Local school districts continue planning for the start of school and we know many will begin the year incorporating distance learning. But, how does that impact at-risk and minority students and their parents and teachers? In our latest 12 on 12 Digital Original: Distance Learning Divide, we’re getting answers from top education and community leaders.

In this 12 on 12: 12 Town Hall – Planning for the Challenges | Extended Discussion – Exploring the Divide: Virtual Academy, Social/Emotional Health, Minority Gap | Parent Survey | Pandemic Pass or Fail: Solutions for Education Equity | Related Resources

12 Town Hall: Planning for the Challenges of a Distance Learning Divide

Eyewitness News gathered education officials and community leaders, to have an honest conversation about distance learning and how it can affect at-risk students and communities of color.

Joining us via teleconference for the town hall were Angelica Infante-Green, Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner, Harrison Peters, Superintendent of the Providence School District, Jim Vincent, president of the Providence branch of the NAACP, and Dr. LaSella L. Hall, President of the New Bedford NAACP.

In the above video, they chat with Eyewitness News anchor Mike Montecalvo and reporter Courtney Carter about what this means for local students, their parents and educators.

Update: Since the taping of our 12 Town Hall on Monday, the education commissioner confirms she has now received the letter from superintendents, AFT Presidents, and school community leaders in which eight superintendents and nine union presidents expressed concerns about bringing students back into schools.  Read the letter here, which was sent to Governor Gina Raimondo and Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green.

Extended Discussion – Exploring the Divide: Virtual Academy, Social/Emotional Health, Minority Gap

Parent Survey

Special National Coverage: Pandemic Pass or Fail

Solutions for Education Equity

Explore solution-based stories addressing how the pandemic is disproportionately impacting certain schools and students throughout America. Explore stories »

Related Resources:

NAACP: Providence | New Bedford

Rhode Island Department of Education: Commissioner’s Corner – Commissioner Infante-Green

Providence Public Schools: providenceschools.org | Superintendent Harrison Peters

The Economist: The pandemic is widening educational inequality – For many low-income students, online courses are a poor substitute for in-person learning

Brookings: Categorical inequalities between Black and white students are common in US schools—but they don’t have to be

Science Daily: Link between education, income inequality has existed for a century – Income is inextricably linked to access to education in America and it has been for a century, according to a new study

Black Voice News: COVID, Classrooms and Inequality–Education in the Time of Pandemic

CBS News: “Teach Us All” documentary explores education inequality

World Economic Forum: COVID-19 is widening the education gap. This is how we can stop it

ON WPRI.COM: School Updates | Coronavirus


Reporters – Courtney Carter & Mike Montecalvo
Executive Producer – Ryan Clifton
Director – Connor Dutton
Graphic Designer – Lee Dooley
Digital Content Producers – Nick Blair, Lee Dooley
Special Thanks –  Jesus Mendoza, Karen Rezendes

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