Homeroom with Sal & Linda Darling-Hammond - Thursday, August 20
Hi everyone, sal here from khan academy welcome to our homeroom, live stream very excited, about the conversation, we're going to have with linda darling hammond. Before we jump into that i'll give my standard announcements, first a reminder, that khan academy. Is a not-for-profit. Organization. We can only exist and do the work we do, because of philanthropic, donations, from folks like yourself, so if you believe in a free world-class, education for anyone anywhere which i hope you do. Please think about going to khanacademy.org. Donate. I also want to give a special shout out to several organizations, that stepped up, especially as covid was hitting we were already running at a deficit before covid and as you can imagine our server costs have gone up dramatically, we're trying to accelerate, a whole series of programs, and and various efforts, uh and so our deficits, only grew, and to help us close some of that, a special thanks uh bank of america, google.org. At t fastly. Novartis, and actually the amgen, foundation. As well and many other, uh supporters, foundations. Corporations. That have helped khan academy, get to the point that we could, be of service. During this crisis. Now with that i'm really excited, to introduce, our guest, linda darling hammond who i would, uh describe, on many dimensions, stanford, professor. Hopefully she considers, me a friend. Um. A president of the california, state board of education, and, the founding. President, of the learning policy, institute, uh so, linda thanks for joining us. Happy to be here. So maybe a first question i encourage anyone who's watching if you have questions for linda who's an expert really in all things education, and beyond, uh put your questions, on the message board and facebook and youtube and i and we have team members who will help surface it uh to linda and myself but maybe a starting point is. Given. The crisis, that we're in around. The covid, distance, learning. Where do you think we are in this journey. How are you thinking about it what do you think are the most pressing issues right now. Well there's several issues i mean one is obviously. Uh because we are in distance learning doing that as well as we can possibly, do it. And that means of course closing the digital divide, we're working hard on that in california. It means. Being sure that teachers, have the training to use the tools and materials, well. Synchronous, and asynchronous. Instruction, in the right ways it also means social and emotional. Wrap around supports, kids are going, through, a lot of trauma. In many many communities. And the, experience. That kids are having is very disparate, some. Kids are home with parents who can work at home. Others are having to be home while their parents, are at work. Some have, parents unemployed. Their health you know crises, in a number of communities. So whatever, we're doing on distance learning has to have a social and emotional. Support. Component, to it, figuring out what kids need, making sure that the school resources. To support, those needs are also available. Counseling. And other. Kinds of resources. And then, getting. Solid distance, learning, mounted, and, it's happening in some very creative ways. In some districts. Across the country and certainly in california. And what would you say you know given that i completely agree because there's been so much conversation. About. Do schools open or do they go to distance learning or not that it feels like there's been a little bit of a gap in. Clear guidance on what. Good or even adequate distance learning looks like, do you have examples, of places that are doing it, well, uh that could be emulated, by other places, or just general guidelines, we've actually you know been trying to do it on our own so it's good for us to sync up on this. Yeah well the california, department of education, just released some guidance this week on, distance, learning. That does sort of summarize, what some of the research, shows. Matters, in distance learning. And then there are districts, across the state that are doing really exciting, work. Among the things that matter, are. Um, having everyone, sort of on a common, platform. Training. Parents, as well as students, as well as teachers, and how to, access. The materials. And so on, having. Interactive. Uh instruction. Uh synchronously. It's not like just you know the sage on the stage, it's. Being sure that. The. Things that are being communicated. Um, can be discussed, among kids in breakout, rooms, and you know in chats and so on being sure that interactive, element is there, having, good, materials. For asynchronous.
Instruction. Um and you're of course familiar with the khan academy, materials that a lot of districts, are using and there are others. Across, content, areas that when those themselves. Are, well scaffolded. Where we've done the right kind of assessment, to tell kids. Uh, where to. Tune in on the things that they need to work on. And then bring it back you know in line with the teacher and the peers. For further discussion. You can get. Very substantial. Gains in learning. Uh if you've got all of those components, in place and that's what we're. Trying to make sure is happening, long beach is a place. In california. That's doing really interesting, work around this. San diego. Many others i will say in long beach one of the things i love. Um and they they are actually it happens, using some, con materials, but, uh, they're having, teachers. Teach in ways and this is, similar to your approach to. Reaching, everyone. The great teachers who are really good on certain topic, areas are giving courses, and. Lessons. Anyone, can tune into so sometimes, thousands, of kids. Tune in to teachers who are teaching, particular, things. Other teachers, can tune in, and learn the strategies, that that teacher is using. And then you know they can, use the materials, that are available, for practice, and for, you know the next stages. So there are, ways that the technology. Can really. Leverage. Great. Teaching, and materials. That we couldn't do when we were just in single classrooms. That we need to learn how to take advantage, of right now. That's super valuable. This is a school district that we've been working very closely with at khan academy for many years and, they have a recently retiring, superintendent, chris steinhauer, but the whole team there they've, really been always one of the most innovative school districts in here and actually that project uh that's actually a little skunk works that or at least aspects of what you described is that i've been working on with them, uh which is i did not know that, i did not know that. Well maybe maybe there's multiple projects but yeah we're doing that exactly, so that any, some of their top teachers in the district. Can set up group sessions that any kid in the district can attend so you're no longer. Tied to your specific, uh zip code or neighborhood, anymore. And they've had some where 2 000 kids have shown up. Because they you know. You know teachers can be famous just like movie stars, for the amazing, work that they do. And, you know, people can get that experience. I think it's, you know this is all about. Inventing, and sharing, that's what this moment in history is about. Is to, you know human beings invent. That's what we do you know we inquire and we invent, and then we've got to share, what we're what we're learning. And and just to double click on that a second you know uh everything you said makes all the sense in the world and it's very much aligned with a lot of what we've been talking about as well. But if i'm a teacher you know i'm used to doing, let's say five days a week, an hour a day. Maybe i spend some time, you know grading papers etc. At home and lesson planning. How does it, you know i think the guidance around making the the video conferencing, sessions, more interactive, but, does it become. You know, five, one-hour, video conference sessions a week what would you recommend that teacher do do they do fewer shorter ones do they should they do smaller, groups.
Uh, Or, it's really should they just experiment and see what works. Well you know it does depend, on the age level of the kids as well as what the kids have had before, so you know it's it's a really challenging, thing and i just want to say this, if you're teaching little kids and you're trying to do it online, that's very challenging, because they're squirrely, and so on. But uh that's where you need a lot more interactive. You know kind of, materials. Very short, sessions. Um, you know interspersed. With some, physical, activity, you know you're doing some. Pe, in the middle of the. Time that you're working, you may have. Low budget. Art. Kinds of things that everybody, can engage in. If you're working with smaller, kids for example, in the middle of the instruction, where you're also reading to them. But, generally, speaking. Modest, amounts, of, direct, instruction. Uh, short amounts of that with lots of opportunities, for interactions. Um. You know the. Zoom breakout, room is a wonderful, thing. And when kids get old enough and have been taught how to work in groups. You know you can pose, some information, you can pose the problem you can pose the question. Send them off to work on it and talk about it for a while have them come back, and share their. Solutions, if it's in a you know math or, science context or their ideas, their decisions. In a, debate, context, you can have them engaged, in debates. And projects some of the asynchronous. Time can also be done. Collectively. Because, a lot of education, is you know doing things, both, individually. And then talking about it with others. And. Teaching kids how to manage their own learning this is an opportunity, for us to help kids, take agency. And learning, and to really teach them. How to set up their own you know sort of learning management, systems how to use the materials. That they're going to use. Asynchronously. Well. So that they're learning how to learn because that's the critical, skill for 21st, century. Society. Is you know being a self. Managing, learner. This is the time to get away from transmission. Teaching which is i'm talking and you're just writing it down and spitting it back on a test. Towards, you know teaching kids to be, increasingly. Engaged, and self-managing. In their learning and we've seen, that the schools that are project-based. Schools. Where kids are engaged, in doing projects, individually, and collectively. I have had, uh, hardly missed a beat. In. The switch, to online. Because the kids were already. Learning how to plan and manage, parts of their learning. They were devoted, to their projects, because they cared about them they were preparing, their presentations. Uh they could present, them part of the homework sometimes is go present it to your grandparents. I love that kind of homework because i'm a grandmother. And you know you want your. Kids to have audiences. For their work. Uh and so they present in a variety of ways but then the formal presentations. At the end of the year often. You know to a broader. Audience. In one case in oakland, the kids have been working on a safety, plan for their school, because it was a very dangerous. School to get to. Their last of end of the year presentation. Was to the city council. Who actually, took up some new policies. To make it safer for kids to get to school, so when they do go live. They'll have a you know new path to get there, so i think that's part of it keeping, kids engaged, in ways that they really care about. And helping them learn. To be more and more, able. To manage their own learning. And what's interesting about everything you just mentioned is those sound like best practices. Even if we're doing in-person, learning you know make the students interact as much as possible. Have them take agency.
Have Them apply what they're doing maybe have an audience to see the artifacts, of their work, do you see. I guess. What do you see are the what are your biggest fears. About the situation, that we're in right now and do you see some silver linings, maybe one of them is that some of these practices, become more mainstream. Well of course there are fears i mean we have a huge, equity gap in this country. I mean it's you know we are we fund schools inequitably. We have a huge income gap. Uh the communities, that are being affected by covid. In the black and brown communities, that have. Been hit, employment-wise. And health-wise. And, in a variety, of ways. Those are huge, huge problems, that we. Confront, all the time and they are exacerbated. Right now. So, um the other piece of what's needed, then we saw this too the, schools that were community, schools that had social workers, and, wraparound, health and mental health services, already. Engaged, in school were able to meet the needs of the families. In a much better way we've got to do that a lot of districts, are. Doing one-on-one. Um. Even, distance. Socially, distanced. Home visits. You know. Where where that's needed, uh as well as. Uh one-on-one. On the phone and on the zoom and in other ways, to connect with families, and, be sure that kids are getting what they need we're going to need distance learning hubs and, san francisco, is putting up, distance learning hubs for 6 000 kids where they can come to a place. Where they can get food and they can get. Equipment, and they can be online, and they can also have. Counselors, and social workers and others to be available, to be sure that. Their whole child, needs, are being met so that's the biggest, fear is that we won't. Step up and be sure that kids are, you know, surrounded, with all of the care. That they need, but it is happening, and i'm just. Very inspired, by the way that. Educators. And, others are, stepping up the silver, linings, are. Very, interesting. Because, uh you know if you go back to the beginning of march. We had this digital divide, where about 30 percent of kids. 20 to 30 percent. Either didn't have connectivity. Or devices, that they could use at home. In california. We've probably, closed that divide by about half we have. Five billion dollars going out to schools right now. As part of the federal money. As well as a lot of corporations. Of course. Stepped up a lot of districts. Went into their, reserves, and bought. Computers, a lot of companies, are figuring, out how to get. Digital. Access. In much more reasonable, ways. We, should and could, have closed the digital divide. By the end of this, year. Well, that wasn't going to happen unless we had that necessity. Uh we will have. Teachers, and students, and other staff. Technologically. Proficient. In ways that would not have happened. Unless we had to do that. And if you think about our economy, in california. Um and i don't mean to leave out the rest of the country this is true elsewhere, also. You know the technological. Underpinnings, of the economy. Are. Growing at an exponential, rate. So the fact that we're going to have. A technologically. Proficient. Populous. That cuts across. Lines, of. Uh, class, and income. In ways that, wouldn't have previously. Is you know a huge, gain. We need to take advantage, of it and people are learning to teach in new ways. That we. Need to. Capture. Understand. Share. And take advantage, of. That makes makes a ton of sense, and we're getting a ton of questions here on social media. And you know one question and this is a question that i have i'll add a little bit too uh from facebook, zahedzia. Is asking, i'm struggling, it sounds like zaya's a teacher, i'm struggling on how to perform, quick formative, assessment, in a virtual classroom for those of you all who aren't used to the, language, formative assessment, is assessment, as kids are learning so that a teacher can understand, how well they've learned the material and where they might need extra help and i'll extend that question you know, a lot of the school districts last year had to just go to pass fail because they're like you know we it's it's not everyone has equal access. Even now i'm hearing a lot of teachers are struggling with science question or how do i do assessments, in a world where i you know i can't proctor them. You know and this is all happening, at the same time that uh things like standardized, assessments, are are getting difficult to administer.
So, Is there kind of an information, gap that's developing, because of of this crisis. You mean information about how kids are doing. About how kids are doing and what they've learned and how they've learned yeah. Uh there may be i do think that. We can help teachers with tools, performative, and diagnostic. Assessment. One of the things we did in california, it's on the cde, website, is, guidance, around using diagnostic, informative, assessments. And we've approved, in the state. About. Probably a dozen different. Uh formative, and diagnostic, assessment. Tools. And programs, that people can access, some districts, are using them regularly. So that you can see where kids are on a regular basis, a lot of them are very. Short. Assessments, the smarter, balanced. Assessment, system has, all kinds of, formative, and interim. Assessment, tools they're freely, available, to every teacher, public and private schools. That you can, and you can burrow in on a topic area to see where kids are, kind of you know, in a domain, as well as more broadly. Uh and so we want teachers to get to, you get familiar, with how to use these tools. They don't require, proctoring. They don't require, you know some special, testing. Context, they just require the. Time and the tools, right there for kids and then you can, guide your instruction. Accordingly. And they usually. Scale, across the entire, k. Through. 8 or 12, scale, of. Progress. And then you can figure out what materials, you need to use the other thing of course are formative, assessments, the teachers would do. Themselves. And it's a little harder, perhaps. You know when you've got a video, screen of kids, you know to check for understanding. But you can use the chat box, you can use. Exit tickets, out the door at the end of the class and say, you know answer this question. Tell me what you understood, or what you didn't understand. And begin, to get those kinds of tools. Directly. In the mix. For the, way in which the.
The Learning takes place. And then how would you handle, uh, assessment, in terms of even giving students grades you know for maybe the k through eight crowd. That's not as important the grades are a little bit lower stakes but as obviously as you go into high school, uh folks really start caring about grades especially as it shows up on their transcripts, it's being used for things like college admissions. How do should a teacher think about it authenticating, students should they just go to a real honor code. Are there ways, to, ensure, that you know there isn't some shady behavior going on you know other people taking the test or getting help, things like that. Well, um. You know. I do think that we need to be thinking, in honor code terms in general, in the society, and in life and one of my kids went, to college, based on the fact that they had an honor code because they wanted to be really in a place, that. Was ethically. You know organized. Around around that idea the more we use authentic, assessments, the more. Kids have to sort of produce, and defend, and explain. What they've done and show it. The less you have to worry about cheating it's kind of like the driver's, test in in the dmv. You know uh. You might be able to figure out how to cheat on the multiple choice test. But you got to get in that car and you've got to drive with the driver, and, you know show that you can do. You know all the things on the driver's, test now in new york they have a higher standard because you have to parallel, park, as well as everything, else. Um. But you know it is authentic, and i think the more we work with authentic, assessments. Of learning that, kids present, and defend the more you can see that they've really learned it. And i think that's the direction. We should be going it's, the direction, that the advanced placement, assessments, the international, baccalaureate, and others have been going in. For some years. Um i in terms of grades my view is that we should. Always be honoring, the learning. And the, the goal is to see what you can. Get to not, um. Privilege, people who've had more experience, with something. Who get there faster. So i believe, in uh. Approach, and this is very well documented, in the research, that if you give people the opportunity, to. Um, you know get instruction. Try an authentic, task. Get feedback, often using rubrics, or other tools. Try it again revise, it. That what should count is where you end up. In your learning, as you've. Done this opportunity, to, engage, practice, and improve. Rather than where you started, and that makes it possible. For kids who started. Further behind. Um to show the progress, because they're getting the opportunity, to iterate if you think about anything we do in life, that is an actual performance. You know, it's. Through that process. Of trying, getting feedback, and trying again. And the more we grade like that the more we. Uh actually drive learning upwards for everyone, and the more we close the achievement, gap. I i couldn't agree with you more uh you know and you know this but a lot of. Our resources, that kind of come with exactly, that make sure that kids get as much practice as much feedback. That if they they're in an 80, state that's not the end of the world, they can keep working on it so that they can eventually get to where they're going and also 100, agree on the authentic.
You Know i've been brainstorming, with some educators, and we might even make this part of that schoolhouse.world. Project where, if a student is able to, take an assessment, on khan academy say a course challenge or unit test, and they're taking a screen capture while they're talking out loud, to show their reasoning. And then they submit that video that's actually very hard to cheat that and in a lot of ways you're going to get a lot more texture. Than you would have had even with a traditional assessment so i think there's going to be some models. That that i love. You're going to get more learning, because, actually when we explain, what we know we're actually. Solidifying. It. In our brains, in a way that you know makes it more deeply understood, so i think that's, you know that's the way we should be going. Hundred percent one question for you this for me, uh i've, always wondered. And i don't know to what degree you have jurisdiction, over things like the a to g standards that's probably more the university of california, regions but, i am curious you know that, right now it's you know in california, they have the a to g standards every state has kind of the, you need this many years of foreign language this many years of math this many years of english. In almost every state in almost every country it's still described, very much in time terms of time. Not in terms of outcome, and as you just described. It's much more valuable, to think of things in terms of, outcome, and some kids might take a few months some kids might take a few years to learn it but if they get to that outcome that's what matters. Is there a movement, because i do think these a to g type carnegie, unit type things are actually one of the main blockers. To moving to more of a whatever you want to call it outcome-based, or competency-based. World. Well there is a competency-based. Movement there's been one for 30 or 40 years you know you probably are aware that there are always people talking about this and trying to do it we are uh you know we've kind of been locked in concrete. Around, the system of education, that we've had for so long the. Courses, that are in high school that most people think about you know, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Were taken in that order alphabetical. Biology, chemistry, physics, in that order alphabetical, they're in the a through g system. Those were all developed by the committee of 10 in 1890.. You know it is time for a new approach, i'm actually, just. Now joining, a, international, committee. That oecd. Is forming. Because i've been talking with folks there for a long time about we need to have a new committee. Uh you know to think about what it really means to have a curriculum, for the. 21st, century, uh which we're well into now but we haven't caught up kind of in terms of our, and this moment of disruption, in the education, system is causing people to think. What really matters. What should we really be doing here how do we do it, what's, you know really important, in addition to you know certain kinds of content knowledge for sure. Is the. Habits, of mind the way in which you can learn to learn. You know, more knowledge, was created, between, 1999. And 2003. Than in the entire. History of the world preceding. Knowledge, is exponentially. Increasing. Uh. Technology. Knowledge. Is doubling. Probably faster, than every 11 months at this point. So people need, some understanding, of the concepts, and structures, and, factual, basis. But they also need. A huge amount of capacity, to learn to learn. And that's, what we should be. Engendering. Because, they're going to be working with knowledge that hasn't, been discovered, yet. Using technologies. That haven't been invented, yet, to solve, enormous. Problems. In the world that we have not managed to solve. And our, way of counting.
Progress, In education. Doesn't, take these things into account right now. There are places. New hampshire is one of them. Across the country that's really trying to get to a competency-based. System, and there are others that are working on it, but this is the moment, to really be asking, and and, trying to, answer those questions, in new ways. Yeah the supervisor. For one more question, here's a question from, facebook. Uh michelle, morales, capriati, and i'll extend her question a little bit, she says, how do we, um, work to retain, teachers, at this time i know you've done a lot of research in this area. There's a mass exodus, of educators, right now due to covid. Related, issues and if you're if you're entering the field, how much of this is on your radar at the state board, and, yeah what what's what's the solution here. Well um you know we, we. Keep educators. Uh by. Valuing, them, and by supporting, them, and so. Number one. Uh where schools are open, and, child care and other, you know aspects, of the systems. They need to be safe we actually do know a lot about how to keep them safe. You know we know about the importance, of face coverings. Physical, distancing. Testing and tracking. Keeping, kids and teachers in small cohorts. And in the countries, that have kept schools, open safely, they've been, very diligent, about those things. Uh and where we are in environments, that. Infection rates are have been brought down the curve has been bent sufficiently. We need to be sure that teachers are supported. In, all of those physical, ways. As well as in all of these sort of, uh intellectual. Ways to do the work with kids that in ways that can be. Successful. Same thing is true when we're in distance learning is how to support, that work. So that it's. Doable, so people have opportunities, to learn so that they're being. Supported, and they're being respected. Of course in teaching there are also, always, issues, of. Adequate. Training, and pay. Because, we don't invest, in this country. In the teaching profession, in the way that. Many other countries, do, on a regular, basis. So all of those things have to be on the table. Uh and again i think we're at a moment. Where, uh parents are appreciating. Educators. Uh, in ways they didn't before perhaps, because they can see. Uh how challenging, the work is with their one, or two or maybe three children, in their house however many they have, uh and can imagine, what it might be to do that with 30, uh or whatever the number is in the classroom. So. I hope we'll see you know a redoubling. Of commitment. To the. Support. Of the teaching profession. Yeah we couldn't, agree more well. We're pretty, close to time maybe in the last minute if any final thoughts and i am also curious, you know how is the state board viewing this are you all viewing this as a one-year, situation. It could be longer, folks i know who know about. Epidemics. Are are saying we should at least plan for for longer is that kind of part of the conversation at the state level. Well i think that, there's a recognition, that we may be in and out of physical, school. Right now we're, um. The california. Government. The department of public health etc. Getting ready to issue guidance, about how small groups can come together. Safely, even when, whole schools are not able to be, you know. Actualized. Or. In gear, but we may have points in time and we will in different counties. Where it is safe. To go back to school but then you know there'll be kids, who need to be quarantined, or something and they'll have to be on distance learning so we have to have this flexibility. In, the ways in which. A school is experienced. In the purpose of education. Even if the place of education. Changes. And that's why it's so very important, to you know close the digital divide, help everyone, be, you know. Actively. Um. Supported, in that work because it's going to be a reality. For, quite a while and even when we get a vaccine. Which. You know people, hope for within this year. Um which will, allow us, you know i think to get back to. School, in person. We're going to have, fires, and floods, and hurricanes, and other climate, related, events. That are going to make. The physical, place of smuggling. Uh a changeable, place. And we will need to be prepared. For the that to be the. The way in which we understand, that. People have to be prepared, to learn. Wherever, they are, um, and that we have to support, that, in a variety of ways. No it's a great a super important message well well linda thank you so much and i look forward to continuing, this conversation, hopefully we get you again on on this live stream and i actually a lot of stuff i would love to keep talking to you about of how we could partner together to help teachers, and families around, around not just california, but the country thank you so much linda. Pleasure to be here, thanks. So thanks everyone again for joining this live stream hopefully uh you found this conversation, as interesting as i did i always comment about how, fast the time goes there's a many questions my apologies.
That I wasn't, able, to get to, i will make an announcement we have another, uh, leader in education, next tuesday, john king former, u.s secretary, of education. Is going to be joining us and as you can imagine we're going to be talking about a lot of the, the same issues about how do we do distance learning right what are going to be the implications. Are there going to be some silver linings. Uh how do we navigate, all of this together, so i look forward, uh for y'all uh to join me, on on tuesday. So, with that uh, stay safe and i will see you in the future live. Stream. You.