Education Equity


In the Fallout of the Pandemic, Community Schools Show a Way Forward for Education – from Learning Policy Institute

Click here for the full article

Excerpt of Article by Authors Jeannie OakesAnna MaierJulia Daniel

This post is part of LPI’s Learning in the Time of COVID-19 blog series, which explores evidence-based and equity-focused strategies and investments to address the current crisis and build long-term systems capacity.

School buildings are closed for nearly all of the country’s 50.8 million public school students, and those being hit the hardest are the nation’s most marginalized students—more than 52% in 2016–17. For these students, school closures can mean the loss not only of precious learning time but also of essential services such as meals and medical and mental health services that mitigate the stresses of poverty.

But there are schools that continue to support student learning and well-being—among them, community schools. The country’s community schools are designed to serve the whole child (addressing learning and well-being) and are based on the understanding that children are better positioned to learn when they are healthy, well fed, and safe. The United States has thousands of community schools serving millions of students already. Among these schools, 2,300 are part of the nonprofit network Communities in Schools. The nonprofit Coalition for Community Schools network supports some 5,000 community schools across the country.

Although there are other schools around the country that use some of the strategies of community schools and have also successfully responded to student and family needs, community schools are unique in that they have formalized and powered up these supports around four “pillars”—medical and mental services, extended learning time, family and community engagement, and collaborative leadership among staff. They hire dedicated staff such as community schools coordinators to organize services for students and families through partnerships with nonprofit and government organizations, including health clinics, food banks, tutoring, and after-school programs. As we begin to rebuild and rethink schooling, this is a highly effective, research-based approach that policymakers can look to.As we begin to rebuild and rethink schooling, [community schools are] a highly effective, research-based approach that policymakers can look to.

Because community schools prioritize relationships with family members—often offering social services and classes for parents and guardians—they were already deeply rooted in their students’ lives and had relationships and infrastructures in place when COVID-19 hit that enabled them to mobilize support services and connect with their students and families meaningfully and quickly. (continued)

Restarting and Reinventing School: Learning in the Time of COVID and Beyond – Report from the Learning Policy Institute – Linda Darling-Hammond et al


Click Here for the Full Report

Executive Summary of this 126 page PDF Report

Across the United States, state education agencies and school districts face daunting challenges and
difficult decisions for restarting schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. As state and district
leaders prepare for what schooling will look like in 2020 and beyond, there is an opportunity to
identify evidence-based policies and practices that will enable them to seize this moment to rethink
school in ways that can transform learning opportunities for students and teachers alike.
Our current system took shape almost exactly a century ago, when school designs and funding were
established to implement mass education on an assembly-line model organized to prepare students
for their “places in life”—judgments that were enacted within contexts of deep-seated racial, ethnic,
economic, and cultural prejudices. In a historical moment when we have more knowledge about
human development and learning, when society and the economy demand a more challenging set
of skills, and when—at least in our rhetoric—there is a greater social commitment to equitable
education, it is time to use the huge disruptions caused by this pandemic to reinvent our systems
of education. The question is: How we can harness these understandings as we necessarily redesign
school? How can we transform what has not been working for children and for our society into a
more equitable and empowering future?
This report provides an overarching framework that focuses on how policymakers as well as
educators can support equitable, effective teaching and learning regardless of the medium
through which that takes place. This framework provides research, state and local examples, and
policy recommendations in 10 key areas that speak both to transforming learning and to closing
opportunity and achievement gaps. It illustrates how policymakers and educators can:

  1. Close the digital divide
  2. Strengthen distance and blended learning
  3. Assess what students need
  4. Ensure supports for social and emotional learning
  5. Redesign schools for stronger relationships
  6. Emphasize authentic, culturally responsive learning
  7. Provide expanded learning time
  8. Establish community schools and wraparound supports
  9. Prepare educators for reinventing school
  10. Leverage more adequate and equitable school funding

    Each of these 10 policy priorities will help schools reinvent themselves around principles of equity,
    authentic learning, and stronger relationships, and they require shifts from policymakers and
    educators alike.

Report: The Pandemic ‘Grossly Exacerbated’ Disparities in Education — THE Journal

A new report noted that students on the whole did make gains during the 2020–2021 school year. However, those gains were lower than seen in previous years. Underrepresented groups and students in high-poverty areas were disproportionately impacted negatively by the public policy response to the pandemic.
— Read on thejournal.com/articles/2021/07/29/report-the-pandemic-grossly-exacerbated-disparities-in-education.aspx

Future of School: Hybrid Learning Models are Here to Stay Post-Pandemicp — from ATT

Full Article: https://about.att.com/story/2021/future_of_school.html

Excerpt:

9 in 10 Teachers are Open to Hybrid Learning with the Right Tools and Resources and More Than 70% of Parents Support the Idea

What’s the news? As schools across the country wrap up another unusual school year, most K-12 education is still being facilitated with remote learning. However, educators are beginning to see the long-term value in a hybrid approach to teaching, according to AT&T’s* 2021 Future of School Report released today.

  • 94% of teachers are open to the idea of hybrid learning with the proper resources, curriculum and support
  • 71% of teachers support virtual days for inclement weather
  • 78% of teachers are in favor of virtual tutoring sessions or enrichment programs
  • 60% of teachers are open to livestreaming their classrooms for students who are home sick

These sentiments are consistent across teachers of all grade levels and low- and high-income schools, as well as parents:

  • 83% of parents support virtual school days for inclement weather
  • 84% of parents support virtual tutoring or enrichment programs
  • 85% of parents want the option for their kids who are home sick to join class virtually  

Today, 66% of teachers and parents say that students are still learning either fully remote or in a hybrid format. While remote learning got off to a rocky start, with 43% of teachers noting their experience a year ago was challenging, many have adapted to this new environment and learned tips, tricks and best practices to navigate virtual classrooms. Additionally, 48% of teachers voice a need for curricula better suited for hybrid or online teaching. Assistance from administrators was widely acknowledged by teachers with 83% reporting they felt supported with new online teaching technologies and strategies.

Family Engagement Increases Tech-Enabled Learning Impact

The report summary, from the Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) at Columbia University, used survey data from nine school districts and charter school organizations.
Click here for the full report.

CPRL is recommending that institutions expand the definition of “high-quality instructional materials” to incorporate the three added factors that had a demonstrable impact on student achievement. According to CPRL: “Researchers from CPRL found that high-quality instructional materials are strongest and most impactful when dimensions of “high-quality” are expanded from being aligned to standards to also include being:

1) tech enabled,
2) culturally responsive and sustaining, and
3) designed to enhance families’ ability to guide student learning and instruction.

How can we design learning settings so that all students thrive?

Pamela Cantor, M.D., Linda Darling-Hammond, Merita Irby, and Karen Pittman Education has long been central to the promise of the United States of America. But our current education system has never been designed to promote the equitable opportunities or outcomes that our children and families deserve, and that our democracy, society and economy need. Our system was designed for a different world — to support mass education preparing students for their presumed “places in life.” That world believ
— Read on www.soldalliance.org/