#tellEWA Member Stories (March 3-9)

Here’s what we’re reading by EWA members this week.

“People see the difficulties of the job, the complexities of the job and the stress of the job.” The turnover rate among superintendents increased 9.4% in Montana. Now 24 school districts throughout the state are seeking their next leader. The issue is also compounded by retirements, movement for better career opportunities and shrinking applicant pools. A national recruiter and others tell Skylar Rispens of the Missoulian about trends in superintendent searches and explain what makes a successful superintendent search these days.

Many U.S. school districts are continuing to purchase reading-instruction materials that emphasize the problematic “three cueing” method, which encourages children to guess words they don’t know based on pictures and sentence structure. The 74’s Asher Lehrer-Small investigates 225 school districts, finding they spent over $1.5 million on new books, trainings and curriculums linked to three cueing. He provides a public spreadsheet of this data and also interviews APM ReportsEmily Hanford, whose reporting exposed less-effective teaching methods.

The murders of a Temple University student in November 2021 and a campus police officer last February reignited debates on how to keep students and employees safe. Crime and violent incidents have been a persistent problem in the North Philadelphia neighborhoods surrounding the university. Mensah M. Dean of The Trace includes various viewpoints, from those who say the shortage of police officers on campus is problematic to those who discuss gun violence as an epidemic in America and worried parents who want to make a difference.

Many teachers revised their lesson plans due to “quiet censorship,” restrictions and a rising parents’ rights movement seeking to control what children can learn in school. At least 64 new state laws on the books have also contributed to educators changing how they instruct students. The Washington Post’s Hannah Natanson compiles a list of six things teachers won’t teach anymore. No. 1 on the list is that “Slavery was wrong.”

A doctor dismissed a Latino mother’s concerns about her then 3-year-old daughter who was years later diagnosed with autism and cognitive delays. Children with developmental delays and disabilities are supposed to receive state-provided therapies as required by the federal government, but racial gaps in access and quality are an ongoing problem. For example, “Black toddlers with developmental delays are five times less likely than similar-aged white children to receive early intervention services,” reports Sarah Carr for The Hechinger Report.

“I know what it feels like to be left out.” School boards representing diverse school districts in Sacramento County, California, don’t reflect their communities, a CapRadio and Sacramento Observer analysis from Srishti Prabha shows. People of color are consistently underrepresented on the school boards while white board members are overrepresented. Prabha explains why the racial makeup of a school board matters and how students of color are affected.