Jun 29, 2021 - News

#TurnThePageProject aims to boost post-pandemic education innovation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

An early presentation at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Monday unveiled the #TurnThePageProject, an effort designed to influence positive change in public education this fall.

  • The project is a collaboration between the Walton Family Foundation and COVID Collaborative, a group of experts focused on reopening schools and businesses.

What's happening: The #TurnThePageProject is to be an expanding virtual collection of best practices, ideas, stories and experiences of educators and others invested in public education.

  • It's about highlighting a collective of learners, doers and thinkers who have novel ideas about how to help students, Romy Drucker, interim director of the K-12 education program for WFF, told Axios.

Why it matters: It's high-stakes moment in public education as many kids have fallen behind and decision makers look to spend $122 billion in federal stimulus as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

  • Drucker said now is the time push the conversation about public education in a new and innovative direction.
  • "This summer is a very important window because decisions are being made now," Drucker says.

By the numbers: The project follows a national survey of more than 2,700 parents of K-12 students earlier this year.

  • Nearly 40% of parents are "very concerned" and 28% are "somewhat concerned" about learning loss following the pandemic
  • A majority of parents (58%) said they see the influx of federal stimulus money as an opportunity to make "bold changes" in public education.
  • Support was even higher from Black parents at 68%.

What's next: The WFF will actively take ideas generated from #TurnThePageProject to the various national networks of education policymakers (like Chiefs for Change, 50CAN and Center for Reinventing Public Education) throughout the summer, hoping to influence innovative thinking.


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