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Newswire – April 7, 2020

Perhaps the most famous literary first line in history (if you were fortunate to be exposed to English literature, which, for all too many people is not the case) is “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” from Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities.” COVID is creating for many the worst of times. Yet the overwhelming response from Americans of all stripes and the outpouring of help, including for education, indicates that in some ways these may be the best of times for Americans’ generosity and public spiritedness.

HOW DO YOU GET THE ANSWERS? If you want to know anything about where we are and what to do to avoid COVID-19, you watch or read the words of the amazing Dr. Anthony Fauci. But if you want to know anything about where we are in education or how to teach remotely or manage your kids distance learning, you kind of have to figure it out yourself, unless someone is….

BRINGING ORDER OUT OF CHAOS. One of the few downsides to the enormous outpouring of ideas and solutions for the millions of students, parents and educators suddenly thrust into unfamiliar digital learning roles has been the sheer volume of information — one colleague compared it to “drinking out of a fire hose.”Put down that fire hose and avail yourself of the first searchable database of curated resources from around the country which CER will launch on Wednesday, April 8.  Follow us on Twitter or check into FB or just log onto edreform.com to get to the new CER Essential Database and just tell us what else you need or have to offer!

YOU CAN ALSO WATCH the first in our Virtual Ed Tech Mini-Fest Series! Ed Tech entrepreneurs from across the globe and learn what’s happening first hand with the tools and ideas that will get us through this crisis.Don’t miss the next one Tuesday, April 4, at 11:00 am EST to get the best advice from the best education leaders who are managing remote learning programs right now that are available to all schools!

BANNING REMOTE EDUCATION? Yep, it’s happening. Jeanne Allen points out the absurdity of some state actions, while highlighting the winners, too, in this recent posting on Forbes.

THE ANSWER IS TO CLOSE CHARTER SCHOOLS?   Alex Caputo-Pearl, the president of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), is spending his time demanding that ALL charter schools in the LAUSD be closed.  Why? Because charter school students, families and staff are “unique hazards to public health” and “invaders”. Myrna Castrejón, President and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association sets him straight in no uncertain terms, pointing out accurately that his tactics are “shameful, dangerous, dehumanizing”. We’d ask Mr. Caputo-Pearl “do you have no shame?”, but he has already answered that question.

ANSWERS FROM MINNESOTA. In the good news department, CER favorite Joe Nathan of The Center For School Change takes a clear-eyed look at the upsides and downsides of teaching kids in these challenging times. He gives real life examples of what’s working with realistic appraisals of challenges — and rewards-to come.  Nathan knows his stuff — he helped write the country’s first charter school law in 1991.

NEED INTERNET ACCESS BUT DON’T HAVE IT? Schools and parents wrestling with how to help their students during this unprecedented crisis will want to hear Daniel Neal, Kajeet (@Kajeet) Founder & CEO, on another remote edition of  Reality Check. Learn what he and Kajeet are doing now to “bridge the digital divide” and what you can do to respond to or get help during this challenging time.

——We are hunkered down just like most of you.  But this too shall pass. Of that we are certain. In the meantime, please let us know if there is anything we can provide you and your family in the way of educational assistance.  Be safe and remember the words of Franklin Roosevelt, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”. 

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. 
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