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Lead with Equity: What California’s Leaders Must Do Next to Advance Student Learning During COVID-19

Heather Hough; Jennifer O’Day; Carrie Hahnel; Arun Ramanathan; Christopher Edley, Jr.; Maria Echaveste July 22, 2020
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Lead with Equity

When California’s schools reopen for the 2020–21 school year, they will look dramatically different than before the pandemic. Whether in person, online, or some combination of the two, it will be critical that each student receives rigorous instruction and the academic, social, and emotional support needed to thrive. Without a strong focus on improving the quality of remote education at scale, students could lose up to a year’s worth of learning, and as many as 1.1 million students could fail to graduate high school.

A new brief, Lead with Equity: What California’s Leaders Must Do Next to Advance Student Learning During COVID-19, published by Policy Analysis for California Education and whose authors include Dr. Arun Ramanathan, CEO, Pivot Learning, provides recommendations to policymakers on the appropriate state role in supporting teaching and learning as the pandemic continues, calling on the state to:

  • establish a small number of clear requirements related to teaching and learning, monitor their implementation, and provide support to districts to help them address students’ academic, social, and emotional needs;
  • extend districts’ key flexibilities, consistent with equity imperatives, so districts can efficiently, effectively, and creatively serve students; and
  • play a leadership role in securing more funding.
Lead with Equity

“ When students return to school, our state’s expectations for instruction should be far higher. California leaders must prioritize equity and ensure quality across the state’s roughly 1,000 school districts. The implications, otherwise, could be dire.”

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This report was published in partnership with Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE).

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