Kids who are applying to college this fall can’t find the same open spots that other years would be a sure bet. This will be the year of the phantom college essay: stories about what could have been and what was there once and poof gone.

At least I’m hoping that this will be the year of the phantom essay. And that the kids will be whiny, and unappealing, and that my kid will shine.

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I was thinking the silver lining in Zoom school at home is finally police would stop being involved in the education of Black students. So I was crushed to hear that police and judges were going after kids for not doing their online homework. Of course the kids the police are going after are disproportionately Black.
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Here’s the results most parents expect from a good English curriculum:

  • being a competent speller
  • being well read
  • being familiar with the five-paragraph paper
  • being conversant in the rules of grammar

But just forget all that. That English curriculum is cancelled.
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When I can’t cope I clean. And if everything is clean, I organize. Once I overheard my younger son giving a tour of the house and he said, “This is our bedroom. My mom makes us put our stuff in her boxes so everything is her colors.”

I thought I was teaching my kids to clean their rooms. But my kids recognized I was teaching them to make their room the way I like it. I started paying attention to what other kids rooms look like. I noticed that if you go to someone’s house and a school-aged kid’s bedroom is really neat and stylish, that says more about the mom than the kid; it looks like the mom cares more about her own needs than the kids. Read more

In a lawsuit fluke, a judge ruled that 800,000 students should have their student debt canceled. Researchers took the opportunity to compare outcomes of students with canceled debt to students who did not have their debt canceled.

Canceled debt improved student outcomes in all sorts of unexpected ways. More of them got married and had kids, for example. They earned 12% more than their indebted peers because without debt the students could take risks –– they could relocate, change jobs to improve their career, protect their credit score. Read more

The word doomscrolling appeared for the first time in The New York Times, in an Opinion column about coronavirus.

The Twitter feed about the first appearance of words in the New York Times is fun because it’s about when a word goes mainstream. It’s the hockey stick growth equivalent for a word. (Hockey stick growth is the word for startup success that first appeared in the New York Times in 2008.)

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Homeschooling, parents are always looking out for minefields. There is no blueprint we can follow and there aren’t many established best practices. But the thing that makes it a minefield is we can’t see the danger before we step on it. Read more

Colleges just announced that while most classes will occur online, schools will not reduce tuition. Students have tried to sue to get their tuition decreased and the schools have prevailed.

College administrators are telling us online college is MORE expensive for schools than in-person college. But wait. Does this mean there is MORE VALUE in online college? Because we just lived through Zoom education and no one likes it. Read more

Right now schools have no idea how to teach online and kids will go to school irregularly this fall. It will take 20 years for school districts to dig themselves out of the Covid crisis and start thinking about what is actually important to teach. Meanwhile, the US history curriculum is already so outdated that it’s offensive. Read more

Parents are not doing Zoom school. They think it’s stupid. Yet teachers have been doing school day after day like it’s essential. A survey by Fishbowl reveals that the majority of professionals prefer to continue working from home. Except K-12 teachers. They prefer going back to working at school.
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