Mandy McLaren Profile picture
teacher turned reporter, currently telling stories for @courierjournal. past: @washingtonpost, #NOLAed.
PAMI PAMI Profile picture 1 subscribed
Nov 9, 2022 13 tweets 9 min read
🧵 A tale of two books.

I visited a friend over the weekend. Her son is in kindergarten.

He brought each of these books home from school. ImageImage They both have colorful illustrations and the titles both feel age appropriate for very early readers.

But that’s where their similarities end.

Their differences are important. Because they illustrate a critical piece of the Science of Reading debate. ImageImage
Sep 27, 2020 14 tweets 3 min read
THREAD: I left Jefferson Square Park at 8:40, hoping to run up to the CJ and use the restroom before curfew set in at 9.

As someone who writes about Louisville’s kids for a living, I think it’s important I tell you what happened next. There was a group of about 40 people hustling to get over to the First Unitarian Church before curfew.

There was a young man with a megaphone, urging folks to stay on the sidewalk and move quickly so that they could make it on time.
Sep 23, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
Following the #BreonnaTaylor protests in Louisville tonight for @courierjournal.

We’ve got about 75 minutes until curfew. Updates threaded here 👇 Image The crowd marching down Broadway right now is not as big as it was this afternoon — on foot, at least. Cars are following behind.

There are also folks back at 6th and Jeff.
Sep 4, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
INBOX: Some news related to Louisville's disconnected/opportunity youth efforts.

@louisvillemayor has made two appointments to expand the city's Office of Youth Development -- which in recent years, as the @courierjournal has reported, was not treated as a priority.

From June: Image Dr. Aishia Brown has been appointed to be the new Director for OYD, and Dr. Billie Castle has been appointed as a Special Assistant for Resilience and Community Services (RCS) with a special focus in OYD, according to a release from Fischer's office.
Aug 25, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Can't believe how much has changed since this story published on July 13th (and that's saying a lot in 2020!).…

But a quick reminder as @JCPSKY starts back virtually tomorrow: These educators miss their kids. ImageImageImage They wanted to be back. They wanted to make socially distant school work — even though it could put their own health at risk.

And that's the type of people teachers & other public school staff are.

They are selfless, often to a fault.
Aug 19, 2020 20 tweets 5 min read
Happening now 👇

More than 6,500 staff members are tuned in for @JCPSKY's live virtual kickoff for the 2020-21 school year. Image Among the morale boosts this morning, a video of students surprising teachers with heartfelt "Thank you" messages. Image
Aug 18, 2020 39 tweets 11 min read
"We only have imperfect options before us," says @COJasonGlass, Kentucky's incoming education commissioner, who is starting off the meeting with a live video message from Colorado. Kentucky faces "an unprecedented trifecta of challenges," Glass says:
- COVID-19
- Racism
- Forthcoming budget crisis

Glass starts Sept. 14 Image
Jul 20, 2020 15 tweets 5 min read
THREAD: Today, @KyDeptofEd released additional special education guidance for the reopening of schools.

Going to pull out some key pieces of info here 👇 First off, KDE reminds districts that they may owe students compensatory services if FAPE was denied during the transition to remote instruction in the spring.

🚨 NOTE: Parents should be aware that schools may use other terms when bringing this up at an ARC meeting. Image
Jul 20, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
NEW: As @JCPSKY prepares to embark on something unprecedented — beginning a school year remotely — students, parents and teachers agree:

The district can — and must — do better this time around.… ISSUE #1: Serving special populations, including those with IEPs, better.

"These teachers go to school for years to learn how to best teach these kids," one mom said. "And we’re not equipped for that."

"It's hard to get the hands-on, one-on-one time you need in NTI."
Jul 16, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
Hello from ⁦@JCPSKY⁩ central office, where Superintendent Marty Pollio will announce his reopening recommendation at 5 p.m.

This story will update 👇… Pollio says JCPS will start the year in NTI.

Students will learn from home for at least the first six weeks of school.

The district will then reassess COVID-19 data to see if in-person learning can resume. Image
Jul 13, 2020 11 tweets 6 min read
NEW: Across @JCPSKY, nearly 1,500 employees are 65+, putting them at increased risk of dying from COVID-19.

That includes, approximately:

📚 160 teachers and aides
🚍 110 bus drivers and monitors
🥪 80 cafeteria staff
👵 700 substitutes

(Thread 👇)… While folks in D.C. bicker, Kentucky education officials, including @LtGovColeman, aren't pulling punches:

To open — and stay open — schools need support.

Without it, people who have devoted their lives to Kentucky’s kids will die.… Image
Jun 27, 2020 18 tweets 4 min read
Good morning from downtown Louisville, where there’s a significant LMPD presence ahead of the anticipated arrival of armed right-wing “militia.” Background: Social media posts say 'armed patriot groups' will rally Saturday in downtown Louisville…
Jun 26, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Catching up on the #KYed news from today:

1. The Kentucky Board of Education is moving forward with four candidates in its hunt for a new commissioner.

We will likely know the names of the finalists before the Fourth of July weekend. 2. @JCPSSuper held a briefing and said the district is still considering its reopening options.

If JCPS goes back to NTI, he says the district wants to move toward more live-instruction (aka "synchronous"). Internet access still a major problem, though.
Jun 24, 2020 27 tweets 7 min read
In Frankfort for @GovAndyBeshear’s daily briefing, where we’re expected to learn more about the state’s #HealthyatSchool plans. (Thread!) Image Beshear reports 229 new cases of the coronavirus. Of those:
40 in Fayette
32 in Jefferson
23 in Warren

Beshear says many of the Fayette cases are in Lexington’s Hispanic community. Image
Jun 23, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
Back to my WFH sitch and tuned into the JCPS school board meeting, where members just finalized their annual evaluation for @JCPSSuper.

(I've asked for a copy.) Image According to Board Chairwoman Diane Porter, Pollio received "exemplary" ratings in: strategic, managerial and influential leadership.

He received "accomplished" ratings in: human resources, instructional, cultural and collaborative leadership.
Jun 23, 2020 13 tweets 4 min read
#AllEyesOnKentucky Image I don’t know if it’s the sunny weather, the food trucks, or the roller coasters in the background, but I’ve never been at a polling place that has such a carnival-like vibe to it.

Lots of smiles. No complaints. (That’s I’ve heard, at least!)
Jun 22, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
UPDATE: Fischer's budget had proposed a $2.5M investment in @Evolve502. That money would have gone toward a scholarship fund for JCPS graduates, guaranteeing them a tuition-free, two-year college degree, technical credential or workforce certification at @KCTCS or @SCKY_1879. More on that here:…
Jun 22, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
Question: What in the heck does a teacher do if students refuse to wear masks when (and if) in-person classes return?

@KyDeptofEd interim general counsel Todd Allen:

"We certainly wouldn't physically force a mask on any student."

(Thread) But Allen said schools need clear policy for how teachers should respond in this scenario.

Students refusing to social distance or wear a mask "shouldn't be ignored," he says.

Teachers should document efforts to encourage mask wearing, to provide masks, if that's the issue.
Jun 15, 2020 31 tweets 8 min read
In downtown Louisville at Simmons College, where the presidents of Kentucky’s two HBCUs (@SCKY_1879 & @KyStateU) will announce “their signature plan to address inequity throughout Louisville, the commonwealth, and the nation.” Image “These protests shout that it is time for something new,” says Dr. Frank Smith Jr., executive vice president for Simmons.
Jun 8, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
Headed into my 3rd furlough.

And, yes, it sucks. I’d rather be doing my job. Or actually using my paid vacation days.

But what also really sucks is that several of my colleagues don’t even make enough to be furloughed 😤 Which means that while myself and the other furlough folks have literally been forced to take a break, these others have been grinding through nonstop pandemic and protest coverage, *while we’re short-staffed because of said furloughs*, with little to no break.
Jun 4, 2020 18 tweets 5 min read
THREAD: I filed this story last Thursday, hours before the first night of protests in Louisville. It was published on Monday, but, understandably, I doubt you saw it.

Here's one big reason why I hope you will still find time to read & share.… Last night, while covering the #LouisvilleProtests, I found myself on East Broadway, under an interstate overpass.

And while I was doing my best to capture the powerful demonstration that was unfolding, I turned and locked eyes with a young man.