Jill Barshay

How a federal free meal program affected school poverty stats – Education Article

Participation in the federal lunch program is used to track student poverty rates. Photo: Tovin Lapan In 2014, schools had a new way to give students free breakfast and lunch, paid for by Uncle Sam. Instead of asking low-income families to apply for the meals, a school district could opt to give everyone free food if at least 40 percent of the student population was already on other forms of public assistance or fell into a needy category, such as…

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If girls are bad at math, should we blame their mothers? – Education Article

Girls in biased homes performed worse on math tests, study finds. Jackie Mader/The Hechinger Report There are loads of theories for why girls tend to do worse in math than boys, from differences in innate ability to discrimination by teachers. Many argue that our culture discourages girls from excelling at math. Now a team of economists has produced a study that calculates how a family’s attitudes about women can impede girls’ math achievement at school. Specifically, in the state of…

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Weakest students more likely to take online college classes but do worse in them – Education Article

  Online college classes and degrees give working adults a lot of flexibility in furthering their educations but there’s a big policy debate over whether students are learning much. According to the most recent federal statistics from 2016, roughly one out of every three or 6.3 million college students learned online. That number is growing even as fewer people are going to college. About half of them were enrolled in online degree programs and take all of their classes on…

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Immigrants learned English in half the time when they were held back in third grade – Education Article

In a large scale study of 40,000 English language learners in Florida, those who were held back in third grade learned English substantially faster and took more demanding classes in subsequent years. Jackie Mader/The Hechinger Report Making struggling students repeat third grade is an increasingly popular idea. Back in 1998, California was the first state in the nation to require students to repeat third grade if they couldn’t read at a basic level, as measured by the state’s annual tests. Another 15…

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Recessionary cuts in public education restored by 2015-16 – Education Article

  National Center for Education Statistics blog, December 2018 In a December 2018 report, the U.S. Department of Education quietly noted an important milestone for the nation’s 50 million children who attend public schools: spending by state and local governments, on average, was strong enough during the 2015-16 school year to return annual per-student spending to what it had been before 2008-9 recession and even grew above the pre-recession peak. According to the government’s report, education spending rose for the…

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Five years after Common Core, a mysterious spike in failure rate among NY high school students – Education Article

Five years after teaching to Common Core standards in New York State, 60 percent of English Language Learners failed the algebra Regents exam. They were part of a mysterious 13,000-student spike in the number of students failing the exam in 2017-18. Jackie Mader/The Hechinger Report Back in 2013, when New York was one of the first states in the nation to adopt Common Core standards and administer tougher tests, children’s test scores initially plummeted. Then, as teachers had time to…

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The problem with high-stakes testing and women in STEM – Education Article

In New York City, there’s a big debate over who should gain admittance to eight elite public high schools, including the well-known Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx High School of Science. Currently, Asian-American students score high enough on an entry exam to win a considerable majority of the seats. Mayor Bill de Blasio and a new school chancellor want to bring in more black and Latino students, who make up most of the city’s school population. This tension between demographics…

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