Deep Dive

Industry insights from our journalists

  • A couple stands among a memorial for the children and teachers killed on May 24, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas
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    Jordan Vonderhaar / Stringer via Getty Images

    School shootings reach unprecedented high in 2022

    There’s been an on-campus shooting ‘pretty much every single school day’ this fall, the founder of the K-12 School Shooting Database said.

    Naaz Modan and Kara Arundel • Dec. 21, 2022
  • An adult teacher is in the front of a classroom sitting in a chair reading a book and showing the young students sitting in front of the teacher on the floor the pages in the book.
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    Permission granted by Jenn Adams

    ‘Tripledemic’ upends school operations, requires adjustments

    Administrators share strategies on how they are working to minimize sickness and missed class time.

    Kara Arundel • Dec. 19, 2022
  • A child holds a sign that read, "please let me use the girl's room."
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    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    Star-Spangled Bans: No place for Pride in some schools after anti-LGBTQ laws spread

    Counselors, educators and students are paying the price for policies that make students feel unsafe as their mental health and lives hang in the balance.

    Naaz Modan, Jasmine Ye Han and Shaun Lucas • Nov. 17, 2022
  • A person moves a large poster that reads, "Confess when being racist; Nothing disrupts racism more than when we confess the racist ideas that we sometimes express."
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    Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

    Star-Spangled Bans: Anti-CRT policies lead schools to downplay race, history

    “Divisive concepts” regulations are dividing entire communities, with people and children of color caught in the middle.

    Naaz Modan, Jasmine Ye Han and Shaun Lucas • Nov. 16, 2022
  • Several students hold signs that read "protect trans kids," "we deserve to learn queer history," and "vote out book banners" in front of a brick building.
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    Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/TNS/Newscom

    Star-Spangled Bans: How Trump’s call to preserve U.S. history energized a movement to erase it

    As classroom censorship laws spread, school cultures, climates, and even curricula are shifting at all levels of the education system.

    Naaz Modan, Jasmine Ye Han and Shaun Lucas • Nov. 15, 2022
  • A gridded wall of photos are on display.
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    Alex Wong via Getty Images

    Fighting fentanyl: Schools tackle opioid crisis head-on

    Educators are on the front lines of the trauma facing students and families — and working to be part of the solution.

    Kara Arundel, Shaun Lucas and Jasmine Ye Han • Oct. 26, 2022
  • A group of Black elementary school children stand in line to the left of their teacher in a hallway.
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images

    4 ways transitioning to a 4-day school week impacts districts

    Moving to a shorter week offers a variety of advantages for students and educators, but it is not without challenges.

    Elena Ferrarin • Aug. 3, 2022
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    Brandon Bell via Getty Images

    'Waiting for the next thing': What it's like teaching after a mass shooting

    Educators are expected to teach through emotional and psychological side effects reaching far beyond communities impacted by tragedies.

    Naaz Modan • May 26, 2022
  • A young student has their back to the camera and is wearing headphones and sitting at a desk. A computer is on the desk.
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    Michael Loccisano via Getty Images

    Remote learning special ed litigation lower than expected

    Though disruptions continue and statutes of limitations on missed services have yet to expire in some places, a lawsuit spike hasn't materialized.

    Kara Arundel • April 12, 2022
  • Miguel Cardona sits surrounded by students and others
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    The image by U.S. Department of Education is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    As Ed Dept weighs Title IX changes, pressure mounts from growing state anti-LGBTQ measures

    Districts are caught between a rock and a hard place as they navigate conflicting state laws and federal urges to support LGBTQ students.

    Naaz Modan • April 6, 2022
  • The School District of Lee County, Florida, reintroduced peanut butter in school cafeterias in February 2022. The district uses stickers to mark items containing peanuts.
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    Permission granted by The School District of Lee County

    How a Florida district reintroduced peanut butter after an 18-year absence

    Lee County schools work to protect students with food allergies as supply chain problems and rising food prices lead to changes in cafeteria menus.

    Kara Arundel and Anna Merod • April 4, 2022
  • student riding bus alone
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    Permission granted by All4Ed

    Slipping through the cracks: Differing federal policies keep homeless students from getting help

    COVID-19 likely increased homelessness, but different definitions of 'homeless' continue making it difficult for districts to help families access resources.

    Naaz Modan • March 7, 2022
  • Educators from Framingham Public Schools in Massachusetts visit a family in April 2017
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    Permission granted by Dequendre Neeley-Bertrand

    Home visits give educators and families time to connect

    The strategy has been shown to contribute to increased academic performance and reduced chronic absenteeism.

    Kara Arundel • Feb. 24, 2022
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    Jon Cherry via Getty Images

    The struggle over defining, reporting restraint and seclusion in schools

    Special education administrators are concerned some wording in proposed revised definitions will lead to misreporting and misunderstanding.

    Kara Arundel • Feb. 9, 2022
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    Jon Cherry via Getty Images

    COVID-19 testing in schools: Double-down or phase it out?

    The logistical and financial burdens of school-managed testing are worth it if it keeps students learning in classrooms, some education stakeholders say.

    Kara Arundel • Feb. 2, 2022
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    George Frey via Getty Images

    Why student data remains at risk — and what educators are doing to protect it

    Outdated laws, abundance of state rules and increase in ed tech tools add to the difficulty in protecting students' personal data.

    Kara Arundel • Dec. 14, 2021
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    George Frey via Getty Images

    As public trust in teachers declines, how can districts turn the tide?

    Data shows a 6-percentage-point dip since the pandemic began, but experts suggest "leaning into the problem" and engaging families to address it.

    Anna Merod • Dec. 2, 2021
  • Former principal James Whitfield embraces a student during a graduation ceremony at his Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas.
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    Permission granted by Colleyville Heritage High School

    Being Black in Education: Where is the system going wrong?

    Evidence demonstrates Black leaders can strengthen achievement and culture — if they get the chance.

    Naaz Modan and Julia Himmel • Dec. 1, 2021
  • Students in a gifted and talented classroom in Minnesota's Mankato Area Public Schools listen to a lesson about spiders in spring 2019.
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    Permission granted by Tania Lyon

    Gifted education's future requires more diversity, inclusion and access

    Commitments to more equitable gifted programs are changing mindsets, identification practices and services, but teacher training remains challenging.

    Kara Arundel • Nov. 4, 2021
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    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    3 ways educators are addressing the 20th anniversary of 9/11 in curriculum

    From using a poem written by the U.S. poet laureate at the time as a springboard for discussion to engaging the community, resources are plentiful.

    Lauren Barack • Sept. 1, 2021
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images

    Threat assessments: Preventing school violence or creating student trauma?

    The school safety approach is used to evaluate a student’s potential to cause school violence, but critics say the practice is discriminatory and harmful.

    Kara Arundel • Aug. 10, 2021
  • A student at Dacusville Middle School in Easley, South Carolina prepares orders during the 2019-20 school year for Goldwave Graphics, a design graphics company run by students.
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    Permission granted by Michelle Stephens

    Using the Olympics to bring STEM excitement into classrooms

    The Summer and Winter Olympic Games can add real-world context and relevance to a variety of science and engineering lessons.

    Lauren Barack • July 7, 2021
  • Teacher Elizabeth DeSantis, wearing a mask and face shield, helps a 1st grader during reading class at Stark Elementary School on Sept. 16, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut.
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    John Moore via Getty Images

    Why having too many or too few special education students matters

    With a predicted rise in the number of referrals, schools should have tiered supports in place and monitor for inappropriate identifications.

    Kara Arundel • June 1, 2021
  • A child in the Early Learning Transition program in the Portland Public Schools
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    Permission granted by Portland Public Schools

    Weaving anti-bias and equity into curricula begins with self-reflection

    Through professional development and other avenues, educators can root out their own biases to support culturally responsive approaches to learning.

    Lauren Barack • May 26, 2021
  • Illustration of student separated from access to school by the digital divide.
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    Adeline Kon/K-12 Dive

    Decoding the Divide: How COVID-19 thrust a long-widening digital gap into the spotlight

    The pandemic forced emergency investment to connect all students to digital learning opportunities, but holes remain in access and training.

    Roger Riddell • May 25, 2021