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It's Time for K-12 Education to Be Bold | Insights and Updates

In a year marked by change and challenge, K-12 educators and their communities have faced difficult decisions. Schools have become a microcosm of the society at large as we begin to realize that the status quo just won’t cut it.

In the groups I help to facilitate, Cross-district Operations Exchange and Instructional Community of Practice, I have observed two main themes emerging:

  • District leaders are firmly committed to promoting meaningful equity practices and equity-related learning.

  • K-12 educators are more solidly grounded in adapting to the conditions imposed by the COVID pandemic.

Change can feel unsettling, and some families and communities have pushed back on district practices related to both equity and the pandemic. While district leaders seriously consider how to respond to community concerns, they have reaffirmed their commitment to improving the conditions for each learner.

K-12 education has typically been slow and measured in its approach to change; now, leaders embrace change and act boldly, shifting the deeply-rooted systemic challenges that have created barriers for many students.

As the year progresses, we will begin to see how districts express these bold changes and how they include community stakeholders in the process. I have been encouraged by leaders’ commitment to learners’ needs.

After 18+ months of adjusting and pivoting during the pandemic, many people feel an understandable pull toward a sense of normalcy. Yet education leaders are demonstrating that commitment to the well-being of each learner matters more than reinstating the status quo. Acting on this commitment, K-12 educators and communities can build a stronger foundation for a new normal in which every learner can truly thrive.

Stevan Kalmon

Learn more about Cross-district Operations Exchange and Instructional Community of Practice.

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