September 9, 2020
Featured News
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has come out against the use of “high-intensity” active shooter drills students and educators have grown used to in the past few years. Because their effectiveness remains in question, the AAP believes that the trauma the drills cause outweigh their necessity. While not calling for an outright ban, the AAP is recommending drills that are milder in nature. For example, focusing on the safe movement of students and staff throughout the school building similar to what happens during a fire drill. The recommendations are particularly timely, given that these drills require close physical proximity to execute. During this time, such drills pose a health risk to students and educators and should be avoided, an additional reason the APA sites for discontinuing the kinds of drills schools have been practicing over the past few years.


The Nellie Mae Foundation has released a Request for Proposals for educators or educator-serving organizations for activities including, but not limited to: organizing, holding classroom, school educator, and/or community conversations; culturally responsive trainings for schools or districts; culturally sensitive therapy; community healing or other activities intended to center Black youth and families; attending trainings or conferences. This grant is open to Black educators in New England (MA, RI, NH, VT, ME, or CT). The deadline to apply is October 22, 2020.

In The News

Nation’s Schools Get a ‘C’ Once Again, Even As Pandemic Heats Up
Education Week
Things have, unfortunately, not changed for the nation’s students in terms of their academic performance according to federal and state data. The U.S. earned a grade of "C" on a range of academic, school finance, and long-term socioeconomic indicators. Earning a 75.9 out of 100, achievement gaps still loom for the country despite some modest gains. New Jersey earned the highest ranking with a B plus (and a score of 87.3) with Massachusetts following close behind with a score of B plus (and a score of 86.7). New Mexico had the lowest score of D plus (and a score of 66.5). Three other states earned a D plus--Alabama, Nevada, and Oklahoma.


Betsy DeVos Tells States Not to Expect Waivers From State Tests
Education Week
Betsy Devos, via a letter sent to chief state school officers, has indicated that waivers from federal testing mandates this school year will not be granted. Despite granting the waivers last school year, DeVos stated this past summer that she would not be inclined to give them again regardless of whether or not the pandemic would prohibit students from returning to school buildings to resume in-person instruction.  Should presidential candidate Joe Biden win the November 3rd election, there could be a change in this policy as he is on the record as being critical of standardized tests



Smart Ways to Report On COVID Cases Detected in Schools
Phi Delta Kappan
As a follow up to a story we reported last week; there is frustration about the inability to access data about the school-based COVID cases. The available data are scattered at best. Without reliable data, rumors spread quickly and become the primary source of information for parents and educators. Neither the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) nor the U.S. Department of Education is collecting data or providing guidance on how to collect data about COVID cases. To date, only three states (Hawaii, Kentucky, and Mississippi) are releasing publicly accessible data on school-related COVID cases. While many school districts are asserting they can’t release information on COVID cases because state law prohibits them from doing so, they actually can release the information provided they do not disclose the name of the infected individual. They do it in cases of infections of lice, for example. Tennessee has announced that it will start school and district-based COVID cases this week. This announcement has come after initially resisting calls to release the data citing privacy concerns. 


Please note that the articles and events in the NCTR E-Blast do not reflect the opinions of our organization, but rather represent information that we believe will be relevant to you and your programs.

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