Home » Newswire Weekly » Newswire – April 22, 2020

Newswire – April 22, 2020

THE FUTURE OF SCHOOL?  If you’re interested in that, you’ll want to be joining the CER ACTION Series (That’s ACTION — meaning Accelerating Change through Innovation and Opportunity NOW)! Part III on the Future of School covered the experiences of two Change Makers who combined, serve almost 80,000 students remotely and digitally with much individual attention — despite the challenges presented by COVID. Learn more about the work of Jon Hage and his team at Charter Schools USA and Julie Young, CEO at ASU Prep Digital. You can watch the entire session. But just to wet your whistle:

“We don’t need to have a gap in our learning because we have a virus in our country…Hopefully after COVID, we will look at boundaries and geographic barriers very differently.” - Jon Hage

“We believe school is a verb; it can take place anywhere, and anytime — no boundaries, no barriers,”  - Julie Young.

PLAN TO JOIN US FOR MORE… Next week, Tuesday, April 28th, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm with Patricia A. Brantley, CEO, Friendship Public Charter School, a founding partner of the nearly two decade-old Friendship with 12 campuses in Washington, DC and schools in many other cities, and Antonio Roca, Managing Director at Academica Virtual Education, overseeing 200 public charter schools and 125,000 students in over eleven states. Free registration is here.

THE SOLUTIONS ARE HERE.  The first in a series of critical recommendations to fix education during and post-COVID is quite literally hot off the presses. Calling for needed changes in how students access education — and where, Jeanne Allen outlines a path forward for the Future of School. It’s obvious why it’s necessary. “Isn’t it time to admit that with this level of dysfunction and neglect, especially now, we cannot continue to vest [districts] with authority to educate our kids?” asks Allen.

THE DATA TELLS ALL. When it comes to school district effectiveness, there is reason for concern. A third are leaving it to chance, half of all states are not requiring districts to submit plans and the rest are a patchwork of brilliance and failure, according to ongoing reporting from the Center for Reinventing Education at the University of Washington. The data also shows charter management organizations are far ahead in remote learning. No surprise there.

RAYS OF HOPE.   From Arizona comes word that the Basis Chandler School in Chandler, AZ was named the seventh best public high school in America out of the more than 17,000 ranked by U.S. News and World Report. They are among the 21 charter schools to rank in the top 100. That’s not a new phenomenon but it is an important one that we must keep reminding people — that charters, on their own, flexible and free to work are achieving great things despite the odds, fewer resources, ongoing attacks and no major lobbying force to prop them up. Same reasons they are doing BETTER on rolling out remote learning quickly and effectively.

UNIONS AGAIN... are demanding extraordinary concessions in order for their members to actually do their job — teach. They are demanding restrictions on the number of hours and days that teachers would be required to work from home, reject the expectation that teachers conduct live lessons at fixed times and oppose the ability of principals to sit in on lessons. They are also pushing for less academic work and a moratorium on student grades and teacher evaluations.  And they are calling for a voluntary summer school that the federal government should pay for. Right. We are tracking their activities and will continue to enlighten the public about the injustice for kids that big labor is advancing.

STILL LOOKING FOR HELP AT HOME?  Let CER help keep school going no matter where you are. Find the resources you need with our Essential Education Database.

We’re not sure if the glass is half full or half empty.  But we ARE sure that Little Orphan Annie was right — the sun WILL come out tomorrow. Enjoy its beauty and warmth, stay safe, and let us know if there is any way we can help with your educational challenges.

Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education. 
We’re always delighted to hear from our readers...suggestions, questions and even the occasional complaint!