Student Learning Losses Are 'Piling Up,' Paul Reville Warns

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Former Massachusetts education secretary Paul Reville returned to Boston Public Radio on Thursday, lamenting failures in the Commonwealth’s execution of pandemic-era public schooling.

Amid news of high remote-learning rates and inefficient virtual classrooms, Reville warned that student learning losses are piling up, “literally day to day now,” and argued that the state needs to do more to prioritize education ahead of services like gyms, restaurants and movie theaters.

“I think it needs to be a more urgent national and statewide priority, to put in place conditions in schools that’re going to give both teachers and parents that sense of security that they can send their children back to school safely,” he said.

During the interview, Reville also discussed his hopes for the public education priorities of President-elect Joe Biden, and weighed in on the challenge of limiting the spread of COVID-19 as college students head home for Thanksgiving.

Reville is a former Mass. Secretary of Education and a professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, where he also runs the Education Redesign Lab. His latest book is "Broader, Bolder, Better: How Schools and Communities Help Students Overcome the Disadvantages of Poverty.”

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