Weekly NewsBrief 10/14-10/20

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Human interaction, SEL in curriculum key to curbing cyberbullying – By Lauren Barack, Education Dive

Mandy Manning has walked the halls of many schools in the year since she was named 2018 National Teacher of the Year — and she often sees the same thing: students spread out, not talking with each other but looking at their devices.

Now back in the classroom as an English language development teacher and department lead in the Newcomer Center at Joel E. Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington, she is very interested in the role that social-emotional learning (SEL) plays in the ways students engage, whether they’re physically in front of each other or connecting online. It’s an area Manning calls digital civility.

“Being face-to-face helps us be more accountable with what we say and do,” Manning told Education Dive. “But online is anonymous, and we’re not held accountable. Sometimes we say and do terrible things because no one knows who we are, and we’re emboldened.”

The buffer the digital world puts between people can be bridged through SEL skills, according to Manning and other education experts, helping students remember the person at the other end of a digital connection.


Mass. public schools violated law by denying Catholic, Jewish schools aid for special education, US officials say – By James Vasnis, The Boston Globe

The US Department of Education has found that public school districts across Massachusetts and state education officials have violated federal law for years by denying services and government aid to students with disabilities who attend Catholic, Jewish, and other private schools, according to a copy of the decision obtained by the Globe.

Consequently, local districts and the state could wind up owing private schools millions of dollars in services they failed to provide over the past five years. Under federal law, public districts must spend federal special-education aid on children with disabilities attending all schools in their communities, including private and religious ones.

The amount owed to private schools could be as much as $120 million, according to a coalition of Catholic and Jewish schools, which filed the complaints that led to the federal ruling. State education officials disagreed with that estimate, noting the amount hasn’t been calculated. Any money owed would have to come in the form of special-education services provided by the school systems.


High school grads earn $20 an hour, free college through apprenticeships – By John Wiseley, Detroit Free Press

Austin Grzywacz was a B+ student at Huron High School and figured he would go to college after graduation last year.

But a technical education program known as mechatronics, which emphasizes electronics and mechanical engineering, convinced him to reconsider. 

"Our teacher was showing us all these different trade schools and the average electrician is like 55 years old," he said. "So there's definitely demand for them and we need more. Once we saw the demand for them and we saw these companies looking for them, I just looked into it and then I interviewed with U.S. Steel."

Two months out of high school, he took a job paying $20.45 an hour as part of an apprenticeship at U.S. Steel in Ecorse. He alternates eight-week stints of working in the plant and studying at Henry Ford College in Dearborn.

Grzywacz is one of many young people across the state choosing to forego a four-year degree in favor of a faster track to a technical career. Educators, business leaders and economic development specialists have been working to boost interest in the skilled trades, everything from industrial occupations including electricians, plumbers, carpenters and millwrights as well as others in construction, health care and information technology.


The Incredible Shrinking Higher Ed Industry – By Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

Number of U.S. colleges and universities that award federal financial aid fell by 5.6 percent in 2018-19, to lowest mark in two decades.

Higher education enrollments have been falling for years, a well-documented outcome that can be attributed to some combination of a strong U.S. economy, changes in birth rates and, perhaps, growing doubts about the value of a college degree.

Another decline is also unfolding -- this one attributable to a mix of economic and political forces: the number of colleges and universities in the United States is at its lowest ebb since at least 1998.

Data released by the U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics Friday included statistics on a range of topics, including total head count of enrolled students through 2017-18 and the number of colleges and universities in the most recent academic year, 2018-19.

The enrollment data confirm what most college officials who've been paying attention already know: that the number of people enrolled in U.S. colleges has tumbled since the recession, dropping from a total head-count peak of 29.5 million in 2010-11 to 26.4 million in 2017-18.









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