High-Quality, Equitable Distance Learning for Connecticut’s Public School Students
August 12, 2020 — As of this writing and with the academic year set to begin in mere weeks, what school will look like this fall for the state’s 527,829 public school students remains uncertain. Amid demands for in-person learning from some key stakeholders, the reality remains that learning may be somewhat, if not entirely, remote.
Given the lessons of last spring, where we learned of the vast disparity in instruction between low-income students and their non-low-income peers, and knowing that educators across the state are unable to fully tackle the issue of equity in remote learning while immersed in safety planning for school reopening, the Connecticut College and Career Readiness Alliance (CCCRA) Steering Committee (which includes ReadyCT) engaged the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia Law School to develop a practical model for distance learning.
The model, including eight key principles summarized in this New York Daily News op-ed co-authored by ReadyCT Executive Director Shannon Marimón, was developed as a workable solution for local educational agencies to use and adapt as best suits the needs of their students, teachers, parents, and overall school community. The Connecticut State Department of Education has endorsed the use of the materials. The guiding documents detailing the model are at left.
When read together and implemented with fidelity, these documents can support high-quality learning for all K-12 public school students in Connecticut while underscoring safety for all as the ever-fluid public health landscape continues to evolve.