Survey: Learning loss is steep for N.J.’s students of color

The expected learning loss in math for New Jersey’s black students in grades 3-8 during the first half of the 2020-21 school year is 50 percent, as high as students with individual education plans, according to a survey released March 30 by the Cranford-based advocacy group JerseyCAN.

Learning loss in English language arts is 43 percent for black students in those grades and 37 percent for Latinx students.…

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Weingarten shares her thoughts on disparities in school reopenings

AFT President Randi Weingarten was interviewed by CBSN’s Nikki Battiste on March 29, and when asked about the disparities in school reopenings, Weingarten cited facilities and trust as the primary factors.

“The places that were the hardest to reopen were the places that had the worst conditions, that had the worst facilities,” Weingarten said. “And those places tend to be places, unfortunately, where the majority of black and brown kids go to school.”…

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Comics can be a great teaching tool

Susan McLuckie, who teaches at the Toby Farms Intermediate School in Pennsylvania, describes comics as “a fantastic tool for inspiring student engagement,” she writes for eSchool News.

Comics also “level the playing field,” she adds, “because socioeconomic background has little to do with drawing ability — the rich kids and the poor kids are all starting at the same place.”…

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Perth Amboy teachers, school staff grateful for priority access to vaccines

Since New Jersey’s PreK-12 educators and support staff became eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in mid-March, it hasn’t been easy for Perth Amboy teacher Marie Connor to book an appointment.

Connor, a member of the Perth Amboy Federation/Local 857, felt “really anxious and frustrated” after her repeated online attempts to schedule an appointment failed. Everything changed when her school district stepped in and scheduled one for her.…

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Murphy expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include higher education workers

Effective April 5, all educators and staff at New Jersey’s institutions of higher learning will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Phil Murphy said during a press conference held March 26 at Kean University.

All New Jerseyans age 55 and older will also be eligible for vaccination starting April 5.

“We are equally pleased and relieved that Gov.…

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Weingarten, Cardona discuss standardized testing and more at Share My Lesson conference

This year’s Share My Lesson conference attracted more than 60,000 participants, AFT President Randi Weingarten said March 25, and among the programming for 2021 was her conversation that day with Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel A. Cardona.

“I have very fond memories of Share My Lesson here in Meriden [Connecticut],” said AFT veteran Dr. Cardona in his opening comments, going on to say that some plans available on the SML website originated from his hometown of Meriden.…

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Colleges, universities prepare for freshmen with learning loss

While high school students might not be experiencing learning loss during the pandemic in the same way as K-8 students, “they may still be missing out on educational opportunities that could prepare them for college,” writes Lilah Burke for Inside Higher Ed.

Burke looks into what colleges and universities will be doing to help incoming freshmen who might need assistance.…

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Survey: All-virtual learning more likely among students of color

An Institute of Education Sciences survey shows that in January and February, about 68 percent of Asian students nationwide in fourth through eighth grades experienced only virtual learning.

All-remote learning for black students in those grades during that period was 58 percent, while Hispanic students finished third in the survey results at 56 percent.

Celine Castronuovo from The Hill has more.…

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N.J. DOH updates distancing guidance for schools

The New Jersey Department of Health is releasing updated physical-distancing guidance for local health departments on K-12 in-class operations, Gov. Phil Murphy said March 24 during his media briefing.

In touching upon some of the broader points in the revised guidance, Murphy said, “If masking and frequent hand washing can be maintained by students and educators and support staff in a classroom, then full-time, in-person instruction can begin with the distance between students within that classroom reduced to three feet.”…

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Poll: Parents concerned about academic, social setbacks due to pandemic

Almost 70 percent of U.S. parents are either somewhat or very concerned that their children will fall behind academically due to the pandemic — and nearly the same share those levels of concern regarding social setbacks, according to a recent poll.

The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research surveyed 1,076 adults from Feb.…

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Weingarten raises questions about new CDC distancing guidance in letter to Cardona, Walensky

AFT President Randi Weingarten has reached out this week by formal letter to Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel A. Cardona and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky about the CDC’s revised guidance reducing physical distancing in K-12 schools from six feet to three feet.

“Our concern is that the cited studies do not identify the baseline mitigation strategies needed to support 3 feet of physical distancing,” Weingarten writes in her letter, dated March 23.…

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Local 1904’s Sullivan blasts Montclair State’s phishing experiment

A March 16 email sent by Montclair State University to faculty members with a link to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment turned out to be phony and was later described by MSU’s information technology department as a “training message” intended for recipients to “keep your guard up.”

The phishing experiment did not go over well with Bill Sullivan, Local 1904’s vice president for external affairs.…

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Why teachers are turning to TikTok

In a story about technology integration for Edutopia, Paige Tutt writes about U.S. teachers who are using the social media platform TikTok as an educational tool to reach their students.

“TikTok can speak to them in a way that other kinds of lessons haven’t spoken to them,” said Brock University’s Shauna Pomerantz, an associate professor of child and youth studies, in Tutt’s story.…

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