Weekly News Roundup: Guidance Harms High-Poverty Districts


As schools across the country shut down, parents, students, and teachers are left with uncertainty and questions about what the future holds. As advocates for a high-quality education for ALL students, we’ll work to keep you up to date on the education world’s response to this crisis. As we’ve seen time and time again, many of our nation’s students are particularly vulnerable during times like this. We need to remain vigilant, stay informed of how the response is affecting ALL of God’s children, and advocate for our students’ protection and well-being.

Here are the stories that we’ve been focused on this week.

Guidance from DeVos means more coronavirus relief for private schools via Chalkbeat

Private schools are set to receive more support than they expected from the federal coronavirus relief package, while high-poverty school districts are set to receive less, thanks to guidance put out by Betsy DeVos’s federal education department.

The move will be a boon to private schools, many of which are likely facing their own fiscal challenges because of the pandemic. But it already has public school advocates up in arms, arguing that it will funnel precious resources to wealthy private schools while districts struggle to provide computers and free meals.

Principals Find Novel Ways to Honor Seniors During Shutdown via The New York Times

“The absolute most important thing is that they know that they’re cared about,” Mr. Montgomery said. “And it has to be authentic. The most valuable gift that you can give to someone is time. I was basically telling them that I care about them.”

Not all kids have computers – and they’re being left behind with schools closed by the coronavirus via The Conversation

There’s a big gap between how much access rich and poor children have to technology. This is known as the “digital divide.” This disparity contributes to the achievement gaps between students based largely on their economic status.

These findings show that the digital divide is playing out in real time during this pandemic in ways that are sure to lead to unequal negative effects on already disadvantaged students.

One thing to read this weekend

10 Questions for Equity Advocates to Ask About Distance Learning via Education Trust

In this guide, we share ideas that advocates and district leaders can consider when planning for how to continue teaching and supporting students, based on what other states and districts have begun to do. But these are unprecedented times. There isn’t yet research and data on best practices for ensuring continuity of learning during a global pandemic. A key role for advocates and district leaders is to monitor how the challenges posed by school closures are being addressed and to urge transparency about the impact of these efforts on all students in their communities.

Did any of these articles particularly speak to you? We would like to hear your thoughts. Let us know in the comments below:

May 11, 2020
The Expectations Project

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