So, it turns out the survey on how to spend COVID-19 stimulus funds — the one claiming to seek “stakeholder” feedback — was all window dressing. As some suspected, Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn already has a plan. In fact, it’s all explained right here in Education Week.
In Tennessee, our member and future chief alum, Penny Schwinn, understands that making up for lost time will be a multiyear effort that starts immediately. Her three-year learning plan—which should be a model for other states—retools the school year calendar with a mix of in-person and online learning, including a surge of 20 days of learning over the summer, to make up for lost days. She is revisiting every element of her strategic plan to align with the needs for quality learning at a distance, for a more robust digital infrastructure, and for frequent checks to ensure students and adults are handling these enormous shifts emotionally as well as academically. She is working on plans now to develop her own statewide online tool that will provide a system for teachers to deliver content and remediation for small groups, participate in virtual professional development, and provide resources for families, including information on meal locations. Her plan to retool time to support a coherent long-term, three-year academic plan for the students of Tennessee is bold and visionary.
While the Education Week article has been changed to reflect a more nuanced version of Schwinn’s response, there is a screenshot that still holds the original version as quoted above.
And, Williamson County School Board member Eric Welch is all over the changes with a series of key questions on Twitter:
So, Commissioner Schwinn has a “bold and visionary” plan she has yet to share with policymakers or parents or teachers. It includes a “surge” of summer learning. 20 days, to be specific.
It’d be nice if everyone else in the state could be clued-in to this “coherent, long-term, three-year academic plan.”
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport