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This Week's News: What's on Tap
Liberty and justice, for starters
Move over, tiny homes; hello “tiny schools!”
The media is abuzz with news about one of the hottest new delivery mechanisms in education - microschools. The Washington Post looks at it cynically, like it’s simply a back door way of funding home-schooling, but the Wall Street Journal was more ecumenical, talking about the move to create more microschools as the next extension of parent freedom, and creating diverse learning opportunities for kids. Lots of great organizations feature prominently in both (Including the work we do!). But it’s fascinating that just a few days before the first 2023 presidential debate and on the heels of schools beginning to open again, two major papers are tackling the trend that some say could be reaching as many as two million students. Now that’s a movement.
Will microschools make the grade?
We’ve seen it up close and personal. Hundreds of organizations that resemble or operate like microschools or new adaptations are being evaluated for this year’s Yass Prize, considered the Pulitzer of Education Innovation. On September 14th, 2023, you’ll want to get the scoop as we announce the 64 Quarterfinalists chosen to go onto the finals to compete for the $1 million Yass Prize and other coveted slots. Watch for more information at YassPrize.org.
“Going to the candidates’ debate…”
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you've got to choose;
Every way you look at this, you lose.
You’d have to be older - or a classic movie junkie - to remember those lines from the title song of “The Graduate.” But they really do hit home about what we might hear from the Republican candidates for President who will be debating tomorrow night.
If the rumors are correct, there won’t be any questions about education, sadly. Will likely be the “hard issues,” e.g. fit for office, national security, the economy, of course. But the brave presidential candidate who speaks about education will have a leg up on the rest. He or she would be wise to read the tea leaves. The people who engage day to day in their kids’ education want to hear about it. And they want lots of opportunity to design that education for themselves - this much is clear from the growing microschooling movement.
The Washington Post is among the media outlets who designed questions they think moderators Martha McCallum and Brett Baier should ask. Pretty conventional.
What should be the federal role in education? Should there be any national standards? How would you address the learning loss that kids have experienced since the pandemic?
We’d much rather they ask:
What do you do for parents for whom the traditional zoned public schools are not a match?
And should that not transpire? The bravest candidate will answer it anyway!
“Don’t know much about history?”
Little did rock legend Sam Cooke know how enduring his hit song that topped the charts would be. While catchy, his most famous lyrics strike a somber note when it comes to education today. Check out my latest Forbes piece about ways in which some believe we can finally turn the underwhelming knowledge of history and civics among both US students and adults on its head.
It’s vital. Jeanne