newly-released report from the government has made it clear: global warming has cost America a staggering $165 billion in the past twelve months. But could there be hidden costs lurking in the shadows?
Nature's Fury Takes Its Toll on Education: What’s the Cost?
The impacts of climate change are far-reaching, affecting everything from the economy to public health. Another major area of concern is education, particularly K-12 education, which is being hit hard by extreme weather events such as hurricanes, wildfires, and winter storms. Last year, the United States alone saw $165 billion in damages due to climate change, with 82% of Florida school districts having to close their doors for at least one day. This not only puts physical classrooms at risk but also puts students' academics and mental health in jeopardy.
Girls are particularly vulnerable in this regard, with a report from the Brookings Institute warning that they have a limited window of opportunity to return to school after a disaster, or they risk being forced to take a different path such as early marriage or migration for work. Furthermore, students who experience natural disasters are often left with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, which can impact their test scores and ability to recover academically.
The COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer of complexity to the problem, with remote learning presenting its own set of challenges. Despite this, educators have been working tirelessly to find solutions and support students, with some hope that strategies developed during the pandemic will be useful in the face of future extreme weather events and other climate-related disasters. However, it remains to be seen whether the education system will be able to keep up with the pace of change and adapt to the new realities of the world.
TCEA 2023: Edtech Lessons from former Dallas Superintendent
Michael Hinojosa, the former superintendent of Dallas Independent School District, shared his insights on education innovation during a presentation at TCEA 2023. Hinojosa, who has served as a leader in education for over two decades, spoke about the importance of learning, adapting and taking risks in order to bring transformation to the education sector. He highlighted that schools must embrace "incubation, replication, and scale" in order to drive growth and progress.
Hinojosa shared his experiences from his time as superintendent, when he had to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic. 80% of students in Dallas ISD did not have broadband access at home, so Hinojosa rallied a coalition of leaders from local government, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to support connectivity in students' homes.
Hinojosa also spoke about the success of programs like Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) and career academies, which have trained students for technology careers and hands-on training in various fields. He expressed pride in the fact that over 1,100 seniors in Dallas ISD received associate degrees and credentials on blockchain technology, which has opened up new doors for them in terms of high-paying careers.
In conclusion, Hinojosa emphasized that enthusiasm and a willingness to take bold moves are the key to unleashing the full potential of innovation in education. He encouraged attendees to embrace the power of education technology and to be proud of the impact it can have on reducing poverty and promoting growth and progress.