It is week 146 of our new reality, the first for this roundup in the new year.
In his New Years poem “In Memoriam,” Alfred Tennyson wrote:
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
No one watching C-SPAN over the past week would conclude that the US Congress is on track to live up to that lofty ambition, but in statehouses across our network we are seeing promising signs that 2023 can be a year where we ring out the destructive culture war clashes of the past year and ring in policies that bring us all together by providing students with whole new ways to get the educational opportunities they deserve.
This week we spotlight how parents are calling out for something new for their children and take stock of the predictions that our partners are making about what change is possible in 2023.
FROM THE FIELD
NewMexicoKidsCAN Executive Director Amanda Aragon launched her new podcast, New Mexico Rising. The show features candid conversations with education leaders throughout the Land of Enchantment as they work to lift the state from the bottom of the rankings. The first episode features Yasine Armstrong on how one charter school in Roswell is providing a model for other schools across the state.
50CAN President Derrell Bradford was featured on a panel at FREOP’s Freedom and Progress Conference on repairing the damage done during the pandemic. “People are acting like we should move on. This wasn’t an earthquake that happened on land, with the shaking happening all at once,” Derrell offered. “It happened in the water. What we’re waiting for is the tidal wave of its impact to crash onto our daily lives.”
Transform Education Now in Colorado celebrated the State Board of Education overturning a local district decision to not approve a charter for University Prep, a school the team has fought to open. The state board lambasted the district for a closed decision making process in reversing the decision.
HawaiiKidsCAN Executive Director David Miyashiro offered Civil Beat his thoughts on how the Aloha State can use a $2 million surplus to improve education in 2023: “This is a real opportunity for bold action.”
50CAN CEO Marc Porter Magee joined Fordham’s Mike Petrilli for a look back at the most significant stories of 2022 on the Education Gadfly Podcast: “The more constructive leadership ultimately plays better with voters who want you to get elected and help solve their problems.”
Moment of Resilience
Students at Youth Empowered, a day-long microschool and one of the VELA Fund’s grantees, pose beneath a mural of Harriet Tubman. The program, now in its sixth year, uses the outdoors to build students’ understanding of both STEM and Black history, including a trip last summer that had students learn about the history of Black sailors from the Universal Sailing Club and hiking portions of the Underground Railroad. It’s yet another example of the incredible educational experiences that await our children in the education system of the future.