Author: Andrew

The Loss of Learning: The Politics of Funding the Improvement of Education

The Loss of Learning: The Politics of Funding the Improvement of Education

Editorial: LAUSD’s efforts to address learning loss should inspire hope, not chaos and frustration

The current debate between the LA Unified School District and the State of California over the schoolwide use of a “learning loss” metric has resulted in a lot of headlines and a lot of anger. But this is not about the state versus LAU or school vs. home. This is about the facts on the ground, with one side in an urgent fight for funding and the other side that is making a strong case for the importance of student learning gains.

The recent hearings on the “learning loss” issue have been both educational and political in nature. The educational side has been driven by the need for better accountability. The political side has been driven by the need for money.

The most important fact is that it’s the state and not the school that is making the case for more funding. The state is saying that the way to “level the playing field” is to make sure all people are getting the same amount of funding for doing the same work. That argument is backed by the fact that we should see improvement in learning across the board, from kindergartners to college students.

This is not a perfect system, but the most important takeaway is that the “learning loss” issue is not the heart of the problem. It’s the politics that keeps the system off balance. While we will not have a final resolution to this debate, it can at least be said that more attention should be paid to the politics of funding the improvement of education — and that’s not a bad thing.

If LAUSD truly wants a system where everyone gets the same basic quality of education, then we have to make sure we have different kinds of districts. If we start seeing the same kind (or the same mix) of problems in district after district, we need to find other ways to make those districts work. The “learning loss” issue is not an easy one for the district

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