Schools and COVID-19: Working Through and Beyond Education’s Greatest Challenge

Author
Learn more about Anne Wicks.
Anne Wicks
Ann Kimball Johnson Director, Education and Opportunity
George W. Bush Institute

Public education is unlikely to ever again look like it did in February 2020, before the pandemic struck. But this moment is an opportunity for state chiefs, superintendents, and central office leaders to show brave and innovative leadership with a laser focus on a vision for student success.

Federal and state governments – as well as philanthropists and foundations – are being called upon to invest millions of dollars in our public-school system to help schools and districts navigate the impact of the pandemic on student success. The challenges facing our education leaders are immense and complex. The learning loss for students is profound, and significant investment is warranted to aid and accelerate recovery. We cannot afford to waste our limited resources of money, time, and people in our efforts to support students during the COVID-19 era. One clear way to support student learning during this time is to remove the burden of the health and safety aspects of pandemic planning and response from the school building so that teachers and principals can focus on what they do best — educating our nation’s children.