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Pandemic spotlights education inequities. What schools are doing to close the gaps.

When the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic recession hit in early 2020, everyone faced new challenges and abrupt life changes. Some individuals, families, and communities are experiencing the effects more acutely than others — and disruptions to Washington students are particularly concerning.  

“National studies indicate that interruptions in education because of the pandemic are hitting some students of color and students from low-income backgrounds particularly hard compared to their peers,” says Brian Jeffries, policy director for Partnership for Learning.

A recent McKinsey study estimates that, because of COVID-related remote learning, K-12 students could return to school in January 2021 experiencing seven months of learning loss — and losses could be greater if school buildings remain closed beyond January. The study also concludes that learning loss experienced by Black students (10.3 months), Latinx students (9.2 months), and students from low-income backgrounds (12.4 months) could be even greater.

“The pandemic is

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Akron Public Schools receives $1.5 million grant for college and career readiness programs

AKRON, Ohio – Akron Public Schools has received a $1.5 million grant from the Hewlett Foundation, with the United Way of Summit & Medina acting as the fiscal agent, that will go toward college and career readiness programs.

Akron’s College and Career Academies began in 2017 and are now offered at each high school, providing students with vocational training and other field-specific opportunities in one of about 60 career paths. The grant money will go toward expanding the academies, including in Akron’s elementary and middle schools, and supporting the programs which have moved online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the United Way of Summit & Medina said in a news release.

The United Way and school district are also seeking to make students more engaged in their learning and to enlist the support of parents and the community by sharing information about student learning and involving them in

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Ohio State University tops Ohio law schools in bar exam passage rates for October test

Out of 958 applicants who took the October 2020 bar exam in Ohio — which was offered in lieu of what would traditionally be exams held in July — 741 (or 77.4%) passed, according to results posted by the Ohio Supreme Court.

That is the highest passage rate since July 2013, according to the court. The passage rate in Ohio for the July 2019 exams was 73.1% among 885 applicants.

There were 810 first-time test takers this fall. Their passage rate was 85%.

Among Ohio’s nine law schools, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law had the lowest total passage rate at 69% among 95 test takers. Just ahead of it is the University of Akron School of Law, which is exploring the viability of some kind of merger of the law school with Cleveland-Marshall.

The best-performing school is Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, which boasted a passage rate of 92%.

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The COBRA rears: With strike called for mid-week, fight continues over teacher health benefits in Cleveland Heights-University Heights Schools

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio — If the issue of healthcare coverage was not already at the forefront of a Cleveland Heights Teachers Union strike set to begin Wednesday (Dec. 2), it has certainly made it to the top of the grievance list in the last few days.

Despite outcry from the CHTU, its national union affiliate, district families and — quoted in a press release– Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education pointed to state law that requires the district to suspend pay and compensation to striking public sector employees.

That’s exactly what the school board did last week, approving a district action plan after receiving a 10-day strike notice from the 500-member teachers union.

There could be some legal dispute over whether “compensation,” undefined in that section of the Ohio Revised Code, stretches to healthcare insurance, with CHTU President Karen Rego saying after the Nov. 23

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Despite teachers’ concerns, Danbury schools to open to about 100 special education students

DANBURY — About 100 students with the most significant special education needs are expected to return to the school buildings on Monday, over the objection of the teachers’ union.

These students will be the first in the Danbury Public Schools buildings since everyone was sent home in mid-March at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rising coronavirus numbers have sparked fear that the mitigation strategies the district plans to implement to prevent the spread of the virus will not be enough.

“We are doing everything we could possibly do,” school board member Joe DaSilva said at Tuesday evening’s meeting. “But there is only so many things you can do getting in a cage with a hungry lion, and that’s what we’re doing unfortunately.”

Danbury administrators have faced heavy criticism from parents, including those with children who have special needs, for staying on distance learning throughout the academic year. The plan

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Iowa Department of Education grants online waiver for Southeast Polk Schools

The Iowa Department of Education granted a 14-day remote learning waiver to the entire Southeast Polk School District on Tuesday.

What happens if a student or teacher tests positive for COVID-19 at an Iowa school?

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The period approved for full virtual learning is Nov. 30 through Dec. 14.

The Southeast Polk School Board voted Nov. 19 to allow the district to apply for the waiver.

In the lead-up to the 2020 election, all eyes are on Iowa. Get updates of all things Iowa politics delivered to your inbox.

The vote followed the recommendation from the superintendent in response to the most recent spike of COVID-19 cases in Polk County.

“This is an extremely, extremely difficult decision for a recommendation. In fact, I can’t think of something more difficult. I can’t think of anything more difficult in this role that I’ve had to deal with,” said

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‘I was 17 but they said I was 28’: Home Office age rulings cost young refugees an education | Schools

When Shabaaz arrived in the UK from Afghanistan he was 13; a child in a strange country. “I was alone and I had no one to help me,” he says. Despite that, he had high hopes: he dreamed of going to university to study business.

But there was a problem: social workers who assessed Shabaaz – not his real name – decided he was 16. And that, they said, meant he was too old to go to school and to study for GCSEs. “I was asking them to put me in a college or something like that, but they were saying they needed to sort out my age first,” he says. “They didn’t give me any education.”

Five years on, the local authority has accepted he was much younger than it thought, and has granted him financial support as a care-leaver. He has had some tuition at college, but at

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Duke University schools the country on how to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic



a large tall tower with a clock on the side of Duke University: The Duke University Chapel on the campus in Durham, N.C. (Lance King / Getty Images)


© (Lance King / Getty Images)
The Duke University Chapel on the campus in Durham, N.C. (Lance King / Getty Images)

Duke University is sometimes referred to as a pretty good knock-off of fancier schools farther north. But while those ivy-clad universities with smart students, prestigious medical schools and big endowments stayed closed this fall, Duke invited its freshmen, sophomores, some upperclassmen and all of its graduate students to its Durham, N.C., campus for largely in-person classes.

Now, it’s schooling those sniffier schools on how to reopen safely.

Starting Aug. 2 and continuing up to this week, when the Duke campus made a pre-planned reversion to online classes for the remainder of the semester, the university implemented a rigorous testing, tracking and surveillance program for more than 10,000 students. And it has carried out, on a grand scale, an innovative scheme — called pooled testing — that can stretch

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Is music education a COVID-19 risk? How the band is marching on at N.J. schools.

Find all of the most important pandemic education news on Educating N.J., a special resource guide created for parents, students and educators. As schools reopen across N.J., we want to know what is and isn’t working. Tell us about it here.

In Emily Steeber Rossi’s music class, some students carry three kinds of masks — two for playing and one for breathing.

Before picking up his saxophone, eighth grader Nolan O’Keefe puts on a mask that has a hole in the mouth. He plays the instrument by pushing its mouthpiece through the slit. The end of the saxophone — the bell, where the air comes out — is also covered. After he’s done practicing, he slides on his regular mask, which covers his nose and mouth.

This is music education in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Steeber Rossi, a music teacher at Monmouth Beach School, settled in for a small

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Iowa Department of Education grants online waiver for Ankeny schools

The Iowa Department of Education granted a 14-day remote learning waiver for the entire Ankeny School District on Thursday.

What happens if a student or teacher tests positive for COVID-19 at an Iowa school?

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The 14-day period granted by the state starts Nov. 23 and lasts until Dec. 7. During this period of time, the district is also required to cease any in-person extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities may continue in an online or virtual manner.



a group of people standing in a room: Southview Middle School students get up and move around during a "brain break" in Kim Southard’s Spanish II class in between formative assessments in Ankeny.


© Ankeny Community School District/Special to the Register
Southview Middle School students get up and move around during a “brain break” in Kim Southard’s Spanish II class in between formative assessments in Ankeny.

The Ankeny school board voted Monday night allow the district’s administration to apply for the 14-day waiver following the most recent spike in COVID-19 cases across the state. 

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In the lead-up to the 2020 election,

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