Since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered schools across the country, district leaders and educators have worked to navigate the challenges of this “new normal” in education. And nowhere have the challenges been steeper than in districts like the one I lead in Baltimore.
Like other districts already battling historic and systematic disinvestment in our schools and communities, Baltimore schools have advocated for everything that our educators and students need. We have zeroed in on the digital divide, using precious funds to connect students with devices and hotspots, while rallying for free internet for our students and families. We have called on our state leaders and Congress to pass legislation to ensure sorely needed emergency funding for public schools.
These efforts are critical. But if we focus all our attention outward, we educators will miss the real opportunity of our new reality: a once-in-a-generation chance to turn our attention aggressively inward, using the crisis upon us to accelerate the unfinished work of repairing the flaws and deep systemic inequities of the “old normal” in American education.
2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’sRemarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results