Explainer

Go deeper on the latest education issues with these explainers from Education Week
090221 Stimulus Masks AP BS
Dezirae Espinoza wears a face mask while holding a tube of cleaning wipes as she waits to enter Garden Place Elementary School in Denver for the first day of in-class learning since the start of the pandemic.
David Zalubowski/AP
Education Funding Explainer Everything You Need to Know About Schools and COVID Relief Funds
How much did your district get in pandemic emergency aid? When must the money be spent? Is there more on the way? EdWeek has the answers.
Mark Lieberman & Andrew Ujifusa, September 10, 2021
11 min read
Image of books on history.
thomaguery/iStock/Getty
Social Studies Explainer Who Decides What History We Teach? An Explainer
Education Week breaks down how politics has long been embedded in this decision, and how new laws may affect the process.
Sarah Schwartz, August 11, 2021
15 min read
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria along with other officials are among the group of elected officials who were given a tour of the temporary youth shelter at the San Diego Convention Center on March 27, 2021. The girls will be separated in sleeping areas that will host up to 50-girls per pod. The temporary shelter will max out about 1450 girls.
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and other elected officials tour the temporary youth shelter at the San Diego Convention Center earlier this year. The shelter was set up to house 1,450 girls crossing into the United States from South and Central America.
Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP
English-Language Learners Explainer Who's Teaching the Children Crossing the U.S. Border? Answers to 6 Questions
A growing number of unaccompanied minors are crossing into the U.S. via the southwestern border. What's happening with their education?
Dalia Faheid, June 7, 2021
9 min read
Equity & Diversity Video What Is Critical Race Theory and Why Are States Banning It? (Video)
Several state legislatures have severely limited the way teachers can discuss issues of race in the classroom.
2:34
Illustrations.
Mary Hassdyk for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Explainer What Is Critical Race Theory, and Why Is It Under Attack?
Debates about critical race theory are coming to your district, board room, and classroom. Here's what you need to understand about the academic concept—and how it's portrayed in political circles.
Stephen Sawchuk, May 18, 2021
10 min read
White Plains High School students walk between classes, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in White Plains, N.Y.
High school students walk between classes in White Plains, N.Y.
Mark Lennihan/AP
Student Well-Being Explainer What Does the CDC's New Mask Recommendation Mean for Schools?
The CDC says that schools should maintain "layered mitigation strategies," including mask wearing, for the rest of the school year.
Evie Blad & Stephen Sawchuk, May 14, 2021
7 min read
13-year-old Olivia Edwards gets a bandage from a nurse after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in King of Prussia, Pa. on May 11, 2021.
Thirteen-year-old Olivia Edwards gets a bandage from a nurse after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in King of Prussia, Pa., this week.
Matt Slocum/AP
Student Well-Being Explainer Can Schools Require Students to Get COVID-19 Vaccines, and Will They?
As younger children qualify for COVID-19 vaccines, health experts wonder if families will opt out of the vaccine if it's not required.
Evie Blad, May 12, 2021
7 min read
A worker finishes up for the day at the Cardoza Senior High School, as renovations are under way, Monday, March 11, 2013 in Washington.
A worker finishes up for the day at the Cardoza Senior High School, as renovations are under way, Monday, March 11, 2013 in Washington.
Alex Brandon/AP
School & District Management Explainer The Dismal State of School Infrastructure, in Charts
School buildings across the country are in disarray. Here's how it happened and what it would take to fix the problem.
Mark Lieberman, April 27, 2021
2 min read
School & District Management Explainer VUCA: What It Is and Why It Matters to Schools
You may not know what VUCA is, but you are living it, probably more than ever before.
7:00
Education Funding Explainer What the American Rescue Plan Means for Schools
The Biden administration bets that nearly $130 billion will help schools address the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on K-12 education
Andrew Ujifusa, April 5, 2021
5:37
School & District Management Video Schools as Vaccine Clinics: Advice From School Leaders Who Made It Work
The Anchorage, Alaska, school district has tips for districts on how to operate a large-scale community vaccination program.
Jaclyn Borowski , April 2, 2021
4:32
An massage parlor staff member wearing a protective suit uses an ultraviolet sterilizer wand to demonstrate COVID-19 safety measures to media in Hong Kong, in August 2020. Such tools have sparked interest among school and district leaders, but there is little evidence if the effectiveness of handheld UV sanitizers in a school setting.
Ultraviolet light systems are used in a wide variety of public spaces, like these New York City subway cars, to deactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. Now schools are following suit.
Frank Franklin II/AP
School & District Management Explainer Should Schools Use UV Light to Eliminate COVID-19?
Some schools have begun to use ultraviolet light systems to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but their effectiveness and safety can vary.
Sarah D. Sparks, March 18, 2021
4 min read
Carla Constanza, a nurse with Medford Public Schools, performs a COVID-19 swab test on 5th grader Zachary Maynard at McGlynn Middle School in Medford, Mass., on March 15, 2021.
Carla Constanza, a nurse with Medford Public Schools, performs a COVID-19 swab test on 5th grader Zachary Maynard at McGlynn Middle School in Medford, Mass., on March 15, 2021.
Nathan Klima for Education Week
School & District Management Explainer Testing for COVID-19 at School: Frequently Asked Questions
School-based testing for COVID-19 isn't easy. Here are some key questions and answers to consider.
Catherine Gewertz, March 16, 2021
12 min read
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., on Dec. 23, 2020.
Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education, speaks after being put forward for the position by then-President-elect Joe Biden in December 2020.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
Federal Explainer Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education: Background and Achievements
Background and highlights of Miguel Cardona's tenure as the twelfth U.S. Secretary of Education.
Education Week Library Staff, March 1, 2021
2 min read