The edu-buzz of the week
Hi all! I’m still recovering from a vacation week that was busier than it should be. So, rather than writing a long piece about schools, I’m going to give the links to the hot topics of the week.
What’s Going on With College Students?
College students still have not recovered from the pandemic. Professors are reporting record levels of disengagement with coursework and trying to find ways to get students motivated again. From a great article in Inside Higher Education, Bethie McMurtrie wrote:
In 20 years of teaching at Doane University, Kate Marley has never seen anything like it. As many as 30 percent of her students do not show up for class or complete any of the assignments. The moment she begins to speak, she says, their brains seem to shut off. If she asks questions on what she’s been talking about, they don’t have any idea. On tests they struggle to recall basic information.
Does this explain why Biden’s approval ratings with young people are tanking?
We’ve heard a lot about learning lag with K-12 students, but this is also a huge issue with first year students at colleges. They didn’t learn anything for their last year or more at many high schools, so colleges are having to clean up this mess. The Hechinger Report reports that many incoming college students are unprepared to complete college-level work.
Do Democrats Have an Education Problem?
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a piece in my personal newsletter about how my party loyalties were being challenged by my family’s experiences with the hard lockdowns for schools in New Jersey. Andy Rotherham from Eduwonk thinks that the Biden administration’s position on charter schools are at odds with public opinion. The Wall Street Journal writes, “School Reopening Mess Drives Frustrated Parents Toward GOP.”
Gender Studies for Seven Year Olds
Here in New Jersey, there was a lot of drama around whether schools were going to implement a new sex-ed curriculum for elementary students, that would introduce kids to gender-fluidity and transgender identity. The uproar of twitter grew so great that Governor Murphy was forced to take a public position on the topic. What exactly is that position? I have no idea. You can check out his word-salad response here.
Education leaders in New Jersey are focused on gender studies for seven year olds, while the latest round of state tests in the state show that students are not even close to meeting benchmarks for reading and math. 57 percent of African American students in fourth grade got the lowest possible score for English. 74 percent of African American students in fourth grade got the lowest possible score for math. The full numbers are here.
Want to see pictures of our trip to Charlottesville, VA? More pictures of the insanely busy vacation week throughout the week.
I’ll continue writing about transitioning the autistic kid to college on Wednesday. Here’s the first piece on this topic.