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EDUCATION POLICIES, ANALYSIS, AND RESOURCES

The Education Domain tracks and reports on policies that deal with school choice, student loans, curriculum reform efforts, teacher unions, students with disabilities, affirmative action, minority students, vocational training and higher education. This domain tracks policies emanating from the White House, the Department of Education and state legislatures.

Latest Education Posts

 

The Impact of Biden’s American Rescue Plan on Education

Brief #57—Education
By Emily Carty
President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, has a wide range of implications regarding the school system and, more generally, education and development of our youth population. Under the Act’s Title II (Committee on health, education, labor, and pensions), Subtitle A (Education Matters), Biden’s plan for our education system is laid out. Throughout the entirety of the act however, there are various sections that impact children or education, particularly notable is an increased child tax credit that will be extended to benefit lower-income families.

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Media Literacy in Schools

Brief #56—Education
By Emily Carty
As of 2021, 14 states have passed some sort of legislation related to Media Literacy. The Majority of these states passed the laws in the past few years, signaling the growing interest in monitoring the media’s influence on society through increasing society’s ability to sift through the media’s information. Youth today are engaged in digital media, and therefore media in general, even more than in previous generations. With the political process playing out on a screen, sensationalist  or “fake news” plastering social media,  and real, extensive studies into the benefits of being media literate — society today is coming to terms with the dangers of media illiteracy.

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Democratic Education and Practice

Brief #55—Education
By Emily Carty
Schools are an ideal place to plant the seeds of democracy and cultivate a culture of learning, participation, and will to be informed and take action for one’s rights and ideals. Commentary from a recent Brookings Institute article contrasts the emphasis placed on preparing kids for a modern economy with the lack of resources to prepare kids for a modern democracy. Citing the constant criticisms of schools being unable to prepare graduates for the job market or college, the author notes that a demand for prepared, active citizens is lacking. Conservatives and progressives have their respective fears about civic education in schools — will it be propaganda, whitewashed history, or activist training to make major changes to our country? While those concerns do have their place, no one can deny that basic education around the political process, civil rights, and modern media literacy is much needed in this country.

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First Lady Jill Biden Highlights Role As First Professor in the White House

Brief #54—Education
By Linda F Hersey
Twenty-four hours before Joe Biden was inaugurated as president, First Lady Jill Biden was teaching her English composition class as usual at Northern Virginia Community College. The First Lady’s decision to keep her day job as she settles into the White House is symbolic. She said that she likes her job as a college professor, worked hard for her PhD and is committed to teaching. Having a first professor in the White House energizes calls or free college education, which is available in many European countries, including Norway, Sweden and Germany, which have apprenticeships as well. Her commitment and advocacy raise the status of higher education in the Biden presidency. The First Lady is a long-time member of the National Education Association (NEA), which is the nation’s largest labor union and whose members advocated for the Biden presidency.

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Outlook for Covid-19 Vaccines in School Communities 

Brief #53—Education
By Emily Carty
Vaccines have been required or recommended in schools for decades now. The CDC urges families to vaccinate their children against chicken pox, measles, and a handful of other illnesses in order to protect their own children as well as the general public. While this is just a recommendation, all 50 states have some laws in place requiring students to be vaccinated against certain diseases and in certain situations. For example, the state might require students of public schools to have certain immunizations while students in private schools are exempt. Nevertheless, there are ways to circumvent these requirements with medical, or in some cases, religious or philosophical exemptions. Forty-five states have religious exemptions, and 15 have philosophical exemptions — California, New York, Maine, Mississippi, and West Virginia only have medical exemptions.

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 The Covid-era Classroom

Brief #52—Education
By Emily Carty 
The “traditional” classroom is facing an identity crisis. As teachers throughout the country have turned to remote learning or modified in-person learning, the classroom as we know it is changing. With distancing in the classroom, learning on electronic devices, and everyone in masks, the physical attributes of a modern classroom will certainly be different at least until the pandemic subsides.

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School reopening and parents’ perspectives

Brief #51—Education
By Emily Carty
As of December 12, eleven states plus D.C. and Puerto Rico have ordered schools to partially or fully close. Four state governments (Arkansas, Iowa, Florida, and Texas) have ordered schools open for the families that choose to attend.

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Student Loan Debt and the Higher Education Act of 1965

Brief #50—Education
By Emily Carty
The student loan debt crisis has many people across the nation rethinking the university and job training systems. According to Forbes, 45 million borrowers nearly have a collective $1.6 trillion in student loan debt, falling just behind the collective debt of the mortgage industry.

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