It’s week 170 of our new reality and we are thinking about both the scale of the problems in our education system and the scale needed for a solution.
As Louisiana Kids Matter Executive Director Kelli Bottger remarked this week on the unanimous, bipartisan passage of a bill to scale tutoring across her state: “The entire system needs to realize that students aren’t going to recover from historic learning loss without a historic response and interventions.”
That is particularly important at this time, after another shocking release of NAEP scores that not only show learning loss from extended school closures is not receding, but also that intervention strategies have yet to reach the quality, scale, or–inexplicably, given the largest financial federal investment in the nation’s schools in history–funding necessary to correct course.
The results are a far cry from the thesis of many who defended extended school closures by claiming that students were resilient and would bounce back once schools reopened. The newest NAEP results put an end to those claims. It is now clear that to avoid a lost generation, the scale of our response needs to match the scope of the crisis before us.
Last week, we looked at ESSER dollars and the failure of many districts to use them to actually reach students, the undeniable success of charter schools and the inspiring wins achieved by HawaiiKidsCAN.
This week, we take a hard look at the recent NAEP results and we put a spotlight on one replicable model out of Louisiana, where the bipartisan win from Louisiana Kids Matter mandates high-dosage tutoring for every student in every school.
FROM THE FIELD
Connecticut Public Radio, PBS and NPR report on ConnCAN’s signature victory this year, which provided over $150 million for academic recovery for the state’s struggling students. “There’s an opportunity to really accelerate learning, get kids back on track and make sure they’re ready for the world ahead,” ConnCAN Policy and Research Director Hamish MacPhail told reporters.
GeorgiaCAN celebrated the graduation of their spring cohort of EPIC (Empowered Parents Invested in Change) advocates. In addition, one of the program’s alumni was the focus of an NPR report on bringing the science of reading to Georgia, a key priority and 2023 legislative win for the GeorgiaCAN team.
NewMexicoKidsCAN’s Amanda Aragon was featured on EduRecoveryHub’s The Route podcast. In the wide-ranging conversation, Amanda touches on the journey that shaped her into the education advocate she is today, the influence of her grandparents and the critical work New Mexico needs to do in the weeks and months ahead. She also spoke on the importance of being part of the 50CAN network:
“As the executive director in New Mexico, I call the shots for New Mexico. I decide what policies make sense for us to work on. I decide all of the day-to-day actual work. On the backend, we have tremendous support from the national office in terms of doing all the stuff I don’t want to do. Our audits and our accounting and our HR. I get to do the work that I care about, and they make all the other work a lot easier. And then we have incredible thought partners like Derrell, like Marc, like Jonathan Nikkila. When we need help, we can call our other EDs, we can call the national team and ask, ‘Hey, can you help me think through this? How’s your state thinking through this?’
And because we’re also politically diverse, we can have really rich discussions about some of these political intersections that I think not every network gets to dive into because they align to one political leaning over another. We just have such a diversity in the network that we get to have really great conversations.”
Moment of Resilience
The 50CAN network gathered together in Denver to better understand the community partnerships TEN Executive Director Nicholas Martinez is building in the Centennial State. Additionally, we took the time for a series of conversations to build the foundations of our next strategic plan – both in conference rooms and outside, at the historic Red Rocks Amphitheatre.