The Washington Post’s Jay Mathews on schooling during COVID-19 & lessons from teaching great Jaime Escalante

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This week on “The Learning Curve” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by Jay Mathews, Washington Post education columnist. They discuss the unique moment presented by COVID-19, and how it has reinforced the value of classroom teachers, but has also increased uncertainty about the future of testing and accountability. They also talk about Jay’s widely acclaimed biography of Jaime Escalante, the great East Los Angeles high school calculus teacher, who became nationally renowned for dramatically raising the academic bar for urban students and delivering amazing results. Jay shares the five key ingredients for success that he learned from Escalante and excellent charter schools across the country.

Stories of the Week: As millions of parents struggle with homeschooling, one mom shared her son’s hilarious reaction in a Facebook post that went viral. Are we all learning some hard lessons through this pandemic about the value of teachers? In Milwaukee, the 30,000 underprivileged children enrolled in private schools through the parental choice program are continuing to attend class each day through distance learning, while their public school counterparts are being offered free meals and some enrichment material that won’t be graded. How can we overcome the digital divide to ensure rigorous instruction for all students?

The next episode will air on April 3rd with guest, David Kennedy,  the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University.

Newsmaker Interview Guest:

Jay Mathews is an education columnist for the Washington Post and His column appears once a week. He has been with the Post 49 years and is the author of nine books, including five about high schools and a New York Times bestseller, Work Hard. Be Nice., about the birth and growth of the KIPP charter school network. He is the biographer of Jaime Escalante, the most influential U.S. teacher of the last 40 years. His latest book, Question Everything, explores the nation’s largest college prep program, AVID.

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