The Heritage Foundation: Learning Through the Pandemic

Dear John:

Currently, 124,000 schools are closed nationwide, forcing more than 55 million children to school from home for the time being. In an effort to slow the spread of the pandemic, some states have even decided to keep schools closed for the remainder of the school year. More than ever, “We’re All Homeschoolers Now.”

Parents have been scrambling to find online tools to help their children learn during this “new normal.” To help families, The Heritage Foundation recently launched its Curriculum Resource Initiative to help families find curricula and learning resources. Updated twice a week with new resources, families can find a plethora of online resources (many of which are free) in our Curriculum Library, such as college courses, learning resources for children with special needs, and platforms which provide lesson plans, learning activities, and study guides for children from preschool through high school. On a Daily Signal Podcast, I discussed with Virginia Allen how our Curriculum Library resources can help families during the pandemic. You can listen here.

What We’ve Been Working on

Over at , Lindsey Burke contemplates the long-term impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the delivery of education. She writes:

“It’s too early to predict how the “accidental homeschooling” wrought by the coronavirus pandemic will affect America’s K-12 landscape in the long run. Huge numbers of parents may realize they can, in fact, homeschool — producing a significant, permanent uptick. Or all but a small number may find it sufficiently difficult — or not the right fit for their family and normal (pre-pandemic) working arrangements — and send their kids packing as soon as schools reopen.

“Most likely, the long-term outcome will be somewhere in between: a non-trivial, permanent increase in homeschooling and online learning, but not so great as to totally disrupt our system of education delivery.”

Testing Alternatives for College-Bound Students. The ACT and SAT, the giants of the college entrance exam world, canceled exams until June due to COVID-19. The Classic Learning Test, however, didn’t miss a beat, quickly transitioning to an online model. In the Daily Signal, I explain that, “unlike its behemoth counterparts, the Classic Learning Test has not stopped testing because of COVID-19. Test participation actually has increased during the pandemic because the test can be remotely proctored online. The online prototype, piloted during the past year, preserves test integrity through time stamps and video recordings of each student testing.”

ESA Perks Evident During the Pandemic. Families using education savings accounts have a head start on dealing with school closures and quarantine situations because the accounts are so flexible. Families can change tutors or therapists or any number of other education products or services if necessary to meet a child’s needs. Jonathan Butcher talked with the Bradfords in North Carolina. Here’s their story.

Read more: Heritage Foundation