Erin Richards, USA TODAY

Erin Richards


Milwaukee, WI, United States

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Recent articles by Erin:

Schools want to end online classes for struggling kids. COVID cases may send everyone home

As COVID cases rise, schools are torn between bringing back struggling online students -- or sending everyone home to stem the spread. → Read More

Reading scores drop, math scores low. Will high school seniors be ready for graduation?

High school seniors are approaching graduation with less of a grasp on reading and still-low math scores — and that's before factoring in COVID. → Read More

High school football is the new battleground of COVID-19 school reopenings

High school football is the latest COVID flashpoint. The same parents who have battled school decisions to hold class online are pushing for football. → Read More

America's missing kids: Amid COVID and online school, thousands of students haven't shown up

With urban schools starting online because of COVID, many students aren't showing up. More children could be left behind after the pandemic. → Read More

A class of 100? COVID-19 plans overwhelming some teachers with huge virtual classes

Schools are using online programs at an unprecedented scale, but parents and educators are dismayed by online class sizes as high as 100 students. → Read More

Summer parties, teacher shortages push suburban schools to scrap COVID reopening plans

After COVID case rose in some areas, more than 60% of school districts planned to start the year with online class, up from early August. → Read More

Averting a potential teacher strike, New York delays school – but stays on track to reopen buildings

New York schools will open classrooms with safety measures and more testing. Virtual learning will still happen, but there's little time to improve it → Read More

Chaos reigns in some schools with in-person learning. Many kids are learning at home.

In-person school reopenings have been pushed by President Donald Trump, Republican politicians and many parents. But the experience of Columbia County and → Read More

Chaos reigns in some schools with in-person learning. Many kids are learning at home.

Reopening schools often tout a return to in-person learning. The reality is chaotic scheduling, missing students and hundreds learning from home. → Read More

Kids' mental health can struggle during online school. Here's how teachers are planning ahead.

Kids miss their friends. They're stuck at home. They're sleeping erratically. Not to mention the trauma of COVID-19 and economic collapse around them. → Read More

A parent's guide to online school: 9 questions to ask to vet your back-to-school choices

Online school doesn't have to be bad. And parents can make it better. As your school plans virtual instruction, here's what to ask about quality. → Read More

School reopening plans are now part of COVID-19 politics. Teachers fear for their safety.

School districts are stumbling through COVID reopening plans. Trump is gunning for all in-person classes. Teachers' health is caught in the middle. → Read More

'This is hell': Parents and kids hate online classes. Going back to school likely will include more of it.

America's educators know little about how to improve online classes. Many are spending almost no time trying to figure it out before school starts. → Read More

Defund police in schools? How the movement got momentum after George Floyd's death

Three summers ago, about 50 students and activists gathered outside the Minneapolis Public Schools headquarters to demand the school board end a contract → Read More

Defund police in schools? How the movement got momentum after George Floyd's death

After the Columbine shooting, police in schools seemed a fixture. Now, activists have momentum to defund them. Some say that's the wrong approach. → Read More

Kids need to talk about George Floyd, protests and racism. With coronavirus school closures, it's hard to do.

To help kids make sense of George Floyd's death and resulting protests, teachers shouldn't shy away from words like 'racism' or 'white supremacy.' → Read More

'Going to see massive cuts': Without more coronavirus relief, schools slash budgets, prep layoffs

The West Bloomfield School District in suburban Detroit has clear plans for fall: One option has students learning at home three days a week to limit the spread of the coronavirus, buildings deep cleaned routinely and buses carrying smaller loads and running more frequently.What's less clear for West Bloomfield – and for most other districts in America – is how to pay for the plans.The country's… → Read More

Amid coronavirus, AP exams went online and had tech problems. College Board says it's investigating.

The College Board says less than 1% of this week's 1.6 million AP exams had problems. But those students want to resubmit their work, not re-test. → Read More

Coronavirus' online school is hard enough. What if you're still learning to speak English?

For English learners, school closures mean navigating online programs, finding a way to practice spoken English, and often juggling a much-needed job. → Read More

Teacher Appreciation Week: They wanted respect. It only took a coronavirus pandemic and worldwide economic collapse.

A coronavirus pandemic and quarantine orders showed millions of families that America's teachers are not just convenient, but essential. → Read More