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  • Writer's pictureC!E

New from Our Communities

This week we shared about exciting changes at C!E, and today we follow on with exciting movements in our partner organizations and communities.

Change is indeed afoot. We are tracking subtle but significant shifts in the ways that increasing numbers of federal, state, and local leaders are thinking about education systems. Less “find the average” and more “make it work for every person.” Less “I have the answer” and more “let’s learn together.” We are excited to be part of this momentum, and even more excited to learn alongside our partners and co-conspirators in the field. Read on for some thoughts on the great work coming from the broader community.

Using ARP Funds to Redesign Schools for Whole Child Equity (Science of Learning and Development Alliance)

As states and districts begin to receive a historic influx of cash from the federal American Recovery Plan (ARP) fund for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER), numerous experts have offered advice on the “right” projects and programs for the funds. Our stance, articulated in our Investing in Learning post back in March, is less about the right programs and more about the way funding decisions are made: specifically, to elevate local, contextual wisdom; to make investments with a learning orientation; and to constrain processes, not ideas. Having said that, states should play a role in sharing best available information about ideas and programs that might bring local districts closer toward key goals like whole-child equity. And we think the Science of Learning and Development (SoLD) Alliance has some pretty spot-on ideas in their recent brief, Using ARP Funds to Redesign Schools for Whole Child Equity. Education leaders can use the guiding principles and policy priorities in the SoLD report as substrates for the kinds of investment processes we described in March that, we believe, have a better chance of advancing equity and whole-child wellness during these complex and uncertain times.

How to Make Senior Capstones Truly Anti-Racist (Future Focused Education)

In a previous C!E post, we shared about recent developments in New Mexico to eradicate structural racism in the public education system through (in part) assessment and accountability redesign. Central to this process has been the creation of “holistic and community-based capstone assessments.” But, as Future Focused Education’s Lisa Martinez explains, capstone assessments are not inherently anti-racist. Martinez examines capstones in another place - Oakland, California - to probe thinking about what it might look like to develop capstone assessments that reflect the cultural values and identities unique to each New Mexico community - or any community, anywhere.

Linked Learning 101 (Linked Learning Alliance)

In C!E’s work to advance equity-seeking systems transformation, our questions about new approaches to assessment and accountability have increasingly harmonized with kindred questions about how industry partnerships and career pathways can potentially help drive a system to become more responsive and learner-centered. In this space, Linked Learning - who has been an intermediary partner to California in our Interstate Learning Community - is offering a low cost virtual professional learning series on developing more equitable student experiences and outcomes in pathway, academy, or CTE programs. It began last week, but we wanted to share about it in case the series is still of interest to your work. There are still a number of sessions between now and November 10 and it is open to both individuals and teams regardless of whether you are pursuing Linked Learning at your school. Learn more about the series here.

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