Paul Reville: Fixing The Distance Learning Equity Problem


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Paul Reville, former Massachusetts education secretary, spoke with Boston Public Radio on Thursday about how Massachusetts schools, both K-12 and higher ed, are handling reopening during the pandemic.

“Many people are predicting we’re going to have a resurgence of this virus, and it’s going to push everybody back to being exclusively online, in due course,” he said. “We’ll see, I hope not, but we’re dealing with moving conditions here.”

The Baker administration has been focusing on how to serve students who are disadvantaged with online learning, Reville noted. “They’re looking at remedying the real equity issue of certain categories of students who are not being well served online, because they don’t have the devices or support at home,” he said.

“I think it’s quite possible for districts to begin moving in the direction of providing some services to some children - particularly those most at risk of greater gaps developing in this crisis - and then move over time and see how the numbers go.”

Reville is a professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, where he also runs the Education Redesign Lab. His latest book, co-authored with Elaine Weiss, is "Broader, Bolder, Better: How Schools and Communities Help Students Overcome the Disadvantages of Poverty."

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