Recently, Empower Mississippi released Unleash Mississippi, a new white paper with policy recommendations for reimagining education and work in a post-coronavirus world.
On Tuesday morning, the president of Empower, Grant Callen, joined The Gallo Show to talk about the education portion of Unleash Mississippi.
“Any time you have a big industry, change is hard,” Callen said. “By and large, it hasn’t changed fast enough. One of the things that I am encouraged about is I do think this pandemic has forced a disruption and has forced us to rethink the way we do education.”
Every school in the state has had to move to a remote style of learning due to COVID-19, and Callen believes the lurid change has brought along “some real opportunities” for the education system.
“There are some things we ought to retain,” Callen said. “Giving kids an online option is critical…It’s not that every kid is going to do better in a virtual option, but some do, and we ought to give that option as a full-time option—not just an emergency measure.”
Some states such as Florida already have a school choice program in place, which provides alternate learning routes of outside of the public-school system.
“Technology gives us the ability to do some things we wouldn’t normally think about doing,” Callen said. “I’m encouraged that a lot of educators are thinking about that, because there are kids that thrive in that setting.”
Callen firmly believes the pandemic is going to change the education system for the better.
“I have not talked to anybody who feels like we are going to look worse, and I’ve been interviewing teachers about the impact of this,” Callen said. “It’s been fascinating to hear how excited teachers are about the changes that may be coming.”
To watch the full interview with Callen, check out the video below.