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  • Gretchen Morgan

Pausing to Reflect: Looking Back As We Shift Focus to Planning for the Fall

Even in a pandemic, some topics in education are always relevant...

This week, as we continue to collect responses in our I used to think, but now I am thinking survey seeking to hear from you about how ideas and assumptions are changing as learners, teachers, families, and system leaders respond to COVID -- we also wanted to release a set of topical briefs.  

Just prior to the arrival of COVID, C!E team members worked with Jenny Poon, a C!E Fellow and frequent thought and writing partner, to produce a series of briefs pulling together more recent learning on topics we just seem to keep coming back to over time.  

Each of these briefs can be found posted in our blog series by following these links:

Essential Learning: School Finance 

Essential Learning: Accountability

Essential Learning: Leadership in Learning

Essential Learning: Essential Skills and Dispositions

Essential Learning: Assessment for Learning Project

Essential Learning: New Hampshire Performance Assessment for Competency Education (NH PACE)

We wanted to share them as a group this week and invite you to let us know which of these topics you are finding yourself coming back to as you contemplate your plans for schooling in the coming year.  You can tell us in the shortest survey every written here. Or email us at gretchen@leadingwithlearning.org.

Based on a number of conversations we have had with local partners and themes emerging across those sites, we are already working on a COVID-specific update to the brief on accountability which will be released in a couple weeks as this blog series continues.  

In conversations with state partners and intermediaries who work with state partners, we are also hearing a lot about school finance.  We make some recommendations here, in an earlier blog post. And, we think finance is a topic we will need to keep returning to, as states each contemplate what is beginning to feel like a perfect storm of impossibility.  Each state is trying to find a way to simultaneously:


  • serve learners in dramatically smaller class sizes, 

  • while ensuring all learners have stable access to virtual learning, 

  • prepare teachers to be engaged toggling back and forth between in-person and virtual instruction 

  • while ensuring educators whose health prevents them engaging any face-to-face instruction

  • while filling the gaps in learning created this spring in a single school year, 

  • while building and repairing and deepening relationships with learners and families who may be experiencing existential trauma, 

  • while we also plan for significant cuts in funding, not just in this year but perhaps the next several years.  


Let us know your thoughts on the briefs as written before COVID, and let us know which of these enduring topics you most want C!E to focus on in the next few months.  

Thanks for reading, 

C!E Team


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