It seems like an eternity since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, and parents are getting a touch grumpy dealing with the lines to buy water and gasoline and facing constant blackouts, as youngsters bounce off the walls with boredom. One of the casualties of Hurricane Maria, the Category 4 monster that lashed the island Sept. 20, are the island’s schools. Hundreds of schools are shut, and many parents in smaller interior cities and towns have no clue when they may reopen.
School officials from Miami to Hartford, Conn., are getting ready to enroll Puerto Rican students, whose families may leave the island after it was slammed by Hurricane Maria more than a week ago, leaving millions of residents in the dark and without running water.
For all of Sunset Park's celebrated taquerias, dim sum parlors and picturesque piers, the most popular destination in that neighborhood might just be the local branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Despite its squat concrete frame and fluorescent lights — a far cry from the neighboring brownstones — the library draws a capacity crowd most days.
"Children can practice their numbers while singing and dancing with a delightful group of skeletons. In her now trademark bilingual concertina format, Jaramillo introduces children to a Mexican counting song…Observant readers will discover a surprise bonus: the cover glows in the dark!"
Nearly a week after Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico, students who can't return to school may need to continue their education on the mainland. Some of the largest school districts in Florida, plus major cities like New York City and Chicago, are preparing for the possibility of an influx of students from the island.
A week after Hurricane Maria, the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in decades, there's less immediate concern about when schools will reopen and more about when children and families will have access to food, running water, and power.
After the recent earthquakes in Mexico, many schools have gotten the green light to reopen, but others are either damaged or near damaged buildings. That uncertainty is putting a lot of stress on parents and kids hoping to get back to normal.
When the Boston Public Schools opened the Margarita Muñiz Academy in 2012, it was a first-of-its kind dual-language high school meant to address issues faced by the city’s growing Hispanic population. At the time, Hispanic students were both the most likely to drop out of the city’s schools and the least likely to enroll in college when compared to black, white and Asian students. They still are, but as the academy enters its sixth full year, its student outcomes are drawing praise from a variety of sources, even while administrators note that steep challenges remain.
New York leaders have approved a new set of reading and math expectations for students, moving the state a step away from the Common Core State Standards, which are still in use in some 36 states. The new standards retain many of the common core's key features. They still emphasize learning how to read and analyze increasingly complex texts, and how to learn problem-solving algorithms and model with math. Educators are still parsing out precisely what some of the changes will mean for day-to-day instruction. Accompanying changes in curriculum, training, and testing are still months and years away.
All week, thousands of volunteers in Mexico have raced to the sites of collapsed buildings to save those trapped in the rubble following a series of powerful earthquakes. But after a disaster, one of the hardest things can just be getting around. As NPR's Nick Fountain reports in Mexico City, a low-tech solution is emerging - kids on bikes.