Need to know: COVID-19
- As of noon on Friday, August 28, there were 162,491 confirmed cases. See cases by county here.
- The share of positive tests as a percentage of total tests is at 6.9%.
- As of August 28, 970 people were hospitalized with ~25% of ICU beds available.
- From March 15 to August 27, 1,254,037 North Carolinians have filed unemployment insurance claims. The state has paid 872,077 claimants.
A new slant
“If parenting were an industry, America’s moms and dads would all be filing for bankruptcy.”
This is the first line of a recent Atlantic Ideas piece, and while I don’t have kids, from everything I’ve heard from the parents I know both personally and professionally, it rings true. In the article, the Atlantic’s Elliot Haspel argues the U.S. should adopt a child allowance, or a monthly per-child cash transfer to parents.
Haspel cites the loss of child care, the demands of virtual education, and studies showing that parents (usually mothers) are being forced out of the labor market due to child care issues as reasons why the government should start a child allowance. He also notes child allowances have been effective in many other countries. Check out the piece here.
A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that academic achievement gaps by income decreased from 1990 to 2015 despite widening income inequality. Here are the key findings:
- Academic achievement at all levels of parental income rose in fourth and eighth grade.
- Achievement gaps narrowed in fourth grade reading and math and eighth grade math.
- Achievement gaps in eighth grade reading remained unchanged.
These findings run contrary to previous research finding achievement gaps had widened or remained the same. The researchers use NAEP scores and neighborhood income measures from the Census Bureau to estimate the student-level relationship between achievement and income. They then use the March Current Population Survey to check their results.
For your consideration
Universities, community colleges, and school districts are wrapping up their second (or third) week of school today. While much attention has focused on COVID-19 outbreaks at big universities, school districts and community colleges are also responding to positive COVID-19 cases.
This spreadsheet from the North Carolina School Board Association is tracking changes in school reopening plans since August 17, including schools that have had positive cases in staff and/or students. Students and staff in Lincoln, Moore, Pender, Perquimans, and Union counties have tested positive for COVID-19, and classrooms have had to quarantine as a result.
Haywood County Schools had to shut down remote learning their second week, not because of COVID-19 but because of a ransomware attack. Check out the spreadsheet here for more information on each district.
What we're reading
Tracking Coronavirus Cases at U.S. Colleges and UniversitiesAs college students and professors return to campus in the midst of a pandemic, coronavirus cases are turning up by the thousands.... Read the rest
Curbside Pickup Is a Lifeline for Eateries. How Long Can It Last?
What the governor wants from the legislature in a budget
Not good: NC, Southeast lag in Census 2020 self-response and non-response follow-up
750 Million Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Will Be Released in the Florida Keys
‘Everything has changed’: How hurricane preparations are adapting to a deadly pandemic
Virtual suspensions. Mask rules. More trauma. Why some worry a student discipline crisis is on the horizon