Episode 84: Post Pandemic K-12 Education: Why We Don't Want a Return to "Normal"
What comes next when we emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown? What is “normal” is going to be like?
Well in the case of America’s K-12 schools we should not want a return to normal, where “normal” means a nation where fewer than 30% of students - and fewer than 15% in poor communities - read, write, spell, do math or know history, science, or civics on grade level.
“With the doors to most of K-12 schools shut for the rest of the academic year and beyond, it’s time to implement a dramatically different way of educating our nation’s youth, and make it stick,” explains my guest Jeanne Allen.
Major policy decisions about our schools must be made in the coming months, and because schools are most families’ main source of childcare, this will be critical to restarting the economy.
What lies ahead is a serious rethinking of the fundamental organization of the school day and school year.
K-12 Education is ripe for change and the opportunities to make it better are abundant.
“Let’s start by accepting that education needn’t be “place-based,” or dependent on a specific classroom, with a set number of students in order to be learning,. Let’s also accept the obvious from this crisis - that helping a student master a grade-appropriate level of competency in a subject is more important than whether they’re in a classroom for a certain period of time.”
Because the federal government has waived spending discrimination based on zip code, no longer must states distribute federal funds according to traditional, fixed categories and formulas. This is a moment to waive these location-based assignment entirely.
Conditions are ripe for innovation and improvement.
For almost three decades, Jeanne Allen has led the Center for Education Reform fighting to create the conditions for innovation and opportunity for every American child to learn.
Join me as she lays out the exciting possibilities for change.