Parents, experts worry that online learning is exacerbating the digital divide

When schools shut down last spring, Nero Persaud balanced working from home and her two children’s remote-learning needs by “playing musical chairs” with her older laptop and iPad.

But after deciding to enrol her son and daughter in online schooling this fall, the Toronto mother signed up to borrow devices from the school board because she knew they would all require their own computers.

“The device has become a standard part of the educational arsenal, the same way as books and pencils,” said Ms. Persaud, a single parent who works in marketing.

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Despite efforts by school boards to provide computers to students who need them for virtual schooling, many parents and experts worry the expansion of e-learning is exacerbating the gap between families who have access to computers and broadband internet and those who do not.

“The digital divide is real,” said Beyhan Farhadi, a post-doctoral

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Superintendents worry about academic slide, cite community criticism

New Hampshire superintendents told lawmakers they have concerns about upcoming school vacations and “academic slide,” at the same time citing criticism they have received from their communities over decisions related to COVID-19.

Five superintendents, representing different regions of the state, met with the Joint House and Senate Education Committee Wednesday via Zoom webinar to discuss their successes and concerns around COVID-19. The hearing was part of a four-hour session, where the committee also heard from area principals, school nurses and special educators.

Several superintendents mentioned concern over upcoming Thanksgiving and winter breaks, and the impact it could have if students or employees choose to travel out of state. New Hampshire requires everyone traveling into the state from non-New England states to self-quarantine for two weeks after arrival.

Many districts are facing staff shortages for in-person learning, which becomes an issue when employees are required to quarantine. 

“We are stuck in

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It’s Time to Worry About College Enrollment Declines Among Black Students

Introduction and summary

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, higher education was facing a national decline in enrollment. From the 2014-15 to the 2018-19 academic year, annual undergraduate enrollment across all institutions of higher education fell by 1.25 million students, a decline of 5 percentage points. Moreover, during this time span, undergraduate enrollment in public colleges dropped by 425,000 students—a nearly 2.5 percent decline.

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Public higher education also hit an important inflection point during this period: 2017-18 was the first time that white students no longer constituted a majority of undergraduates in U.S. public colleges. Similarly, in 2018-19, there were 12 states plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia where white students did not represent a majority of the undergraduate population at public colleges.

These statistics are a function of three divergent stories in undergraduate enrollment in public colleges, especially when compared with the prime college-aged

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