Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

A recent New York Times article asks whether we are losing a generation of children to remote learning. The article raises two important questions. First, what’s the impact on the least advantaged children who are at greatest risk of falling behind in their learning because they are not able to attend school in person? Second, what’s the impact of students engaged in so-called “asynchronous learning” who are expected to do assignments at home with little supervision? The article in particular singles out concern about the impact of remote learning on the development of students’ early literacy skills.

Regarding the first…

In March 2020, the United States and much of the world abruptly shut down due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Schools, businesses, sporting events, houses of worship and public gatherings were closed in order to reduce transmission of the virus through human contact. This has an enormous effect on everyone, but the impacts are not evenly distributed. Increasingly, economists and policymakers are worried about a “K-shaped” recovery of the economy. The idea is that some people and businesses will recover financially better and faster, while others will continue to struggle and decline. …

Three years ago I moved from Kansas City to Charlotte, North Carolina to lead the startup of Read Charlotte, a community-wide initiative with the Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) of doubling third grade reading proficiency from 39% in 2015 to 80% by 2025. We don’t operate programs, but rather lead a collective impact effort that seeks to coordinate, integrate and align people, resources and data to improve children’s literacy from birth to third grade.

From the beginning I intentionally sought to develop an approach that would reduce the odds of failure to reach our 2025 goal. I believe we operate…

Munro Richardson

Midwestern transplant to the South working to improve early literacy.

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