“Students at high-poverty schools that stayed remote for more than half of the 2020-21 school year lost the equivalent of 22 weeks of instruction,” writes Sarah Mervosh in The New York Times, citing research by Harvard economist Thomas Kane. “Recovery is expected to take the longest for … low-income students and Black, Hispanic and Native American students. Research has found that extended remote learning was a primary driver of lost learning.”
It is a clear statement of a problem that was unfortunately largely missing from coverage when the decisions were made in the summer of 2020 to keep so many schools closed. What do we owe these students who were robbed of the learning they deserved? That’s the question we need to keep at the forefront of our public conversation and insist not just on answers, but actions.
Last time in the New Reality Roundup, we looked at polling from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and how to scale up our support for students to match the size of their learning losses.
This week we examine the political shifts underway around education and the need to push for a full recovery from school closures.
FROM THE FIELD
ConnCAN, in collaboration with FutureED, released a new report: “Billion Dollar Question: How Connecticut Schools Plan to Spend Covid Relief Funds.” Among the findings is that over $480 million is being spent on hiring, training and retaining school staff, which outstrips the national average. By comparison, $229 million is being spent on academic recovery.
GeorgiaCAN launched a Back-to-School Toolkit for parents, offering resources, tips for relationship building with teachers and other school staff and more. They guide is freely available to all parents, but will also be utilized by GeorgiaCAN’s parent advocates in trainings and outreach.
HawaiiKidsCAN announced six legislators and two advocates as recipients of their “2022 Legislative Champion Awards.” Executive Director David Miyashiro celebrated each of them on the HawaiiKidsCAN Youtube channel in a series of interviews showcasing their legislative accomplishments over the past year.
Moment of Resilience
HawaiiKidsCAN Executive Director David Miyashiro celebrates with Hawaii Governor David Ige and Hui Broadband Strategy Officer Burt Lum after the signing of a package of digital equity bills that were a centerpiece of HawaiiKidsCAN’s 2022 legislative agenda. The bills are an important step forward toward our vision of a world of open and connected learning, expanding broadband access to all Hawaiians, establishing a flagship digital literacy program and appropriating seven million dollars for the construction of a digital learning center that will enable more students to supplement their learning with a suite of online courses.