Are the pandemic babies and kids OK?

A version of this story was originally published by Parenting Translator. Sign up for the newsletter and follow Parenting Translator on Instagram. This post was edited for length.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many parents and experts have raised concerns that the pandemic (and all of its terrible side effects) would also impact the development of children. Slowly, a body of research is coming out that can address these concerns. So what is the research telling us? Did the pandemic cause subtle changes in development that children will eventually compensate for or did it cause serious developmental delays that may ultimately result in more children meeting criteria for developmental disabilities?
Are the pandemic kids OK? Research on the impact of the pandemic on child development First, let’s examine the research on the infants born during the pandemic. The largest study that we have on the impact of the pandemic on child development is a meta-analysis (a study that combines..

How science class can inspire students to explore inequities in their communities

From “Teaching for Racial Equity” by Tonya B. Perry, Steven Zemelman and Katy Smith, © 2022, reproduced with permission of Stenhouse Publishers. No reproduction without written permission from the publisher.
Inquiring into racial inequity may seem easy enough in a social studies or English language arts classroom. But how do we do this for other content areas? Sure, there may be times when a teacher and class can pause from the regular curriculum to address a pressing issue that has arisen in the school or community, but we believe it is essential to incorporate racial criticality within the curriculum itself. Why? First, racism affects every aspect of American life and endeavor, so we must help students understand that. Second, developing criticality calls for knowledge and skills that are particular to each subject area. Planning a project to build criticality requires a series of key steps. An educator will need to:
Understand the racial issues in the school and..

Beyond reading logs and Lexile levels: Supporting students’ multifaceted reading lives

When teachers familiarize themselves with students’ reading histories, they may uncover reading trauma — moments when students had a negative experience with a peer, teacher or librarian that turned them off of reading. Students with reading trauma associate reading with painful feelings of shame or stress and doubt their reading abilities, said Boston-based educator Kimberly Parker in a recent webinar organized by the Texas A&M Collaborative for Teacher Education.
Take reading logs, for example. Asking students to track at-home reading can make exploring books seem like a chore. And students with incomplete reading logs can learn to associate reading with penalization. A 2012 study found that reading logs led to less motivation and less interest in recreational reading. “It actually drives students further away from reading,” said Parker, who wrote “Literacy is Liberation: Working Towards Justice Through Culturally Relevant Teaching” and has spent over 20 years working in literacy co..

If test scores and attendance are down, how are more students are earning high school diplomas?

A troubling post-pandemic pattern is emerging across the nation’s schools: Test scores and attendance are down, yet more students are earning high school diplomas. A new report from Washington, D.C., suggests bleak futures for many of these high school graduates, given the declining rate of college attendance and completion.
The numbers are stark in a March 2023 report by the D.C. Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization. Almost half the students in the district – 48% – were absent for 10% or more of the 2021-22 school year. Seven years of academic progress were erased in math: Only 19% of third through eighth graders met grade-level expectations in the subject in 2021-22, down from 31% before the pandemic.
At the same time, the high school graduation rate rose to a record 75%, up from 68% in 2018-19. Although the city is producing more high school graduates, fewer of them are heading off to college. Within six months of high school graduation, only 51% of the class of 202..

What we do (and don’t) know about teacher shortages, and what can be done about them

Wearing an effortless smile and a crisp, gray suit with a cloth lapel flower, Tommy Nalls Jr. projects confidence. Which is the point. In a ballroom full of job candidates, no one wants to dance with a desperate partner. And, as badly as his district needs teachers, Nalls doesn’t want just anyone.
“They have to have this certain grit, that certain fight,” says Nalls, director of recruitment for Jackson Public Schools, in Mississippi’s capital city. “That dog in ’em, so to speak.”
Tommy Nalls Jr. at a teacher job fair in Starkville, Miss. The head of recruitment for Jackson Public Schools says he’s proud of his district’s rise in state rankings, from an F-rated district to a C. (Cory Turner/NPR)On this sun-kissed morning in March, he’s a couple hours north of Jackson, in a ballroom on the campus of Mississippi State University, at a job fair full of soon-to-graduate teachers and school district recruiters from all over the state, and even out-of-state, competing to hire them.
Many di..

Garbology is the study of trash. This is why students love it

What makes humans different from other species? To environmental engineer and Santa Clara University professor Stephanie Hughes, it’s the fact that we produce things that can’t be used again in nature. We break the cycle. Professor Hughes doesn’t even like to use the word, “waste.”
“I’m not very pleased with that terminology because really, humans are the only ones that have waste streams,” Hughes says. “In the rest of the world, this planet operates cyclically: Waste from one animal becomes nutrients for another.”
For many Americans, throwing something away means that it’s gone forever. But Professor Hughes wants students to learn that this is not always the case. Hughes has taken her students to tour a paper recycling plant, sewage treatment plant and household hazardous waste facility.
By training, Hughes is a chemical and environmental engineer with a particular love for sewage. She’s known for cruising around campus on her bike and lending her worms to students she’s inspired t..

Why cultivating emotional intelligence among toddlers has become more urgent

BOSTON — The six toddlers in the “Bears” classroom at the Ellis Early Learning center were hard at play when, suddenly, a tower of large, brightly-colored plastic blocks crashed to the ground. The children froze as the little boy who had just built the tower burst into tears.
“Look, he’s sad!” their teacher said gently as she kneeled next to the 2-year-old. “What can we do to make him feel better?”
One little girl padded over and gently touched his arm. The boy looked up and did what many frustrated, unpredictable toddlers do: He bit her.
As the little girl erupted in tears, the teacher swooped in calmly and hugged her. “You can say, ‘That hurt!’” she instructed. “You need to be gentle,” she reminded the boy.
Biting — and the big emotions that cause it — are commonplace in toddler classrooms. And now, thanks to a new initiative at this Boston-based child care program, teachers have a unified strategy both for addressing the problematic behavior and teaching the toddlers to recogni..

Isro’s LVM-3 to launch second fleet of 36 satellites Sunday, completing OneWeb constellation

The satellites have already been integrated and the rocket is in place at the launch pad ahead of Sunday’s launch. In its second commercial launch, India’s heaviest launch vehicle LVM-3…

Criminal behavior rises among those left behind by school lotteries

Many major cities around the country, from New York and New Orleans to Denver and Los Angeles, have changed how children are assigned to public schools over the past 20 years and now allow families to send their children to a school outside of their neighborhood zone. Known as public school choice or open enrollment, this policy gives children in poor neighborhoods a chance at a better education. Many supporters hoped it could also be a way to desegregate schools even as residential neighborhoods remain racially divided.
However, a new study of public school choice in Charlotte, North Carolina, finds a deeply troubling consequence to this well-intended policy: increased crime.
Three university economists studied the criminal justice records of 10,000 boys who were in fifth grade between 2005 and 2008. Thousands wanted to go to highly regarded middle schools, some of which were in nearby suburbs of the large Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district. Seats were allocated through a lotter..

Illinois teachers create Black history courses to fill in gaps in U.S. history for students

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at
Ashley Kannan, an eighth grade history teacher at Oak Park Elementary School in District 97, had long thought about piloting a Black studies course. He even created a lesson plan during the summer of 2020. Then, a conversation with a student convinced him to take the leap.
The student liked his lectures, she told him, but thought the history class that Kannan normally teaches was boring.
That inspired Kannan to run with the course that fall. Students in his Black Studies course learn about topics such as the Black church, the Great Migration — when Black Americans migrated from the South to the North for jobs and other opportunities — and Black political figures such as Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil rights activist from Mississippi.
Not long after he started to teach the class during the 2020-21 school year, Kannan said, he noticed his students were more engaged with the material.