Boston Parents Schoolyard News compares proposals from BPS administration and the Boston Teachers Union on how to re-open schools next month.
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I'd like to see some data from child learning experts about what the lack of normal school will do to a child's educational and emotional development. (To the extent they would even know.)
From the educators I've spoken to they generally figure it will set children back 6-12 months back for reading and writing. Everyone seems to think Zoom is horrible for learning for children, although admit there might be few options left. (Sick parents aren't great either.)
I don't have a stand on school reopening one way of another beyond being mad most of the developed world has figured this out and the US hasn't.
Wealthy parents are able to pay for dedicated Zoom "minders" and put groups of children in pods but this seems like it's only going to further the divide between the rich and poor.
Just another way the US fucked up, I guess.
We don't have specific data yet. Maybe next year.
I think the closest you'll come is looking at the phenomenon of the "summer slide." Think of public school's attempts at distance learning as an extended summer.
That may not be much help, because the subject of "summer slide" in itself is debated. Some say it's real, some say it isn't, and both perspectives are based on data.
Educators who think a year out of school would set back kids a year have a very inflated sense of their own importance. School is important for many kids, but not for some, and most of the time at school is wasted anyway. Kids can learn to read, and keep reading, without teachers being involved. Kids who won't read aren't helped much by pretending to their teachers that they did read.
If the kids keep reading books (it doesn't much matter which books) and keep practicing math, they'll be all right. Almost all of them will end up ahead of where they were when they left, and some will end up ahead of where they would have been had they gone to school. Khan Academy for all and books all around.
That's not what the question is though. The question is are buildings safe enough to return to. Whether that answer is yes or no doesn't change depending on how much remote learning could "set kids back."
That's an abstract and unproven concept anyways. Would you and I not be able to do our current jobs if some personal emergency kept us out of school for a year when we were 10? I don't think so.
Also, if you or a family member dies this whole conversation is moot. It would have been better not to go in.
The buildings are safe, the students are not.
100 year old buildings? Rooms with no windows and malfunctioning ventilation?
And what you could do with that money if you really planned an “at home” educational system around it.
And the children are pawns.
This isn't chess. Everyone is improvising their way through a game that doesn't have rules yet.
Thanks for the link. Comparing the two plans is helpful. BPS is asking families and staff to voluntarily participate in a huge experiment with possible dire consequences. As someone who, for decades, has rarely known a fully-stocked BPS bathroom (toilet paper, soap, paper towels), what could possibly go wrong?
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