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Good morning!

We have a full lineup of news, features and analysis for you this morning, starting with Linda Jacobson's report on new research that shows a direct link between enrollment declines and the amount of time schools stayed closed during COVID. More about that, and all of today's coverage, below.

Plus … be sure to join us at 1 p.m. Eastern for a special webinar on "The Politics of Education: The School Choice Election Wave?" Featuring Andy Rotherham, a member of the Virginia State School Board and The 74's Board of Directors; journalist and author Anya Kamenetz; Michael Hartney of the Hoover Institute; George Parker, former educator, teachers union president and adviser to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools; and 74 Senior Writer Kevin Mahnken, and moderated by Tressa Pankovits of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Reinventing America’s Schools project. Register for free right here. Hope to see you there!

Student Enrollment

Report: School Reopening Decisions, Not Just Pandemic, Drove Enrollment Loss

Districts where classes remained remote the longest during the 2020-21 school year lost at least half a million students more than they would have if they’d remained open, according to a new American Enterprise Institute report. The data confirms a pattern that Stanford University researchers identified last year and shows that it continued in 2021-22. Enrollment loss was not just “pandemic-related; it was pandemic-response related,” author Nat Malkus told reporter Linda Jacobson.


Go Deeper:

Join North Dakota State Supt. Kirsten Baesler in a two-part discussion about K-12 recovery through the lens of a rural state, as well as the increasing importance of high-quality training and support to local school board members. Listen to the Route K-12 Podcast at or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.


Study Shows Small Emergency Grants Can Help College Students Stay in School

A new study documents significant gains in college persistence and graduation as a result of a student emergency grants program. Grants were made on a rolling basis to underserved students at six State University of New York campuses to help cover expenses related to emergencies, not to pay for tuition. The result: Fund recipients showed substantially higher achievement rates than the general campus populations. Contributor Peter Sloane of the Heckscher Foundation, which commissioned the study, explains.


Double the Impact; Double the Reward

Several generous benefactors have put up $18,000 to match donations to The 74 during our year-end campaign.

That means your gift can have double the impact, AND you will be able to feel doubly good about helping the cause of nonprofit, fact-based journalism. Please give by pressing the red button.



District Sticks with Recovery Plans after NAEP Crash

The Cleveland school district had the worst drop in scores of any city on the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Officials are mixed over whether the scores are startling or expected, though all agree some drop was guaranteed for what is, by some measures, the poorest and least-connected city in America. They’re banking on student supports already rolling out before the pandemic, a few changes and some added tutoring that may come next year to bounce back. Patrick O’Donnell has the story.


Read More:



A 'Fiercely Compassionate' Approach to Student Mental Health

How should educators see the children in their care? Whether they’re teaching, coaching, mentoring or treating them, perceptions of children are more critical than ever because the world feels more anxious than ever. Helping students, writes contributor Danielle Budash Newkam, means taking a "fiercely compassionate" approach to their mental health. Some ways teachers can change their thinking to do just that.



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