August 19, 2020
NCTR and Partner News

As a nonprofit organization that relies on philanthropic investments from foundations, governments and individual donors, NCTR is extra grateful to count on the leadership of philanthropy experts to navigate this unprecedented time and make sure our work is sustained. To that end, NCTR Board Member Talia Milgrom-Elcott was recently published in Forbes on how grantmaking entities can meet this moment. Thank you, Talia!

Featured News

Washington, D.C.-based think tank the Center for American Progress (CAP) is proposing the creation of an Opportunity and Counseling Corps that would provide schools with people ready and willing to help in the midst and aftermath of this disruptive global pandemic. The two-pronged approach of this Corps would entail:

  • Recruiting recent high school and college graduates, plus other community members, to work in high-needs schools specifically tackling both teachers’ and students’ challenges with remote learning, and providing tutoring support to address learning gaps since March (operating much like existing civic service opportunities such as AmeriCorps); and
  • Hiring more social workers, psychologists, and counselors to provide mental health and emotional support to students and school staff, as well as ensure academic progress for college- and career-bound high school students. 

For more information about this proposal, see the CAP brief, The Opportunity and Counseling Corps: Helping K-12 Students and Young Adults Recover From the Coronavirus Crisis.

In another recent article, The Hechinger Report cites tutoring as the most effective intervention that could counter the effects of the “Covid Slide,” saying that “making tutors available to more kids—especially those least able to afford to hire one themselves—could be vital to combating learning losses that resulted when the coronavirus forced schools to shut down and transition to online-only instruction.” That more professionals are needed to bolster the inadequate federal funding granted to school systems in the CARES Act, as well as the CAP’s case for certifying the Opportunity Corps members through teacher residencies. 

Review the ample evidence that more professionals are needed to bolster the inadequate federal funding granted to school systems in the CARES Act, as well as the CAP’s case for certifying the Opportunity Corps members through teacher residencies. 

Resources and Connections

The National Geographic Education Blog recommends place-based learning, including virtual field trips, for parents at home with children, as well as teachers working to engage young remote learners in partnership with families. 

As mentioned in previous E-blasts, the Serial/New York Times podcast “Nice White Parents” is a thoroughly researched listen into what happens when schools aim for diversity but the strategies and measured impacts of affluent White parents often run counter to the enriching-for-all integration they claim to want. Author Alexander Russo describes why this approach to education journalism is different than previous attempts at illuminating school inequality.  And The Times offers a supplemental reading list that set reporter and podcast host Chana Joffe-Walt on her course to share this trust story through a historic lens.

In The News

Why learning pods aren't a panacea for remote learning

Parents and caretakers of children are getting creative in forming small “pods” to keep their children safe outside of school buildings while continuing their learning and with the social-emotional benefits of interacting with other students. Many have criticized that this approach is only viable for families of means, who can hire private tutors, thus widening the equity gap in a year that has already featured inequitable access to remote instruction across the country.  The flipside as encouraged by Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of National Parents Union (NPU): "It doesn't have to be rich versus poor.” NPU is vetting grants that would make provisions such as small cohorts with slots reserved for special needs and/or low-income students. Churches and community centers are also organizing such resources to benefit more children.

School Reopenings Bring Wave of COVID-19 Student-Data-Privacy Concerns

It is inarguable that health and safety are top priorities with reopening schools, but some privacy issues need to be raised, too, as students are captured constantly on archived video streams, and much more health data are recorded (through temp-taking, contact tracing, etc.) than usual. The Consortium for School Networking released guidance for teleconferencing with minors, and the National Center for Learning Disabilities with the Future of Privacy Forum released this report advising practitioners to make considerations for children with special needs.

Please note that the articles and events in the NCTR E-Blast do not reflect the opinions of our organization, but rather represent information that we believe will be relevant to you and your programs.

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