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Every Friday, we send out a weekly education news round-up called The Gist. It includes the week's top state and national news along with opinion articles and research. Plus, you can keep up with the latest news happening at A+ when it happens! Click here to sign up!

Here's our most recent edition:

2021 Legislative Session Underway: A+ Policy Priorities
Weekly Updates from A+ Education Partnership

The 2021 Legislative Session is underway, and A+ is continuing our work to create great schools for every child. Our 2021 Legislative Playbook outlines our legislative priorities to both meet the current pressing needs of students and ensure their long term success. These priorities include early literacy, broadband expansion, community-based, high-quality summer & afterschool programs, and more. 

This Week at A+
> A+ College Ready News: We're excited to welcome Cohort XIV schools to our program! These schools will begin their first year with us during E3 training this summer!
Plainview High School
Elberta High School
Winston County High School
Orange Beach High School
Geneva Middle School
Geneva High School
University Charter School
Wetumpka Middle School
Millbrook Middle School
Hewitt-Trussville Middle School

> NEW on the Alabama Best Practices Center Professional Learning Blog: As you think about addressing learning loss, take some time to revisit what works best when we really need to get teaching right. Cathy Gassenheimer has been reading a new book that addresses this topic, Great Teaching by Design, by the powerhouse team of Hattie, Bustamante, Almarode, Fisher, and Frey. Check out her review and follow a link to watch an authors’ video highlighting key points. Read it here.
> A+ Education Partnership's COVID-19 Resources:


A+ Education Partnership's 2021 Legislative Priorities
(A+ Education Partnership Publication)

Legislative Briefs: Kindergarten Bill and School Board Accountability
(written by Mary Sell, AL Daily News, February 20)

House Passes Bill Requiring Students Entering 1st Grade to Attend Kindergarten or Meet Certain Requirements
(written by Henry Thornton, Yellowhammer News, February 23)

6 Alabama School Officials Charged with Fraud, Conspiracy in $7 Million Virtual School Scheme
(written by Trisha Powell Crain,, February 23)

House Committee Again Approves Bill to Allow Yoga in Schools
(written by Trisha Powell Crain,, February 24)

'This is the Most Optimistic We've Been': Alabama COVID Cases, Hospitalizations Plummet
(written by Ramsay Archibald and Dennis Pillion,, February 22)

Across the Board February 2021: Takeaways from the ALBOE Meeting
(A+ Education Partnership, February 11)


As Millions of Kids Skip Kindergarten, U.S. Learning Gap Widens - And Schools May Lose Funding
(written by Alia Wong, USA Today, February 21)

Schools Must Still Give Standardized Tests This Year, Biden Administration Says
 (written by Matt Barnum, Chalkbeat, February 22)

One Year Into Pandemic, Far Fewer Young Students Are on Target to Learn How to Read, Tests Show
(written by Linda Jacobson, The 74, February 24)

National Parents' Union Polling: What Parents Think About COVID and Schools
(NPU Polling, February 2021)

Study: Increased Internet Access Improves Achievement, District Finances
(written by Roger Riddell, Education Dive, February 18)

A Crash Course in Education Politics for the Biden Administration
(written by Kevin Mahnken, Brookings Institute, February 19)

Using Texts to Boost Pre-K to 3 Learning During the Pandemic
(written by John Valant, Education Dive, February 17)


How Schools Should Spend COVID-19 Aid
(written by Brandon Wright, Flypaper, February 12)

4 Strategies for Building Trust Among Families as Schools Reopen
(written by Naaz Moden, Education Dive, February 24)

What AP Classes Can Teach Us About Building Stronger Curriculum for All Students
(written by Alex Spurrier, Education Post, February 9)

Why Adolescent Literacy Can't Be Forgotten
(from the Alabama Literacy Network Podcast, Runtime: 35 Minutes, February 2021)
The Gist is an education news roundup curated by A+ Education Partnership. Articles and opinions included in this publication are for information only and may not reflect the views of A+.

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