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Public Education in Chicago During the Pandemic – Challenges for Fall 2020

This and other transcripts on this site have been provided by a third-party service. The video replay should be considered the definitive record of the event.

JANE DOKKO: Good afternoon I'm Jane Dokko, Assistant Vice President for Policy Studies at the Chicago Fed. It is my pleasure to welcome you to a discussion about the challenges confronting children, parents, caregivers, and communities, in other words, everyone, as school districts contemplate how best to educate all students in the pandemic.

This past spring, the pandemic forced an abrupt closure of schools throughout the country and a sudden transition to remote learning. In Chicago, the pandemic has resulted in new concerns about massive and unequal losses in learning, new sources of trauma and stress for families, children, and teachers, new concerns about health and safety, and new inequities in accessing education and other services that schools provide. And even before the pandemic, like many large urban school districts, Chicago was contending with meeting the educational needs of all students.

We are very fortunate to have an expert panel of local thought leaders to discuss the most important challenges for public K through 12 education this fall. Their detailed bios are available online at Chicagofed.org. Today's discussion is part of the Chicago Fed's new Project Hometown Initiative, which brings together diverse perspectives to explore how Chicago and other hometowns can recover from the pandemic, overcome longstanding inequities, grow stronger, and provide everyone with the opportunity to thrive.

Developments in public education are likely to be a key pillar of the difficult recovery that lies ahead for all families and all communities. I will now turn to Cassie Walker Burke, our moderator from Chalkbeat Chicago, to frame and moderate our discussion. Thank you, Cassie.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Welcome to our event today. And Jane, were you able to do your remarks? Sorry, I wasn't able to hear. OK, great. So my name is Cassie Burke. I'm the Chicago Bureau Chief of Chalkbeat. Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news outlet that started a decade ago with two goals-- to fill the local news holes the were resulting from cuts to traditional media and to focus on public education and particularly students who had historically been locked out of access to the best schools and opportunities.

So Chicago is the newest bureau in a portfolio that now numbers seven cities. Our eighth city, Philadelphia, is coming online later this year. And when I started the Chicago Bureau two years ago, it was amid a milestone moment for CPS, Chicago Public Schools. A research report at the time had said that Chicago was the fastest improving urban school district, but there were big questions about how to sustain those gains and whether all students were improving.

And since launching the bureau, we've drilled down on those questions. We've looked at academic achievement by race across the city. We've also devoted reporting to school budgeting and teacher diversity and early childhood education. We've also been looking around issues of school safety and discipline, including police in schools.

But now two years after we've started, we've encountered probably the biggest education story of the century, and this is a global pandemic, which has proven to be an unprecedented disruption for any district, including Chicago. But we know that there are challenges unique to our city, and we're going to talk about those today.

I'm excited to introduce to you a really smart panel of people to talk about these challenges. If you are curious about the work in Chalkbeat, I hope you will go online to see our site at chicago.chalkbeat.org. We also have a free newsletter that comes out several times a week that you can sign up for.

So without further ado, I am going to pass it to our panel to make their remarks. We'll start with Maurice from Chicago Public Schools, so I'll pass that to you.

MAURICE SWINNEY: Hello, everybody. Can you hear me? Thumbs up? So first of all, thank you for the opportunity to share space with my colleagues. Micere, Shanta, Rebecca, good to see you all. You are some of my thought partners and collaborators in this work as we've launched the Office of Equity in CPS in 2018. And first, let me just-- I'll start off by saying, Black Lives Matter. I affirm black people. I love black people.

We are being disproportionately impacted by COVID 19 and racial injustice, and I just want to acknowledge that. I never like to go into spaces where I'm not affirming people of black descent. That means African-American and black people, black immigrants. And thank you to all of the people around Chicago and around the country who have been showing up to send love for Black Lives. I really appreciate that personally and professionally.

So in Chicago Public Schools, we have been working extremely hard behind the scenes to make sure that young people and families get what they need. There was sort of in the very beginning when the pandemic happened, I narrowed what we had to do down to three things. Get food to people who need it, make sure that young people and families had access to technology, and pay our workers. And so I really appreciate having the opportunity to have a seat at the table to use data outside of the organization looking at the UIC Hardship Index, for example, to make decisions around-- how do we make sure we don't have food deserts within the city?

How do we get food to families? How do we keep families connected to schools and to the district? And then, how do we think about getting technology and getting access to every single child who needs it? So shout out to principals and teachers who played an instrumental role in that. I recognize this pandemic is in the middle of an ongoing pandemic which is about racial injustice. And we recognize as an organization that we want to close the opportunity gaps, we want to make sure that people have access to technology and high quality education.

And I feel like it's deeply personal to me as a former high school principal at Tilden Career Community Academy who at one time had the highest special education rate within the within the district, high mobility rate. And so we know that we're able to solve for some of these ongoing inequities, and I believe with the collective wisdom we can continue to do that.

Many people have asked me questions about learning loss and about access and about trauma. And all of those things are extremely important. I also want to acknowledge the resiliency that our young people are showing every single day and that they have been showing before the pandemic, while the pandemic is happening, and believing that we will come out on the other side as a globe around having a cure and solutions for this work. But while we're in it, it's important that we be honest about driving the right supports to students and the families and the teachers and we see that multiple organizations in the philanthropic community and communities are coming together.

I recently heard a story about some women who were on the south side who created a Google form and a Cash App to get people who wanted to invest from the north side or different parts of the city, those who had access to resources, investing in family communities on the south side. And that was one way of just many people who are just galvanizing to make sure that we continue to provide opportunities and resources.

I'm very excited about the Chicago Connected Work looking at 100,00 families and supporting Wi-Fi access. And so all of these things are very beautiful in terms of the way we're able to pivot and to start to problem solve some of these longstanding inequities and finding ways to be very creative to support young people. We recently released our preliminary framework. I know people are reading it. People have comments on it.

Thank you to everyone if you're out there and you happened to fill out the survey or if you have an opportunity, because in the CPS Equity Framework, one of the things that we call for is inclusive partnerships, meaning that we have to have more people at the table, especially those who've been historically underserved or impacted. We need their voices as we figure out what are the best solutions to keep the education system active and thriving within the city of Chicago.

And then, I just want to highlight two more points. I can't wait to have a conversation with my friends on the line. But when we talk about trauma, it is important that all of us think about how we treat other people. And many people have been asking me, what are we doing as an organization around trauma? And recently, I know Helen Antonopoulos, our Executive Director of SEL, has been talking about the Healing Center's work that is forthcoming. And that is an opportunity for us to provide supports for the organization. How do we begin to continue to think about that?

But I also just want to push all of us and myself. I believe that equity is about windows and mirrors. How do I look out of the window, gain other insights, talk to people, really understand other people's experiences, and at the same time, how am I looking at I disrupting white supremacy culture? Am I dismantling structural racism? Or am I being complicit?

And one of the things that I keep acknowledging is, each one of us has a particular role. And as we see young people, I just want us to acknowledge the presence of black and brown children. That when we see them, we don't clutch our purses. We don't run away from them. We say hello to them.

Because in some of the engagements that I've been in with different student groups, they see how people treat them. And we need to make sure that we are taking our individual role to show them love and respect. And I also recognize that young people are not actually experiencing learning loss. What they're experiencing right now is learning gain.

They're beginning to see the world as it unfolds before their very eyes, and it's a part of our job and our social responsibility to acknowledge and to have a sociopolitical consciousness and working with our young people to come up with the right solutions that close opportunity gaps, that start to heal and do the right transformative work that we have to have in order to advance equity in Chicago public schools.

And so I'm excited to hear from the other panelists looking to share thoughts, wrestle with ideas. And I just really appreciate being here and having the opportunity to just share a space with such great people.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Thank you, Maurice. And now, I'll pass it to Rebecca from the Latino Policy Forum.

REBECCA VONDERLACK NAVARRO: Wonderful. I'm so excited to be here, and I share the sentiments of Maurice. I think everyone is going to be bringing a great perspective, and I'm hoping to just complement those that are on the panel. Given that I come from the Latino Policy Forum, I am going to be focusing on the perspective of Latino students and English learner students for a lot of my remarks.

Latinos make up almost half of Chicago Public School students. Many of them begin their education as English learners needing support developing English. About a third of the state's English learners are concentrated in Chicago public schools. It's one of the largest concentrations in the nation. And when we talk about this theme of return to school, the issues for Latino and immigrant families are extraordinarily complex.

They're layered. There's no easy answers, one size fits all solution that's going to work across our city. And while educational experts recommend that at risk students attend class in person, this is complicated. And the factors that complicate it are tied to health and tied to economy. According to recent reports, about the 36,000 Latinos in Illinois have tested positive for the virus. That's more than any other racial or ethnic group.

Almost half of those cases are in Chicago, where one in 50 Latinos have tested positive. When we look at Latino concentrated neighborhoods, they have some of the highest positivity rates in the city. Little Village, Brighton Park, H Park, Chicago Lawn, Belmont Cragin. Many of these Latino majority neighborhoods are overcrowded, which facilitates passing the virus.

The University of Chicago Poverty Lab recently released a study saying, hey, if you're in a community where there's a high number of undocumented residents, residents who lack health insurance, we're likely undercounting positivity rates. And as we think of this return to school, one thing I want us all to keep in mind are that young Latinos are testing positive for coronavirus at a higher rate than any other group in the state. And while many of them are going to survive the illness, often they're residing in intergenerational homes, putting parents, uncles, grandparents at risk might have a pre-existing condition.

And if a child gets the virus at school, they might not have the support at home to recover. Many of these students rely on public transportation, further exposing them to risk. And all of this is really interwoven with the economic impact of the virus that's playing out in incredibly dichotomous ways for the Latino community. On one hand, we had Latinos and immigrants represented in jobs that are now gone and may not be coming back. The cash economy, restaurants, hotels.

On the other side, they're also represented in essential workers. Sanitation, meatpacking, low paying jobs that lack personal protective equipment necessary to stay safe. Latinos more than any other racial or ethnic group have jobs that are not conducive to working from home. And we also know there's an economic consequence if a student tests positive. Their parents can't go back to work for two weeks. This can be devastating for many of our families who live paycheck to paycheck.

And let's also keep in mind, undocumented immigrants cannot access stimulus checks. So the challenges to remote learning are also complicated. We know with essential workers this is complicated. Remote learning is difficult due to the digital divide. But let's also think students on their way to learning English. We know that for building language, authentic conversation is so critical. This is really difficult to do remotely, and how are we thinking about that?

And to layer on top of that, the grand majority of our English learners are pre-school to second grade, those early years. And we know for the early years, the young ones, we need social interaction, manipulative, those kind of hands on experiences are so important. And we know that long bouts of screen time are not appropriate. So we're really nervous about our young ones.

So given that no matter what, we're going to have some level of remote learning moving forward, my organization is working to bring together stakeholders from various backgrounds to come together to develop some preliminary recommendations of how we might support Latinos and English learners during this time. And I can't say enough how we are approaching this with a ton of humility, because I never thought I'd be talking about some of these issues. It's just been a whirlwind. It's been heavy, and I'm really thankful to have opportunities to engage with thought leaders here on this panel to hear different ideas, because we're really going to have to think outside the box moving forward.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Thank you, Rebecca. And now, I'd like to pass to Micere Keels from the University of Chicago.

MICERE KEELS: Sorry about that. Let's try this again. Oh, we're all in the world of starting to talk on mute. So what I want to do, I guess, as part of this PANEL-- and I'm really glad to be here with these colleagues who all have these different perspectives that we can bring together. And hopefully it is in the discussing these different perspectives that we get to the ideal place where we'll need to go moving forward.

And so my work around these issues are with kids coping with trauma. This is my work before the pandemic, and the pandemic came, and it simply meant that every school, the issues that I was thinking about mattered for every school. There's no school, there's no teacher who can now not think about psychological and emotional trauma and how that affects how kids show up in school and their ability to benefit from the learning environment. And so it's just now something that applies even more intensely to every educator out there and administrator.

And the two things, I guess, that I want to share at the outset of this are not so much directly focused with the work that I do with helping teachers develop the practices that they need to support students but thinking bigger. Thinking beyond individual teachers and individual schools and thinking into the future.

So it seems like we are kind of clearly closely approaching that point where there's a reluctant acceptance of what was unimaginable a few months ago, which is that we're going to be-- the majority of kids, remote learning in the fall, and maybe even the whole year. And one thing I guess I want to push is that as we move closer to the kind of acceptance of that, that we use this as an opportunity to think into the future for what schools need to look like when students return.

And two things that I want to just really push and talk about at the outset that if nothing else in terms of from my comments, making sure that you walk away from this panel with, are that we need to move out as soon as possible, move out of this current context of crisis thinking. So crisis thinking, meaning that we are so stressed and so focused on the immediate current crisis that all of our thinking and all of our energies are focused around restoring what it is we think we've lost.

And so the challenge with that is that we've been really focused around replicating in remote learning or in hybrid learning or as much as possible whatever it was that we think that we lost with the pandemic forcing schools to close. And that means that our thinking is not very creative about what the potential opportunities are. So the kind of idea and statement that no one would want this to happen but given that we're here, let's not waste a good crisis rather than simply restoring and replicating when schools reopen what was happening before in our public schools, which was already not serving our most vulnerable kids.

And to do this, one of those things is that we need to look forward in order to be a little bit more imaginative and a little bit more creative about what might be possible when schools do reopen, which could be six months from now, which could be a year from now. And when we think about that, when we think about it might be a whole year before schools fully open for full contact learning, if you want to call it that, that our most vulnerable students will have had more than a year without one of the contacts that was for them their safe haven and their safe space in the midst of having to cope with very adverse life events.

As Maurice talked about, it serves food. For some, it was access to a washing machine to keep their clothing clean. It was access to health care for some of them, for dental care for many of them. And most of these things are now for these very vulnerable students, they're going to be without them for a very long time. And many of them will also be in contexts that are very disregulated. And so when we think about the need that students will have when they return next semester or next academic year, vulnerable students are going to need an amazing amount of support in order to reintegrate into the school based learning environment, catch up whatever it is quote unquote they've lost in this learning loss period of time and be able to move forward developmentally.

And that's not going to happen if our goal is simply to get back to where things were before schools closed. So one of them is just to start thinking about the idea of post-traumatic growth, which is, when we look back in time, if during the moment of a crisis we can start to think creatively and we can start to think about what are the supports that kids are going to need? What are the supports that people are going to need that we don't have now in the system in order to make sure that this time of crisis becomes a time of growth? And this can be growth for individual kids, but largely I want to talk about just growth for the system. You could think of this as a year when schools and school districts have time to fundamentally rethink what it is they're doing, hopefully in a very positive way.

And then the second point that I want to make, I'll make it very briefly and we'll return to it, I'm hoping, in conversation with my colleagues, one of the most important things that I can think to say when we think about supporting kids coping with stress and trauma as well as this current moment of civil unrest and continuing police brutality and the distress that that's causing in kids' lives, particularly the lives of black and brown kids, is that now more than ever for a city like Chicago in particular, where the public school student body is overwhelmingly black and brown and low income, that it is more than ever time to divest from police in schools, preserve that funding that was used to place police in schools, and invest that funding in social workers, counselors, school psychologists, and all of those people who can engage in evidence based practices for school safety.

I'm working on a brief on this, and it should be out in a couple of weeks. But one of the critical aspects is looking at the research on this, and I've had time to go through that. We don't have any published research that shows that police in schools improves safety. Actually improves safety. They increase detection of kids committing acts, and they increase the likelihood of particularly black and brown kids being channeled into the criminal justice system.

But they don't actually advance or increase safety. They don't increase positive behaviors among students. However, there is substantial evidence that police in schools negatively affects the climate of the school, the academic achievement of students in the school, and other well-being factors. And that's because if you're black and brown and you are living in a community where the police are constantly triggering your stress aspects of your life, when you see them in your school environment, it does that same thing in your school context.

And so this is just one critical time when we think about the needs that students are going to have when in-person learning resumes, this is just one critical time to shift that aspect of how we do school safety. And with that, I'm going to bring it back to my colleagues and hopefully continue the discussion.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Thank you, Micere. And finally, Shanta Robinson, also from the University of Chicago. Welcome.

SHANTA ROBINSON: Thank you. Thank you. It's an honor and a pleasure to be in conversation with you all today. I am Shanta Robinson. I am Assistant Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, where I primarily research issues of equity and education, who are our most vulnerable children in our public schools, and how are public schools complicit in their marginalization, and of course, how can we change that to make sure children reach their full potentials?

I teach the next generation of social welfare workers, which I consider a very high calling and I really enjoy. I also continue to teach high school students at the University of Chicago Woodlawn Charter High School. Again, that's where I have the opportunity to teach our next generation of scholars and entrepreneurs and leaders, and it's one I consider a very high responsibility.

I'm also a researcher who studies educational policy and foundations. My most current recent research focuses on students experiencing homelessness and the unique challenges they face in reaching their educational and occupational goals and aspirations. I particularly studied this in CPS, where over 17,000 young people we have documented are experiencing either temporary or chronic periods of homelessness. We know that there are many more who we do not know about in CPS.

One of the first things that I noticed when we shut down schools for COVID 19 this past spring was that one of the first things people started asking is, how are our students going to eat? Where are they going to get food? And that question wasn't lost on me as schools started scrambling and working incredibly hard and meeting the challenge of feeding families across the district, and indeed, that was happening across the country.

But it led me to know that people in the public here understand the importance of public schools, not just for the academic things that students get out of it. Not just for we're sending students to college, and not just for reading, writing, and arithmetic and civics so that we can teach them how to be good citizens in the world, but that schools provide some of Maslow's basic needs. That schools provide food for children. And if that's the case that schools serve these functions that go beyond the academic, then I want to make sure that our responses to that are attentive to those needs, as well. That it goes beyond, how are we reaching students and attending to their curricular needs, but as Micere said, that we're attending to some of the social emotional needs of students. That we're paying attention to what trauma means and how trauma manifests in young children and their bodies but also how schools are complicit in creating this trauma in the first place, right?

We often assume that students bring all the trauma to schools and then it's on the school's lap to deal with that trauma while not necessarily paying attention to how schools are creating and contributing to the trauma that children are facing in their spaces. And I want to make sure that in our COVID responses, that we take the time to say, we don't need to get back to a normal, because the normal that we had pre COVID was the problem. That we have a unique opportunity, one that we may never see again, particularly in my lifetime but maybe others, to press the pause button on how we do education in this country, on who we do education in this country for, and for what outcome.

So when we're thinking about we want to go back to normal, I want to see us say, I want to go back to something better, not just for our high achieving students, students who have, but all the black or brown students who have been marginalized and vulnerable inside school spaces. If we put their needs first, what can we achieve? What can we do?

How do we recreate schools in a way that attends to the needs of the most vulnerable amongst us? And what does that mean? What does that mean in resources? And I know that CPS has made a commitment, and the City of Chicago has made a commitment to make sure all students have access to broadband internet. And I think that is wonderful, and I think that is a great first step.

So the first step is making sure every child has access to internet. Then, what's the second step, and what's the third step? Because that's not enough. The first step is, every school should implement the 1619 Project curriculum. That's the first step.

What's the second and third step? So I want to make sure that as Micere also said, our imaginations shouldn't be limited to what we've known schools to be and do in the past. We have to go beyond that, and we have to dig deep in our imaginations and say, what do we always want our schools to be? When we have-- I often assign this to my students in my classes. If you could reimagine schools and create the school of your choice right now, how would it look? How would it feel? What would it do for people?

We need to have that impetus in our school systems now and in our district and keep those vulnerable people at the center of all of our discussions. I'm excited to talk with the rest of the panel this afternoon.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Thank you for those remarks, all of you. So I'd like to start with a question about framing this moment. Schools closed March 17th. That was about four months ago. We have another month before the fall begins in whatever way that will look. How would you frame this moment that we're in, and what is the scale of the challenge that we face in Chicago?

Maurice, I'm hoping we might be able to start with you with that question.

MAURICE SWINNEY: Sure. The blessing and the sort of wrestling with the idea around what does it mean for different student groups to enter back into school. And one of the reasons why we designed a preliminary framework is to do this what I call an organized brain dump of ideas in order to figure out what are the ways in which we need to start getting young people more connected to school, more connected to their teachers, more connected to what education is within our city?

And I do recognize-- I commit to Micere's point, because a part of what she did with Tilden was really help us to think about, in what ways are we perpetuating the things that we don't want to happen within our school based on our school policies, the way we're set up and organized around care for young people in the sense of belonging, and all of those things that are critically important to transforming the student experience in school?

And I think right now, what we did recently was get some more insight into what I considered-- I'm going to call it the nuance of, what does it mean for different types of people to enter school? And what might it mean for our youngest learners? What might it mean for students who are transitioning from a middle school to a high school? What are all the ways that we need to think about it? And then we put out the preliminary framework. We put out some surveys. We had some opportunities to engage with people virtually.

And now, we're taking that information back to make better sense of it, because what we don't want to do as an organization is neglect the different ways in which people are situated and how we respond to young people and to their families in the crisis. But also, really, how do we reimagine school? How do we rethink time?

And I'm reading this book called Coloring In White Spaces. I actually having here, because it's probably one of the best new books. It sort of does the work of tracking what's happening in New Zealand and thinking about how do we disrupt systems, structures, policies, and all those other things to be more in service to our least served and most marginalized communities? And so we're figuring that out right now.

We're also just being real honest and vulnerable with, here's our best thinking. Let's comment on it. Let's figure it out and reimagine what these spaces look like. And also, everybody's thinking about our teachers who are very important to the city, to life itself. Without our teachers, and without their brilliance and them being prepared and thinking about, what does it mean to engage young people virtually or in a hybrid model and all of those things, I think we're in the middle of wrestling with those ideas. And we'll make some decisions, and then we'll come back to everybody and let us know what we are.

But I will say, as an organization, I know Dr. Jackson's commitment and even my own. I'm in it for the long haul, because I do think-- the Equity Office is doing some work with the National Equity Project. And we're looking at what's happening across the country and actually across the world with how are people thinking about what does it mean to do school now, and how do we begin to do the right transformative work where young people are not having wider literacy gaps but that we're actually able to provide young people with the science and the art of really what it means to be literate and putting those sort of investments around our young people.

Just real quick, I recently had a conversation with some black families, black mothers and caretakers, and I pulled out this particular group, because as when the pandemic happened, I found myself in multiple virtual community meetings around the city almost every night. And I was learning some of the things. Rebecca, as she was talking, about our LatinX, our Latino community, those needs were coming up as well.

But one of the things that really clenched my heart was around what black mothers and caregivers were saying that they need for their young people, because we know that literacy is one of the great access points to what prepares people and gives them access to society. So some of the problems are large. Some of them are small, and we're figuring them all out at the same time. But I trust in the collective wisdom and the inclusive partnerships of working with people to figure this out along the way.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Thank you. Rebecca, I would ask you the same question, as someone who is hearing a lot from Latino families. How would you frame this moment, and what is the scale of the challenges we face?

REBECCA VONDERLACK NAVARRO: Yeah, and I really liked both of what Maurice and Shanta were bringing up. I think what we're seeing is that there were inequities that existed before the pandemic, and they've really become exacerbated through the pandemic. And I think fundamentally, what we're seeing is the absence of a strong social welfare safety net in this nation. And it's really taking communities to the tipping point.

Schools are hubs for food, for emotional needs, for academic needs. I have a colleague from Europe, and he's like, what? Why are you giving out food at the school? But that's what we've had to do. Schools have had to transform into these hubs, because we don't have a strong social welfare safety net. And I think potentially, an opportunity is, there are certain things happening in society right now and rhetoric that I think at one point even months ago would have been considered radical and kind of out there that's moving into mainstream.

And sometimes at these moments of crisis, these can be shifts in history for rethinking and reimagining something better moving forward. But it's definitely going to take a comprehensive approach. And the scale of this is huge, and there's a number of ways of approaching it. But I did want to bring an angle of it, just because we are so focused on the young learner at my organization. And all of us across the board know for all students, particularly black and brown students, that that early foundation of learning is just so critical.

And I do think we need to engage experts from the medical field, early childhood in the early elementary years to get guidance on what's appropriate for the young ones right now. I never in my life thought I would be talking about remote preschool, remote kindergarten. I mean, it kind of blows my mind a little. But we need more guidance on exposure to screens, how long, what's appropriate. What are the virtual activities that work?

What's the role of the adult caregiver in mediating these experiences? And what does that mean for a caregiver that might not be at home at the time the learning is taking place? How do we boost home language? We just talked about literacy. Maurice is talking about literacy with young black mothers, and we know that oral language development is a critical precursor for reading. How do we do that in a remote setting? And I think we want to be thinking about that.

There was a glimmer of I think creativity and folks thinking outside the box. This is not a panacea that's going to fix everything, but it's ideas of communities coming together. This was happening in Elgin. I heard about this with museums and local libraries of Chicago, developing learning kits for families. They had books in the home language. You know, a lot of low income families and immigrant families don't even have books at their home.

Art supplies. Manipulatives for young learners. That's so important. Math manipulatives. And this was important-- number one, parents were being told how they could use these different resources to guide learning. But then also, teachers knew what was in the home for creating lesson plans. And again, that's not a panacea that's going to fix these huge, momentous things, but it's the example of folks coming together, thinking outside the box, or for how we can engage this moment.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Thank you. Micere, I'd ask you the same question, how you're framing this moment about four months after the closure of school buildings and the scale of the problem?

MICERE KEELS: Yeah, again, I agree with the statements of my other colleagues. And in part, a lot of us are going to say we agree with the statements of the others, because there are so many different things that need to be attended to simultaneously. That's part of the scale of the problem, is that it is many problems that are going to look different in different communities. So one idea that there is no one answer, and I think that that's a really critical point that aligns with both what Maurice and Rebecca said is the need for guidance based on our research evidence. So taking what we know and then applying and extending that to the current context.

When we look at one of the reasons why Chicago was so successful with regards to the health effects broadly, in terms of bringing down the curve of infection rate-- completely different things need to be discussed when we thin about the racialized effects of the virus, but the overall bringing down the curve-- is that the mayor followed the guidance of public health offices and the state of Illinois. Followed the guidance of public health experts.

And I just want to see that happen in a similar way for how we think about remote schooling as well as the resumption of in-person schooling whenever that will occur, that we are following really strong evidence based guidance from what was happening before the pandemic, and then apply that to this new context so that we have measured steps for how to change the system. That is just one really critical thing.

And we often don't do that with education. We often make either decisions that we think are based on our intuition or what our experiences were, because we all went to school in those types of contacts rather than much more systematically following our evidence and our guidance for what we know are the best options for schools. And that is associated-- to me, when I think about just the repeated push of the statements that many make for we should open schools in the fall, and to me, when I hear the word should repeated many times, then I'm thinking what's happening is that we're not making decisions based on the evidence that we have and we're instead making decisions based on our experiences or emotionally driven decisions. And that rarely leads to the best outcome in this context, and particularly in contexts of crisis.

Yes, the things that we talked about-- kids need the social interaction, and parents need the support of schools. But when we think about what schools would actually look like in order to meet the health guidelines, social interaction is going to be difficult. When we think about the health guidelines that say that the virus is airborne, well, what does that mean when we think about bringing kids into an enclosed context?

We say we can't we restaurants for in-person, inside seating because of those aspects of the virus being airborne, but yet we would think about reopening schools and put kids together in that context with their teachers? So just the need to remain evidence based in our thinking and in our decision making. And like I said, I'll bring that back again to how we think about school safety as we reimagine what school is going to look like when they reopen. We don't have any evidence that police in schools is beneficial but substantial evidence that it is harmful.

And lastly, the big thing about the learning laws. That to me is another aspect of crisis thinking where we're trying to recreate what we think was law with schools closing. Yes, kids are not in a context that is very conducive to academic learning. And so yes, there's going to be academic learning loss in this context. But this is also a context of rich opportunity to utilize everything that's happening in society in order to make sure that remote learning will be an engaged learning process, to ensure that remote learning won't be a context that discourages students from returning when schools reopen.

We have had this issue that's not really talked about that much, which is kids vanishing. Not vanishing, but they've just been lost from schools with schools closing. The most vulnerable students, they just have not shown back up yet in terms of remote learning context because of a myriad of reasons for why vulnerable kids have not accessed remote learning. And so what are our thoughts around that issue?

How can we make sure that we are being creative around just making sure that we reconnect with those kids and make sure that we bring them back into the idea of being in a school community? Because it's going to be even harder to bring those kids back into in-person learning a year from now if we don't think about those issues. And for them, it's not so much about how much academic learning can we replicate in this remote context, but how can we reconnect?

How can we re-engage them? How can we get them to see once again that schooling even in this remote context is important for them? It's going to matter for their future when things do resume after all of this. And that's going to take creativity, not simply printing packets for them, and not simply making sure that a computer is delivered to where they are. We're going to need to be so much more creative about those harder questions.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: I think you raised an important point. And Shanta, I'd like to ask you actually a slightly different question. Your research is with some of the most vulnerable students in the district. And as you may know, we saw in the spring, four out of five students were connecting and participating in some sort of way, but those numbers were a lot lower among some vulnerable student groups.

What have you heard, Shanta, with the research that you've done, and how do we connect back with some of the students who've fallen out of contact?

SHANTA ROBINSON: It's a great question, and it's not an easy answer. Some of those students disconnected from the system for a myriad of reasons. Some of them went into the workforce wherever they could find work, given the opportunity to contribute to themselves or to their families for the first time without having the obligations of formal schooling. Some of them disconnected because there wasn't that immediate outreach and connection by the district and by people they trusted very quickly.

If I'm a student, I'm vulnerable, I'm in a space where I don't have access to technology, then how is the school going to reach out to me, get me back, and then maintain that connection very quickly in the midst of a pandemic when they're also trying to figure out that for an entire district of young people? So getting those students back is not going to be an easy task. It also depends on if we're willing to do the necessary work on the one end to talk to those students and their families.

So we often say, well, students and families have this forum that they can join and talk to us and tell us their problems and their needs or what they need to be able to be successful. But how often do we go out to those families and to those students where they are? And it's sometimes about numbers. We want to get as many people as possible in a forum so we can get a large mass of opinions quickly, and that's an issue of data, but it's also important to go into the homes and go to the lives of students, something that I think is missing, and ask them directly, what do you need to be successful?

And not successful in the way that schools or Western concepts have defined successful, but trying to figure out what students want to be successful, how do they see themselves being successful, who do they want to become, and then trying to figure out how can schools and districts work to meet those needs? And that's not easy. It's not easy to go into spaces and talk to these folks. It's not easy to always find these students.

I work with some of the students who are the most hard to find, because they don't want to be found. Some of them are escaping abuse and all sorts of trauma in their home lives. But you have to have the will. And I think that was going to be the answer to the other question as well-- do we have the will to do what we know works in order to reach those most vulnerable and to be able to not only teach those most vulnerable but to provide the services that they say they need the most?

And I'm not sure if we have the will to do that. We have the research. We know what sort of works, so we know what sort of doesn't work, and we know what researchers to reach out to. We know how to do this work. And yet for some reason, we continue not to do.

And so I'm curious as to now will we keep that focus on-- during this COVID 19 pandemic, do we have the will to stop what we're doing that we know isn't working to do what does work and reach those people, those students and those families, that are the most vulnerable? Who have the least amongst us?

And if we know where they are, we can go to them. Asking them to pursue other opportunity costs in order to come to us is unfair. And it's something that we've been doing for far too long. So do we have the will to do it we need to do in order to make sure that all children are able to be successful and thrive during this time, to be able to come back in a year fully connected when maybe even when they were in schools, the connection still wasn't there?

Presence doesn't mean connection. Presence doesn't mean belonging. So how do we make sure that we start to create that in a new and different way to make sure that we're actually doing what we say we're trying to do?

MAURICE SWINNEY: Yeah, can I hop in right there? Thank you for that. One of the-- I finished my dissertation maybe, I don't know, back in March of last year. And I sat it down, because you all know you need a break from what you work on. But I think to Shanta's point about will, that is definitely something that we have been sort of shifting as an organization around how do we think about our most vulnerable populations within the city and the interconnectedness of resources, housing, economics in terms of jobs, health care?

Like I said, if I could start anything, it would be a program called Equity Heights, and I was playing off the E-H with housing, health care, education, and economics, recognizing that the challenges that the participants in my dissertation were facing were so institutional that it wasn't just about-- I'm sorry, I should give you the topic was the influential relationship factors for parents and re-enrollees, meaning students who dropped out and re-enrolled enroll and graduated or dropped out a second time.

And let me first say, I actually want to end the term dropout. That's another day for another conversation. But one of the things that in trying to select families, it was important for me to sort of get out there more and reach out and build trust. And one of the things that a couple of the families said, the only reason why we decided to participate in this study is because we were able to look your name up and Googled you and saw on YouTube that you had done some social and emotional work in your school. So we felt like you would take our stories and not use those against us.

And what I learned from that experience was that in some cases as an organization-- Dr. Jackson has really been pushing all of us on what are the ways in which we engage families to build up trust so that people can trust us with their stories and that we will do right by them? And that political will I think is a part of what we have to continue to do as an organization. But also thinking about, what are the interconnected ways that government, institution, advocacy groups, agencies are coming together to really wrap ourselves around families that have been historically underserved?

And that's one of the things that I know when we think about equity as an equity office is that we have to figure that out. Because a part of it-- to everyone's point, we do want to continue to engage young people and support them virtually, but we recognize they are being disproportionately impacted through the health crisis, through the housing crisis, through-- some of them have lived in crisis, but we have to shift, like Micere said, from crisis thinking to really reimagining and being very innovative in the solution.

And the part of that is taking what Shanta is calling out, is that really asking people what they need. Recognizing that people hold ideas and solutions for themselves. So I just wanted to say that, because I appreciate that degree of push and that we have to have the political will. So thank you.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Thank you. I'd like to do a quick round robin if we could and just go around. Take a minute. What did we learn from spring? And when we're talking about the rethinking or reinvesting, is there something we should be investing more in that we was starting to work or show promise, at least? And I'd love to actually start Micere with you, if possible. on that. What did we learn from spring?

MICERE KEELS: I would say one of the things we learned by the end of spring-- well, relearned, remembered-- is just the importance of connection in relationships. So I mean, we all know, we all think that everyone says, you can't teach students with whom you have no relationship with. You might be delivering information, but if that information isn't coming from somebody who is trustworthy and who they have some kind of connection or relationship with, you're not really teaching and they're not really learning deeply. So it's not just the delivery of information.

There are a few things that I thought felt very promising at the end of spring. And I am wondering if we will have to re-learn the lessons, this fall. I hope we won't. We started when schools closed with just a really strong emphasis on making sure learning was continuing at pace. So the idea of, where are they supposed to be in the lesson plan and pushing that as the idea to keep track.

So are you still able to move on and continue and push things through with the lesson plans? Are kids turning in assignments? Are they checking the boxes? Did they check in? Did they show up?

And gradually move from that to thinking about, well, OK. What's real learning that might be happening? How can we make sure that even if we're not moving along at the same pace that we were moving along before, that we are keeping students engaged in learning and it's not becoming something that is, I guess, killing their spirit when it comes to academic learning? And then finally moving to, wait, we forgot all about the need to connect and engage and excite kids in this learning process and finally kind of remembering that as more and more kids were dropping off of remote learning, because it was just becoming a very rote and unengaging process that was all about ticking the boxes of accountability rather than about meaningful learning.

And so by the end, we were as a project getting a lot more inquiries about how do we maintain relationships? How do we make sure that kids still feel like they're in a learning community? And to some extent it feels like with the panic over academic learning loss, that there is some aspect of this restart of the year, remote or in-person, might be quickly focused on, well, how do we get back to moving along at a particular pace and forgetting all of the other aspects that are important parts of learning.

And also for failing to be creative about all the ways to use this crisis as a way to stimulate deep learning and thinking among kids. So that's a, just that aspect of things, when we get really pressured towards accountability and ticking the boxes. And the other is value for teachers, value for educators. It seemed at the end of the academic year that there was this renewed-- not renewed-- first time understanding of what it is that educators do as parents who are struggling to make this happen in their own home.

All of the work that educators put in, it seems some of that is being lost as a society, we are frustrated about the fact that we won't be able to send kids back to school because of all of the ways that in-person learning organized our lives. I've just been seeing increased messages around like, well, educators should do this. This is their responsibility. This is their job.

It is not their job to put their lives at risk in order to provide care so that society can function economically. It's their job to think about the well-being and learning of children and of students. So just kind of remembering what we learned at the end of last year about all of the work that educators do in order to make learning happen oftentimes in very difficult contexts. As we're thinking about this resumption, that they're struggling and working hard to make good decisions for kids.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Rebecca, I'd like to ask you the same question. What did we learn from spring, and is there something that we should really be focused on that showed promise for fall?

REBECCA VONDERLACK NAVARRO: Yeah, I think we really learned that learning is so integrated with student physical and emotional health, and that it's critical that we approach a child holistically in their learning. And I think it's going to take more than schools. It's going to be schools connected with community organizations, businesses, the philanthropic community supporting everyone coming together for this moment to help families. Just even small steps, practical steps that we can take.

I think the State Board of Education was right in giving guidance to districts to develop a needs assessment survey, gather information from families, see what basic needs or emotional needs are. And I think as Shanta was saying, we've got to think outside the box and really comprehensively about ways we're going to reach diverse families. You've got to make sure you have bilingual personnel.

A big thing, particularly in immigrant communities right now, is trust in the current immigration climate. So are there certain churches or community organizations that are linguistically culturally responsive and have trust within the communities to reach out to them? I know one of the biggest questions I would be asking if I was in a building right now is who coming back has experienced loss, and how can we prioritize them for support?

Is there a way we can obtain mental health consent forms from parents before school even starts? Do we have folks, especially bilingual folks, assigned to frequently quickly updating family contact information? We know families in trauma, their information could change. They could move around a lot.

I'm thinking a lot about ways we can get information safely to parents who are living in fear about what they're eligible for in this current immigration climate. I'm talking with the Office of Language and Cultural Education at CPS about ways to reach families. There's been some amazing parent engagement with bilingual parent councils across the district, but they've relied on face to face meetings. So I think we need to think outside the box about how we're going to engage families.

If, Shanta, I love the idea of go out and meet people where they are. That might not be possible given the virus. If it has to happen virtually, what does that mean? Do the parents want to do Zooms? We're thinking about even shorter video snippets that someone could download on their phone and maybe see on their work break.

I think it's going to take a lot of different trial and error to see how we reach families that support them, but it can't all be placed on schools. Here's me from a nonprofit saying, we need a lot of different stakeholders coming together to lift up students' families right now.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Same question for you, Shanta. What did we learn from the spring, and is there something that we can grasp on to invest more in for fall?

SHANTA ROBINSON: Cassie, unfortunately I'm not sure we learned very much, not the type of learning that we want our students to engage in. The type of critical, deep learning that leads to different behaviors, better behaviors, positive outcomes. I don't think we did that type of learning.

And part of that is that when the pandemic first happened, I think people were willing to give teachers anything they wanted, including houses, cars, take all my money. As long as I didn't have to teach my children fractions, I was willing to do whatever I needed to do in order to have my children taught by the teachers, which was a drastic turn from how teachers are often vilified in our country, particularly when they're asking for things like more money or better benefits.

And at this crucial time, we saw teachers were applauded and revered, and that lasted all for maybe a month, maybe two months. And now, we're saying, oh, teachers get back in the classroom and do what we pay you very little to do to risk your lives. And part of that problem was that as teachers were busy revamping the classes, revamping their curriculums, trying to be attentive to the students who were with them virtually, they didn't have strong voices to advocate for them in a larger narrative.

So the vocabulary and the way we talked about education, the way we talked about teachers and schooling, was co-opted by those who had not the most positive or not the most sincere outcomes for all children at the heart. That's what I've said. So when we think about how we rephrase our questions of learning loss, that's a small nuance of a word of learning loss, but it means so much when we're talking about schooling and what's happening in the school walls, what happens with children.

When we think about, when we talk about teachers going back into the classroom, what does that mean? Unfortunately, I feel like the things we could have learned and moved in a positive direction, those opportunities slowly and quickly slipping away. And I think if we are to turn the tide and make sure schools are different in a more positive way, different in ways that are attentive to all the needs of students, that are attentive to the unique needs of vulnerable students, that we have to stop where we are and have different conversations with the people who are intimately involved with children and their families.

We have to bring teachers to the table. We have to bring administratives to the table. And that's hard to do when they're scrambling trying to figure out how to do a hybrid curriculum. And that's hard to do when they're having to figure out how to work this out in their homes with themselves, when they have families and students to take care of themselves.

We had an opportunity to pause, and we did that very shortly. And then, we kept going back to, let's get back to normal. Let's push, push, push. And we lost the opportunity to really learn. And if we think about learning as, I'm going to remember something and do better in the future, I'm not sure we did that.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: And Maurice, I'd like to also give you a chance to weigh in-- what when you're thinking about spring what we learned and a place you're thinking about applying that learning for fall.

MAURICE SWINNEY: Yeah, I think one of the-- I was having a conversation with my mother about Hurricane Katrina. I'm originally from New Orleans, and it seems like every August she and I always revisit when the levees broke and the impact that it had on New Orleans and the families and all of us who are involved. And when we were talking, one of the things she said was, this pandemic thing is a little different, because it impacts everybody.

And what I took away from that was that we have to be extremely thoughtful and continue to reimagine the complexity of what it means to be an educator right now in Chicago, or really just the broader context, and really constantly show appreciation for the way teachers are showing up, principals, support staff, how everybody is showing up. And I do think we can still learn from that experience. I do feel like there is an ongoing window of opportunity to think about what has happened to people, and how do we reimagine what relationships need to be like in this virtual space?

I think the thing that gave me a good sign that we could sort of be transformative is, we were able to start to solve some of the technology piece very quickly. Every policy that was attached to that, we disrupted in order to make sure that young people started to have access. We got Wi-Fi connection for mobile students, mobile hotspots, so if they moved around, the Wi-Fi moved around with them. And that sort of reimagining throughout all of the complexity to do something different, we were able to do.

And I still hold out for that. I still hold out for that for Chicago Public Schools. I still hold out for that for partnerships, for faith based organizations, for the philanthropic community. For me as a black man in America, I have to live in hope. If not, I'll live in rage. And I am choosing to be extremely hopeful about what we can do and what we will do in our district, and I appreciate the ways in which all of my colleagues here are surfacing all of those things, and I think all of that is very great positive energy and pushes us to do the right thing on behalf of other people's children.

And if we think about our most vulnerable populations in the city, it's going to take every single one of us, especially those of us who have access to time, who have access to money, who have access to resources to drive them into our most divested communities within this city and do right and correct the historical harm. And I believe that we as Chicago Public Schools are primed for that. I know I am, and I know my colleagues are.

And I believe that we can do it. It might take something. I'm reading a book called Fumbling Towards Repair. And we might get some things wrong along the way. But at the end of the day, I really believe we can have a transformative system that takes into consideration the needs of all of our young people and does right by them. So thank you so much.

And in fact, I have a conversation with some young people next about policy, because I'm trying to figure out, how do we get student voice in on transforming policy to make sure that it is working in service of them, because they're always on the receiving end of it? So I'm very optimistic and just thank you for having me and to share space with people whose work I admire, who has helped to be influential in how I do my work.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: And can we end on that and just maybe quickly go around and just say what should we do next? What is the next piece, if each of you would maybe take just a minute and stress? Maurice shared with us meeting with students and hearing from them. Rebecca, what should we do next?

REBECCA VONDERLACK NAVARRO: So a next step that I'm taking at my organization, I'm working with Dr. Luisiana Melendez, who's on the Chicago Board of Education to help facilitate a discussion with folks from early childhood, English learner directors across the state, different results from philanthropy, different policy think tanks to really come together and think about how we support Latinos and English learners during Covid and its preliminary recommendations.

But we're thinking of it in terms of family engagement, digitally, because it's not just getting access, right? It's thinking more comprehensively around it. Socioemotional health, and professional development that would be appropriate for teachers. So this is preliminary in nature, but I think it's a way for us to bring folks from the field and have a check in with what's working, what's not working, and I think we're going to have to continue to do that.

Given that these are such unprecedented times and strange in ways, we're going to need to keep checking in with the field to hear what's working well, what isn't, and how we need to pivot. I think we're going to have to be very flexible, because this reimagining isn't going to happen overnight. And I want to be really careful as someone that engages with others around policy, I never want to be part of something that's top down onto the field. I want it to be really interactive.

There could also be opportunity to rethink testing. I think that's going to be very complicated moving forward. I know parents want assessments. They want to hear how their kids are doing, but high stakes summative assessments, I think we are going to have to think outside the box.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Thank you. Micere, what do we do next?

MICERE KEELS: I would say we need to hold two things in tension simultaneously, which is make sure that in this moment, we are doing the best we can so that we don't lose this current generation of students, and doing it as creatively as possible in this moment. So for us, my project, we are really working on building teacher capacity in this moment for thinking about how to make the reopening of schools virtually or in person as trauma responsive and as supportive as possible, which means focusing on the learning community, this virtual community. How can we create it as a community?

How do we support? How do we teach teachers how to talk with students about maybe difficult and traumatic events in this remote space, where they can't get close? So really working on, what are some of the immediate professional development needs that teachers have? We are working on that right now and supporting a whole bunch of teachers around those things.

And also doing some of that future looking work where we're saying, this is what we know that's evidence based. How can we use that as we think about the resumption of schooling and what it needs to look like? So just holding both of those things simultaneously, making sure this year is as developmentally supportive and engaging as possible and making sure that we hold space so that we are not going to simply return students to a system that was broken before. That this is a possibility of post-traumatic growth for the system as a whole.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Thank you. Shanta, final thought?

SHANTA ROBINSON: We do everything that everyone here has said. Everything that everyone, all my colleagues, have already said. I want to add that I think it's a prime opportunity for us to recruit black and LatinX teachers to the teaching field. That there are tons of people, young people in their 20s, who may or may not have a BA degree already who are out of work, who are unemployed.

And it's an opportunity for us to say, have you ever thought about being a teacher? Have you ever thought about being a school social worker? Have ever thought about leaving the hospital and becoming to be a school nurse? And then if CPS really took the time and energy to go out and recruit those folks, those black and LatinX folks who may be looking for an opportunity to do something different, oftentimes, we say, you know, teaching is a calling.

And in some ways, it is. But I also think that sometimes, people resist their callings in various ways, and sometimes people don't know what the opportunities are, because those spaces for them when they went through it were traumatic. Some people don't want to be teachers because of the trauma they had in those spaces as young folks themselves. But I think it's a great opportunity for us to recruit black and brown people into schools in a time where we know the research says they are critically important for not only the academic success of students but the social success of students.

So I think that's where we go next. I think that's what we do now. And we do it with intention, and we do it with thoughtfulness, and I think we can change schools and change how schools look and feel with relatively very little outlay at the beginning.

But I think we have to have the will to want to do that. We have to have the will to say, we need more black and LatinX teachers in front of our classrooms. We need more black and LatinX principals leading our schools. And now is a great opportunity for us to go and find those folks given that a lot of people are out of work and maybe looking for a different occupation.

Thank you all. This has been wonderful.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Thank you. And Maurice, may we close with you? What do we do next?

MAURICE SWINNEY: All of that. Shanta, let's definitely keep talking about that, please. No, but I think for me first, let me just say I appreciate all of your bodies of work, and I am reminded that I need to remain connected to each one of you. It seemed like early on in the equity work, we are all connected. And then as things blossomed, some of the time, I haven't-- so I feel like I just need to re-engage. That's number one.

Number two, I do think we have to think about what are the ways in which we constantly are drawing investments into our schools in service of the whole family? And what I mean by that is, people are struggling with rent. They're struggling with multiple things that are all impacting the student experience. And at the same time, we do need to have an evidence based approach, as Micere talked about, with all of the ways in which we are trying to transform American education.

We know that the system did not work for everyone. That's why we have gaps. And some of these are historic. They go back-- my team and I have been analyzing racial equity policies across the country and learning a lot around what people say they value and the outcomes that come out of what people say that they value. And really making sure that as we think about moving this work forward, what are the resources that we will need so that people are not lost for a long period of time, like Shanta pointed out, or that we're trying to get people to come back to a normal school setting, like Micere was talking about.

Or that we are not thinking about the different types of designs that are needed for bilingual education. I feel like all of these things that while they're coming to the surface, the question is how do we observe it? How do we begin to solve for some of those things? Because if not, we would expect gaps to constantly grow. But I believe in the collective wisdom and the energy of people who are on the front lines like my colleagues right here.

In my head, you're in the room, so I'm pointing to you in the room. My colleagues who are on this panel, myself, and us at CPS. I believe if there is any time that we can do the transformative work, it's now. And to Micere's point, let's not waste a good crisis. Let's figure out what does it mean? And if that means we have to disrupt things, then we have to continue to sort of figure that out along the way.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Well, thank you all for sharing your collective wisdom with us today. And thank you also to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for hosting this conversation. I think it was a really important conversation. And I know it will be continuing in all of your spaces as well as ours at Chalkbeat. So thank you.

JANE DOKKO: Thanks so much.

MICERE KEELS: Thank you.

CASSIE WALKER BURKE: Thank you, everybody. Take care.


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