Announcing the 8th Annual ED Games Expo: June 1 to 5, 2021

A Free All-Virtual Showcase of Game-Changing Innovations in EdTech
developed through ED and Programs Across Government

The ED Games Expo is an annual showcase of game-changing innovations in education technology (EdTech) developed through programs at the Department of Education (ED) and across the federal government. Since 2013, the Expo has been an in-person event at venues across Washington, D.C. Because of the COVID-19 national emergency, the 2021 ED Games Expo is moving online, from June 1 – 5, for an entirely virtual experience. Hosting virtually provides the unique opportunity to engage a national audience and to present content mindful of the pandemic and useful for educational programming in the summer and going forward.  

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Weeks Become Months: Teaching During a Pandemic

In March of 2020, I said, “See you on Monday” to my students on what I believed to be an ordinary Friday, albeit a Friday the 13th. That would be the last day I would see them for months. There was a period of uncertainty as everyone grappled with our new reality. The unadulterated meaning of pandemic, hit fast and hard. 

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Honoring Teachers’ Commitment to Continual Improvement through Collaboration

Teacher Appreciation Week is one of my favorite times of the school year! Honoring the educators who spend countless hours creating lesson plans, building authentic relationships, and welcoming students into the learning space – whether it be in-person, online, or both – has been such a joy. I think back to my time growing up and fondly remember those who influenced me with their encouraging words, supportive nature, and praise of my efforts. My teachers, Ms. Pendergast, Mrs. Dixon, and Mr. Anderson were just three of many educators that left a lasting impression by showing me how much effort matters. I am grateful to them and to have this incredible opportunity to honor the efforts made by our nation’s teachers.

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Financial Literacy Education and Paying for College

President Biden issued a proclamation deeming April 2021 as National Financial Capability Month. This communication emphasizes the benefits of financial capability, the value of financial literacy, and the importance of access to financial resources. Understanding personal finance topics such as savings, loans, and investments is seldom a straightforward task, especially in the context of paying for college. Subjects, such as borrowing, can be complex for incoming postsecondary students to fully grasp. With the notable year-over-year rising cost of pursuing higher education, some students may be left with a large amount of debt and regrets about how they chose to finance their college education. According to Teach for America, a recent survey suggests that 53% of college students said that they felt less prepared to manage their money than to face any other challenge associated with college. So, how can postsecondary student’s financial literacy be improved and regrets about financing their education minimized? One solution to consider is effective financial literacy education.

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Education’s Role in Second Chance Month and National Reentry Week

By:
Sean Addie – Director of Correctional Education
Dr. Amy Loyd – Acting Assistant Secretary

This week we are joining our colleagues at the U.S. Department of Justice, agencies across the federal government, and our partners across the country to mark National Reentry Week and lift up the important work being done to support individuals reentering society from incarceration. The week also bookends Second Chance Month, and here at the Department of Education, we understand the pivotal role that education plays in helping people rejoin and contribute to society.

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Supporting First-Generation and Low-Income Students Beyond the College Acceptance Letter

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that pursuing a college education is not just about getting accepted and enrolling in a college. First-generation and low-income college students were burdened with the struggle to pay expensive college fees for a virtual education while being separated from on-campus resources and in-person support from students and faculty. For first-generation and low-income college students, being accepted into a college is a major accomplishment that opens the door to numerous possibilities, such as having higher average salaries and healthier lifestyles. However, there needs to be more support for first-generation and low-income students throughout college, not just to the acceptance letter, for them to enjoy the benefits of obtaining a college degree.

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A Decade of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools!

A Decade of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools blog graphic

On April 22, the U.S. Department of Education named the 2021 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS), District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees. Across the country, 27 schools, three early learning centers, five districts, and five postsecondary institutions are recognized for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impacts and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective education.

The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 20 states. The 2021 cohort include 24 public schools – among them, five charter schools and one magnet school – as well as three nonpublic schools. More than half of the honorees are in communities where more than 40 percent of the student body are eligible for free and reduced lunch.

Curious as to what it takes to be named a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School? Here are a few of the initiatives that the 2021 honorees are taking.

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Let’s Talk about Title IX

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in any federally funded education program or activity. In other words, schools that receive federal funds are legally required to protect students against sex discrimination. Experiencing sex discrimination in any form can derail a student’s opportunity to learn, participate, and thrive in and outside of the classroom. Sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, is a threat to equal access to educational environments for students of all ages.

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Let’s Urge High School Seniors to Complete the FAFSA® Form Today

By: Federal Student Aid

As students and families prepare for education beyond high school, cost is a critical consideration. At Federal Student Aid, we know students and families often have to make tough decisions about higher education, and we know the COVID-19 emergency has made some of those decisions even harder.

In typical times, submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form is the first step students and families should take to access federal dollars for college or career school; this is especially true during this challenging period.

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Keeping the Promise: Enhanced Entrance and Exit Counseling on StudentAid.gov

Federal Student Aid has renewed our commitment to delivering innovative tools and resources to empower you throughout your financial aid journey. This month, we’ve made updates to some of those pretty well-known resources on StudentAid.gov: entrance and exit counseling.

Entrance counseling—required before you receive your first Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan as an undergraduate and before you receive your first Direct PLUS Loan as a graduate or professional student—ensures that you understand the responsibilities and rights that come with taking out a federal student loan. Exit counseling—required when you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment—provides important information needed to prepare for repaying federal student loans.

Entrance and exit counseling are critical parts of the financial aid journey, and we’re excited to make this experience better for you.

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Finding Teachable Moments on the Field and in the Classroom

This Sunday afternoon, the world will watch the 55th Super Bowl take place in Tampa Bay. While these football professionals play the last game of their season, high school coaches around the country are preparing for their next. Many of these coaches are tasked with balancing responsibilities as leaders on the field and as educators in the classroom. Among them is Chris Davidson of Ridge Community High School, about an hour outside of Tampa Bay .

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U.S. Department of Education Releases Digital Learning Guides for Teachers and School Leaders

The U.S. Department of Education is excited to announce the release of two new resources that help teachers and school leaders meet the needs of their students by using thoughtful and creative digital learning experiences. The Teacher Digital Learning Guide (Teacher Guide) and the School Leader Digital Learning Guide (Leader Guide) are designed to provide educators and leaders resources as they use digital tools to better help students learn.

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