This college is responding to an often-ignored population: Working adults - The Washington Post

This college is responding to an often-ignored population: Working adults - The Washington PostThis college is responding to an often-ignored population: Working adults - The Washington PostPosted: 23 Sep 2020 07:45 AM PDT On Wednesday, Paul Quinn will become the first historically Black college to partner with Guild Education, a Denver-based firm that works with companies such as Walmart and Lowe's to provide education benefits to employees. Paul Quinn is among dozens of colleges and universities, including Southern New Hampshire University and the University of Florida, offering credentials and degrees through Guild. Employees of the companies in the Guild network can access all of Paul Quinn's courses and four-year-degree programs. The college has short-term credential programs and accelerated degrees designed for working adults. "This is about unlocking the potential of America's workforce," Sorrell said. "It's about moving people forward using higher e…

Some Florida schools, colleges open doors amid trepidation, litigation - The Center Square

(The Center Square) – With trepidation and unresolved lawsuits as a backdrop, about a dozen mostly rural Florida public school districts and several college campuses began in-person classes for students Monday.

“I feel the buzz. People are excited,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday during a roundtable discussion at Winthrop College Prep Academy in Riverview, a Tampa-area charter school that opened Monday with face-to-face instruction. “They really want to be back.”

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an order in July that mandated K-12 schools open this month and offer the “full panoply” of brick-and-mortar services.

DeSantis and Corcoran repeatedly have since clarified the order does not mandate parents send children into schools if they prefer “distance learning,” which is among options offered by school districts.

The order, they said, was to ensure districts provide services for students who want, or need, in-person instruction and for working parents who cannot leave unattended children at home.

“I think that’s especially true for a lot of our low-income families,” DeSantis said. “You have families in Florida, they may have one single mom that has three kids in school and she’s got to work. There’s just no two ways about it and having an option like what they’re doing here really can mean the world to a lot of parents like that.”

DeSantis said online learning is not suitable for all students and accelerates the achievement gap for academic-challenged students. The loss of in-person instruction for them poses a greater danger than COVID-19, he said.

“Some of this stuff is not debatable anymore,” he said. “The fact is in terms of the risk to school kids, this is lower risk than seasonal influenza.”

Even if children are less susceptible to getting ill from COVID-19, how contagious they are in spreading the coronavirus remains a debate.

According to the Florida Department of Health (DOH), 39,735 of the 536,961 COVID-19 cases reported in Florida since March are children under 18.

Of those nearly 40,000 cases, 36 percent are between ages 14-17; 17 percent between ages 11-13; 26 percent between 5-10 years old; and 16 percent are 4 and younger.

Corcoran said even in Miami-Dade County, the state’s COVID-19 hotbed, schools intend to open face-to-face instruction for children with “unique abilities.”

“They recognize there’s no way you can provide those services any other way effectively,” Corcoran said. “The consequences of not being face-to-face, of not offering those therapies to those students, is so much more damaging than any minimal risk to COVID.”

But Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the nation’s fourth-largest school district with 345,000 students and more than 40,000 employees, has delayed its Aug. 17 school opening until Aug. 31.

Orange County Public Schools, Florida’s fourth-largest and the nation’s 10th-largest district with 213,000 students and more than 24,000 employees, started its school year Monday but without in-person services for at least two weeks.

Broward County Public Schools, the nation’s sixth-largest public school district with more than 262,000 students, plans to reopen for only online instruction Aug. 19 before allowing students into classrooms.

Last week, the Hillsborough County School Board approved a plan to offer online instruction for a month when classes begin Aug. 24, two weeks later than scheduled, which drew a rebuke from Corcoran.

“The Hillsborough County School Board needs to follow the law, it’s that simple,” he wrote in a letter to district Superintendent Addison Davis and board Chairwoman Melissa Snively.

Corcoran said the impetus of his executive order was to “grant districts maximum flexibility to do what is right for parents and school children. We will not stand idly by while they trample over the majority of parents who want to do right by their children.”


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