The Lens
Bringing vision and clarity to education policy

It takes a village: The pandemic learning pod movement, one year in

Alice Opalka, Ashley Jochim | Thu, 02/11/2021

Community-based organizations and adults beyond the teacher are playing an increased role supporting students and their families through the pandemic, but there is room for more learning pods to take advantage of their flexible nature to provide more well-rounded support.

Vanishing in plain sight: Districts face barriers identifying and serving students experiencing homelessness

Alvin Makori, Bree Dusseault | Thu, 02/04/2021

We found that unhoused students were largely unmentioned in districts’ fall reopening plans, with only 10 percent of the district plans in our database addressing homeless supports. 

In the future, diverse approaches to schooling

Paul Hill, Mike Johnston | Wed, 01/27/2021

An increasing number of children will attend schools that deliver instruction, use time, and define the work of teachers and students very differently.

Don’t force square-peg students back into wrong-shaped holes

Robin Lake, Paul Hill | Thu, 01/21/2021

What gets lost in the reopening debate is the growing evidence that a significant portion of students and their families are actually happier and learn better outside of traditional schooling. 

Five lessons on how community-driven learning hubs could change school districts long-term

Travis Pillow, Bree Dusseault | Fri, 01/08/2021

We sat in on nearly three dozen conversations with teams of district leaders and community-based nonprofits that are collaborating to run learning hubs.

What does ‘attendance’ mean for remote learners in a pandemic? How 106 districts are dealing with absenteeism, student engagement & grades

Bree Dusseault, Alvin Makori | Tue, 01/05/2021

The districts we’re tracking show that much can be done to improve how attendance is recorded and what actions can be taken to maintain high expectations without penalizing students for challenging circumstances.

Thinking forward in 2021: We must safely reopen schools, but the goal cannot be a return to normal

Robin Lake | Tue, 01/05/2021

We begin this year laser focused on ensuring our school systems catch kids up, reopen as soon as possible, and begin rebuilding in ways that address the underlying inequities that we documented last year.

One size fits no one: Meeting the varied demands and needs of students

Could providing students more opportunity to shape their learning experience help them manage remote learning and increase engagement?