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IMPORTANT NEWS: US Department of Ed Issues Much Needed Guidance

Dear Friends,

As we all work to provide rapid solutions to the COVID-19 crisis and the impact it is having on education, we learned last week from our partner network that many states and school districts — some of which had already started remote education of students — told educators that any remote learning would not count and they should literally CLOSE school, remote or not.

The justification by governors and state leaders in Washington state, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma for example, was that there would be no assurance of equity for all and therefore no one should be educated. Some states told very innovative district superintendents that they’d likely be violating federal special education laws if they were not careful. So the districts stopped. (I wrote about this in my blog Friday.)

CER has been working closely with our partners across the country and monitoring situations in each state as well as nationally, and we believed that it was critical we all come together as one voice to try and fix the hurdles in the way for our educators and schools systems.

So, we convened a remote meeting on Friday with a diverse group of experts and practitioners, with US Department of Education Assistant Secretary Jim Blew who was quick to respond to our outreach. I am so pleased to report that due to our work together as a coalition, the US Department of Education over the weekend issued clarifying guidance that encourages school administrators and educators to use their resources to continue to educate students.

 
 

“This is a time for creativity and an opportunity to pursue as much flexibility as possible so that learning continues. It is a time for all of us to pull together to do what’s right for our nation’s students,” said Education Secretary DeVos in the statement.

Neither students nor schools will be penalized for doing so. 

None of this would be possible without you and the work we continue to do together, and I personally want to thank everyone involved for putting forth innovative, real time solutions that are making their way to students this Monday!  

We are gratified by this outcome and urge all in the US and abroad to continue to share and use the amazing tools and resources that have emerged from amidst the thousands of education innovators and technology gurus that work round the clock to make great progress in education! 

 

Hoping you and yours are safe.