Why we need to rebuild our schools with empathy and equity

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The COVID crisis reminded us just how important a functioning school system is to working families—and it exacerbated the inequalities that are leaving many children behind. At some point in the last 12 months, every parent had the same realization: Schools are absolutely critical to daily life. Although schools are often reduced to grades and test scores, the value of hot meals, safe spaces to play, friendships, time away from the family unit, and more, have all been underscored by school closures. Read Full Story

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Our students can’t wait any longer. We must bring the internet to everyone

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The coronavirus pandemic has revealed the depths of the digital divide in this country. It’s time for lawmakers to step up and provide broadband to all families. There is no end in sight to COVID-19. With a continued need for distance learning in many cities and countless families still lacking basic internet service, the return to school this fall is more complicated than it has ever been. Read Full Story

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The sudden shift to remote learning is exposing the huge gaps in which students have access to technology

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Can the solutions being slapped together during the pandemic help create more permanent solutions during the recovery? In North Carolina, school buses equipped with Wi-Fi hotspots are bringing internet access to underserved areas. In Texas, a school district invested in its own transmission towers to expand its Wi-Fi signals’ reach. One high school district in Arizona has committed to contacting every single student, every day, to check in on how families are coping and what other resources they need, as they navigate the coronavirus crisis. Read Full Story

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How our new work-life reality is chipping away at equity and inclusion

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Beware of letting the COVID-19 crisis exacerbate established biases, warns a focus group of corporate and nonprofit leaders. For the first time in modern history, three of our major social institutions—work, school, and family life—are all happening in one physical place: our homes. And that shift may have a greater adverse effect on women, according to Shelley Correll, a professor of sociology in Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences and a professor of organizational behavior (by courtesy) at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Read Full Story

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The GOP’s ‘skinny’ stimulus bill: Here’s what it includes for education—and what it lacks

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The bill includes $105 billion for the education sector, mostly reserved for schools that reopen in person. Senate Republicans unveiled their latest proposal for the next coronavirus relief package Tuesday. It has a formal name—the “Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools, and Small Businesses Act”—but it’s informally known as the “skinny” bill. Or “ emaciated ,” if you ask Democrats on Capitol Hill. Read Full Story

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As wealthy parents turn to ‘pandemic pods,’ startups aim to make them equitable

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Affluent families were quick to explore pandemic pods as an alternative to solitary virtual school. Now, startups are looking for ways to make the model available to all. In certain communities across America, learning pods, or pandemic pods, have become all the rage. Parents eager to offer their children socialization and some form of in-person instruction (and working parents simply eager to solve the problem of child care) are banding together to turn basements, garages, and living rooms into minischools for half a dozen families. Some families are hiring a teacher to supervise and lead activities, and some are relying on one another. Most plan to keep the enrollment in traditional school and use the pod as a supplement. Read Full Story

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How this Queens community built $1,000 college savings accounts for all its kids

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It’s part of a new program to build wealth for low-income kids across New York City—with a little help from their communities. In 1949, when she was 14 years old, Claudia Coger dropped out of high school. Despite being an A+ student and having skipped two grades, she knew that college was out of reach—she was the second of 10 kids, growing up in Sumter County, Florida, and there was no indication, she says, that scholarships would be available to her. It’s a reality for too many kids: Students from low-income families are 2.4 times more likely to drop out of high school than those from middle-income families, and 10 times more likely than students from high-income families, which affects how much they can earn out of school and contributes to the racial wealth gap. Read Full Story

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The economic insecurity of Black breadwinner moms affects us all

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In this op/ed, the founder of Pipeline Equity highlights the social and economic impact of racial injustice on Black breadwinner moms, who have the largest gender pay gap of any cohort of women in the U.S. Almost four years ago, my children’s elementary school was tagged with hate graffiti. We chose to send our children to this particular school because it has a newcomer center that supports immigrant and refugee children and their families entering the U.S. This is important to me because nearly six decades ago, my sisters were those newcomer children. Read Full Story

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Why Apple is giving to the Malala Fund as part of its climate program

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“When we educate girls, and when we empower them and give them the quality education that they need, it actually helps us to tackle climate change.” The climate emergency doesn’t affect everyone equally: After a climate-linked catastrophe like a hurricane, young girls in developing countries often have to drop out of school to help their families financially, or because their school has been directly destroyed. The irony is that educating girls—which results in a long list of positive outcomes, such as more access to family planning, more productive farms, lower incidents of disease— is a particularly effective, though often overlooked, way of fighting climate change Read Full Story

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