leaders

How an unprecedented, indefinite crisis forced education leaders to change the ways school districts operate

Snowstorms. Hurricanes. Shootings. Educators and the students they serve have long been at the mercy of crises; most have some sort of plan for disasters.

But with coronavirus, a new national emergency forced districts to rewrite their playbooks. While it’s obvious how COVID-19 changed the structure of school, what’s less known is how districts had to overhaul their operations.

To continue working safely, they had to change, and fast: Lengthy in-person meetings went online, where districts had more control over interactions and public input. Transparency laws changed. Some districts, like Seattle Public Schools, enabled superintendents to spend large sums of money without bureaucracy through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. And many local districts did not let reporters observe their first days of classes, citing privacy concerns and technical issues.

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Schooling solutions amid COVID-19

This story was produced with support from the Education Writers Association

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The lack of Black leaders in New England college sports is ‘what institutional and systemic racism look like’

“It amazes me that these barriers have not been broken down by now,” Titus said. “It’s a prime example of what institutional and systemic racism look like.”

A Globe survey of 112 colleges and universities in New England found that only five, or 4.5 percent, employ a Black athletic director. Just one of the region’s 15 Division 1 athletic departments has a Black leader: Marcus Blossom at Holy Cross.

“It amazes me that these barriers have not been broken down by now. It’s a prime example of what institutional and systemic racism look like.”

On Aug. 17, Division 2 Bentley University named Vaughn Williams, a senior administrator at Boston College, as its first Black AD. The other Black athletic directors in New England manage lower-budget operations at Division 3 schools: Anthony Grant at MIT, Lauren Haynie at Brandeis, and Darlene Gordon, Titus’s interim replacement at UMass Boston.

The diversity deficit

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Black male leaders say Biden will lose election if he doesn’t choose Black woman as VP

WASHINGTON – More than 100 Black male leaders, including activists, preachers, rappers and celebrities, in an open letter Monday called on Joe Biden to pick a Black woman as his running mate, saying that if he does not, he will lose the election.

“As someone who has said throughout the campaign that VP Joe Biden needs to choose a Black woman VP, the urgency for that pick has gone from something that SHOULD happen to something that HAS to happen,” the open letter said, which was published the week that Biden is expected to announce his running mate.

The letter was created in solidarity with an April letter signed by more than 700 black women leaders – including pastors, doctors, lawyers and celebrities – calling on Biden to “recognize and seize this moment” by picking a black woman as his running mate.

Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs, radio host Lenard “Charlamagne

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Health directors told to keep quiet as Florida leaders pressed to reopen classrooms

PALM BEACH, Fla. – As Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed this summer for schools to reopen, state leaders told school boards they would need Health Department approval if they wanted to keep classrooms closed.

Then they instructed health directors not to give it.

Following a directive from DeSantis’ administration, county health directors across Florida refused to give school boards advice about one of the most wrenching public health decisions in modern history: whether to reopen schools in a worsening pandemic, a USA TODAY Network review found.

In county after county, the health directors’ refrain to school leaders was the same: Their role was to provide information, not recommendations.

They could not tell school boards whether they believed the risks of opening campuses were too great, they said. They could only provide suggestions on how to reopen safely.

“I don’t think any of us are in a position to balk the governor,”

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As leaders in Lebanon deflect responsibility for explosion, skepticism grows

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, and Lebanese President Michel Aoun meet Thursday. Macron visited Beirut to offer French support to Lebanon after the deadly port blast. <span class="copyright">(Thibault Camus / Pool report via Associated Press)</span>
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, and Lebanese President Michel Aoun meet Thursday. Macron visited Beirut to offer French support to Lebanon after the deadly port blast. (Thibault Camus / Pool report via Associated Press)

Following Tuesday’s deadly port explosion in Beirut, Lebanese officials face increasing ire from the public and a skeptical international community that has, nevertheless, promised to provide humanitarian aid to help the devastated city get back on its feet.

While both Lebanese citizens and foreign leaders have pushed for an overhaul in the governance of the small Mediterranean country that had already been in the throes of a major economic crisis before the explosion, Lebanese leaders appeared to be digging in their heels.

Beirut residents, who had already been protesting government corruption and inertia and failing public services since October, were enraged when it turned out that Tuesday’s blast had been caused by a stockpile of ammonium

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Greta Thunberg launches open letter demanding world leaders take immediate action on climate crisis

Greta Thunberg launches open letter demanding world leaders take immediate action on climate crisis
Greta Thunberg launches open letter demanding world leaders take immediate action on climate crisis

Greta Thunberg has launched an open letter signed by thousands of activists and celebrities, and hundreds of scientists demanding global leaders take measurable, immediate action to genuinely tackle the climate crisis.

“The race to safeguard future living conditions for life on Earth as we know it needs to start today,” reads the letter, sent to all EU leaders and heads of state on Thursday. “Not in a few years, but now.” Signatories include Malala Yousafzai, Leonardo DiCaprio, Priyanka Chopra, Opal Tometi, Jane Fonda, Shawn Mendes, Coldplay, Mark Ruffalo, Margaret Atwood, and many others.

The Swedish teen climate activist teased something big on Twitter on Thursday, then tweeted out the link to the letter, noting the campaign hashtag #FaceTheClimateEmergency.

Written by Thunberg alongside fellow climate activists and School Strike 4 Climate organisers Luisa Neubauer, Anuna de Wever

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Orange County education leaders want schools to reopen without masks or social distancing

Graduate Dylan Davis is congratulated by coach John Shanahan as he exits the Laguna Beach High drive-through graduation at Guyer Field. <span class="copyright">(Don Leach / Times Community News)</span>
Graduate Dylan Davis is congratulated by coach John Shanahan as he exits the Laguna Beach High drive-through graduation at Guyer Field. (Don Leach / Times Community News)

Orange County education leaders voted 4 to 1 Monday evening to approve recommendations for reopening schools in the fall that do not include the mandatory use of masks for students or increased social distancing in classrooms amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

The Board of Education did, however, leave reopening plans up to individual school districts.

Among the recommendations are daily temperature checks, frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer, in addition to the nightly disinfection of classrooms, offices and transportation vehicles.

The recommendations, contained in a white paper, widely support schools reopening in the fall. The document states that remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been an “utter failure” and suggests allowing parents to send their children to another district or

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