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The New Reality Roundup | Week 38

Welcome back. It’s week 38 of our new education reality and we hope you had a restful Thanksgiving break.

It is clear that the next few months are going to be particularly hard on America’s students, teachers and families. This is a moment to double down on doing everything we can to adapt our education system to put the needs of kids first.

“Some teachers’ unions have refused to return to buildings until the virus abates, ostracizing colleagues who dare break with them,” writes Erica Green in a powerful new article for the New York Times. “On the other hand, the country’s most vulnerable children have sustained severe academic and social harm from the remote-learning experiment. Parents, navigating their own economic and work struggles, are increasingly desperate.”

Last time in the New Reality Roundup we looked at the results of 2020 state and local elections across the country and heard from some of 50CAN’s local leaders on their policy priorities to address the immediate needs of families.

This week we focus on two ways that our schools can maximize learning in the coming months: improve the way we are engaging with students through distance learning and prioritize making in-person instruction accessible for the students who need it most.

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The New Reality Roundup | Week 36

It is week 36 of our new reality. With the elections behind us and Thanksgiving just one week away, it is a good time to take stock of where we are, what we have learned and where things go from here.

While much of the post-election discussion in the media has focused on the presidential race, when it comes to education the most important elections are always local. In this edition of the Roundup, we are including a special section from the 50CAN Action Fund to put a spotlight on those local races and what we can all learn from the results.

At the same time, the work to change policies to meet the urgent needs of students continues in states across the country. We take a closer look at these policy debates with a focus on a few issues that are moving forward outside of the spotlight: measuring student progress and removing red tape for safer small group instruction.

All of this work takes place against the backdrop of a resurgent Covid-19, which has put to rest any hope that we might return to normal this school year. Now more than ever, students will need us all to stand up for their needs and find new ways for instruction to continue in a complex, ever-changing educational landscape where the only thing we know for sure is that what we are doing right now isn’t enough.