• "Return to Rigor" Isn't the Answer to Restoring Student Engagement

    by Kevin Gannon

    A post-COVID reaction to the improvisations made on grades, schedules and deadlines supposes that students are suffering from too much flexibility, but a singular focus on rigor won't address the causes of disengagment. 

  • The Next Election Will Be a Fight over Our Memory of the Pandemic

    by Jacob Steere-Williams and Gavin Yamey

    Candidates seeking to claim either party's nomination in 2024 are going to try to convince the public that their COVID policies protected both health and freedom. Before they win the votes, they have to win the battle of how Americans remember the pandemic. 

  • Why Burned-Out Teachers are Heading for the Door

    America's teachers are a diverse group, and the sources of their frustration likewise. But it's clear that a flood of educators out of the profession is a risk for America's schools as the pandemic is being followed by political interference with curriculum and book selection. 

  • Can a "Return to Normal" Happen Without Repairing Sociability?

    by Nate Holdren

    The push to return to many pre-pandemic modes of working and living is taking place without sufficient provision for mitigating risk, and with seriously damaged bonds of trust and mutual support; people are again in proximity to each other, but far from being together. 

  • National Parks Not Immune from National Tantrums

    by Tiya Miles

    Yellowstone National Park's 150th anniversary saw visitors and staff dealing with the same kinds of frayed civility and random abuse plaguing the rest of the nation. For better or worse, our parks are us. 

  • What Links COVID and Curriculum Conflicts in Schools?

    Education historians Jack Schneider and Natalia Mehlman Petrzela explain why there's a significant overlap between parents, especially conservatives, who objected to pandemic school closures and those who are demanding more control over curriculum decisions. 

  • The Selective Politics of the "Learning Loss" Debate

    by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

    Discussions of the disruption to learning caused by COVID-related school closures often ignore the endemic inequalities in American education and exposure to harm from COVID, and sideline the voices of teachers who have been sounding the alarm about the dangerous state of their facilities for years. 

  • The Risks of Declaring the Pandemic Over

    by Molly Nebiolo

    As long as America has had pandemics, it has had leaders who sought political benefit by declaring them over, so Joe Biden is in good company. But moving on needs to include planning ahead. 

  • COVID Shows the US as a Country Kept from Grieving

    Historians Rhae Lynn Barnes, Keri Leigh Merritt, and Yohuru Williams have edited a new collection of essays putting the pandemic in historical perspective, with contributors showing how the pandemic robbed us of both life and time. 

  • I was Fired for Asking My Students to Wear Masks

    by Michael Phillips

    Sometimes academic freedom is about the ability of professors to advocate on behalf of the campus community's health against administrators who prefer silence as a matter of political expediency. 

  • Using DDT to Fight Polio was a Mistake, but Learning from it was Valuable

    by Elena Conis

    Recent Ivermectin mania echoes the moment in 1940s America when spurious science led American communities to demand to be sprayed with the noxious insecticide, believing it would prevent polio outbreaks; the episode underscores the need for patience in pursuing public health. 

  • How did this Level of Death Become Normal?

    In absolute and relative terms, The United States has fared horribly in the coronavirus pandemic. Historians and social scientists help writer Ed Yong explain why the nation meets mass death with a collective shrug. 

  • The Paranoid Style Comes to Canadian Politics

    by Eric Merkley

    Canadian politics, until recently, seemed free of the kind of extreme sorting taking place in other democracies, where partisan affiliation, cultural values, and religious or ethnic identity all align closely. The Ottawa protests show cracks in the nation's liberal order that the far right is trying to exploit, says a political scientist.