Black History Month, stocks, STAAR testing, and more: Here are 5 things you need to know for the week of February 1, 2021

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AMC Entertainment ($AMC), a popular stock during last week’s stock frenzy, has increased by over $200 since the start of the pandemic.

 

Black History Month

Feb. 1 marks the beginning of Black History Month. This time is a time of celebration and recognition of black leaders, innovators, and trailblazers. The theme of this years’ BHM is ‘The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity,’ according to the ASALH. To learn more about Black History Month or find ways to honor and celebrate it, click here.

 

Texas to require STAAR testing to take place in-person

According to recent guidance, the Texas Education Agency will require Texas public schools to hold the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) in-person. The guidance explains how schools are to issue the STAAR this year and offers extended testing windows to accommodate the pandemic situation. Texas is planning to transition to fully online testing by 2022. 

 

Texas Republicans pushing back on transgender-inclusive legislation

Many Texas Republicans are filing legislation to restrict transgender girls and women from participating in single-sex sports teams in public schools and colleges. Senator Charles Perry(R-Lubbock) and Senator Valoree Swanson(R-Spring) have put forth bills that would prohibit transgender participation. These bills come as an opposition to President Biden’s executive order to prevent and combat discrimination towards the LGBT+ community.

 

Stock market mayhem

After the mayhem that occurred in the stock market last week with the increase in the value of stocks like AMC and GameStop, Wall Street hedge funds are still reeling from the effects. Hedge funds like Melvin Capital lost 53% of their assets but even ended January with “$8 billion in assets after having started the year with roughly $12.5 billion in assets”, according to Reuters. GME, the main stock that rose last week, is valued at $240 today, as opposed to its $3.95 price tag a year ago today.

 

COVID-rates and hospitalizations slowly decrease

After the surge of COVID-19 cases in early Jan., hospitalizations and reported cases are starting to decrease, according to the Texas Tribune. The average hospitalization rate decreased by ~1,600 patients, compared to a week ago. 31.1 million coronavirus vaccines have been administered nationally, with 3.6 million of the vaccines administered to Texans.