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Teaching and Learning During Uncertain Times

Last spring, the sudden closure of schools forced districts to recreate public education hastily—online. While the novel coronavirus posed a threat to all Californians, its impacts have exacerbated existing inequities across the state. Historically marginalized communities are more likely to be infected with the coronavirus and face greater health risks from COVID-19. While data on the pandemic’s impacts on student learning is incomplete, there is reason to believe that these same communities face particularly large and inequitable opportunity gaps in district distance learning offerings. Indeed, in a summer 2020 analysis of these efforts, Californians Together found widespread reasons for concern. In far too many communities, English learners (ELs) appeared to have been marginalized or ignored in districts’ initial pandemic responses.

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