Story at a glance
- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is investing $750 million in charter schools across the country.
- Data released in July by NWEA showed students in grades three through eight during the pandemic made smaller gains than in a typical academic year.
- “We need a new, stronger model of public education that is based on evidence, centered on children, and built around achievement, excellence and accountability for all,” he said.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is investing $750 million in charter schools across the country to temper the negative educational impact on children brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bloomberg wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal that U.S. children’s long term outcomes are at stake as the pandemic has only exacerbated already falling educational achievement.
“Since the pandemic began, students have experienced severe learning loss because schools remained closed in 2020—and even in 2021 when vaccinations were available to teachers and it was clear schools could reopen safely,” Bloomberg wrote. “Many schools also failed to administer remote learning adequately.”
Data released in July by NWEA showed students in grades three through eight during the pandemic made smaller gains than in a typical academic year. The data revealed that while achievement was lower among all demographics, “American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN), Black, and Latinx students, as well as students in high-poverty schools were disproportionately impacted.”
The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate noted the success NYC experienced with charter schools while he was the city’s mayor, overseeing the creation of 150 schools over 12 years. And he wrote he is hopeful this contribution could eliminate states' needs as “mayors and governors aren’t getting the support they need from Congress and the White House,” he wrote.
“To begin meeting the demand for charters, Bloomberg Philanthropies is launching a five-year, $750 million effort to create seats for 150,000 more children in 20 metro areas across the country,” Bloomberg wrote, noting the organization will give seed funding to schools that reflect students' growing diversity.
“We need a new, stronger model of public education that is based on evidence, centered on children, and built around achievement, excellence and accountability for all,” he added.
Founder of Success Academy and former NYC city council member Eva Moskowitz praised Bloomberg’s donation as a way to bolster education for students in low income households.
"Student achievement gaps have existed for years, but have been worsened by COVID-19 — particularly for students from lower-income families,” Moskowitz wrote on Twitter. “All kids deserve access to excellent education and @BloombergDotOrg committing $750M to U.S. charter schools will go a long way to help.”
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