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Today we are joined by Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond. Joining us on election day, there’s frankly a lot of anxiety around the current state of our world…not just who will win the election but if those results will be accepted, a general cynicism about our future, and especially in the classroom, teachers are reporting extraordinary rates of burnout and nihilism.
Dr. Darling-Hammond has done a ton of work to improve educational policy: both by supporting teachers and by changing systems in schools to support learners, she's advocated for higher standards of the profession and fighting back against authoritarian, behaviorist methods. Yet, given the state of the world today and all the things going on, how do we inspire hope and restore that humanity to professional development...which has at least in my experience been the antithesis of what most would consider that to be?
In this podcast, we discuss:
Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, the Charles E. Docummun Professor of Education Emeritus at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and served as the faculty sponsor of the Stanford Teacher Education Program, which she helped to redesign. She is the President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute. Also, she’s the former President of the American Educational Research Association. She’s written over 25 books and 500 articles including The Right to Learn, Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning, and The Flat World and Education. She was the leader of the education transition team for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign. And, she began her career as a public school teacher and co-founded a preschool and public high school.
*In the recording, it was incorrectly mentioned that Dr. Darling-Hammond is the former president of LPI, she is the current president. She led both Barack Obama's and Joe Biden's US Dept of Education transition teams.
0:00:11.2 Chris McNutt: Hello, and welcome to episode 123 of our podcast. My name is Chris McNutt, and I'm part of the Progressive Education nonprofit Human Restoration Project. Before we get started, I wanted to let you know that this is brought to you by our supporters, three of whom are Jordan Vaca, Kimberly Baker, and Kevin Gannon. Thank you for your ongoing support. You can learn more about Human Restoration Project on our website, humanrestorationproject.org, or find us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. I'm going to read a limited portion of your CV 'cause we only have 30-40 minutes. We're joined by Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond. She is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy and Education and served as the faculty sponsor of the Stanford Teacher Education Program, which she helped to redesign. She is the former president and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute. Also, she's the former president of the American Educational Research Association. She's written over 25 books and 500 articles, including The Right to Learn, Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning, and The Flat World in Education. She was the education advisor to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and volunteer leader of Joe Biden's transition team for the US Department of Education, and she began her career as a public school teacher and co-founded a preschool and public high school.
0:01:28.1 CM: So that's just a taste of that. But thank you so much for being here, Linda. It's seriously an honor for you to be here.
0:01:33.6 Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond: Oh, I'm delighted to be with you.
0:01:35.7 CM: You're joining us today. It's election day, which is gonna theme some of our questions. And frankly, there's a lot of anxiety around the current state of the world, not just who's gonna win the election, but you know, if those results will be accepted. There's a general cynicism about our future, especially in the classroom. Teachers right now are reporting extraordinarily high rates of burnout, of nihilism, general cynicism that just really reflects the population at large. And you've done a ton of work to improve educational policy, right? You're both by supporting teachers and by changing systems in school to support learners. You've advocated for higher standards within the profession and fighting back against the more authoritarian, behaviorist methods of school. Yet, I kind of wanna frame today's conversation around inspiring hope or restoring humanity really to professional development. How do we navigate those waters of inspiring change within the profession and helping teachers become better teachers in the midst of all the crazy stuff going on in the world and the attacks on the teaching profession at large? What are your general thoughts about the state of teaching today?
0:02:47.1 LDH: Well, my thoughts go in all directions. We, of course, have enormous amounts of stress that everyone is experiencing. And teachers, because they are people with big hearts and strong concerns for the students they teach, they experience all of the issues we've had in the pandemic and in the politics of the country, not only for themselves, but then they experience it for their students too. Schools have been disrupted in many, many ways and teachers have stepped up all over the world, really, to be the first line of support for families, for children. And many of them have their own families that they are also needing to support. So it's been a very, very stressful time. And I think there are some important realizations that the system has been experiencing as a result of these times, the importance of a holistic approach, the importance of social and emotional learning and supports for teachers as well as students. I don't think there's an argument now, the way there was during No Child Left Behind, for example, that we should just be focusing in on test prep. There's a lot more understanding that we are whole people who need to be in community with each other, need to be in support systems with each other.
0:04:19.1 LDH: And I don't know any school systems that aren't paying some attention to the wellness and whole child, whole professional side of the coin. I will say, however, some of them are more attuned to the needs of students than they are to the needs of the professionals who are serving the students. And that's an important awareness as well. So it's a time of great stress, but it's also a time of great changes. When we have these moments in human history where there's huge disruption, we are experiencing an ongoing public health crisis 'cause we're not out of the pandemic yet. We're experiencing an ongoing economic crisis, a climate crisis, a civil rights crisis, certainly a long overdue reckoning with civil rights issues, not only in this country, but elsewhere. When all of that happens, those are moments when you can see major disruptive change in the way that people think about what they're doing. And so I do see that happening in some parts of the country. And I also see places where teachers are stepping up and taking leadership roles, where people are starting new school designs and teachers are joining sometimes with parents and sometimes with other professionals to rethink and redesign schools.
0:05:45.7 LDH: I have been in touch with the superintendent in Cleveland, Ohio, where not far from where you're located. And what Eric Gordon talks very passionately about is how important it is to essentially throw over the factory model school designs that we inherited from a hundred years ago and recreate schools in a way that is humane and humanistic and supportive. And I hope that that impulse, which I see in various pockets around the country, continues to spread. This is the moment when we need to be taking advantage of that disruption to create a new approach to schooling. That will be what we use for the next century.
0:06:32.6 CM: I think there's something to be said too about maintaining that hope. I remember when remote schooling first came to the fold in March 2020, time now is so relative, but there was so much hope at that onset that we would see schools as a whole change. There was this mass disruption that everything was going on. People were, for better or for worse, noticing all of the cracks that existed. And there was a lot of talk about, let's completely reimagine, for example, standardized testing. All of these universities stopped doing force or they switched like blind test admissions, or they just threw out accepting grades altogether and shifted to universal massive minutes programs. And the world didn't fall apart. So I figured, "Oh, hey, cool. We're gonna start seeing massive change on the horizon." However, there's also been calls recently to go, it's kind of like a modern day interpretation of back to basics where it's like a return to normalcy, scare quotes. How do we continually inspire that hope within professional development that we can still change things without buying into all of the cynicism that exists in the teaching profession?
0:07:47.4 LDH: That's a tough question because it depends on where you're located and what the experience is around you. I happen to be in California where we are doing a huge redesign of our schools. And I serve as the president of the state board of education in California. So I'm able to be involved in that conversation about how we're going to rethink everything from the design of schools to the assessments that we use in schools to the way we conceptualize curriculum and the purposes and goals of schools. We have leadership in the state that is very focused on the whole child and really creating a system in which the whole child sits in a school environment that aLDHresses the needs of the whole family and the whole community, et cetera. And not everyone is in a context like that. So the strategies range from taking advantage of the impulses you can find. I think changing systems and changing policy is always opportunistic. You have to see where the cracks are, where the opportunities are and really lean into those at the moment when they are available. In some cases, it's gonna be a subversive activity because it depends on what your context is.
0:09:11.8 LDH: But one of the things that even in these huge debates that we see in the politics, the anti-CRT movement, the anti-SEL movement, et cetera, et cetera, there are ways often to connect with parents on a whole different level, like, outside the bounds of the food fights at the school board meetings around what end up sometimes being shared concerns. So I think that the way in which we take advantage of this, you mentioned professional development as a context, that might sometimes be the context, but it may be that there are other contexts within which the work needs to be done. I think it is a... I was in New York City in the moment when hundreds of new small schools were being created. Back in the 1990s, the superintendent, the chancellor of the schools, put out an RFP and said, "If you wanna invent new schools, because that's where the factory model was deeply ensconced, bring proposals." And people did. Parents and professionals together, community-based organizations, and very exciting. Schools were developed and continue to be functioning in that city. Most of the big warehouse factory model high schools that were failing or have been eliminated, they now have multiple schools in a building and in places like Ohio, you have the work that KnowledgeWorks has done around, new tech high schools and linked learning and things like that.
0:10:51.8 LDH: We have to look for those places and figure out how to expand, replicate, and build on the innovations that have occurred, rather than sort of the returning to normal, the old normal. Look for the ways in which we can start to build that new normal. Sometimes that, as I said, what might happen in professional development settings, but when professional development is designed outside the parameters of the professionals themselves, if it comes down sort of from the top, it may often be reinforcing of the old status quo. Now, that's not always the case, but professionals have to own it. Teachers have to step up and own the ways in which they want to work and learn together and create together and design together what the future is going to be.
0:11:50.5 CM: It's fascinating. As you're talking, I can't help but think about a situation that we find ourselves in a lot when we're doing PD, which is part of the PD has to be convincing teachers that administrators, state administrations, the building like curriculum coach actually wants you to do these cool progressive ideas. We'll be invited in to do, for example, project-based learning or ungrading or moving away from testing. And teachers are hesitant because they believe that... For example, the Ohio Department of Education believes that none of those practices are gonna work and they're gonna focus on standardized tests. Yet at the exact same time, when I was in the classroom, the Ohio Department of Education came in and said that everything I was doing was super cool. This fear that at a systemic level, all of these folks are saying that you can't do this. And there's a fear from below to the top that they're gonna be forced to change those practices if they go about changing toward progressive practices. It seems like there's this disconnect between what everyone should be doing and what everyone thinks each other thinks they should be doing, if that makes sense.
0:12:57.3 CM: How do you convince folks that you should even try these things out when they feel like so much pressure is against them to even trying to shift at a systemic level would be outrageous, like to even think about going that far?
0:13:10.9 LDH: On the one hand, there is a need for educators to be involved in changing the rules, changing the policies. And the Ohio Department of Education, which I have worked with in various moments of time, has had to evolve with the politics of the moment. So what might have been the case at one moment in time may or may not be the case at another moment in time in terms of how it is positioned. But typically, there has been some encouragement from that agency for innovation. And so you've experienced some of that. I think for teachers who have not engaged in a particular kind of practice and may not have experienced it themselves as students, the professional learning piece of this is not just the presentation at a PD that here's a good idea and here's what it's about. But then you need to embed it in a way that there is an ongoing opportunity to go across classrooms, to go see what somebody else is doing, to plan the project together with other colleagues. Maybe it's an interdisciplinary activity that is at a grade level, or maybe it is the folks in the third grade who are planning the third grade project together on their team.
0:14:30.1 LDH: And then to iterate, to come back together and say, "Here's my material, what are you doing? Oh, I like what you're doing. I'm gonna bring that in. Oh, this other piece didn't work so well. Let me tell you what I'm doing instead." And we need school administrations that are finding the space and the time for teachers to collaborate together. That is a big need in a lot of American schools. Some schools have redesigned to make time for teachers, but many are still very much into the you get a half an hour, an hour a day for individual planning, not creating the time. So that's a part of the systemic change. Then whenever we want to undertake a practice change, we also have to look at what's the system change that has to go with it. In the United States, teachers work more hours per week in year than teachers in any other country in the world, directly with children. And on average, an American teacher gets eight hours per week less than the average teacher internationally for collaborative planning and learning and even the time that you might need to do some grading or outreach to parents or students.
0:15:42.4 LDH: So our days are still... Again, this is factory model inheritance, that you're only teaching when you're with children was sort of the notion. And they pass through your classroom and you stamp them with whatever the lesson is that you are responsible for. So we've got to break that up. We've got to help get redesigned time. There are some great examples of that. I have founded something called the Learning Policy Institute. And we have created something called design principles for whole child equity. And if you go to that website and click on design principles, you'll see lots of examples of how schools across the country are implementing these kinds of practices, including finding the ways in which you can get the time and the structures that support them. Otherwise, it's very hard to continue the work. But professional learning, it doesn't always happen just from PD, right, as we think of it, it happens when people have the opportunity to share ideas and work together and iterate on their practices. And that's what we have to be making a lot more time for. The other piece is that when people are worried about standardized tests across the country, many states have under No Child Left Behind, were required to use standardized test results in a very punitive way.
0:17:05.8 LDH: There was the march to meeting those test score targets. And if you didn't meet your test score targets, then you would have very sanctions and penalties. And those could include in some places, reconstituting schools in terms of their staffing, even eliminating or closing schools. It was a hugely traumatic time in American education. And many people are still injured by that. There's still afraid of what we were experiencing at that time. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, there's room for more, more use of whatever the data are for productive purposes of learning and improving. But not every state has taken that approach. So it's very important. And not every district has taken that approach. It's very important for educators to be involved in shifting the policy frame that they work in, both through their associations, teachers associations that have political capacity, but also in their own districts around taking up these issues with district leaders to be sure that the uses of data, whatever those may be, are only for improvement, are only for instruction, and that there are other sources of data and learning, project-based activities and exhibitions and other things, that are much more useful for transferable learning that get more attention and standing in the district.
0:18:53.0 CM: Speaking to the... First off, to the structural component of this, if you have the capacity to transform your schedule and not only give teachers more time to plan but actually put in the schedule time to do interdisciplinary learning and time to do PBL and time to set up for like an expo night or something of that nature, that makes all the difference. For those folks that already wanna do those things, they're going to be super happy like me. We shifted to a schedule that was not only block scheduling, but had actual time in the curriculum for interdisciplinary PBL, which was amazing.
0:19:25.8 LDH: I was going to say, you and others who've had that opportunity should share that on your website. You should get those schedules and how you got to them and share those tools because everybody needs those tools.
0:19:38.9 CM: Yeah, and it's incredible. And what's cool is that the folks who maybe were a little skeptical of those practices working when the schedule shifted and they saw what others were doing, that's all the enabling they needed to jump in to this work. Because as you've frequently written about, this is research back stuff. This is not hippie kumbaya. This is rigorous, challenging stuff. And the stuff that kids do when they're put into these settings is way more interesting but also intense than anything that they're going to do on a worksheet or a test or anything like that, where it just who cares at the end of the day. It's irrelevant.
0:20:18.5 LDH: My kids always say that if you ask them.
0:20:20.9 CM: I think allowing for teachers just to have the time to even think about those things and organize together is a big part of this. Because it feels like a lot of work front loaded when you're looking at changing systems. And everybody, if they're just trying to keep their head above water, both professionally, but also personally with everything that's going on in the world, it can be difficult to challenge the status quo and to make those changes. Something that's interesting about the latter part of what you brought up surrounding spaces that are maybe embracing the CRT language, the anti-trans stuff, even saying the word progressive in terms of progressive education are also the same places that are recruiting military members to be teachers because there's a giant teacher shortage, because they're not paying teachers anything. They're embracing that teacher as technician model. For folks that find themselves in spaces where unions are essentially abolished or perhaps even nearly illegal, like it's incredibly difficult to join those and they're teaching in spots where the kids need help and the teachers need help, but they feel like lost, what do they do if they don't have that framework to support them?
0:21:36.4 LDH: A lot of teachers in those kinds of settings kind of take their work underground, but it's a very challenging way to... And that's why, of course, people are leaving. If you can't do the kind of work that brought you into teaching, if you're worried that somebody is gonna sue you because you said something in the classroom that might've even been misheard, misinterpreted and reported home, there's even surveillance kinds of things going on. Many, many people are going to just opt out. But I think there's always, what do we do at the individual level? And then there's always a political and communal set of tasks to be done also. And so part of the task in those settings is to be working in a more politically astute way to change the context, both by who's elected and by the ways in which teachers work collectively around that. And for those who are just trying to survive, I always suggest that people find your collaborators, find your community, find the people that in some moments in history and at some periods of time, you simply are able to commiserate with. And notice that all these words begin with C-O-M, community, commiserate, that notion of a community, of a communal way to be in the world is very important.
0:23:14.7 LDH: It's especially important when you're in these very, very stressful situations. But there will be a moment where the shift can come, where things can move and you can continue to try to be persuasive to other parents about how they can be helpful, other members of the community, and not simply deal with it on your own. Almost nothing can be done well individually. There's the African proverb, "If you wanna go fast, go alone. If you wanna go far, go together." And so how we operate as professionals in the school, again, the old factory model with the egg-crate classroom was designed to keep teachers from one another. It was designed to make everybody sort of just implement the routines that were handed down to them. Every time we break through that, every time we create more communal activity, whether that is the professional learning that we can do with each other or whether it is the political work that needs to be done to create safe spaces for schools, it has to be done communally. And there are a lot of people, I've worked in classrooms, I've been a teacher, I've helped start schools, I've also worked at the policy level, and I try to go back and forth because you need for people who work in the policy context to understand what it is to teach and learn, to understand how it is that students are enabled to thrive, to understand how things operate.
0:24:56.5 LDH: So I also work with a lot of other organizations, civil rights organizations, people in community-based organizations, as well as educators. And I do think that that's important to us as well, that there is actually a lot of shared aspiration for our children. And the more we can connect to others in our communities or in our states or in the federal space who share those goals, the more powerful we can be in actualizing them.
0:25:29.4 CM: There's two things that you said that I really want to highlight. First is I hear a lot of themes there of like Deborah Meyers' creative non-compliance, just kind of look the other way and do the things that you know work through research if you find yourself in that environment. And also, Jonathan Kozol's coalition building, where you gather enough support for yourself that even in the instance where you're reprimanded or perhaps even fired, you have that professional network of folks that are there to save you and move you into a space that might work better for you to begin with. And that's obviously not applicable to everyone. Not everyone can take those kind of risks. But if you can build up that political and social capital to the point where it works for you, then you can start taking more and more risks and doing cooler and cooler stuff.
0:26:15.4 LDH: And I've learned a lot from both Deborah and from Jonathan over the years, but Debbie was creating some of those small schools that I mentioned in New York City when I was there. And it all started with that. She had been a kindergarten teacher and was part of a group of folks who were meeting at Lillian Weber's workshop speaking of a different approach to professional development. It was creative construction of new realities as well as creative non-compliance where necessary. And then she started Central Park East Elementary School and then Central Park East... There was another version of it that needed... There was another school that needed to start because there was so much demand for it. And then they grew Central Park East Secondary School and so on. But ultimately, when I was working with her, the district had given she and some other of these school creators the opportunity to start 50 schools in the district. It's a big district, but that were built on these same principles and so on. And it has grown and grown and grown. So a little seed, you plant that little seed that represents what you know to be true and what you know to be good for children and work with others who have the same impulse and grow in some extraordinary ways.
0:27:37.6 LDH: And when you're in eras of time when others at the top may not be seeing the truth the way you see it, you may need creative non-compliance, but the moment you have an opportunity and they do come around, then you shift to creative construction. And spread more so that there's more of it the next time there's a pushback.
0:28:01.0 CM: Self-plug. Deborah Meyer was on our podcast like 10 episodes ago. So go listen to that too. I think there's an interesting point to be made too about that, the case for public intellectualism amongst teachers, right? Both in showcasing what's going on in the classroom. So doing public displays of learning, getting kids presenting, getting your community in to see what's going on in the school. Because ultimately, if you're doing these methods, kids are gonna do awesome stuff. It isn't rocket science. If you give kids the opportunity to do cool stuff, they will do cool stuff and then you can present it. And no matter how you fall politically, if your son or daughter just did this awesome presentation or put together this awesome evidence of what they learned that semester, they don't really question about, "It's critical race theory involved in this?" They're just impressed by what their kid's doing. There's space there for co-opting some of the terminology that's been used for behaviorist practices towards progressive practices. Like college and career readiness has been sometimes utilized to say, put the kids in rows, give them grades every week, call it a day.
0:29:10.9 CM: But college and career readiness is teaching kids responsibility and you don't need bathroom passes for everything. You don't need to give a kid a grade for everything. You need creative, complex thinkers. These are all arguments for college prep. I've found whenever we do professional development, the most common criticism we get is that's not what colleges want. That's not what high schoolers want. People don't believe that these practices actually connect with the rigor that's assumed by more traditional practices.
0:29:41.1 LDH: Well, let me encourage you. I got a call just last week from the head of the college board, David Coleman, who wanted to follow up on a conversation we'd had some time ago about why it was so important for the advanced placement exams to begin to bring in project-based learning. And they have done some of that. Some people may know about the seminar series in high school where there's two courses that engage kids in project-based learning and research. And those project-based reports and exhibits are your score for the exam. That is what the measure of learning is. And he said they've gotten good enough at that in multiple parts of the AP system that all of the APs are about to have project-based elements that will be part of the scoring. Because people recognize, and there's a lot of new research, some of it just came out of the George Lucas Education Foundation-sponsored studies, that project-based learning, they looked at AP courses, kids who engaged in projects in those courses, did better on the standard exams, and learned more about the broader, higher-order skills that you acquire as a result of it.
0:31:01.0 LDH: We've got evidence that those kinds of activities help kids be more successful in college, et cetera. But it is beginning to take hold. People are beginning to recognize that we have to change the way we structure learning, if it's gonna be meaningful, if it's gonna be transferable, if it's going to be something that kids can build on, and engage in the kind of workplaces they're going to be going into, which are collaborative, which require a lot of self-management and self-motivation, working with knowledge that hasn't been discovered yet and technologies that haven't been invented yet, and solving the big problems that we haven't managed to solve, which determine whether the species will still be on the planet in a few decades. So I think there's like, this is a moment where lots of people are sort of having to conjure with a very different context for human existence.
0:32:02.0 CM: I'm glad to hear that. I'm also very skeptical of the College Board, to be honest, but I hope it's all awesome. I hope it all works out.
0:32:09.1 LDH: Well, the fact that they work in, whether they do it well or not, I hope they will do it well. Those two courses I mentioned really are amazing. And they are really about the kids choosing the topics that they will inquire into and so on, and teachers learning how to evaluate them with rubrics, et cetera. But even if they didn't do it well, the legitimization of the practice of project-based learning is an important step forward for us.
0:32:38.8 CM: I think it gets to the call to for both the micro level of how do we do schooling better, to the more macro level of how do we preserve human existence. And I think that there's interest in aLDHition to the pandemic bringing about calls for reimagining education and seeing the cracks in that regard. It's also allowed us to see general issues of equity, climate science, you name it, pretty much everything that could possibly be graphed having a problem right now. These progressive teaching methods aren't just to increase test scores, they're to create a more democratic society where kids are able to critically think about the world around them and build a better future. And in aLDHition to teachers rallying together to talk about progressive teaching methods, to teach in this way, to advocate for better pay and professionalism and all that kind of stuff, there's also kind of a sub message there of advocating for being able to teach kids to change the world, which I think might be scary for more conservative folks 'cause they hear that and think it's like propaganda. In terms of teachers navigating that political landscape, how do teachers stand up for themselves within their organizations or really without their organizations and talk about this stuff without scaring people away?
0:34:03.2 CM: Where people are so propagandized to hear even the term progressive and they look the other way and be like, "That person is not on my team." How do I even go about starting to talk to them about this stuff without just radio silence on the other end?
0:34:17.8 LDH: I think choice of words is very important. And in my experience, working in the political space and the policy space is just a way to is just like teaching. You have to think about who you're talking to and what they bring to the conversation, what their perspective and starting point is so that you can kind of find a way to meet in the exchange. Very interesting study by I think it was the Fordham Foundation, which actually has Ohio roots and is conservatively leaning. And they looked at the fact that the term SEL has been weaponized and many people have been told, "Sell is the devil," [chuckle] but they don't even know what it is. And so as people have looked at conversations with, or when you ask parents on both sides of the aisle, what do you think about the various specific elements of social and emotional learning? Learning how to sort of reflect on your own feelings and figure out how to behave responsibly and how to get along with others and how to develop a growth mindset and be able to persevere and be resilient, all these things. When you talk about that, there's almost 100% agreement across all of the people who are surveyed or in focus groups on this, that "Yes, I want that for my child. I think the school should be doing that."
0:35:54.5 LDH: So the label can be weaponized, but the actual content is actually a place of common ground. So when we talk to folks, maybe we don't use the term progressive if that has been weaponized in a moment in time or the term SEL or whatever, CRT is another, there's so many of these. But we talk about the actual values, the actual practices, the actual work, and there's often a lot of agreement about that.
0:36:25.0 CM: Yeah. That's very much the, "What do you think about public schools?" "Oh, they're terrible." "What do you think about your local public school?" "Oh, they're great." [chuckle] There's this huge separation between perception and reality, very much like that Christopher Rufo campaign of weaponizing language. And we're running short on time. What's next? So based off the work that you've been doing, what change do you see on the horizon? What hope can you provide for educators and school reform and re-imagining and creating something new down the road?
0:36:56.2 LDH: Coming out of the pandemic, there have been several places where a lot of policy ground has been achieved. So there's a lot of support, as I said, for investing in social and emotional learning and whole child practices across the country. Many states and the federal government are investigating community schools, which are schools that are more connected to the community and community organizations and supports for kids, mental health and physical health and social service supports, but also collaboration with families, collaboration with community-based organizations and a community connected project-based inquiry oriented curriculum is actually part of that. And so, along with things like restorative practices, so we're not kicking kids out of school and putting them on the school to prison pipeline, et cetera. So a lot of investments in that, both from philanthropy and from the federal government and some state governments. There's a lot of work going on on this question of moving towards more inquiry oriented learning and project-based learning. Assessments are beginning to change. More than 25 states are involved in trying to change their assessment systems. And there's a lot of conversation with the federal department of education about how to create space for innovation in which kids are engaged in some project-based activities that are part of the way we think about understanding what they're learning and enabling that to count.
0:38:29.5 LDH: There's also a lot of conversation about how to move our accountability systems and conceptions away from a notion that accountability exists to punish schools or to hold up the shame and blame campaign. But in fact, that we need to have measures of what opportunities to learn are available to students. And then how do we equalize resources and funding and opportunity as the basis of accountability. And so, that's also a very much an active conversation. The department of education put out some guidelines and encouragements to states to think about that and bring new plans to be approved by the department. So I think that there's an impulse to rethink. It's going to take people in local communities doing the work there and then sharing and spreading what they've done with others and learning from one another. The community that you build through your work, the website, et cetera, ks a place for some of that sharing. And then it's going to take in some of the work that I and others do that kind of sharing across state superintendents and people in the Congress. And that is also happening to a greater degree. And then we've got to work up and down the system with each other so that high quality teaching and learning so that the kinds of empowering and equitable education that we want inform the way in which the system gets redesigned.
0:40:14.1 CM: Thank you again for listening to our podcast at Human Restoration Project. I hope this conversation leaves you inspired and ready to start making change. If you enjoyed listening, please consider leaving us a review on your favorite podcast player. Plus find a whole host of free resources, writings and other podcasts all for free on our website, humanrestorationproject.org. Thank you.