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The New Reality Roundup | Week 16

We are now in week 16 of our new education reality. In our very first new reality email, we wrote, “Most experts estimate that developing a vaccine for COVID-19 will take 12 to 18 months or longer. That means we need to accept school disruptions as a new normal … In this new era, America’s students need advocates more than ever before.”

Much has changed in our country since that email in March, but the basic structure of this challenge continues. As several states see troubling surges in the number of new cases and hospitalizations, states and districts across the country continue to work on two fronts: planning for what schools will look like when they reopen in the fall and bringing needed systemic reforms to a bureaucracy that, like our criminal justice system, has consistently failed students of color.

Earlier this month, we took a deeper look at these similarities in a conversation I hosted with Derrell Bradford and examined districts and CMOs who have demonstrated early leadership and refused to fail, despite the challenges imposed by Covid-19. Derrell elaborated on points he made in that conversation during an interview last week with NBC.

This week in the New Reality Roundup, we focus on developing our collective understanding of how students will experience school this fall, as well as on innovative campaigns being run across the 50CAN network to ensure that our classroom and school leaders are as diverse as the children they serve.

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The New Reality Roundup | Week 12

We’re now at the beginning of week 12 since school buildings in America closed their doors. The past week has been a particularly difficult one for advocates across our country as each day brought searing reminders of the broader injustices we face as Americans while we continue our work to ensure all students receive the education they deserve.

We believe that Black Lives Matter and we stand in solidarity with all those who have protested over the last week to elevate the issue of police brutality. Every American deserves to live a life free of fear.

Last week, we focused on the questions superintendents, state task forces and advocates are trying to answer as they think about what school will look like in an autumn that is still full of unknowns. This week, we turn our attention to a topic even closer on the horizon: how we can set a high bar for summer learning and the role of advocates in helping districts and legislators craft an approach to summer that goes beyond business as usual.

And as we bring this initial spring chapter of our new reality to an end and embark on this second summer chapter, a final note on The New Reality Roundup. This summer, we’ll be sending the NRR every other week rather than weekly, in order to clear space for more direct support for our on-going advocacy campaigns. This means, your next issue of The New Reality Roundup will be on June 15th. For real-time updates from the field in between these editions, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.