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Khalilah Harris On Reopening Schools, Closing The Gaps

Khalilah Harris Headshot-cropscale.jpg
Center for American Progress
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Khalilah Harris is managing director for K-12 Educational Policy at the Center for American Progress

As our schools reopen, a leading policy expert urges new efforts to fix inequities in achievement, resources.

Many school-age children in Maryland and around the country are back in classrooms, as schools long shuttered by COVID-19 reopen, and educators and parents grapple with the stark reality that many students have experienced a significant learning loss during this pandemic year. On the other hand, some kids have been thriving in virtual school.

AP Poll Virus Outbreak Schools
LM Otero/AP
In this Dec. 3, 2020, file photo, students wearing face masks work on computers at Tibbals Elementary School in Murphy, Texas. A poll from The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that most parents fear that their children have been falling behind in school while at home during the pandemic.

Part of the funding earmarked for education in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is directed toward closing the gaps in academic achievement and resources that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and improving school infrastructure in underserved communities.

Tom's first guest today is Dr. Khalilah Harris, who heads K-12 Education Policy at the Center for American Progress. She’s also a Senior Fellow at the Maryland Center for Economic Policy. She served as the first deputy director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans during the Obama Administration.

Khalilah Harris joins us on Zoom…

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Rob is Midday's senior producer.