The Boston Public Schools system has been distributing 20,000 Chromebook laptops to students that need one during the distance learning period. Paul Reville, former Massachusetts education secretary, spoke with Boston Public Radio on Tuesday about how school systems are keeping up with the coronavirus pandemic.
"On the one hand, the education sector should be applauded, they've made lots of quick adjustments," Reville said. "However, the problem is wildly uneven and kids who are in affluent schools were able to have relatively smooth online education, while, in other districts, the performance has been very uneven because students lack the technology and the internet connections."
Online education needs to be equalized for school districts across the board, Reville noted.
"This era where we go heavily into educational technology and reliance on online delivery runs the risk of further advantaging the advantaged and further disadvantaging the disadvantaged, unless we use it and pivot in this moment to create a more level playing field," he said.
Reville is a professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, where he also runs the Education Redesign Lab. His latest book, co-authored with Elaine Weiss, is "Broader, Bolder, Better: How Schools and Communities Help Students Overcome the Disadvantages of Poverty."