- Unless your school or district cut short its regularly-scheduled instructional calendar (I’m looking at you Revere, Elida, Orange, etc.), the current school year is still in session for most kids. But folks are already looking ahead to next year, including Cincinnati City Schools. Here’s a look at the many hybrid options Cincy’s considering. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/21/20)
- What’s interesting to me in all the discussion about next year is that some folks seem to have written off summer as an option to either make up for this year’s losses now or as a running start for next year’s effort to make up for this year’s losses. (Or both!) Staying in Cincinnati, here’s some information about a nonprofit organization who isn’t missing that trick: offering an intensive online learning program to combat “the COVID slide” over the summer. This includes free instruction, laptops, and WiFi hotspots as needed. And that’s not all! The boss promises kids will be reading a full grade level ahead before they even enter school this year. Who’da thunk this would all be possible for rising Kindergartners? (WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, 5/20/20)
- The COVID slide, what can be done about it, and fears about the next school year disruption (whatever that might be) loom large around this discussion of yet another trial balloon floated by CMSD boss Eric Gordon this week. This time, it’s the “bold” idea to adopt so-called “mastery” grading in the district, scrapping seat time and traditional annual grade promotion for a measure of proficiency as the trigger for kids to move on, however long it takes for them to get there. Unfortunately, the discussion is all about how this is a better approach for our pandemic-riddled times than the old ways. But I am far more concerned about the lack of transparency around what would constitute mastery, who would determine it, and how it would be assessed (especially since the plan scraps A-F grades). Not to mention that problems with the system in schools where it was tried are completely glossed over or are attributed to parents who “just didn’t understand” how it worked. I know you’re tied up working on contract at the moment, Patrick, but whenever you’re free I’d love to see a couple articles on those failures done with your usual level of detail. I can pay you in homemade bread! (The 74, 5/20/20)
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