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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.