Story at a glance
- New York State is reportedly in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to redesign school settings.
- Most U.S. schools have been operating and teaching remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.
The New York government is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to “reimagine” its school system as the coronavirus pandemic continues to besiege the state and shut down normal institutional operations.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) made the announcement during his daily briefing on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
While details of Cuomo’s plan are limited, he told reporters that technology will play a key role in reshaping the school system.
The initiative appears to be part of a broader plan to move forward after the coronavirus pandemic, with the governor also mentioning efforts to rebuild the health care system so that it is better equipped to handle future crises.
“We want to build back better,” Cuomo told the press.
As we prepare to reopen we have the opportunity to reimagine and build back our education system better.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 5, 2020
We will work with the @gatesfoundation and develop a blueprint to do this.
Cuomo explained that remote learning could become an integral part of education going forward.
“The old model of everybody goes and sits in a classroom and the teacher is in front of that classroom, and teaches that class, and you do that all across the city, all across the state, all these buildings, all these physical classrooms ... why, with all the technology you have?” he said.
Cuomo also said that reopening school will demand new policies in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak. While this new development does not mean the state will be closing traditional schools permanently, Cuomo noted that the pandemic has forced society to become adaptable.
"It's hard to change the status quo," he said. "But you get moments in history where people say, 'OK I'm ready. I'm ready for change. I get it.' I think this is one of those moments."
The Gates Foundation has helped spearhead efforts to mitigate damage from the coronavirus, donating a total of $250 million toward vaccine research and development. In terms of education philanthropy, the Gates Foundation also supports improving the quality of K-12 education in the U.S., specifically through data-driven grantmaking and investments for teachers and school system resources to improve student outcomes.
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