All 2019 Wonkathon submissions are in. This year’s Wonkathon asked contributors to address a fundamental and challenging question: What’s the best way to help students who are several grade levels behind? Fordham’s Flypaper received nineteen submissions from policy experts and education practitioners. As expected, there was a wide range of solutions offered, and no two were exactly alike. Authors focused on classroom content, instructional materials, parents, data, teachers, and more. But some shared sentiments emerged, as follows:
- We should meet students where they are as well as teach them grade level content.
- If you have to choose one, though, teach students grade-level content.
- Before we can do anything, we need to build students’ knowledge and assess them appropriately.
- Intervene sooner rather than later — and get parents involved.
- Data can help.
- It’s important to talk about what teachers can do and how we can support them.
These nineteen submissions differ in their approaches, but they ultimately agree on one important point: It’s vital that we get more students achieving at or above their grade-level.