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[Parent Involvement] Education Recap: 2018 News and 2019 Predictions

[Parent Involvement] Education Recap: 2018 News and 2019 Predictions

What were the key events and news stories from 2018 that you, as a parent, should know about? Before looking ahead to 2019, we compiled a list of 5 news items that you should know!

2018 Year in Review

#RedForEd

5 States (AZ, WV, OK, NC, CO) had a teacher walk-out this past year under the hashtag #RedForEd, with more to come in 2019 (Los Angeles). The first was in West Virginia in February, where educators left their classrooms demanding higher pay for relief from rising healthcare costs. The state government subsequently raised educator pay by 5%, a big win for the teachers. Other states were not so lucky in having their demands met.

Teachers Run for Office

At least 177 teachers ran for office in 2018, with at least 43 winning their races. Many candidates cited their frustration with a lack of representation and influence in education policy and laws as their motivation to run for office. Not only that, but many candidates were women, part of the larger movement of women running for office this year. The most stunning upset was Democrat Tony Evers, Wisconsin’s Superintendent of Public Instruction and a former teacher, who defeated incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race.

School Shootings

2018 was the worst year for US school shootings. The country saw a sobering 24 school shootings where someone was killed injured, with 114 people killed or injured in the United States (EdWeek). School shootings led to a rise in student activism around gun control, most notably were high school students from Parkland, Florida who even made it on the Time 100 Most Influential People List for their political activism in the wake of the February 14th shooting at their high school. Out of the trauma rose a remarkable student-led effort to raise awareness and stir up political mobilization.

Extreme Weather Devastating Schools

2018 was marked by devastating hurricanes and wildfires that left schools and communities reeling from the damages, most notably, Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, Hurricane Michael in Florida, and the destructive fires in California. Teachers and students alike struggled with attending school in the midst of homelessness and restoration efforts. The federal government stepped in with federal assistance and financial relief for affected areas.

2019 Predictions for the Upcoming Year

Improved School Safety Measures

In response to the rising concern over school shootings, schools will give greater attention to school security and campus climate. This many mean improvements to school mental health offerings and some exploring alternative disciplinary policies (such as restorative practices).

A Greater Focus on SEL

Not only will we see more opportunities for students to grow in socio-emotional learning, but teachers will receive more training in this area. Especially with the rise in awareness of mental health issues across the country, socio-emotional learning will receive additional focus as it strongly relates to students’ academic performance. There will be a greater focus on educating students holistically, rather than purely academics.

See our relevant articles on SEL:

Growing Interest in Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality

With Google Expeditions already offering over 900 virtual reality expeditions for students to explore, you can expect new technology offerings for ways to better engage and excite students through AR and VR.

Personalized Learning will expand and grow

With the advance of education tools available to teachers, teachers will be able to better tailor their instruction based on students needs and preferences. Look forward to more innovations in this field. 

See our relevant articles on personalized learning:

Greater school focus on special student populations

We will see schools making a more concerted effort to address the needs of transient and homeless populations. Schools with higher concentrations of mobile students were shown to have higher percentages of students with disabilities and fewer students in gifted education programs.

See our relevant articles on special student populations:

Interested in staying up to date with the latest education news? Check out our weekly newsletter, Beyond the Classroom, to stay in the know!