Seven school districts are participating in a national cohort that has been planning more equitable and resilient approaches to teaching and learning — both for going back to school and for long-term sustainable change. This network of learning communities, called the Always Ready For Learning Strategy Lab, is working together to develop school system strategies. Bellwether’s Lauren Schwartze shared six takeaways from Strategy Lab districts’ back-to-school plans.
When it comes to education spending, we’re missing the fiscal forest for the most visible trees. This has been a golden era of education spending. Our aging population is about to put an end to it, whatever politicians do.
Collectively, retirements of teachers and other education employees dropped 5% this year in Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Only Alabama reported an increase.
Schools and the fragmented social services sector have not pivoted quickly enough to support new needs in this crisis and generally lack sufficient resources to support marginalized students. Too often, these students are an afterthought in the political budgeting process as other communities and schools advocate for funding. But Denver, and locales across the nation, can be more nimble and reallocate available services to help vulnerable students.
Bellwether’s Chad Aldeman compared the number of hours of live instruction planned this year for 5th-, 8th- and 11th-graders in 10 large districts with their state’s requirement for the amount of school time students should normally receive. Chad’s local Fairfax Virginia’s remote learning schedule offers less than half of a typical school year to my first-grade son. Here's how 10 of the nation's largest districts are doing.
Around the country, advocates for education equity are paying increased attention to the critical importance of early math skills. Driven by research showing that foundational math knowledge is even more predictive of later school success than literacy, a growing movement is focused on promoting young children’s math skills in both early care settings and at home.
The more than 7,000 youth in foster care in the Los Angeles Unified School District experience significant obstacles in receiving an uninterrupted, quality education. Now, with COVID-19 cases rising and schools often starting the fall with distance learning, youth in foster care have fewer touchpoints from educators and case workers, leaving them even more vulnerable during this crisis.
Democrats are known for outlining detailed plans to address societal problems—so it’s no surprise that Joe Biden’s campaign has a plan to protect older Americans. Although it primarily covers health care and Social Security issues, it includes a couple features that would directly affect public school teachers. But who would it really affect, and how?
COVID-19 has altered education as we know it, and no one school has found the perfect approach to distance learning. However, some schools more quickly adopted promising practices in response to common challenges, offering lessons for other schools seeking to improve their distance learning models.
Districts across the country play a crucial role in ensuring schools effectively serve students and families. Beyond federal requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act and state-level accountability systems, locally developed school performance frameworks are a key lever for holding schools accountable, particularly for student learning and wellness.
As more schools prepare students for a high school diploma and college and career readiness, how are states tracking the effectiveness of these programs? Are states tracking the right measures, like whether students are taking and passing advanced courses, completing industry certifications, or pursuing other work-based learning opportunities?