In this Rural Voice episode, we interview Dr. Robert Pondiscio, a senior fellow and vice president for external affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He is also a senior advisor to Democracy Prep Public Schools, a high-performing charter school network based in Harlem, New York. He has written extensively on education best practices. This interview discusses the differences between curriculum development and deployment in elementary and secondary education. Robert examines the intersections and divergence in educational policy and outcome and how structuring educational curriculum is as important as teaching. Dr. Pondiscio suggests we should explore development and deployment responsibility, look to best practices in education, and understand administrative decisions' theoretical underpinnings in measuring and reporting on educational standards mainly related to low socio-economic communities and school districts. Rural Voice episode, we interview Dr. Ro
This Fall, we announced our collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville School of Education
, supporting the expansion of the Proud Rural Teacher podcast
, a regional podcast committed to sharing the stories of rural teachers! The grant is part of our I am a Rural Teacher
campaign, a national advocacy effort that is supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This week, we're sharing the most recent episode from the Proud Rural Teacher Podcast
! This episode is part of the Stories from the Driftless Series
, a series dedicated to telling the digital stories of the teachers in the Driftless Region. Read about the podcast below and listen here.
|Rural Colorado Highlights|
In Colorado, where higher education institutions are not graduating enough candidates to fill open teaching jobs, particularly in specializations such as math, several initiatives are working to improve rural teacher recruitment and retention. Through scholarships, state university partnerships, a multidistrict professional learning community, and strategies for cultivating mentorship, some rural Colorado districts are increasing teachers’ enthusiasm for the profession, which keeps them from leaving.
In Colorado, a grassroots accountability and continuous improvement network is uniting far-flung rural school districts—with members as many as 400 miles apart—in a collaborative effort to address the unique needs of Colorado’s rural students. As in other states, Colorado rural districts must deal with funding disparities, isolation, education policies driven by urban voices, and small enrollments, which, when coupled with lower per-pupil revenues, result in tight district budgets and make it hard to offer an equitable opportunity for all students.
|Education During the Pandemic|
Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.
For almost a year, public school districts across the country have grappled with the daunting challenge of educating children in the midst of a pandemic. The strategies they have used are as varied as the political viewpoints, economics, and demographics of the country itself. The policy is shaped by those very factors.
The New York Times’s National desk wanted to understand the different ways that schools were teaching and the circumstances facing students and educators.
“That sounds like a simple goal, but it’s really complicated because there are 13,000 school districts in America,” Jim Dao, deputy National editor, said.
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, to ensure that students receive a high-quality education during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and to support the safe reopening and continued operation of schools, child care providers, Head Start programs, and institutions of higher education, it is hereby ordered as follows:
President Biden released his national strategy
to end the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes 10 executive orders he is expected to sign today. The orders aim to ramp up the federal pandemic response, including actions to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to increase vaccine and testing supplies; create a pandemic testing board to expand capacity; approve more emergency funding to help states reopen schools, and strengthen enforcement of workplace safety standards. Although Biden administration officials did not say when the DPA would be used, they signaled they would be more aggressive than the previous administration. The Biden team has identified 12 immediate supply shortfalls, including N95 masks, isolation gowns, gloves, and swabs needed for tests. The administration will also use the DPA to accelerate the production of syringes, raw materials used in vaccines, and other items needed. Biden also extended the freeze on federal student loan payments through Sept. 30 and extended the federal eviction and foreclosure moratoriums through March 31.
President Biden designated Rebecca Kelly Slaughter as Acting Chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Serving as a Commissioner since May 2018, Slaughter has advocated for greater resources for the FTC and promoted equity and inclusion efforts. Before joining the FTC, Chairwoman Slaughter served as Chief Counsel to Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), the Senate Majority Leader. Read more here
- Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Republican moderates who supported the $900 billion stimulus legislation passed last month, signaled that they believe it's too soon for Congress to consider Biden's $1.9 trillion relief effort. Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Thursday that House Democrats will move immediately to introduce a massive coronavirus relief package. Speaker Pelosi suggested that the package could hit the House floor as early as the week of Feb. 1. Biden last week unveiled a $1.9 trillion emergency relief package, which features many of the wish-list items contained in earlier proposals from Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats. Read the Senate Republican Policy Committee’s summary of pandemic measures here.
- The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing to consider Pete Buttigieg’s nomination to serve as the Secretary of the Department of Transportation. Of note, outgoing chairman Roger Wicker (R-MI) expressed confidence that the former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, would be confirmed. During his testimony, Buttigieg spoke broadly about helping President Biden implement his vision for infrastructure, which he claimed: “will not only keep more people safe but will grow our economy as we look to the future.” Watch the full hearing here and read Buttigieg’s testimony here.
- In an 84-10 vote, the Senate confirmed Avril Haines to be the director of national intelligence.
|Sharing Information From Our Partners and Sponsors:|
WIN ATLAS Exclusive Access to NREA Member Districts
To get access to WIN ATLAS for your students and educators, complete the form below for a brief demonstration and set up instructions. A WIN support representative will navigate you through the process of implementing and communicating to your school community.
The AP Rural Fellows scholarship provides AP Summer Institute tuition funding for teachers serving in rural areas of the country. The $1,500 scholarship covers APSI tuition. Remaining funds, if the APSI was in-person/on-site and after the APSI has been paid, will be sent to the teacher to be applied toward travel expenses.