Distance Learning

CSG Midwest
After the end to an unforeseen school year across the Midwest, state and local education leaders now face a new set of challenges and uncertainties as the start of another year looms. “We have been encouraging our district leaders and our school leaders to have a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C,” Illinois State Superintendent of Education Carmen Ayala said in May during a Facebook Live discussion organized by Illinois Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch.
“We may see the start of school [in the fall] in a remote fashion. We may see a combination where some children are allowed to come to school on certain days, or where we take the upper grades and are able to spread them out in a school building with social distancing norms. Or we may be able to come back full force.”

WHEREAS, The Council of State Governments, in partnership with the Presidents’ Forum, and under the direction of the four regional higher education compacts: the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), created the Model State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and oversaw its adoption and implementation at the state level; and

WHEREAS, SARA demonstrates a model effort among states to work together to improve and streamline state distance education approval processes; and

The Council of State Governments' National Center for Interstate Compacts has spent much of the past week convening state leaders from across the country to draft key sections of an interstate reciprocity compact.  The compact aims to help students get access to higher education online, allowing them to get the skills they need in a time when education is key to professional growth.

Textbooks may soon follow 8-track tapes, film cameras and instant coffee into oblivion – although I’m admittedly not sure about the latter. What I can report is that beginning November 1, students in four school divisions in Virginia discarded their heavy, thick social studies textbooks and replaced them with Apple iPads loaded with interactive content, media and Apps aligned to state history and social studies standards.