The Condition of Education contains indicators on the state of education in the United States, from prekindergarten through postsecondary education, as well as labor force outcomes and international comparisons. Beginning with the 2021 edition, the Condition of Education also includes indicators from the former Indicators of School Crime and Safety. This year’s edition also includes two Spotlight indicators, which use experimental data from the Household Pulse Survey to examine preliminary educational impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly related to online learning at both the K-12 and postsecondary levels.
Prepared to Teach and WestEd Release Three New Reports on Financially Sustainable Teacher Preparation
All three reports examine the needs of candidates and preparation programs, then offer strategies to make high-quality preparation accessible for more new teachers. The reports are informed by conversations with faculty, administrators, program leaders, and teachers; analyses of data from a finance-focused survey of teacher candidates; and on-the-ground knowledge from the authors’ years working to research, document, and support high-quality practices in teacher preparation.
Following a February survey of school districts that illustrated a persistent teacher shortage in the state, the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools has released policy recommendations calling for better benefits and more lenient certification in an effort to reverse the trend. The IARSS, which serves as an intermediary between local school districts and the Illinois State Board of Education, had the survey conducted between September and October to see how school districts were faring with the supply of professional and substitute teachers during the 2020-21 school year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As diversification of the educator pipeline remains a critical concern for education systems around the country, researchers, teacher preparation programs and policymakers have identified numerous supports and solutions that can help to address this need. For example, the Call Me Mister® Initiative has championed the importance of recruitment, tuition assistance, academic support and the use of cohorts in teacher preparation programs. These approaches can be found in many other places including Rowan University, Relay Graduate School of Education, Man Up and The Center for Black Educator Development. While these efforts are making considerable inroads, we need more pathways — and quickly — into the teaching profession for educators of color because they are needed in classrooms now.
While formative and diagnostic assessments are useful tools to gauge students’ academic status, they should be administered with a specific purpose and in coordination with other measures of student learning and social and emotional wellbeing, a group of education leaders said in a webinar Tuesday hosted by the Learning Policy Institute and AASA, The School Superintendents Association.
Educators and students across the country are wrapping up one of the most challenging and exhausting years of their academic careers. The ongoing pandemic, 14 months and counting, has resulted in an erratic, inadequate, and inequitable experience for students, families, and educators. The compounded impact of months of interrupted schooling has been well documented. As educators look ahead, many are planning to implement strategies to help students make up lost ground and access rigorous on grade-level content. This is the right mindset.
The COVID-19 pandemic has set back learning for millions of students and exacerbated existing educational inequalities countrywide. A recent study by McKinsey Analysis found that Black, Latinx and lower-income students are less likely to have access to high-quality remote learning, resulting in their falling further behind and expanding the achievement gap by 15% to 20%. To help these students overcome pandemic learning loss, the Partnering Aspiring Teachers with High-Need Schools (PATHS) to Tutor Act was introduced on February 25 by a bipartisan group, including Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Susan Collins (R-ME).
The analysis shows that K-12 teachers are often offered different, worse retirement benefits than those offered to public higher education employees. When compared with higher education employees, K-12 teachers are less likely to have choice over their retirement benefits, they have to serve longer to qualify for those benefits, and the benefits are worth less. Moreover, the K-12 sector is more burdened by unfunded liabilities, whereas higher education retirement plans are able to direct a higher share of employer contributions straight toward employee benefits.