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While the pandemic has slowed the learning of many students, it has also highlighted flaws in certain traditional educational practices and encouraged new ways of teaching. Some education authorities have managed to work with unions to enact change, such as the Springfield Empowerment Zone in Massachusetts. The network of 15 low-performing schools, established to avoid a state takeover, had built flexibility into its agreement with the local union before the pandemic began. When schools went virtual last spring, Zone leaders recruited top-performing teachers in different content areas to develop asynchronous lessons that all students in the Zone could access remotely. This model enabled teachers in each school to prioritize individual and small-group support for their students. Read more.

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