Unequal Education: Pandemic Widens Race, Class Gaps in U.S. Schools | Top News

YORK, Pa. (Reuters) – Natalie Cruz, 12, missed math and language arts instruction one recent morning because the school’s virtual interface would not load. Carlos, her 8-year-old brother, sat beside her at the kitchen table, studying with last year’s workbooks because the district had yet to supply him with a PC, weeks after instruction started online.

Across town, Zachary and Zeno Lentz, 5 and 9, were at their high-performing elementary schools, where they attend in-person on Tuesdays and Fridays. They learn remotely the other three days, assisted by their college-educated mother, a social worker who can do her job from home.

The Cruz and Lentz children are separated by just a few miles in York, Pennsylvania. But they are a world apart in educational opportunities, a gap education experts say has widened amid the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic.     

Belen Cruz, a single mother and nurse, is most worried about

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Harvard University grads connect pandemic response policies across borders

Hundal: I’ve been working as a freelance health journalist for over six years now. At the same time, I have a background as a public policy specialist advising on health care policies that support marginalized populations. So, when the pandemic took hold and quarantine mandates started to be initiated, I was looking at the situation through both of these lenses. … Our hope for a takeaway from this project is that health care leaders and legislators around the world can get a clearer picture, empirically, of what’s working and what is isn’t working to bring this pandemic to a close.

Q. How did you decide which nations to include and how did you reach the leaders?

Hundal: Typically, the leaders reach out to us. I bring to this project many years of experience in international development work. Over the course of that work, we’ve liaised with stakeholders in public service

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Opinion | To save education, we must fight the broader pandemic

The experience of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is instructive. The university, with nearly 30,000 students, started classes Aug. 10. By Monday, 177 students had been isolated after testing positive for the coronavirus and another 349 were in quarantine because of possible exposure. The university had a strict mask mandate and asked students to practice social distancing; residence halls were reduced to less than 60 percent capacity; and fewer than 30 percent of total classroom seats were filled. But, partly due to social gatherings of students, infections soared; the first week, the campus health clinic saw the test positivity rate rise from 2.8 percent to 13.6 percent.

On Monday, the university abruptly switched to online classes only. Mimi Chapman, the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty chair, told NPR after the announcement that the university had some of the best public health communications staff in the country. “If we can’t

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Education cannot be paused for a pandemic

More than our physical health is being affected by this novel coronavirus. With the nation moving towards virtual living to continue social distancing, we are risking under-educating a generation. Children need the option to have an in-person education. There are lessons and experiences a student receives in the classroom that cannot be replicated via technology.

Distance learning is good, homeschooling is good, but not every student will succeed in those environments. Families need to have the option to send their child safely to school since a child only gets to experience the first grade once. My children are no longer school age, but my youngest is still in the classroom teaching middle schoolers.

It is critical to evaluate the risks of having a child return to in-person learning alongside the benefits. Besides the home, school ranks second in influencing a student’s well-being and health. Schools offer so much more than

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EBay Modernizes Platform, Sees Major Uptick in Sales During Pandemic

Brands and retailers have swiftly amped up the online shopping experience to meet consumers’ needs during the coronavirus pandemic — and now, e-commerce is primed to enter the next frontier. But for older e-commerce brands, such as eBay, that means modernization of its platform and reevaluation of an evolving and growing customer base.

Here, Bradford Shellhammer, eBay’s global head of buyer experience, talks to WWD about modernizing eBay’s platform, consumer evolution and how the brand grew during the coronavirus pandemic.

WWD: In your opinion, what is eBay’s sudden spike in buyers attributed to? Why has the secondhand market accelerated during COVID-19?

Bradford Shellhammer: Online shopping has seen exponential growth through 2020 as households have adjusted to new ways of shopping due to COVID-19. Data shows that e-commerce sales hit a July record of $66.3 billion, which is up 55 percent year-over-year. In April and May alone, we saw approximately 6

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Khan Academy founder’s tips for educating kids in pandemic

Sal Khan’s first inkling that COVID-19 was going to disrupt education around the world came in February, when the popular online learning platform he created saw a surge in traffic from South Korea. 

“We got a letter from a teacher who was saying how they were using Khan Academy to keep the kids learning during school closure,” he told AFP from San Francisco, saying he soon realized the vital role his organization could play in the pandemic.

The idea for Khan Academy began in 2004 when Khan, then a hedge fund manager, started giving math lessons to his 12-year-old cousin who lived on the other side of the United States, using Yahoo Doodle. 

Since that time, it has become one of the world’s leading internet education sites, available in 46 languages with a user base of 100 million, for whom it is completely free, thanks to the support of the

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UConn students evicted from dorms for holding pandemic party

Several UConn students were looking for new digs Wednesday after the dangers of reopening universities during a pandemic were laid bare in a video which showed undergrads living it up at a packed dorm room party where almost nobody was wearing a mask and there was zero social distancing.

While the worst offenders were slapped with eviction notices, University of Connecticut officials gave no sign that they intend to follow the lead of other universities like Notre Dame and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill that canceled in-class instruction and sent students home for the semester after coronavirus outbreaks on their campuses.

“These actions do not represent or speak for the 5,000 residents currently composing our residential community,” UConn Dean of Students Eleanor Daugherty and Residential Life Director Pamela Schipani said of the video in a letter to students late Tuesday. “The vast majority of our students are doing the

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Dollywood invites homeschoolers to explore, learn in the park as pandemic continues

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Going back to school can be a bummer, but not if you’re exploring the outdoors at Dollywood.

The amusement park has opened its 160-acre classroom to students during its annual Homeschool Days through Sept. 21. Participating homeschoolers and accompanying adults can get discounted tickets for the event, the company says in a press statement.

The special ticket event is expected to be a resource for parents who have opted to homeschool during the coronavirus pandemic. Dollywood has taken more than 700 steps to make the park safer and slow the spread of the virus. Everyone in the park must follow Dollywood’s Play Safe plan to comply with COVID-19 precautions. 

Making learning fun 

There’s no limit to what you can learn during Homeschool Days and a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. 

Students will study the principles of physics while riding rollercoasters, the law of conservation of momentum

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Fred Swaniker on How Entrepreneurs Could Help Africa Emerge Stronger From the Coronavirus Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled much of the global economy, with potentially disastrous impacts for many African nations. But there are signs of hope, too. Fred Swaniker, a Ghanian entrepreneur and leadership expert, says that a generation of young entrepreneurs is already working across the continent to develop new and innovative enterprises in the face of hardship.

“If we reimagine how we live and do business on the continent, we can actually turn this into an opportunity and not a crisis,” Swaniker said during Tuesday’s TIME100 Talks.

While Swaniker recognizes that a global economic recession will make it harder for African countries to grow their economies and create jobs, he believes that the constraints posed by the virus “will drive innovation.” The shift toward online, remote work, for example, could open up new employment opportunities for some of the best-educated Africans, without them needing to leave the continent.

However, innovation

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Moms brace for school year juggling jobs, remote learning amid COVID-19 pandemic

Traci Wells was at a school board meeting when she found out the springtime balancing act between her job and helping her children with online schooling would stretch into the fall. 

“I was like, I cannot do six more months of this,” says Wells, a mother of four, who is director of education for the global health program at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. With her husband working as well, “I don’t know how we’re going to be on all the calls and get the work done when we have these responsibilities. It’s just really, really hard.”

When the coronavirus outbreak led schools to shut down in the spring, parents had to quickly rally, juggling their jobs with the added roles of teacher, tutor and occasional IT technician.

It was a stressful time, but one that many families presumed would be temporary, coming at the end of the school

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