Apr 24, 2020 - Axios Events

The Education Puzzle: The Homework Gap

On Wednesday morning, Axios Cities Correspondent Kim Hart discussed the impact of COVID-19 on education, from school reopening with Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, the homework gap with Khan Academy CEO Sal Khan and the importance of broadband in remote learning with FCC chairman Ajit Pai.

Gov. Kelly was one of the fastest governors in the country to move to close school buildings at the start of the outbreak and highlighted the collective efforts of education experts around the state.

  • How the state of Kansas took immediate action: "We had about 40 of the best and brightest teachers from across the state of Kansas with some administrators and some counselors come together and [create] a very comprehensive, very thorough package of learning tools for our kids. They thought beyond just what kids needed to learn, but also what other functions do our schools provide for our kids?"
  • On whether schools will be open come fall: "We fully expect that there will be a second wave of this virus come in the fall...It's way too early to call whether or not we'll actually open the schools' buildings in the fall...We will anticipate the worst and be ready to continue online academic packets to go and school nutrition programs to go if that's what we need to do."

Sal Khan discussed how Khan Academy and other online learning platforms are stepping up in this nationwide shift to online learning.

  • On how online learning has been used to fill in educational gaps: "Half of our usage is formal usage inside of schools where it allows teachers to support, say, 30 students in a classroom who all need to learn at different [rates]. We know that every student has different gaps...And they need an opportunity to fill in those gaps."

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai discussed the importance of broadband during the coronavirus pandemic, underscoring its use in remote learning and telehealth services.

  • On progress the FCC has made since 2016: "If you look at the statistics, for example, from 2016 to 2018, the number of Americans who didn't have access to 25 megabits per second broadband...fell by 30 percent. The number of Americans with access to 250 megabits per second broadband increased in 2018 alone by some 47 percent. The number of rural Americans with that access tripled from [2016 to 2018]."

Thank you to our partner Heartland Forward and our sponsor the Walton Family Foundation.

Go deeper

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

9 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.