How far can school districts go in regulating the speech of students outside the school campus?
- The New York Times
HANOVER, N.H. — Sirey Zhang, a first-year student at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, was on spring break in March when he received an email from administrators accusing him of cheating. Dartmouth had reviewed Zhang’s online activity on Canvas, its learning management system, during three remote exams, the email said. The data indicated that he had looked up course material related to one question during each test, honor code violations that could lead to expulsion, the email said. Zhang, 22, said he had not cheated. But when the school’s student affairs office suggested he would have a better outcome if he expressed remorse and pleaded guilty, he felt he had little choice but to agree. Now he faces suspension and a misconduct mark on his academic record that could derail his dream of becoming a pediatrician. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times “What has happened to me in the last month, despite not cheating, has resulted in one of the most terrifying, isolating experiences of my life,” said Zhang, who has filed an appeal. He is one of 17 medical students whom Dartmouth recently accused of cheating on remote tests while in-person exams were shut down because of the coronavirus. The allegations have prompted an on-campus protest, letters of concern to school administrators from more than two dozen faculty members and complaints of unfair treatment from the student government, turning the pastoral Ivy League campus into a national battleground over escalating school surveillance during the pandemic. At the heart of the accusations is Dartmouth’s use of the Canvas system to retroactively track student activity during remote exams without their knowledge. In the process, the medical school may have overstepped by using certain online activity data to try to pinpoint cheating, leading to some erroneous accusations, according to independent technology experts, a review of the software code and school documents obtained by The New York Times. Dartmouth’s drive to root out cheating provides a sobering case study of how the coronavirus has accelerated colleges’ reliance on technology, normalizing student tracking in ways that are likely to endure after the pandemic. While universities have long used anti-plagiarism software and other anti-cheating apps, the pandemic has pushed hundreds of schools that switched to remote learning to embrace more invasive tools. Over the last year, many have required students to download software that can take over their computers during remote exams or use webcams to monitor their eye movements for possibly suspicious activity, even as technology experts have warned that such tools can be invasive, insecure, unfair and inaccurate. Some universities are now facing a backlash over the technology. A few, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, recently said they would cease using the exam-monitoring tools. “These kinds of technical solutions to academic misconduct seem like a magic bullet,” said Shaanan Cohney, a cybersecurity lecturer at the University of Melbourne who researches remote learning software. But “universities which lack some of the structure or the expertise to understand these issues on a deeper level end up running into really significant trouble.” At Dartmouth, the use of Canvas in the cheating investigation was unusual because the software was not designed as a forensic tool. Instead, professors post assignments on it, and students submit their homework through it. That has raised questions about Dartmouth’s methodology. While some students may have cheated, technology experts said, it would be difficult for a disciplinary committee to distinguish cheating from noncheating based on the data snapshots that Dartmouth provided to accused students. And in an analysis of the Canvas software code, the Times found instances in which the system automatically generated activity data even when no one was using a device. “If other schools follow the precedent that Dartmouth is setting here, any student can be accused based on the flimsiest technical evidence,” said Cooper Quintin, senior staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights organization, who analyzed Dartmouth’s methodology. Seven of the 17 accused students have had their cases dismissed. In at least one of those cases, administrators said, “automated Canvas processes are likely to have created the data that was seen rather than deliberate activity by the user,” according to a school email that students made public. The 10 others have been expelled, suspended or received course failures and unprofessional-conduct marks on their records that could curtail their medical careers. Nine pleaded guilty, including Zhang, according to school documents; some have filed appeals. Some accused students said Dartmouth had hamstrung their ability to defend themselves. They said they had less than 48 hours to respond to the charges, were not provided complete data logs for the exams, were advised to plead guilty though they denied cheating or were given just two minutes to make their case in online hearings, according to six of the students and a review of documents. Five of the students declined to be named for fear of reprisals by Dartmouth. Duane Compton, dean of the Geisel School, said in an interview that its methods for identifying possible cheating cases were fair and valid. Administrators investigated carefully, he said, and provided accused students with all the data on which the cheating charges were based. He denied that the student affairs office had advised those who said they had not cheated to plead guilty. Compton acknowledged that the investigation had caused distress on campus. But he said Geisel, founded in 1797 and one of the nation’s oldest medical schools, was obligated to hold its students accountable. “We take academic integrity very seriously,” he said. “We wouldn’t want people to be able to be eligible for a medical license without really having the appropriate training.” Instructure, the company that owns Canvas, did not return requests for comment. A Hunt Begins In January, a faculty member reported possible cheating during remote exams, Compton said. Geisel opened an investigation. To hinder online cheating, Geisel requires students to turn on ExamSoft — a separate tool that prevents them from looking up study materials during tests — on the laptop or tablet on which they take exams. The school also requires students to keep a backup device nearby. The faculty member’s report made administrators concerned that some students may have used their backup device to look at course material on Canvas while taking tests on their primary device. Geisel’s Committee on Student Performance and Conduct, a faculty group with student members that investigates academic integrity cases, then asked the school’s technology staff to audit Canvas activity during 18 remote exams that all first- and second-year students had taken during the academic year. The review looked at more than 3,000 exams since last fall. The tech staff then developed a system to recognize online activity patterns that might signal cheating, said Sean McNamara, Dartmouth’s senior director of information security. The pattern typically showed activity on a Canvas course homepage — on, say, neurology — during an exam followed by activity on a Canvas study page, like a practice quiz, related to the test question. “You see that pattern of essentially a human reading the content and selecting where they’re going on the page,” McNamara said. “The data is very clear in describing that behavior.” The audit identified 38 potential cheating cases. But the committee quickly eliminated some of those because one professor had directed students to use Canvas, Compton said. In emails sent in mid-March, the committee told the 17 accused students that an analysis showed they had been active on relevant Canvas pages during one or more exams. The emails contained spreadsheets with the exam’s name, the test question number, time stamps and the names of Canvas pages that showed online activity. Questions Arise Almost immediately, questions emerged over whether the committee had mistaken automated activity on Canvas for human activity, based on a limited subset of exam data. Geisel students said they often had dozens of course pages open on Canvas, which they rarely logged out of. Those pages can automatically generate activity data even when no one is looking at them, according to the Times’ analysis and technology experts. School officials said that their analysis, which they hired a legal consulting firm to validate, discounted automated activity and that accused students had been given all necessary data in their cases. But at least two students told the committee in March that the audit had misinterpreted automated Canvas activity as human cheating. The committee dismissed the charges against them. In another case, a professor notified the committee that the Canvas pages used as evidence contained no information related to the exam questions his student was accused of cheating on, according to an analysis submitted to the committee. The student has appealed. The committee has also not provided students with the wording of the exam questions they were accused of cheating on, complete Canvas activity logs for the exams, the amount of time spent on each Canvas page and data on whether the system flagged their page activity as automated or user-initiated, according to documents. Dartmouth declined to comment on the data issues, citing the appeals. Quintin of the Electronic Frontier Foundation compared Dartmouth’s methods to accusing someone of stealing a piece of fruit in a grocery store by presenting a snapshot of that person touching an orange but not releasing video footage showing whether the person later put back the orange, bought it or pocketed it without paying. Compton said the committee’s dismissal of cases over time validated its methodology. “The fact that we had a large number of students and we were very deliberate about eliminating a large, large fraction or majority of those students from consideration,” he said, “I think actually makes the case well for us trying to be really careful about this.” Campus Tensions Tensions flared in early April when an anonymous student account on Instagram posted about the cheating charges. Soon after, Dartmouth issued a social media policy warning that students’ anonymous posts “may still be traced back” to them. Around the same time, Geisel administrators held a virtual forum and were barraged with questions about the investigation. The conduct review committee then issued decisions in 10 of the cases, telling several students that they would be expelled, suspending others and requiring some to retake courses or repeat a year of school at a cost of nearly $70,000. Many on campus were outraged. On April 21, dozens of students in white lab coats gathered in the rain in front of Compton’s office to protest. Some held signs that said “BELIEVE YOUR STUDENTS” and “DUE PROCESS FOR ALL” in indigo letters, which dissolved in the rain into blue splotches. Several students said they were now so afraid of being unfairly targeted in a data-mining dragnet that they had pushed the medical school to offer in-person exams with human proctors. Others said they had advised prospective medical students against coming to Dartmouth. “Some students have built their whole lives around medical school, and now they’re being thrown out like they’re worthless,” said Meredith Ryan, a fourth-year medical student not connected to the investigation. That same day, more than two dozen members of Dartmouth’s faculty wrote a letter to Compton saying that the cheating inquiry had created “deep mistrust” on campus and that the school should “make amends with the students falsely accused.” In an email to students and faculty a week later, Compton apologized that Geisel’s handling of the cases had “added to the already high levels of stress and alienation” of the pandemic and said the school was working to improve its procedures. The medical school has already made one change that could reduce the risk of false cheating allegations. For remote exams, new guidelines said, students are now “expected to log out of Canvas on all devices prior to testing.” Zhang, the first-year student, said the investigation had shaken his faith in an institution he loves. He had decided to become a doctor, he said, to address disparities in health care access after he won a fellowship as a Dartmouth undergraduate to study medicine in Tanzania. Zhang said he felt compelled to speak publicly to help reform a process he found traumatizing. “I’m terrified,” he said. “But if me speaking up means that there’s at least one student in the future who doesn’t have to feel the way that I did, then it’s all worthwhile.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
A Nigerian professor thinks this scheme should be taught across Africa to help tackle unemployment.
- Kansas City Star
“Anyone who demonstrates racism and bigotry like this has no place in our district,” the board president said.
- Charlotte Observer
“The money keeps increasing, and the academic performance keeps decreasing,” the Rev. Dennis Williams said.
- National Review
During an appearance on Fox News Monday, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten blamed the policies of former President Donald Trump for delays in school re-opening. “If we had actually listened to Dr. Redfield and the CDC last May and the former president hadn’t kept on changing his mind and changing these things, we would have gotten more schools back in session,” the union president said. Weingarten claimed another setback in school reopenings was the second wave of the coronavirus, which peaked before the new year. “In September and October we were getting a lot of kids back to school with the layered mitigation, with the testing. The real game changer, unfortunately, became huge increases in COVID in November and December. That put the breaks on a bunch of it,” Weingarten continued. Public-school children have been receiving remote instruction for nearly a year, with many district reopening efforts being stifled by teachers’ union and administrative resistance. As learning has been conducted outside the classroom, education standards and academic performance have plummeted and a student mental-health crisis has emerged. A largely-affected demographic has been women, who have struggled to juggle their careers with child care and the schooling of their children. Weingarten’s comments come after multiple studies released as early as last fall indicated low community transmission among school children and concluded that the disease poses minimal risk to young people. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the large teachers’ union over which Weingarten presides, influenced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) February guidelines on reopening schools, the New York Post exposed. The CDC was preparing to announce that schools could resume in-person teaching regardless of the rate of community spread of COVID-19. However, AFT senior director for health issues Kelly Trautner recommended that new language be added to the guidance.
- USA TODAY
The faculty union at Cypress College said the school failed to protect its workers after a viral video led to a professor leaving Cypress.
- Kansas City Star
Toriano Porter was a voluntary desegregation student in a Missouri school district that’s making waves.
- National Review
Recent weeks have brought welcome pushback against the spread of critical race theory (CRT) and related dogmas of division in our nation’s schools. Contrary to what many of CRT’s advocates often claim, the theory is about more than just teaching kids to “think critically” about the role that race has played in American history. It’s the conceptual apparatus of a self-avowedly activist political movement seeking to renovate the American social order from root to branch using state power. CRT is a subdiscipline of the broader academic school of critical theory. According to one of critical theory’s pioneers, the German thinker Max Horkheimer, a theory is critical to the extent that it helps “to liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them” and “to create a world which satisfies” their “needs and powers.” As CRT’s most recognized proponent, Ibram X. Kendi, puts it: The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity or inequity. If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist. If discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist. . . . The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination. In practice, CRT leads to rank racialism. As Christopher Caldwell noted in his recent cover story for National Review, Kendi helped lead the opposition against the selection process for the elite Boston Latin School, the Boston Latin Academy, and the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. Relying heavily on testing, the schools had been giving a disproportionate number of their 205 seats to Asian applicants. Caldwell reported that, “With COVID as a pretext, equity advocates set up a new system to fill the spots based on zip codes and grades, a plan that will result in a 24 percent reduction in Asians, an 18 percent reduction in whites, a 50 percent increase in blacks, and a 14 percent increase in Hispanics.” CRT, the philosophy motivating such discriminatory actions, shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the nation’s schools. Fortunately, some communities and elected officials are acting to prevent its insinuation into curricula. Governor Brad Little of Idaho has now signed a bill into law prohibiting public schools, including public universities, from teaching that “any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior” — a teaching that the bill explicitly links to “critical race theory.” The bill, HB 377, also prohibits lessons arguing that “individuals, by virtue of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin,” essentially lifting the weed of CRT pedagogy out at the root. Meanwhile, there have been two encouraging developments in the Lone Star State. In a Southlake school-board election, candidates opposing the teaching of CRT in schools won in a landslide, garnering 70 percent of the vote. The two open school-board seats will now be held by Hannah Smith, a local lawyer who clerked for Justice Thomas, and Cameron Bryan, a civil engineer who coaches youth football. Conservatives opposed to CRT instruction also won the mayoral race in Southlake and two city-council races — all by nearly 40 points. In addition to the grassroots response to CRT schooling in Southlake, HB 3979 and its companion bill SB 2202 are making their way through the Texas state legislature. Both bills block the teaching of critical race theory in schools. As it’s currently drafted, HB 3979 overcorrects by placing excessive restrictions on the ability of teachers to discuss matters of race and racism at all in the classroom. However, an amended form of the bill that allows for appropriate academic discussion in schools of the role of racism in American history would be worthy of universal support. We hope this is just the beginning of the efforts to protect schools from this noxious ideology. There’s obviously a place in American education for sober reflection and instruction about the legacy of racism in the United States, but CRT is not that — or anything that should be taught to our kids.
- CBS News Videos
Most high school seniors have decided where they will pursue the next four years of their education, but some colleges and universities are struggling to fill spaces for new students. Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, joined CBSN to break down the 4.5% decline in undergraduate enrollment compared with last spring.
- The New York Times
Pauline Rojas’ high school in San Antonio is open. But like many of her classmates, she has not returned and has little interest in doing so. During the coronavirus pandemic, she started working 20 to 40 hours per week at Raising Cane’s, a fast-food restaurant, and has used the money to help pay her family’s internet bill, buy clothes and save for a car. Rojas, 18, has no doubt that a year of online school, squeezed between work shifts that end at midnight, has affected her learning. Still, she has embraced her new role as a breadwinner, sharing responsibilities with her mother, who works at a hardware store. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times “I wanted to take the stress off my mom,” she said. “I’m no longer a kid. I’m capable of having a job, holding a job and making my own money.” Only a small slice of U.S. schools remain fully closed: 12% of elementary and middle schools, according to a federal survey, as well as a minority of high schools. But the percentage of students learning fully remotely is much greater: more than one-third of fourth and eighth graders and an even larger group of high school students. A majority of Black, Hispanic and Asian American students remain out of school. These disparities have put district leaders and policymakers in a tough position as they end this school year and plan for the next one. Even though the pandemic appears to be coming under control in the United States as vaccinations continue, many superintendents say fear of the coronavirus itself is no longer the primary reason their students are opting out. Nor are many families expressing a strong preference for remote learning. Rather, for every child and parent who has leaped at the opportunity to return to the classroom, others changed their lives over the past year in ways that make going back to school difficult. The consequences are likely to reverberate through the education system for years, especially if states and districts continue to give students the choice to attend school remotely. Teenagers from low-income families have taken on heavy loads of paid work, especially because so many parents lost jobs. Parents made new child care arrangements to get through the long months of school closures and part-time hours and are now loath to disrupt established routines. Some families do not know that local public schools have reopened, because of language barriers or lack of effective communication from districts. Experts have coined the term “school hesitancy” to describe the remarkably durable resistance to a return to traditional learning. Some wonder whether the pandemic has simply upended people’s choices about how to live, with the location of schooling — like the location of office work — now up for grabs. But others see the phenomenon as a social and educational crisis for children that must be combated — a challenge akin to vaccine hesitancy. “There are so many stories, and they are all stories that break your heart,” said Pedro Martinez, the San Antonio schools superintendent, who said it was most challenging to draw teenagers back to classrooms in his overwhelmingly Hispanic, low-income district. Half of high school students are eligible to return to school five days a week, but only 30% have opted in. Concerned about flagging grades and the risk of students dropping out, he plans to greatly restrict access to remote learning next school year. “I don’t want to keep opening up this Pandora’s box,” he said. In March, half of Black and Hispanic children and two-thirds of Asian American children were enrolled in remote school, compared with 20% of white students, according to the latest federal data. While most district leaders and policymakers believe that the classroom is the best place for children and teenagers to learn, many are hesitant to apply pressure to families who have lived through a traumatic year. An added complication is continued opposition to full-time, in-person learning from some teachers and district officials, with unions arguing that widespread vaccination of educators, and soon teenagers as well, does not eliminate the need for physical distancing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to advise 3 to 6 feet of distancing in schools. In that context, students who opt out create the space necessary to serve students who prefer to be in person. At the same time, remote learning is a staffing challenge for districts. In some, like San Antonio, it is common practice for teachers to instruct remote and in-person students simultaneously, through a live video stream from the classroom to students at home. In others, such as New York City, unions have resisted having teachers do both at once, making it difficult to fully staff classes. And in New York and several other cities where many teachers have received medical accommodations to work from home, some students inside classrooms have been asked to log in to remote learning platforms to interact with teachers in other locations, leading families to conclude that there is little benefit to being inside the building and driving opt-out rates higher. Districts that offer remote learning next school year could contract the work out to stand-alone online schools, freeing their own teachers to return to buildings. But for many months, some education and children’s health experts have warned about the social and academic consequences of extended remote learning. “It’s not acceptable that we have a two-tier education system where white kids go to school in person disproportionately and students of color disproportionately go to school online,” said Vladimir Kogan, a political scientist at Ohio State University. Kogan’s research has found that parents are more likely to feel hesitant about in-person learning if their children’s schools were closed for a longer period, which was most likely to be the case in the liberal-leaning urban districts that serve large numbers of nonwhite students. The hesitancy was caused less by fear of the coronavirus than by messaging from school districts about whether in-person learning was safe and desirable, Kogan found. Many governors, mayors, school boards and superintendents are still debating whether families should continue to have the option of virtual schooling this fall. But one February survey of educators found that 68% expected their systems to offer an array of remote learning options even after the pandemic ends. As long as the option for remote school remains, direct outreach to families is the best way to lure students back to traditional classrooms, educators say. In the Indianapolis Public Schools, 20% of students remain in fully remote learning, a smaller percentage than in many other urban districts. The district made 1,000 home visits over two days in April to check on children who had been chronically absent during the pandemic, sometimes encouraging them to return to in-person learning. Antoinette Austin, the district’s social services coordinator, visited one boy who was living with an aunt. She did not speak English and did not know her nephew’s school had reopened. Several other families needed help arranging transportation to get their children to school, Austin said. Hybrid school schedules have also made it difficult for many families to commit to in-person learning during the pandemic. That was the case for Angela Kersey, who returned her 13-year-old son, Jonathon, to his Indianapolis school when it initially reopened this winter. But she withdrew him when she found that her work schedule in housing maintenance could not accommodate the upheaval caused by the school’s half-time hours and closures when virus cases were discovered. Speaking over Zoom, Kersey rubbed her temples as she recalled trying to keep her son, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, engaged with online learning. There was one especially difficult period when the two were sharing a single bedroom and living with roommates. At times, the strain of acting as both a parent and a teacher caused so many fights that Kersey gave up on virtual learning. “I had to just surrender,” she said. Unwilling to return to that routine, she enrolled Jonathon in a five-day-per-week learning center at Brookside Community Church, where college students supervise remote school and sports for 14 children. Jonathon’s regular school is now open five days per week, but Kersey said she did not want to disrupt her son’s new routine. In New Orleans, Frederick A. Douglass High School, part of the national KIPP charter school network, first reopened for in-person learning in October and now offers students four days per week in classrooms. Even so, wooing students back has been a major challenge. In the fall, 50 to 75 of the school’s 600 students were showing up each day; more recently, about half were; 90% of the school’s students are Black and come from low-income families. Towana Pierre-Floyd, the principal, has taken several steps to convince families to return. Maintaining upbeat on-campus events, like homecoming elections, showed students attending virtually what they were missing out on in the building, she said. In addition, the school began issuing weekly progress reports to families with students’ grades and assessment scores, a practice Pierre-Floyd said she will continue even after the pandemic ends. Because most students were not as successful virtually, the reports left families “hungry for an option to be with teachers,” she said. Pierre-Floyd envisions her entire student body back in person next school year, but she knows it will require a big adjustment. Some teenagers are providing child care for younger siblings. Parents who lost jobs in the city’s struggling tourism sector sometimes needed their children to work. She plans to hire an attendance coordinator and expand an early-college program that allows high school students to work toward a medical assistant certification or develop carpentry skills. She said she hopes those options will show parents the economic utility of returning their children to the building. “A lot of families have built life structures around their COVID reality,” she said. Now the challenge is to “come out of crisis mode and let’s think about the future again.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
Melissa Carter had a request from the six-year-old student’s mother to spank her misbehaving daughter. The principal of a Florida elementary school will not face criminal charges after paddling a six-year-old girl in her care. According to the state’s attorney, Melissa Carter had the permission of the child’s mother to discipline her child.
Any move by the Biden administration to forgive a large chunk of student loan debt would be a financial godsend for millions of Americans, with women, people of color and older borrowers among the...
- The Telegraph
A Christian chaplain reported to Prevent for telling boarding school students they were free to question LGBT policies has said he is a victim of the “Church of Postmodernism”. Church of England reverend and former Trinity College Cambridge chaplain Dr Bernard Randall was appointed in 2015 to provide pastoral care at the fee-paying Trent College in Derbyshire. In 2019, as the boarding school adopted a “LGBT+ inclusive curriculum”, the chaplain delivered a sermon encouraging young students to make up their own minds about what he termed “LGBT ideology”. Dr Randall was referred to the anti-terrorism Prevent programme and initially sacked for gross misconduct by the school, the chaplain's legal representatives have said. They have stated that the referral was dismissed by Derbyshire Constabulary, and although Dr Randall was reinstated in his pastoral role, he was made redundant in December 2020. He has now launched a legal battle over his treatment, claiming that the "ideology" of gender politics is in competition with Christian values, and that he is the victim of this “Church of Postmodernism”. “It is an ersatz religion, complete with burning heretics,” Dr Randall told the Daily Telegraph.
- National Review
Chicago Teacher’s Union Proposes Door-Knocking Program for Paid Members to Discuss COVID Risk with Families
During an appearance on CBS News, Chicago Teacher’s Union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates announced the union’s proposal for a summer door-knocking program in which paid members would engage families in the school district about in-person learning “hesitancy.” In response to the host’s question about students and parents who are “uncomfortable returning to in person learning,” Gates said that the Chicago Teacher’s Union is piloting a door-knocking program to better understand their concerns. “There are worries, there are concerns and anxieties that are being addressed by our mayor and our school district,” Gates said. She suggested that the COVID funding package allocated to Chicago public schools be diverted to family “engagement” and discussing COVID risk. “Here in Chicago our public school system has received almost 2 billion dollars for COVID relief. What we need to do is make sure those funds fund the recovery, fund engagement, ensure that the families who have suffered the most under this pandemic, black families, brown families, have the ability to recover and are heard in this process,” Gates remarked. Teachers unions and school administrations have cited parents’ safety fears over exposing their children to COVID as the reasoning for delayed re-opening. However, in cities like Los Angeles, parents are opting to keep kids home to avoid sending them to a de facto daycare, since many teachers are still working remotely and have not yet returned to the classroom. The Chicago teachers’ union voted in January to reject the city’s reopening date, demanding that its members continue to work remotely until all of the city’s instructors have been vaccinated. The implication was that students could still be out of the classroom as late Spring 2022. Teacher’s unions have blocked re-opening efforts nationwide, even as academic performance suffers, a youth mental health crisis grows, and women exit the labor force in droves to support their children’s schooling. Evidence corroborated by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that the coronavirus poses minimal risk for young people and that school transmission is low. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), one of the nation’s largest teacher’s unions, influenced the CDC February guidelines on reopening schools, the New York Post discovered. The CDC was preparing to allow all schools to resume in-person instruction regardless of the rate of community spread of COVID-19. But then AFT senior director for health issues Kelly Trautner objected and requested that new language be incorporated. “In the event of high community-transmission results from a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, a new update of these guidelines may be necessary,” Trautner’s suggestion read. The AFT also lobbied for exemptions from in-person teaching for immunocompromised faculty more prone to health complications from the disease, as well as staff with a family member at high risk for COVID-19. These language recommendations were adopted into the CDC’s released guidance on school reopening.
The suspensions come as the resumption of universities after a year closed due to the coronavirus epidemic prompts a new confrontation between the army and the staff and students who are calling for boycotts over the Feb. 1 coup. As of Monday, more than 11,100 academic and other staff had been suspended from colleges and universities offering degrees, an official of the Myanmar Teachers' Federation told Reuters, declining to be identified for fear of reprisals. Myanmar had more than 26,000 teachers in universities and other tertiary education institutions in 2018, according to the most recent World Bank data.
- CBS News
Gloria Tumushabe began teaching weekly computer science classes to girls back home who might not have otherwise had the opportunity to learn the subject.
From large corporations calling employees back to business district skyscrapers to the return of lunchtime lines at salad bars: signs that workers are returning to New York's offices, albeit in "hybrid" mode for now, are multiplying.
- Poets & Quants
They still ask for them but claim no MBA is penalized for their test results The post A GMAT Score No Longer A Big Deal For MBB Jobs appeared first on Poets&Quants.
Some corporate leaders are suggesting to drop four-year degree requirements for millions of jobs. Instead, some executives are proposing to consider unconventional candidates in an effort to address...
- Raleigh News and Observer
We would give anything to have a near-normal college year