Braielyn Peoples, a high-school math teacher from North Carolina, is taking a leave of absence from teaching 86 students to privately tutor small groups instead in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. She and other teachers will supplement remote lessons in rented office space set up as classrooms.
Special-education teacher Lisa Bennett of California says teaching math via a whiteboard online pales in comparison to one-on-one, in-person teaching for her third- through fifth-graders. Providing digital, interactive lessons for each student with special needs requires a complete overhaul of digital lesson plans, says Bennett, who is collaborating with other teachers to discuss potential improvements.
New York City Schools will send home any student who refuses to wear a mask during in-person learning, Chancellor Richard Carranza says. High-school math teacher Bobson Wong compares it with the hard-to-enforce ban on cellphones during class and says clear guidance from the district and enforcement flexibility in each school are imperative.
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Fifth-grade science teacher Pete Barnes in this blog post says math and science assignments that use items around the house can help engage students, and he suggests a host of websites and apps that teachers can use for online or hybrid science and math lessons. He also recommends divvying video lessons among teachers to share the burden and allow each teacher to explore a topic more in-depth.
Budget cuts to education during the previous recession worsened academic outcomes for students, particularly students from lower-income households and those who are Black and Latino, according to a report published in Education Next. Data shows that for every $1,000 a school district's budget declined by, test scores in math and reading were reduced by 1.6 percentage points, with a 6 percentage-point gap between white students and their Black and Latino peers.
The National Assessment Governing Board has ruled in a 12-10 vote that the National Assessment of Educational Progress -- known as the "nation's report card" -- should continue as planned in 2021. The decision to proceed with the math and reading assessments was made following input from state and district leaders as well as health experts, but officials say they are unsure whether a request for federal funding to help administer the exams safely will be approved.
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