Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: Education (K-12)

529 Savings Plan: Why Every Penny Counts

Business
Feeling unprepared after high school, Ms. Tiller struggled in community college and ultimately dropped out. “I know life is hard,” she said, “and I don’t want to see them struggle like I have to.”Child savings accounts were conceived 30 years ago by Michael Sherraden, founder of the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, who proposed creating accounts for all children at birth. Since 2007, he has been the lead investigator in an experiment tracking 2,700 newborns in Oklahoma randomly assigned to two groups: Half received $1,000 accounts at birth; the other received nothing. Many programs draw on the center’s research, which has found that the accounts raise both the parents’ and child’s expectations about the child’s future.Thus far, the biggest beneficiaries ...
The Hot New Back-to-School Accessory? An Air Quality Monitor

The Hot New Back-to-School Accessory? An Air Quality Monitor

Technology
When Lizzie Rothwell, an architect in Philadelphia, sent her son to third grade this fall, she stocked his blue L.L. Bean backpack with pencils, wide-ruled paper — and a portable carbon dioxide monitor.The device gave her a quick way to assess how much fresh air was flowing through the school. Low levels of CO2 would indicate that it was well-ventilated, reducing her son’s odds of catching the coronavirus.But she quickly discovered that during lunch, CO2 levels in the cafeteria rose to nearly double those recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She shared what she’d learned with the principal and asked if students could eat outside instead.“He expressed surprise that I had any data at all,” she said.Ms. Rothwell is one of a growing number of parents who are sneaking CO2 ...

‘I Need an Army’: Across America, Schools Cram for Their Covid Tests

Technology
SAN ANTONIO — One recent Thursday, Ciara Brown, a junior at Fox Tech High School in San Antonio, stepped up to a small white table, pulled down her face mask and took a test that is still far from standard in American schools: a cotton swab up the nose.“Testing is super-easy,” she said. “It’s not as scary as I thought it would be — it’s not a huge thing going up in your brain.”The United States has struggled with Covid testing since the earliest days of the pandemic. Now, nearly two years in — and weeks into another Covid-disrupted school year — school systems across the nation are struggling with the role of testing in keeping children safe and in class.Some, like Ciara’s in Texas, have gone all in; others offer no Covid testing at all. And still others say they want to do more testing bu...

How Across America, Schools Cram for Their Covid-19 Tests

Technology
SAN ANTONIO — One recent Thursday, Ciara Brown, a junior at Fox Tech High School in San Antonio, stepped up to a small white table, pulled down her face mask and took a test that is still far from standard in American schools: a cotton swab up the nose.“Testing is super-easy,” she said. “It’s not as scary as I thought it would be — it’s not a huge thing going up in your brain.”The United States has struggled with Covid testing since the earliest days of the pandemic. Now, nearly two years in — and weeks into another Covid-disrupted school year — school systems across the nation are struggling with the role of testing in keeping children safe and in class.Some, like Ciara’s in Texas, have gone all in; others offer no Covid testing at all. And still others say they want to do more testing bu...
When Stuyvestant High Finished Its Football Season After 9/11

When Stuyvestant High Finished Its Football Season After 9/11

Sports
Follow our live coverage of the 20th anniversary of 9/11.The football season began with a victory for the Peglegs of Stuyvesant High School. A team laden with seniors and playoff expectations downed a tough rival from Staten Island in the season’s first game, played on the warm afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 8, 2001.Three days later came the terrifying tragedy that changed the world and left an indelible emotional mark on the students at Stuyvesant and their football team.Stuyvesant sits just a scant few blocks from the World Trade Center. So close that the 10-story school building shook as the hijacked jets sliced into the twin towers. So close that some students feared they would be crushed if the buildings fell.“I remember so many of the moments from that terrible day and our struggle aft...
‘Looking Back, I am Glad We Played’

‘Looking Back, I am Glad We Played’

Sports
The football season began with a victory for the Peglegs of Stuyvesant High School. A team laden with seniors and playoff expectations downed a tough rival from Staten Island in the season’s first game, played on the warm afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 8, 2001.Three days later came the terrifying tragedy that changed the world and left an indelible emotional mark on the students at Stuyvesant and their football team.Stuyvesant sits just a scant few blocks from the World Trade Center. So close that the 10-story school building shook as the hijacked jets sliced into the twin towers. So close that some students feared they would be crushed if the buildings fell.“I remember so many of the moments from that terrible day and our struggle afterward to put together a season,” said Paul Chin, a wide ...
‘Reversing Gears’: China Increasingly Rejects English, and the World

‘Reversing Gears’: China Increasingly Rejects English, and the World

Business
As a student at Peking University law school in 1978, Li Keqiang kept both pockets of his jacket stuffed with handwritten paper slips. An English word was written on one side, a former classmate recalled, and the matching Chinese version was written on the other.Mr. Li, now China’s premier, was part of China’s English-learning craze. A magazine called Learning English sold half a million subscriptions that year. In 1982, about 10 million Chinese households — almost equivalent to Chinese TV ownership at the time — watched “Follow Me,” a BBC English-learning program with lines like: “What’s your name?” “My name is Jane.”It’s hard to exaggerate the role English has played in changing China’s social, cultural, economic and political landscape. English is almost synonymous with China’s reform a...
A Blue-Ribbon Affair

A Blue-Ribbon Affair

LifeStyle
The Northern Wisconsin State Fair, which takes place in Chippewa Falls each summer, was, like many other state fairs, canceled last year. It was the first time in its 123-year history.But this year, Rusty Volk, who serves as the fair’s executive director, began letting people know in January that the fair was on. “I was adamant to say, ‘Yes, we are going to have a fair, a physical fair,’” Mr. Volk said. “So the exhibitors knew. So the youth who raise and show the animals knew.”Besides the financial cost of last year’s cancellation — the five-day event generates around $7 million for the local economy around Chippewa Falls, according to Mr. Volk — the absence of these events around the United States meant a deeper loss of tradition. State and county fairs are a pillar of Midwestern communit...
How the Delta Variant Infiltrated an Elementary School Classroom

How the Delta Variant Infiltrated an Elementary School Classroom

Technology
An unvaccinated elementary schoolteacher infected with the highly contagious Delta variant spread the virus to half of the students in a classroom, seeding an outbreak that eventually infected 26 people, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The unusually detailed study, which comes as school districts across the country reopen, seems certain to intensify the debate over vaccine mandates in schools. A handful of school districts, including New York City, have already announced vaccine requirements for teachers and staff.Others may follow suit now that the Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.“The most important thing we can do to protect schoolchildren, particularly those too young to be vaccinated, is...
Biden Ramps Up Virus Strategy for Nursing Homes, Schools

Biden Ramps Up Virus Strategy for Nursing Homes, Schools

Technology
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration moved on multiple fronts on Wednesday to fight back against the surging Delta variant, strongly recommending booster shots for most vaccinated American adults and using federal leverage to force nursing homes to vaccinate their staffs.In remarks from the East Room of the White House, President Biden also directed his education secretary to “use all of his authority, and legal action, if appropriate,” to deter states from banning universal masking in classrooms. That move is destined to escalate a fight with some Republican governors who are blocking local school districts from requiring masks to protect against the virus.The shifts in strategy reflect the administration’s growing concern that the highly contagious Delta variant is erasing its hard-foug...