"The entire education world is trying to serve millions of suddenly home-bound students, and there's simply no precedent for a challenge on that scale," says Stefanie Sanford.

The digital divide sits atop a long list of policy problems we should have solved before a global pandemic turned almost everything into a crisis, says the College Board's Stefanie Sanford.

Hearing directly from an amazing collection of educators, analysts, funders, and policymakers during the pandemic has been invaluable. Starting next week, though, we'll shift gears to a power-packed lineup of guest bloggers.

"Many have been trained to ask the department 'mother, may I?' instead of embracing flexibility and taking initiative," says U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

"If [Washington] does not approve substantial additional funding, state and local revenue losses will result in teacher layoffs and cuts to other supports and services that will take a generation to recover from," says Mike Casserly.

"A one-hour flight to Washington doesn't make you any smarter, and I don't think we need to come up with a bunch of big ideas up here and send them back to states to implement—especially in education," says Alexander.

"Folks in some foundations are quietly expressing frustration that they've been cautioned to stay in their lane and only fund things aligned with their pre-COVID strategy," says Stacey Childress.

"The current situation may force our hand to adjust our measures of evaluation, and, personally, I think it is beyond time that we push our thinking to include new ideas," says Hanna Skandera.

"Educators are completely redesigning instructional delivery while constantly being thrown new rules. It's like 'flying the plane as you build it,'" says Maddie Fennell.

"We don't know what the implications of this pandemic will be in the long-run, but ... I think this is something that will ultimately bring us together and make our coalitions stronger," says Marc Sternberg.

The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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