While some students are learning in homes with abundant resources and parental support, others are sharing devices or bandwidth, taking care of siblings, or fitting school work around jobs. Such varied learning conditions raise a question: how can schools grade fairly during a pandemic? For some educators, the answer is simple: they can’t. “If we’re grading right now, we’re grading privilege,” said school equity consultant Sheldon L. Eakins. Resource disparities are one of several reasons that grades cannot accurately represent student learning right now. Other factors include the enormous stress families are experiencing, which can impede cognition and lower student performance, and the reality that teachers have rapidly shifted to online instruction with little training. At San Leandro Unified, leaders took all of those factors into consideration when devising a plan for grading during COVID-19. Their solutions included switching to a pass/incomplete system at secondary schools and focusing on narrative feedback at elementary schools.
The blog Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo has featured educator-created English- and Spanish-language visualizations and infographics of key points in a number of Ferlazzo's videos. In a recent blog, Ferlazzo shares a new visualization of the key points made in his video, 'Tips for Remote Teaching With ELL Students,' which discusses student choice, rethinking synchronous teaching, keeping things simple, connecting with parents, and more.
A historic settlement reached between the state and Detroit students calls for $94.5 million in future literacy funding, a $280,000 payout among seven plaintiffs and the creation of two Detroit task forces to help ensure a quality education for students. News of the agreement came after the Detroit students were locked in a nearly four-year legal battle with the state for better school and learning conditions. The lawsuit was brought by seven students who argued they were deprived access to literacy because of a lack of books, teachers and poor building conditions. The proposal faces an uncertain road in the Republican-controlled Legislature, which has fought with the Democratic governor over budget priorities including education spending.
A Stamford, Connecticut, teacher is being heralded a hero after she generously took in the newborn brother of one of her students whose mother sick with the coronavirus. Thirty-two-year-old Luciana Lira teaches at Hart Magnet Elementary School and knew she had to do something when her 7-year-old student Junior's entire family came down with the coronavirus at the same time his mother, Zully, whose last name has not been revealed, was going into labor. So the teacher did what she had to for a family in need.
Administrators at Dorchester School District Two in suburban Summerville, South Carolina, were well aware of the digital divide when they decided to give students both paper and online resources after shuttering schools because of coronavirus. But even their best efforts have some educators worried, especially those who teach English to speakers of other languages (ESOL).