School Districts Can Take Advantage of Increased Flexibility
Additional flexibility should help promote student learning
Thursday, April 2, 2020|Font size:
Gov. Whitmer's decision to keep school buildings closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 year will require local districts to find safe and creative ways to educate. The requirement to submit a plan “to provide alternative modes of instruction” in order to receive further state funding sends a positive signal. But it remains to be seen to what extent districts take advantage of the added flexibility to help promote student learning. Below is a statement from Ben DeGrow, director of education policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
These last few weeks have provided a real challenge for everyone, especially at-risk students learning at home, which is why it's so encouraging to see many teachers continue to provide support through different kinds of technology. Now is not the time to give in, but to advance policies which reward hard and creative work while giving students every chance of staying on track and moving forward with their learning. Some schools are already showing the way by adapting to implement a variety of solutions, so it's crucial to keep expectations high while giving them the flexibility they need to help students make needed progress during this time.
Further policy changes may be needed to give families of at-risk students direct means to seek additional help where needed. This could include redirecting a small share of existing resources into reading scholarships for young learners to find qualified tutoring help so they can catch up with their peers. As events unfold over the next few weeks, the Mackinac Center will continue to examine potential policy solutions needed to help school districts be more effective. You can find more updates at www.mackinac.org/education.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a nonprofit research and educational institute that advances the principles of free markets and limited government. Through our research and education programs, we challenge government overreach and advocate for a free-market approach to public policy that frees people to realize their potential and dreams.
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