Weekly NewsBrief 7/26/21 - 8/1/21

News Clip


Alabama Department of Education launches campaign to recruit next generation of teacher – From the Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama State Department of Education has launched the first wave of its Alabama teacher recruitment campaign, a long-term advertising and public relations effort aimed at recruiting the state’s next generation of teachers and highly qualified people wanting to receive or maintain a valid Alabama teaching certificate.

“Like many other states, Alabama is experiencing a growing teacher shortage and needs a new focus on the recruitment of new talent to fill an ever-expanding pipeline.  We need young people who want to make a difference in their community and our state by teaching,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric G. Mackey. “From kindergarten to graduation, our focus is helping prepare students to become more productive citizens through subjects including reading, math and science – and teachers are the key. We must recruit more high-quality teachers to help prepare our state for the future in a high-tech economy.  This campaign will encourage young people to answer their calling and join a valued community that makes a difference in countless lives.”

Currently underway to support overall campaign objectives are multiple efforts targeting high school and college students via social media, YouTube, pre-roll, streaming radio and display advertising. Additionally, the state’s updated WeTeachAlabama.com website not only provides how-to and explanatory resources for those considering careers in education, but also gives current teachers a platform to share their own stories and encourage others to pursue teaching as a career path.

Dr. Eric Mackey


Tennessee will transition back to online standardized testing, beginning with high school students – By Marta Aldrich, Chalkbeat

Six years after a massive technical failure ruined Tennessee’s online testing debut, the state aims to get computer-based assessments back on track with a new testing company after a three-year hiatus.

Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn recently decided to return gradually to online testing in the 2021-22 school year instead of pursuing an aggressive switch to include more grades, said spokesman Brian Blackley.

While high schoolers will take their standardized end-of-course exams online for the first time since 2019, students in grades three to eight will stick with paper — for now — on annual spring assessments for math, English language arts, science, and social studies.

Blackley said the goal is to ensure a smooth transition under Pearson, the state’s third testing company in five years, especially because school districts have purchased millions of dollars in new technology for remote learning during the pandemic.

CDC and doctors call for masks in school. Will states, schools follow guidelines? – By Erin Richards and Ken Alltucker, USA Today

Amid mounting COVID-19 transmission before children return to classrooms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called Tuesday for mask-wearing in schools among students, staff and teachers to protect children who aren't eligible for vaccines.

The more aggressive transmission of the delta variant is worrisome and prompted the tougher masking guidelines, said Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC. The guidance is a major change from the CDC's recommendations this month that vaccinated students and staff need not mask up in schools.

The CDC recommended everyone in communities with substantial virus transmission wear masks indoors.

"Vaccinating more Americans now is more urgent than ever," Walensky said in a conference call. "This moment – and most importantly, the associated illness, suffering and death – could have been avoided with higher vaccination coverage in this country."


U.S. Department of Education Releases $600 Million to Support Homeless Students – By Rebecca Kelliher, Diverse Education

Under the American Rescue Plan Act’s Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) program, the U.S. Department of Education has released nearly $600 million in funding to support students experiencing homelessness.

“As a nation, we must do everything we can do to ensure that all students—including students experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity—are able to access an excellent education,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona. “I am thrilled that all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico now will be able to use these funds from the American Rescue Plan to support students’ success in the new school year and ensure they are connected to vital services and supports.”

The Department released the first $200 million of the $800 million in ARP-HCY funds to states in April. States and school districts will now have access to all of the remaining funds before the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

The additional ARP-HCY funding will be used to identify children and youth who are homeless. States can provide services that help these young people fully participate in school activities.





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