NATIONAL REVIEW was startled to see that even the left-wing Washington Post praised Governor Youngkin’s educational plan to save our children from Democrat Governor Northam’s COVID school shutdown. If the Washington Post can get behind Governor Youngkin can we do less? Let’s get Governor Younkin the state legislators, supervisors, commonwealth attorneys, and school board members he needs to complete the job. AND DON’T FORGET TO VOTE EARLY STARTING FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22!
“Easily overlooked: The Washington Post editorial page, which rarely if ever endorses Republicans for the general election, praised Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin’s plan to attempt to overcome learning loss in his state’s public schools.
[quoting the Washington Post editorial] “His administration’s latest announcement — a covid learning loss recovery plan — is not another volley in the culture wars. It is a smart, if imperfect, proposal to jump-start essential teaching.
“The Youngkin administration announced last week a strategy for spending the $418 million devoted to learning loss recovery in the budget just passed by the Virginia General Assembly. School divisions have discretion over exactly how to use these funds, but the plan recommends that 20 percent of the money go to expanding the Virginia Literacy Act — last year’s legislation intended to align teaching with the science of reading. Ten percent, the strategy suggests, should go toward addressing chronic absenteeism. And the greatest share should go toward “high-dosage” tutoring.
“These ideas are all sound — and in line with the evidence on how best to catch kids up. But their success will depend on implementation…
“Similarly, the administration is wise to create a task force on chronic absenteeism — which has almost doubled in the past five years, so that now nearly 20 percent of students miss 18 or more days of school a year. The “playbook” promised to school divisions on how to increase attendance should help, too, especially if it embraces data-driven best practices: tracking absences more granularly, calling parents and visiting homes, smoothing commutes, and, most complicated of all, ensuring that kids’ schedules are engaging and campuses welcoming. . . .
“Finally, Mr. Youngkin is smart to seize on high-dosage tutoring as the key to revitalizing achievement in Virginia. The evidence shows that gathering kids in small groups for ample time every week is the single most effective way to boost their learning. The evidence also shows, however, that high-dosage tutoring pays off only when it is done right — and doing it right is hard.” (NR)