'GET DOWN, GET DOWN' — Disturbing scenes from the March For Our Lives rally...

We begin today with an alarming dispatch from Saturday's rally in Washington, D.C., where Mark Keierleber was present when a man near the stage began screaming that he was armed, forcing gathered shooting survivors to hit the ground.

Also new this morning: Teachers flocking to microschools during the pandemic, a new push to arm educators in Ohio and the effects of dyslexia on math learning.

And finally a quick programming note: Mark your calendars for Wednesday at 1 p.m. Eastern, when The 74 and the Vela Education Fund present an online panel, “Into the Unknown: Why Teachers Leave the Classroom to Launch Nontraditional Education Programs," moderated by The 74's Linda Jacobson. Register for free right here. Hope to see you there!

On Scene

Inside the Terror That Gripped DC's Gun Control Rally

Gun violence survivors and their families were left in terror Saturday at the March For Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. after a man close to the stage reportedly began shouting that he was armed. The disruption occurred during a moment of silence for the 21 victims of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting. The man was taken into custody by the U.S. Park Police who said he did not have a weapon. Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, told The 74's Mark Keierleber the incident "took me back to the worst day of my life." Mark was near the front of the crowd at the National Mall and among those who hit the ground after being told to "get down, get down." Read his full dispatch.

  • Uvalde Backlash: Campus cops scrutinized after tragic missteps in shooting response (Read more)


Educators Leaving District Jobs Find ‘Fertile’ Ground in New School Models

Feeling she could no longer effectively meet children’s needs in a traditional school, counselor Heather Long left her district job this year to teach in an alternative model — a microschool based in her New Hampshire home. She is among educators nationwide who came to value the flexibility they gained during remote learning and have stepped away from traditional schools. “For the first time in their lives, they have options,” Jennifer Carolan of Reach Capital, an investment firm supporting online programs and ed tech ventures, told reporter Linda Jacobson. 

Go Deeper:


School Safety

Ohio Teachers May Soon Carry Guns, Raising Concerns of Racial Bias

With Ohio on the verge of passing legislation to make it easier for teachers to carry guns in school, educators and youth are sounding the alarm that the bill could make classrooms less safe — particularly for Black and Hispanic students. While a similar Florida law mandates 12 hours of diversity training — a nod to the possibility that educators carrying weapons could also be carrying racial bias — the Ohio bill has no such requirement. “I have no doubt in my mind, it increases the likelihood of school violence,” Ohio high school teacher Julie Holderbaum told The 74’s Asher Lehrer-Small.




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How 100 Top Districts Are (and Aren't) Engaging Stakeholders on Relief Funds

More than one out of three large districts may not be following a federal law requiring school systems to collect local feedback on how to spend their pandemic relief money, according to a new review by the Center on Reinventing Public Education. The law, passed last summer, requires districts to engage communities in “meaningful consultation” on spending federal recovery dollars. But one year in, just 57% of the 100 large and urban districts CRPE is tracking during the pandemic have created strategies for doing that. Contributors Alvin Makori and Bree Dusseault have the breakdown.

Read More: 

  • From the 2021 Archive: Analysis — How 100 Large Urban Districts Are Wrapping Family & Community Input into Plans for Spending Federal Emergency School Relief Funds
  • We Are Going to Hold You Accountable’: Just 1 in 5 Families Was Asked for Input into School Stimulus Fund Spending, New Poll Finds


Career Pivot: When Teachers Leave Their Classrooms to Launch Microschools

After the learning disruptions that impacted so many students through the pandemic, large numbers of parents looked to microschools as a more reliable alternative for their kids. Now, some teachers are seeing career opportunities there, too. Join us Wednesday as The 74 and the VELA Education Fund present an online panel, “Into the Unknown: Why Teachers Leave the Classroom to Launch Nontraditional Education Programs,” featuring several educators who made that leap. The 74’s Linda Jacobson will moderate, starting at 1 p.m. Eastern. Register for the Zoom right here.


1st Class of Goldberg Scholars Graduates — With a Little Help

Four years ago, Sheryl Sandberg and Rob Goldberg funded a scholarship program to free high-achieving first-generation college students from everyday financial burdens while giving them the type of mentorship that can launch careers. The former Facebook chief operating officer and the founder/CEO of Fresno Unlimited, respectively, also mentored two students in the inaugural 30-member class. Read what they had to say to The 74 about what that experience taught them, and meet five new graduates who reflect on the triumphs and challenges of being the first to earn a college degree.


Don’t Let Reading Be a Stumbling Block in Math

Addressing dyslexia, which affects an estimated 1 in 5 students and impacts how they decode words and process information, is critical for ensuring success at reading. What sometimes gets lost, however, is the degree to which dyslexia impacts other subjects. In this essay, contributor Lynne Munson explains how words can be a stumbling block in math class and suggests ways to make sure the language in math word problems is clear and easy to read.


LISTEN: The 74's Mark Keierleber on NPR's 'Marketplace'

Since the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the national conversation has turned to school security, with some parents and lawmakers calling for major investments in "hardening" efforts like perimeter fencing, security cameras, armed guards and metal detectors. We've been here before: The school security industry, which generates nearly $3 billion in annual revenue, has grown exponentially in recent decades as company executives use the public fear of tragedies — from Columbine to Parkland — to sell their wares. The 74 Investigative Reporter Mark Keierleber talked with Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal last week to discuss the growth in school security, and the industry's effects on students, educators and communities. Listen to the conversation here.

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