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The New Reality Roundup | Week 28

Before we get into the New Reality Roundup, I want to take a moment to congratulate the team at our Colorado campaign, Transform Education Now, for a victory last week. After months of calls and collaboration, Commerce City is making $1,600 directly available to families in our network’s latest win to #FundEverything. You can learn more on the 50CAN blog. And now for the Roundup:

We’re currently in week 28 of our new education reality and most of America’s students are back in school, be it virtual or in-person.

For school districts that have reopened buildings, most reopenings have gone well thus far. For districts that have chosen to stay virtual for now, the logistics and instructional quality of distance learning appears to be improved from the spring.

But not all school districts have managed to articulate and stick to a coherent plan. Nowhere is the reopening process messier than New York City, where a headstrong mayor and combative teachers union created a confusing, ever-changing series of plans that have left families, students and teachers in the dark.

At the same time, even where districts have managed to stick to a distance learning plan, far too many students aren’t showing up for online school. For example, enrollment in kindergarten has dropped by 6,000 students in Los Angeles, while in Baltimore only 65% of students have been in regular attendance for distance learning this fall.

Last time in The New Reality Roundup, we focused on preserving summative assessments and on expanding access funding for learning pods.

This week, we dive deep into two efforts to get money directly to families in their time of need: using GEER funding in Hawaii and leveraging the Rethink K-12 Education Models Grant in Tennessee.

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Interview with David Miyashiro

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, 50CAN will be working to connect with some of our country’s leading thinkers, educators and policymakers as they share their best thinking on needed adaptations for our education system, districts, schools and classrooms that will best serve students during this challenging and chaotic time.

HawaiiKidsCAN Executive Director David Miyashiro has been a leading voice calling for funding to go directly to families in the Aloha State. He sits down with 50CAN CEO Marc Porter Magee, where they discuss the impact of Covid-19 on Hawaii’s families and the urgent need for policy change.