Author: Reporter

Iu Mien culture: Massive Powerball win draws attention to little-known Asian immigrant community

Cheng “Charlie” Saephan wore a broad smile and a bright blue sash emblazoned with the words “Iu-Mien USA” as he hoisted an oversized check for $1.3 billion above his head. The 46-year-old immigrant’s luck in winning an enormous Powerball jackpot in Oregon — a lump sum payment of $422 million after taxes, which he and his wife will split with a friend — has changed his life. It also raised awareness about Iu Mien people, a Southeast Asian ethnic group with origins in China, many of whose members fled from Laos to Thailand and then settled in the U.S....

Read More

Post-Pandemic absence: Analysis reveals thousands of students are still missing from U.S. schools

Since the pandemic first upended American education, an estimated 50,000 students are still missing from any kind of U.S. school. According to an analysis of public, private, and homeschool enrollment as of fall 2022, along with U.S. Census data in 22 states and Washington DC, these students have yet to rejoin the educational system in any known capacity. The pandemic has had far-reaching effects on student engagement and participation in formal education. The reasons for students leaving during this period are varied and complex. Some students experienced homelessness, while others lost interest or motivation in continuing their education. Mental...

Read More

Skipping school: Some parents do not see the point of sending kids to kindergarten since the pandemic

Aylah Levy had some catching up to do when she started first grade in the fall of 2023. After spending her kindergarten year at an alternative program that met exclusively outdoors, Aylah, 6, had to adjust to being inside a classroom. She knew only a handful of numbers and was not printing her letters clearly. To help her along, the teacher at her Bay Area elementary school has been showing her the right way to hold a pencil. “It’s harder. Way, way harder,” Aylah said of the new grip. Still, her mother, Hannah Levy, says it was the right...

Read More

Classic plays by Shakespeare among banned reading under Florida’s draconian “Don’t Say Gay” law

Students in a Florida school district will be reading only excerpts from William Shakespeare’s plays for class rather than the full texts under redesigned curriculum guides developed, in part, to take into consideration the state’s new law that restricts classroom materials whose content can be deemed sexual. The changes to the Hillsborough County Public Schools’ curriculum guides were made with Florida’s new legislation limiting classroom materials that “contain pornography or obscene depictions of sexual conduct” in mind. Other reasons included revised state standards and an effort to get students to read a wide variety of books for new state...

Read More

When the arcane process of paperwork combines with poverty to prevent kids from attending school

It is unclear to Tameka how, or even when, her children became unenrolled from Atlanta Public Schools. But it was traumatic when, in fall 2021, they figured out it had happened. After more than a year of some form of pandemic online learning, students were all required to come back to school in person. Tameka was deeply afraid of COVID-19 and skeptical the schools could keep her kids safe from what she called “the corona.” One morning, in a test run, she sent two kids to school. Her oldest daughter, then in seventh grade, and her second youngest, a...

Read More

Class of 2024: Students reflect on college years eclipsed by COVID-19, protests, and lost milestones

On a recent afternoon, Grant Oh zigzagged across the University of Southern California campus as if he was conquering an obstacle course, coming up against police blockade after police blockade on his way to his apartment while officers arrested demonstrators protesting the Israel-Hamas war. In many ways, the chaotic moment was the culmination of a college life that started amid the coronavirus pandemic and has been marked by continual upheaval in what has become a constant battle for normalcy. Oh already missed his prom and his high school graduation as COVID-19 surged in 2020. He started college with online...

Read More