This Week in Education: Back-to-School Day in Sierra Leone

Highlighting some of our favorite education stories from the week.



Sierra Leone Students Go Back to School After Long Ebola Closure

The Guardian

Now, technically this news didn’t happen within the past week per se, but it’s important so it’s included in the roundup.

During the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Sierra Leone was one of the most highly-affected areas, with nearly 12,300 suspected infections and about 3,800 deaths. Schools were shut down across the country last year in July to prevent further spread of the disease. Now, almost a year later, Ebola infection numbers are dwindling and it’s back to school for Sierra Leonean children.

However, many students remain hesitant to go back to school and a few parents are wary of sending them, so as of right now only a few are trickling into the classrooms each day. But teachers say they’re happy to be working again and believe more students will start coming once they see it’s safe.



Thousands of Kids Opt Out of Common Core

Time Magazine

In this week’s Common Core drama, thousands of students across the U.S. opted out of taking the the test. That’s right, thousands. As in, at some schools almost 70% of kids didn’t come in to take it.

And behind most opt-out students was a parent who decided that their kids would not sit in for the exam. One mother in New York says she won’t be sending her children in on test day because she and other parents are sending lawmakers a message. That message? “Give back local control to our communities and allow our children to have an education that also values social studies, science, art and music.”

Many education experts, like these ones, hear the message loud and clear. Their response? “Hey, we also think the Common Core’s got issues, but we don’t think opting out is necessarily the answer.” Stay tuned for more drama next week because apparently the movement is growing.



New Study Shows College’s High Ranking Often Means Less Time With Professors

The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Say what? Then what am I paying all this money for?” Said many a student (or student’s parents) when this report came out.

What does the report say? Exactly what it sounds like: that a college’s high rank does not necessarily mean more attention from professors. In fact, it means less time with them. The researchers who published the report even took it one step further and said they found that colleges with low rankings were associated with higher student-faculty interaction. Huh.

And the bottom line according to them? “Widely read rankings of the nation’s colleges are poor measures of student engagement and may create the wrong impression when it comes to the quality of faculty-student interactions at ranked institutions.” Yikes.


Did I miss any big education news from the week? Let me know! Drop me a message at maizie [at] magoosh [dot] com! 🙂

Image 1: Photo courtesy of Wikimedia user Kaly99. Licensed under Wikimedia Commons. Image 2: Photo courtesy of Flickr user Steve Rhodes. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0. Image 3: Photo courtesy of Wikimedia user Tungsten. Licensed under Wikimedia Commons.


  • Maizie Simpson

    Maizie writes about Magoosh and gets others to talk about Magoosh. A graduate of the University of Arizona (Bear Down!) with a BA in Journalism, she loves nuanced grammar rules, learning strange languages, and traveling to new places. She has an unnatural obsession with Middle Eastern politics and Mexican food.

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