The National School Boards Association PR Disaster, and Why it Happened

On October 11 and 12, Parents Defending Education (PDE) filed public records requests with the leadership of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) asking for emails related to a NSBA letter to President Joseph Biden. The September 29 letter warned the president of the “immediate threat” posed to school boards by parents protesting, among other issues, critical race theory (CRT), hypersexualized literature, and the general icing-out of parents from educational decisions affecting their children.  Purporting to represent the NSBA, President Viola M. Garcia and CEO Chip Slaven requested federal law enforcement intervention. The danger, they wrote, was dire: “As these acts of

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Testing Results Confirm: Hybrid/Remote Learning Isn’t ‘School at Home’

In late August, the CT Department of Education released a report detailing student outcomes on tests run by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Not surprisingly, the results indicate that students in Grades 3- 8 who were in-person for 75 percent or more of their classes last year outperformed those in hybrid models and significantly outperformed those who were fully remote.  Overall, proficiency was lower in 2020-2021 than in 2018-2019 (the year before the pandemic lockdowns), especially for students in hybrid or remote models in both English and Language Arts (ELA) and Math. A similar pattern emerged for both students with

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Right to Read or a Better Way?

The “Right to Read” bill — HB 6620 section 1 — passed this session, represents a failure to think outside of the box in response to the literacy crisis in Connecticut. “As measured before the pandemic in the statewide assessment of English Language Arts, nearly half of Connecticut’s public school students fell short of grade-level reading expectations, and outcomes were significantly lower for students of color,” according to State Senator Patricia Billie Miller. Connecticut is not alone in its literacy crisis. On June 11, 2021, the Economist reported that “Less than half (48%) of all American adults were proficient readers

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