The coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating pre-existing problems with education equity in the United States, Common Sense Media CEO Jim Steyer said at an Axios event Tuesday.

Why it matters: A survey by Common Sense Media, an educational non-profit, found that black and Hispanic teens were more likely than white teens to say they were worried about falling behind in their studies as a result of in-person classes being canceled.

  • There is an additional online learning gap that has become even more obvious during the coronavirus, as 12 million children do not have at-home connectivity, Steyer said.

Yes, but: Steyer said that the coronavirus crisis also presents an opportunity to close that digital divide, noting that there are three ways he believes the U.S. can make "major strides" in confronting the issue: providing devices for all kids, increasing connectivity in their homes and ensuring they have access to high quality content.

The big picture: Steyer said he doesn't think a full virtual experience will ever replace classroom teaching, noting the importance of in-person relationships, but argued that "we're never going to go back to the same form of education that we had before the epidemic."

  • "I think we're going to see a blend of certain kinds of distance learning and online learning within class experiences," he said.

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Aug 5, 2020 - Health

Chicago Public Schools to begin school year with fully remote classes

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Chicago Public Schools will start the next school year with fully remote classes, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: CPS is the third-largest public school district in the country, serving 361,000 students in over 600 schools. The move will likely avoid a possible strike from the city's teachers union, which had called for the school year to start remotely.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. officials: Iran and Russia aim to interfere in election

Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information that can be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced at a press conference Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: The revelation comes roughly two weeks before Election Day. Ratcliffe said Iran has sent threatening emails to Democratic voters this week in states across the U.S. and spread videos claiming that people can vote more than once.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: New York reports most COVID cases since MayStudies show drop in coronavirus death rate — The next wave is gaining steam.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.
  5. World: Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million cases.