaccine mandate
Crain’s NY, 1/10/2022

“I think the idea of doing [the 5-11 vaccine] under emergency use authorization, two doses for everybody, without any flexibility around this, I think is going to just not go over very well,” said Dr. Cody Meissner, chief of the division of pediatric infectious disease and professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, at that meeting.

In New York City 36% of children age 5 to 11 have had a first dose of the vaccine, and 21% have had two. (Currently, one shot is acceptable for entry ,but come Jan. 29 it will be two.) In Manhattan 57% of children have one dose, but that drops to one-quarter in the Bronx and Brooklyn and on Staten Island.

Chicago Teachers Union clears way for in-person classes to resume Wednesday in Chicago Public Schools after four days of cancellations over COVID-19 clashes
Chicago Tribune, 1/10/2022

Racist Admissions
TJ Papers of school board emails and texts: TJHSST admissions changes had “an anti asian feel underlying some of this, hate to say it lol”
Parents Defending Education, 1/10/2022

New documents released in a federal lawsuit filed by parents alleging anti-Asian discrimination case against the school board in Fairfax County, Va., reveal that board members knew that the new admissions policies to America’s No. 1 high school, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, were “racist,” “anti asian” and “political.”

Open Letter to Cornell University Board of Trustees
Cornellians Against Booster Mandate, 1/8/2022

Kids’ ED Visits for Cannabis Exposure Surged After Legalization in Canada
MedPage Today, 1/7/2022

Literacy Overhaul
Colorado’s curriculum crackdown
Fordham Institute, 1/6/2022

Colorado’s muscular effort to improve K–3 reading curriculum finally appears to be paying off. One of twenty states that passed or recently considered measures related to the science of reading, the Centennial State began cracking down on how its teacher preparation programs cover early literacy.

The Pretext of Diversity in American Universities
Quillette, 1/6/2022

Are COVID Vaccine Mandates for Kids Legal?
TabletMag, 1/4/2022

Covid and the rise of the Zoom class
The Spectator World, 1/3/2022

The New Council
Meet Your City Council: Learn More About NYC’s New Lawmakers
The City, 1/2/2022

THE CITY reached out to the new class of Council members with three questions and a request for a one-sentence answer to each. What you don’t know about your new representative might surprise you.