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Harvard Celebrates Earth Day with Events Across University

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Seeking to raise awareness about Harvard’s sustainability efforts, schools and programs across the University have hosted events since Thursday celebrating Earth Day.

The activities, which will continue through the end of the month, range from panels with Harvard affiliates working in climate and sustainability to a clean-up of the Charles River and an Earth Day Festival.

On Thursday, the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Office of the Vice Provost for Climate and Sustainability jointly hosted a virtual discussion between Harvard experts about challenges in confronting environmental issues.

Kennedy School professor John P. Holdren and Divinity School writer-in-residence Terry T. Williams discussed the intersection between social justice and environmental issues during the event.

“The people within our country and around the world who have done the least to create the problem with their greenhouse gas emissions are experiencing the most severe impacts,” Holdren said.

Vice Provost for Climate and Sustainability James H. Stock pointed to Harvard’s “really strong contributions” in combating climate change.

“We’re not on the right track as a society,” he said. “We need to do more, so that’s what Harvard is doing. We’re stepping up, and we’re going to ramp up our activities in climate across the board in terms of research, in terms of education, in terms of engagement and outreach.”

Early Friday morning, Harvard affiliates and their families gathered along the Charles River for a river clean-up run by a host of Harvard programs, including the Office for Sustainability, and the Charles River Conservancy.

Emily Flynn-Pesquera, a senior sustainability manager at the Harvard Kennedy School who helped organize the event, said volunteers picked up 50 bags of trash during the two hours. She described it as a “sobering experience.”

Flynn-Pesquera added that the cleanup event takes place annually for Earth Day.

“We try to get Harvard to connect our longer-term sustainability goals with just more engagement activity outside in our neighborhood,” she said.

Harvard Art Museums staff member Stephen Deane, who participated in the clean-up, said he chose to take part because he wanted to “keep what’s left of the planet in good shape” for his children.

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Bay Area Health Officials Urge Residents to Mask Up Indoors (Again) as COVID Cases Rise

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It’s déjà vu all over again (and again and again).

Public health officials in nearly every Bay Area county – and some neighboring ones – urged residents on Friday to once again mask-up in public indoor spaces and take other COVID-19 precautions, as cases and hospitalizations rise across the region.

In a rare joint statement, officials in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties said the Bay Area is now home to California’s highest infection rates, an unwelcome uptick fueled by the highly contagious omicron subvariants.

“We’re seeing an increase in cases, and that’s true throughout the region,” Dr. Susan Philip, San Francisco’s health officer, told KQED in an interview Friday. “We’re on the upswing right now. And to me, that’s the trend that we should be thinking about and then making our decisions based on.”

Since early April, case rates in almost every county in the region have ticked up faster than the statewide average, officials said, noting that the number of positive cases are likely higher than reported given the prevalence of at-home tests. And COVID-related hospitalizations in the area, while still relatively low, are also rising at a more rapid clip than elsewhere in the state.

Philip emphasized that Friday’s warning is “not meant to scare people.”

“Really, what we are trying to do is make people aware that this is happening and then to remind them of all the ways that they can personally take steps to either prevent COVID infections, if that’s their goal, or to know how they can get treatment if they do test positive, if they are higher risk,” she said, adding that it’s not known why there are more infections in this area compared to others.

Health officials doubled down on their ongoing recommendation that people wear high-quality masks (like N95/KN95s or snug-fitting surgical masks) in public indoor areas — even though doing so is no longer required in most places. They also encouraged residents to stay up to date on vaccinations by getting boosters when eligible, and getting tested after potential exposures.

Philip said that despite the troubling increase, officials in San Francisco are “not considering at the moment going back towards mandates,” including the city’s recently-lifted mask rule for passengers riding on Muni.

“We are at a time now in the pandemic that’s very different than where we’ve been for the past few years because of the high uptake of vaccines — 84% of us now being vaccinated — and also because we have treatments,” she said, pointing to the increasing availability of Paxlovid and other antiviral pills that can help stave off more serious COVID symptoms. The treatments, she said, will be increasingly accessible online and at community pharmacies for seniors and people with medical conditions who test positive.

And while cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, Philip said that unlike in some of the previous surges, the number of people needing treatment in hospital intensive care units remains low. Vaccines and other therapies have so far helped keep people from getting “very, very sick with COVID-19,” she said. “The data are really encouraging.”

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Reaching Out to Businesses for Meaningful Career Education

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When the mayor of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, wanted to entertain his community with a Main Street holiday light display, he enlisted robotics students from the local high school. They got the job done—on a tight budget and short timeline.

A local Goodwill Industries chapter faced a different problem: how to recruit and train 100 new volunteers. Kansas City students provided a solution by producing videos for the nonprofit organization to use on social media and its website.

Authentic learning experiences like these are becoming increasingly common across the Kansas City region. Through a regional initiative called Real World Learning, students from more than 30 districts in Missouri and Kansas are gaining career education through internships and projects for local clients.

Before the network began in 2017 with financial support and leadership from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, career education offerings were scattershot, reaching only about 15 percent of students across the region, and there was a mismatch between career education offerings and industries where students could find future opportunities. In some cases, schools were preparing students to earn outdated credentials that had little value, such as mastery of software or technology platforms no longer in use.

Through extensive collaboration by educators, parents, and business and civic leaders, there’s been a reset of career education goals. As it continues to grow, Real World Learning offers a model of collaboration that can energize career education in communities of all sizes.

Connect With Clients

Within the Real World Learning network, every school district has a designated B2E (business to education) point person to facilitate partnerships. At Fort Osage High School in Independence, Missouri, Dylan Peterson is the business and community coordinator.

Although she spends considerable time meeting with potential partners in the community, Peterson’s favorite role is working alongside teachers to design projects that have an authentic client. Whole-class projects ensure that all students have access to career education.

“Client-connected projects are new for teachers,” she acknowledges. “Their expertise is teaching.” By introducing teachers to experts in other professions—from health care to veterinary science to broadcasting—Peterson helps them design projects that meet academic goals while addressing real client needs. English teachers, for example, have had students work on everything from marketing campaigns to technical reports for a social impact organization.

Summer externships embed teachers in business settings for a short time. That helps build their awareness of the career opportunities awaiting students—if they’re prepared. “What industry professionals share over and over is that they’re less concerned about students’ content knowledge. They can train for that,” Peterson says. “They’re looking for ‘whole humans’ who can communicate, will show up on time, and are ready to learn.”

Focus on Local Opportunities

Schools don’t have to be located in big cities to find willing partners. “In a rural district like ours, we have to create our own opportunities,” Peterson says. Instead of knocking on doors of large corporations in Kansas City, she’s more likely to turn to a hometown heating and cooling contractor or a nonprofit with a hyper-local focus. She recommends looking for lower-stakes projects that are on a client’s wish list. “It’s something they wish they could get to but is not integral to their operations.”

The district itself offers more opportunities for authentic projects. “We’re like a small city,” Peterson says. “We have people working in maintenance, custodial, graphics, business, logistics, transportation. Students can be a part of all that without having to leave the campus.”

Model Expert Thinking

Communities beyond Real World Learning are applying similar strategies to expand career education opportunities through regional networks.

In San Antonio, Texas, Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) is a growing network of schools that are aligned with career opportunities in fields ranging from medicine to hospitality.

“We want to grow more talent in the industry areas in each of our regions,” explains Ravae Shaeffer, principal of CAST STEM. “We work strategically with partners to understand what they need in terms of talent, and then backwards-map” from 12th grade to ninth to build students’ capabilities.

Designing projects requires that teachers understand the thinking skills needed to be successful in different professions. Shaeffer encourages teachers to consider, “What is the profile of a highly effective engineer or manufacturing technician? How can our students grapple with the same kinds of problems our partners are grappling with?” Students learn about drones, for example, by programming them to solve logistics issues for warehouses or monitor livestock for ranchers.

Michelle Triplett, mentorship coordinator for CAST STEM, connects teachers with industry partners willing to unpack their thinking. “Our teachers are experts on the pedagogy. They don’t have to be subject matter experts,” she says.

Along with projects that emerge through industry partnerships, students also identify problems that they want to solve. For example: What do you do with your pets if you become homeless? How can we design a pop-up shelter during Covid? What can we do about food insecurity? Such projects often have a service component, along with learning aligned to academic goals.

“Anything we do should be a contribution back to the community,” Shaeffer says. “We look at anybody in the community as a potential partner.”

Emphasize Equity

Expanding career education for all students is one of the goals of Real World Learning. At Fort Osage High School, the percentage of seniors with an authentic career experience on their résumé has grown from 28 percent in 2019–20 to 68 percent at the midpoint of this school year. “Our goal is to get to 100 percent of graduating seniors by 2030,” says Peterson.

That’s a different story than when she was a Fort Osage student herself. “Experiences like these used to be just for super-nerdy kids like me. We want to make sure all students have these opportunities.”

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Education Needs a Reset. We Can Start by Listening to Our Teachers.

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Depending on how you look at it, Ed Secretary Miguel Cardona’s assertion that “we’re closer to a reset in education than ever before” is either a beacon of hope at the end of a long, dark tunnel, or the opening of a new front in an increasingly polarizing culture war.

Because my work as CEO of the national Breakthrough Collaborative involves middle-schoolers with college aspirations and college students who aspire to become advocates and teachers, I’m always inclined to take the optimistic view. Still, the challenges we face in our public education system rank right up there with war in Ukraine in the existential crises keeping me up at night.

Here in my home state of Florida, we are arguing about how to teach history and whether we can acknowledge the gender identities of students. Elsewhere—in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Georgia, among others—the battle about inequitable outcomes of property-tax-based school funding models rages on in the courts and in school board conference rooms.

What too few politicians and parents are talking about, though, is the dire state of the career pipeline for teachers, the ones we’ll be depending on to lead the post-pandemic learning recovery in our classrooms over the next few years—not to mention for the next generation.

A Focus on Teachers

“Teachers matter,” to quote the definitive Rand study. They are key to inspiring our children’s passion for learning, to preparing a workforce to strengthen our economy, and to creating leaders capable of wisely navigating the global challenges of today—and tomorrow.

The teacher workforce has been beset by challenges for decades, with low pay, stressful work conditions, and lack of preparation and support taking a gradual toll on the numbers of talented next-gen leaders—especially leaders of color—pursuing careers in education. The pandemic has turned a slow-moving problem into a crisis, as schools scramble to staff classrooms and schools of education continue to see declines in enrollment. One high-profile and recent example comes from Teach for America, one of the nation’s largest preparers of teachers of color, which has recruited its smallest cohort in at least 15 years.

Secretary Cardona took heat last month for failing to provide details for implementing his vision of “an educational environment that centers students’ needs.” While it will require effort on multiple fronts, a focus on teachers may be the most robust lever we have for creating student-centric classrooms.

Moreover, for a goal that’s potentially as transformational as the war on cancer or putting a man on the moon, we need a national strategy that counters the inequities embedded in our local-tax-funded educational system, inequities that led to the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately harming students of color and those from low-income communities. Without that leadership, we’ll be stymied by the same patterns responsible for the persistent disparities between schools in affluent ZIP codes and those in less prosperous neighborhoods.

Solutions Start With Teachers

Valuing teachers is the systemic path to centering students. In order to move the needle, we must go beyond what teachers need to do to address root causes that require cultural and systemic change. Here are a few things it will take:

  1. Understanding that teaching and learning are inherently relational and the power relationships have on student and teacher success.
  2. Centering the joy of learning and making classrooms a place students and teachers want to be.
  3. Creating an empowered teaching culture to advocate for children and encouraging creativity that optimizes engagement.
  4. Fostering culturally responsive methods through continuous mentoring by exceptional, experienced educators.
  5. Developing partnerships with quality teacher preparation programs for coherent and supportive career pathways.

These strategies have taken root in efforts by district leaders, often in partnership with university-based teacher education programs, to “grow-their-own” teachers or source tutors for more emergent interventions. Yet, without a unifying and equitable strategy that eliminates system-driven disparities, we will not achieve the reset that Secretary Cardona is promising.

How can we do that without creating yet another mandate that builds bureaucracy, stifles educator creativity and makes “what to do about teachers” another cultural battleground—without actually centering the needs of students?

One possible answer is investing in more inclusive partnerships. Funding from both government and private sources could ensure that local efforts to expand the teacher pipeline and elevate the profession go beyond the institutional players by promoting programs that already have time-tested support of parents, teachers and students. Lighten the load on over-burdened school administrators by opening up the tent to include community-based organizations with built-in credibility with multi-racial and pluralistic constituencies.

Let’s imagine funders, school districts, and university-based and alternative teacher education programs collaborating across the teacher development continuum, catalyzing a reset rooted in the system’s nexus of greatest impact: teachers.

Finally, we must recalibrate our market economy—as we’ve done with nurses and software programmers—to appropriately value the work of teachers, by raising salaries, providing stipends and educational credit for experiential learning, and the early career supports required to pave a more affirmative path to long-term professional growth.

While we cannot ignore the global challenges of the moment, we need to recognize the threat at home also persists. Our national reset of an educational system that has been failing too many students for too long is long overdue. The human capital needed to mitigate the risk to our own children and grandchildren is in our reach. We should be rushing to change the course of public education now, by collaboratively mobilizing every viable resource we have.

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How federal grants can help staff your schools

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Using federal funding for personnel expenses can seem daunting, but it can in fact be manageable with the right knowledge and tools in place.

Hiring additional reading and math coaches, counselors, school psychologists, and other support staff is a key strategy for meeting students’ academic and social-emotional learning needs.

When school systems use federal funding for personnel expenses, they must have a plan in place for tracking and reporting the time and effort that employees spend on grant-funded activities to protect current and future student support funding.

Join eSchool News and a panel of experts, including Kecia Ray, Ed.D, and Janet Hagood of Jefferson County Schools, to learn best practices and key strategies for completing this process successfully in your own district.

You’ll learn:

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Making indoor air quality a top priority

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As schools move toward making masks optional for students and teachers, concerns are turning to the best ways to mitigate COVID-19 infections–and indoor air quality is a major concern.

With students back in physical classrooms, air quality must take priority regardless of a district’s mask policy. But how can district leaders address the varying degrees of improvements schools may need to update their indoor air systems?

Join this eSchool News webinar to learn about:

The importance of professional development in education cannot be overstated. In fact, according to research, when teachers receive well-designed professional development, an average of 49 hours spread over six to 12 months, they can increase student achievement by as much as 21 percentile points.

It’s no secret that this school year, like the two before it, has been even more jam-packed for teachers than normal. (And teaching was already a demanding job before the pandemic!) In a seemingly never-ending barrage of changes, considerations, and disruptions, teachers are continuing to support students.

The interruption of in-person learning environments due to COVID-19 impacted everyone, but it particularly challenged those with specific learning needs.

Teachers are not robots–they, too, are human beings with feelings, fears, insecurities and lives. A teacher’s day is beyond classroom hours, and at the same time, teachers have to take care of themselves. When teachers don’t do this, they burn out.

School district leaders across the country are cautiously looking forward to post-pandemic teaching and learning–but they are also eyeing what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to upgrade their technology infrastructure and classrooms with interactive displays, laptops, and more.

The COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on the importance of instructional audio solutions. With mask mandates and social distancing, instructional audio solutions play a critical role—projecting educators’ voices and ensuring every student can hear and understand what’s being asked of them.

The role of elementary teachers has never been more important, especially as kindergarten through fifth grade students today are facing more change than ever before–from the effects of the pandemic to social media and stressful current events being right at their fingertips.

As schools move toward making masks optional for students and teachers, concerns are turning to the best ways to mitigate COVID-19 infections–and indoor air quality is a major concern.

The sudden switch to remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic caught plenty of school districts off guard, and they scrambled to find devices that were up to the task.

How much would you pay for a crystal ball that could foresee the next education crisis? Though the ongoing pandemic has been referred to as a ‘once-in-a -lifetime crisis for school,’ we know that future crises are, unfortunately, inevitable. What schools, educators and families have experienced over the last two years has radically changed our understanding of what it means to truly care for students and teachers.

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Investing in Teachers Is Our Nation’s Most Important Jobs Strategy

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It’s been almost a decade since I left the education frontlines. While I loved teaching, I don’t think I could go back today. It’s not the classroom or kids, it’s the working conditions.

For years, teachers have organized to make lovable work livable. They have fought for higher wages so second jobs aren’t needed, bills get paid, and vacations are possible. But today, teaching doesn’t seem livable or lovable. Since the pandemic started, teaching has gotten progressively harder and the working conditions more harmful.

Today, education faces an unprecedented workforce crisis—one that includes and extends beyond the need for better pay and benefits. Core issues of job quality, safety, recruitment, and retention have been created or intensified by the pandemic. More than half of America’s teachers think about or plan to quit. Many say the work has become life-sucking and life-threatening.

Educators everywhere are burning out, getting sick and not even able to take time off, because there’s no more left. They are constantly hammered by parents and community groups, with their professional expertise called into question by those without teaching experience. Now politicians are trying to censor, monitor, and report teachers—filing bills and executive orders that require microphones and cameras in classrooms, and lesson plans available for public review and approval.

This is not a professional development issue, it’s a workforce issue. Educators are a workforce operating in a toxic work environment.

As we enter long-COVID recovery, the educator workforce must be prioritized in discussions about the economy and jobs. Here is why: The educator workforce makes local economies work; the educator workforce makes families work; and the educator workforce prepares the future workforce.

The Educator Workforce Makes Local Economies Work

Where I live, most families have at least one parent or caretaker working for the local schools. These families depend on the school district for their children’s education and their own employment. In many of America’s small towns and rural areas, the school district can be the largest local employer. This makes the health of the local economy dependent on the health of the public schools.

When politicians and policymakers talk about jobs, they often focus on “high growth” industries. These are fields like advanced manufacturing or biotechnology that predict more jobs over time. While education may not be considered high growth, it is high value. It is also durable. Teachers will not be replaced by robots anytime soon. Education work still requires a human touch. For local economies to work, this durable work must become endurable.

The Educator Workforce Makes Families Work

Parents and caretakers need their kids in school. Not only for the kids’ benefit, but for their own. When my children are home, they need my time and attention, making it hard and sometimes impossible to get work done. At certain points during the pandemic, I had to take off work to take care of my kids. Parents and caretakers rely on schools as childcare. With kids in school, parents can work.

When politicians talk about jobs, they promise residents good work that allows people to take care of their families. For parents and caretakers, this requires dependable childcare. For school-aged kids, that childcare is school.

Keeping schools open requires that they are fully staffed. Omicron brought a temporary spike in school staffing shortages and many schools had to shut down. This left parents and caretakers in a scramble for childcare and alternate work plans. Imagine what happens if shortages become permanent.

The Educator Workforce Prepares the Future Workforce

Today’s educators are preparing tomorrow’s workers. Students go to school to learn the knowledge and skills they will need in the future of work. If teachers can’t work under current conditions, students will suffer the most. Educator workforce issues are also student learning issues.

Anyone who cares about America’s jobs, the economy, and COVID recovery needs to care about America’s teachers. Politicians and policymakers need to commit resources and strategies that will improve educator job quality, working conditions, and ensure that schools can recruit and retain excellent educators for our children. An investment in the educator workforce is an investment in everyone’s local economy, community, family and future.

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Gale Primary Sources Release New Archives Dedicated to Underrepresented Histories

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FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – March 30, 2022 – Gale, part of Cengage Group, is supporting academic initiatives in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) with the release of six new archives on the Gale Primary Sources (GPS) platform. These archives explore the stories of LGBTQ+ communities worldwide, women, Native Americans and other underrepresented communities. Gale Primary Sources provide librarians, students and scholars with historical context on controversial issues from a wide range of perspectives underscoring how the past has shaped today’s political and civil rights movements across the globe.

With the steady increase in misinformation on campus about diversity, social justice and political issues, these archives change the conversation by providing access to original historical primary sources that enable researchers and students to compare resources and make key connections. These latest archives from Gale promote open dialogue and teach critical thinking skills that inspire change and cross-cultural awareness.

“No other resource gives researchers more insights from more perspectives than Gale Primary Sources. The original, first-hand content is meticulously cross-referenced to bring facts into focus and information to life in remarkable new ways,” said Seth Cayley, vice president of global academic product at Gale. “These new additions came from regular discussions with researchers, librarians and students who have emphasized the need to support diversity, equity and inclusion. Our work to bring these stories to life is ongoing at Gale. We are actively working on several projects that will provide a greater representation of the history of minority groups like these.”

New GPS Frontlist archives include:

These new archives are available on the Gale Primary Sources platform, enabling cross-archival searching to help users make new connections across topics. With digitization technology such as HTR, users can search the full-text of handwritten letters and manuscripts, not just the metadata, and make new discoveries. For those looking to explore even deeper insights, the archives are also available through the Gale Digital Scholar Lab. This allows researchers to apply natural language processing tools to raw text data (OCR) from the collections or Gale Primary Sources archives and perform textual analysis on large corpora of historical texts. Now researchers can analyze and explore historical text more interactively, generating new research insights and content sets not previously possible.

Gale Primary Sources is a digital research platform that brings the thoughts, words and actions of past centuries into the present for a comprehensive research experience. With authoritative content and powerful search technologies, the platform helps students and researchers examine literary, political and social culture of the last 500 years and develop a more meaningful understanding of how history continues to impact the world today. Its innovative technology improves discovery, analysis and workflow while setting the bar for digital primary source analysis and data visualization with tools like cross-archival searching and Topic Finder, which visually organizes search results to help users make new connections across topics.

For more information or to request a trial, visit the Gale Primary Sources Frontlist webpage.

About Cengage Group and Gale

Cengage Group, an education technology company serving millions of learners in 165 countries, advances the way students learn through quality, digital experiences. The company currently serves the K-12, higher education, professional, library, English language teaching and workforce training markets worldwide. Gale, part of Cengage Group, provides libraries with original and curated content, as well as the modern research tools and technology that are crucial in connecting libraries to learning, and learners to libraries. For more than 65 years, Gale has partnered with libraries around the world to empower the discovery of knowledge and insights – where, when and how people need it. Gale has 500 employees globally with its main operations in Farmington Hills, Michigan. For more information, please visit: www.gale.com.

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Carnegie Learning Appoints Lenovo Executive as New Chief Marketing Officer

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PITTSBURGH–( BUSINESS WIRE)–Carnegie Learning, a leader in artificial intelligence for K-12 education and formative assessment, today announced Quinn O’Brien as Chief Marketing Officer. The addition of O’Brien to its executive leadership positions Carnegie Learning to continue driving its mission of shaping the future of learning by delivering groundbreaking solutions to education’s toughest challenges.

Prior to joining Carnegie Learning, O’Brien transformed the Lenovo brand from a device leader to a global solutions leader as VP of Global Marketing at the $70B parent company of ThinkPad, Motorola, YOGA, Legion, and a range of other brands. O’Brien also brings a wealth of experience from spending 12 years as a leader at Ogilvy & Mather, the storied advertising, marketing, and public relations agency, as well as starting up Craft Worldwide, a design and production agency that today is a thriving business with 1,000+ employees in 120 markets. O’Brien has been recognized as a Top 100 Marketer Award Winner by the OnCon Icon Awards for three consecutive years.

In his new role, O’Brien will apply his extensive experience in global technology marketing to the K-12 education space, bringing a fresh perspective and leading-edge ideas to Carnegie Learning. With a proven track record in innovation and expansion on a global scale, O’Brien is poised to expand the reach and impact of Carnegie Learning’s K-12 math, literacy, world languages, computer science, and professional learning offerings on educators and students at an urgent moment in education.

“I am thrilled to join Carnegie Learning,” O’Brien shares, “where I can help make an impact on building the next generation of great thinkers. Being part of such a purpose-driven company–that’s what makes every day so rewarding. It’s energizing to be able to help spread technology to help kids learn and even more so to support teachers at such a challenging time in education.”

Carnegie Learning CEO Barry Malkin says, “Quinn brings an unmatched skill set and passion that will be indispensable as we continue to grow as an organization. We’re looking forward to him helping us scale up so we can keep making a meaningful difference for thousands of teachers and students throughout the U.S., Canada, and beyond.”

ABOUT CARNEGIE LEARNING, INC.

Carnegie Learning is shaping the future of education. Born from more than 30 years of learning science research at Carnegie Mellon University, the company has become a recognized leader in the ed tech space, using artificial intelligence, formative assessment, and adaptive learning to deliver groundbreaking solutions to education’s toughest challenges. With the highest-quality offerings for K-12 math, literacy, world languages, computer science, professional learning, and more, Carnegie Learning is changing the way we think about education and creating powerful results for teachers and students alike. For more information, please visit www.carnegielearning.com.

PHOTO CREDIT

Joe Scarborough, SJP Digital Media

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Big drop during pandemic caps two decades of enrollment swings in California schools

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For two decades, K-12 enrollment in California was stable, hovering between 6.1 million and 6.2 million students. But within the state, there was movement: sharp enrollment declines in coastal counties – the rural north and urban Los Angeles and Orange County, where housing prices outpaced incomes – and sharp increases inland, as families moved east to bigger lots and cheaper homes. Enrollments rose between 16.6% and 26.2% in “Superior California,” which includes the Sacramento area and its exurbs, the Inland Empire and the northern and southern San Joaquin Valley regions. In 2020-21, the first full year of the pandemic, enrollment fell by 160,000 students statewide, primarily among the youngest students, as parents in many districts didn’t enroll kindergartners and first graders. How many will return to school is a critical, unanswered question. But state demographers are projecting a further decline in enrollment by 2030, even with a post-pandemic recovery.

Click and drag the circle to see enrollment changes from 2001 through 2020.

To get more reports like this one, click here to sign up for EdSource’s no-cost daily email on latest developments in education.

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