Solving the Digital Dilemma

APS Planning Helped During COVID-19
Posted on 06/16/2020
Image of Ford Motor Company Fund graphic(From The Ford Motor Co. Fund)

Tensions abound in much of the world as medical professionals struggle to contain the novel coronavirus, governments look to get the economy back on track and families contemplate how they will navigate the "new normal."

For the millions of educators responsible for nurturing new generations of Americans, the past few months have whipped up a whirlwind of decisions, from creating crash courses in distance learning to finding new ways to feed students and tend to their mental health. Along the way, this period has painfully exposed the digital divide that deprives young people in under-served communities of the opportunities to learn in the modern age.

Moreover, just as this coronavirus, called COVID-19, continues to slash corporate revenues and wreck the bottom lines of workers, the pandemic is also threatening academic budgets and posing a big question mark for the future: Will students be able to return to classrooms this fall?

Coronavirus-related school closures have disrupted more than 1.5 billion students and 63 million teachers worldwide, according to UNESCO's Teacher Task Force. In the United States, 118,251 out of 123,952 schools in 48 states; Washington, D.C.; and the five U.S. territories closed their doors and moved to distance learning, affecting nearly 58 million K-12 students, according to MCH Strategic Data.

"It's a high-stress time right now because you have to make sure all children learn," said Kimberly Carter, superintendent of Battle Creek Public Schools in Michigan.

"How do we mitigate the impact of poverty, the impact of race, the impact of trauma and a host of other issues, to ensure students have equitable opportunities to learn? Failure is not an option. These are children's lives we're talking about." Read more here >>.
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