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From the kaleidoscope of challenges facing New Orleans' new superintendent to using the science of reading to close persistent literacy gaps and post-pandemic education attitudes among parents, we have a wide mix of news and analysis for you today. Among our top stories on the site right now:
 


All that and more, today at The 74.

New Orleans

'Drinking From a Fire Hydrant': In New Orleans, New Supe's Singular To-Do List
 

The first woman to lead in NOLA Public Schools’ 181 years in existence, Avis Williams is tasked with confronting a crisis in student mental health, addressing skyrocketing absenteeism, overhauling an outdated academic accountability system and — most daunting — figuring out how to close or consolidate a district with shrinking enrollment that is made up entirely of charter schools. Check out Beth Hawkins’ overview.
 

Check out the latest episode of the Route K-12 Podcast: Exploring Education Recovery to hear from Linda Jacobson, Senior Writer for The 74.
Linda shares her unique perspective on education recovery and how The 74 approaches stories about student assessments and how federal recovery funds are spent on schools. Look for new episodes on EduRecoveryHub.org, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or YouTube.

Literacy

King & Davis: Science of Reading Gives Kids the Best Chance to Close the Literacy Gap


The new NAEP reading scores showed that the need for immediate, effective action has never been more urgent. While districts invest their federal COVID relief dollars in expanded learning time and intensive tutoring, say contributors John B. King and Jacquelyn Davis, they must not neglect their collective responsibility to strengthen core instruction for all children. The best lever to accelerate learning in America is to use the science of how children learn to read. The human brain is wired to speak and absorb language — but not to read. Most kids need instruction in phonics, vocabulary and background knowledge to grasp the written word.
 

  • Learning Recovery: Texas & Tennessee Get Tutoring Right — and Model How to Expand it Nationwide
     
  • Reading Skills: Tennessee Students Rebound to Pre-Pandemic Reading Proficiency

Commentary

Educator's View: Charity Election Engaged My Students — and Helped Feed 528 People


As a former finance professional, middle school teacher Daniel Roeder reached beyond the classroom to his previous life to help his students run a charity election, funded by a grant through the nonprofit Giving What We Can. It was in some ways an exercise in investing that not only engaged the kids, all of whom have learning differences, but drove home how much educators have the power to do — and that it does not have to start and end in the classroom.

Union Report

Both Sides Claim Victory on Education, but No Clear Lessons from Midterms


The 2022 elections are over, and advocates on both sides of the education wars are cherry-picking results that bolster their agenda. From New York to Florida and across the country, unions and right-leaning groups have been touting ballot box wins, ignoring places where results didn't go to plan. Mike Antonucci has the breakdown — and some predictions for EDlection2024 — in this week's Union Report.
 

  • Parent Vote: Poll Finds More Parents Motivated to Vote in Midterms
     
  • Full Coverage: See All Our EDlection Coverage & Analysis

ICYMI

A mother walks two children to a school bus

Post-Pandemic Survey Shows Parents Want Greater Control of Kids' Education

 
More than half of the 3,115 parents who participated in a spring survey said they prefer to direct and curate their child’s education rather than rely entirely on their school. The findings, released late last month, come after the pandemic gave parents courtside seats to their children’s learning, prompting many to push for change. “The last two years have been incredibly difficult. Now, parents are actively searching for new experiences that will deliver on academic promises, yes, but also bring joy and delight,” researcher Christian Lehr told The 74's Jo Napolitano.

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