• Home Schooling

    These Alabama families switched to home school during COVID. They say they won’t go back.

    To learn more about The Alabama Education Lab and receive notifications about stories and events, sign up for its newsletter, Ed Chat. See past stories here. In 2020, Ophelia Talley was suddenly handed the opportunity, as she saw it, to homeschool her son, Noah. “I had wanted to homeschool, and then COVID happened, and I was just like, well, we’re trying it!” said the mom of two, who had previously sent her older son to kindergarten class in Huntsville. Thousands of families learned at home during the pandemic. But while many returned to traditional classroom settings when schools reopened, a record number of families — and a record number of…

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  • Online School

    Supreme Court sides with high school cheerleader who cursed online

    The case involving a Pennsylvania teenager was closely watched to see how the court would handle the free speech rights of some 50 million public school children and the concerns of schools over off-campus and online speech that could amount to a disruption of the school’s mission or rise to the level of bullying or threats. The 8-1 majority opinion was penned by Justice Stephen Breyer. “It might be tempting to dismiss (the student’s) words as unworthy of the robust First Amendment protections discussed herein. But sometimes it is necessary to protect the superfluous in order to preserve the necessary,” Breyer wrote. Breyer said that the court has made clear…

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  • Education

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren blocks confirmation of Biden education nominee, presses for fed student loan overhauls

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren reportedly wants the Biden administration to agree to substantial overhauls of the $1.6 trillion federal student loan program before she joins other Democrats in approving President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead higher education policy, James Kvall. Warren, who’s led calls on the president to cancel up to $50,000 in borrowers’ federal student loan debt, is ramping up pressure for reforms including broader oversight of the companies who service loans, according to The Washington Post and Politico. On Monday, Warren — and her Massachusetts colleague Sen. Ed Markey and Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota — sent letters to the CEOs of all federal student loan servicers, pressing them…

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  • Jobs

    Many people don’t want to work unless it’s from home

    If you’re one of the approximately 50 percent of Americans who worked remotely during the pandemic, you’re probably wondering if remote work is in the cards after the pandemic is over. The vast majority of people say they’d like to work remotely at least part of the time, but that desire is running up against the reality of there being fewer remote jobs than there are people who say they want them. Only about 10 percent of jobs on popular hiring platforms include remote work. That’s a boon for jobs offering remote work. Take Zillow, for example, which saw a huge spike in applicants due to a new remote work…

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  • Science

    Embryos appear to reverse their biological clock early in development

    As people age, so do all of our cells, which accumulate damage over time. But why our offspring don’t inherit those changes — effectively aging a child even before birth — has been a mystery. “When you are born, you don’t inherit your parents’ age,” says Yukiko Yamashita, a developmental biologist at MIT who studies the immortality of germline cells such as eggs or sperm. “For some reason, you are at zero.” Experts once thought that germline cells might be ageless — somehow protected from the passage of time (SN: 3/10/04). But studies have shown signs of aging in eggs and sperm, dispelling that idea. So researchers have hypothesized that…

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  • Exchange Student

    Exchange student agency looking for host families in Hampton Roads

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Exchange student programs are picking back up after a temporary shutdown due to COVID-19. In Virginia Beach, the Trussell family is preparing to welcome their third exchange student. They go through an agency called International Experience. Tracy Mabry, northeast regional director for International Experience, says the agency is still looking for host families in various parts of Hampton Roads while some are already full. Public schools have a certain number of students they allow each year. Mabry said that for Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, families can still sign up to host, but they do need to hurry as the deadline to have information to the schools…

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  • Online School

    Texas school districts roll back options after lawmakers fail to extend life of virtual learning

    Nearly 1,000 students told Frisco ISD administrators that they wanted to continue with online learning next school year, but now that’s not going to happen. On Tuesday, Frisco Superintendent Mike Waldrip announced that the district had to cancel plans to open a virtual school this fall because funding to continue the option wasn’t clear. Numerous other districts, including Round Rock and Hays, also have scrapped plans. “With no signs that the Texas Education Agency will act soon to grant districts a waiver, Frisco ISD has no choice but to discontinue planning for this option in the coming school year,” Waldrip said in his letter to families. The future of online…

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