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What We're Reading: Week of November 15, 2021

November 19, 2021 | Ava Marinelli

Happy Apprenticeship Week! We’re sharing stories about expanding apprenticeships, the newly announced UC policy to end admissions testing, and more. We’ll be off next week to celebrate Thanksgiving. Thanks for reading with us, and enjoy a wonderful break.


Assessment
UC slams the door on standardized admissions tests, nixing any SAT alternative, Los Angeles Times
The University of California has slammed the door shut on using any standardized test for admissions decisions, announcing that faculty could find no alternative exam that would avoid the biased results that led leaders to scrap the SAT last year.


Higher Education
Changing Perceptions, One Story at a Time, Inside Higher Ed
A team of students is producing a podcast that seeks to undercut the stigma of attending a community college while answering the larger question of what it means for a college to be considered a “good school.”

Update shows undergraduate enrollment decline growing to 3.5% this fall, Higher Ed Dive
Undergraduate enrollment sank 3.5% this fall, according to the latest data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The figures, based on almost three-fourths of institutions reporting their enrollment as of Oct. 21, are largely in line with numbers the organization released last month.


Middle School
Column: Surrounded by pandemic angst, what do middle schoolers want? A welcoming, safe place to learn, Hechinger Report
The pandemic and political turmoil hit this age group hard; these students need more help, writes Liz Willen.


Policy
High Schoolers to Decide How to Spend $1.5 Million in COVID Funding, EdWeek
Thousands of Connecticut high school students from across the state will decide how more than $1.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds for schools will be spent.

Build Back Better Act approved by House has millions for CTE, teacher training, District Administration
Bill makes 'historic down payments on the very things working families rely on most,' AFT leader says, including career-technical education.


Practice
Understanding the debate behind California’s new math framework, CalMatters
In the push to help more students thrive in science, tech, engineering and math, California is working to change the way its schools teach math. But the suggested new framework has sparked widespread criticism.


Student Supports
Teaching Social-Emotional Skills is Hard, Time-Consuming, and Necessary, Report Says, EdWeek
Helping students grow their social and emotional skills has become a big part of school counselors’ jobs, particularly given the impact of the pandemic on student mental health and behavioral issues.


Work-Based Learning
This National Apprenticeship Week, Let’s Support Employers in Developing Equitable Apprenticeships, Jobs for the Future
The problem is clear: Apprenticeship programs as a whole do not reflect the demographics of our communities or our country, writes JFF's Eric M. Seleznow & Joshua Johnson.

Great Resignation' underscores need for access to career exploration and work-based opportunities, K-12 Dive
Hands-on exposure and focus on essential soft skills are needed to produce a generation better prepared for and fulfilled by work, two experts write.