Unless parents and the community stand up and fight what is going on in Education, I am afraid the Public education system is doomed for increased failure. Between the Politicians and the Teacher Unions I am afraid it is only going to get worse.
Let me start by saying as a life- long teacher and School Administrator I have the greatest respect for the teachers in the profession. Over the years I have worked with staffs for the most part were excellent and dedicated professionals. All teachers are like any profession there are superior ones, good and unfortunately bad ones.
However their Unions are another story. Again in full disclosure I have been involved in unions as both a teacher and an administrator. Let us take on the first myth of unions. Teacher Unions are not there for the kids they are by definition there to support all teachers and get the best benefits and salary for them as possible as well as protecting their jobs. This is not unusual as it is the purpose for all unions and their membership. Enter COVID 19. Teacher unions around the nation are clamoring for smaller class sizes and distance learning for indefinite periods. Teacher demands since the very beginning have always fought to reduce class size and teacher class load. COVID 19 may give them a vehicle to do so.
Many Districts are closing down for at least the fall semester. Some using Distance learning and others a combination of distance learning and maybe in class instruction for a week every 2 to 3 weeks. While this may work for the accelerated student and the above average motivated ones, the rest will not fully comply or comply at all and fall further and further behind. All this program will do is to further exacerbate the divide or differences between students. Most average or below average students will pay token attention to on line classes and be even further behind when they actually do get to class. Generally tests scores will decline and the gap between reporting groups will grow wider. The gap between Minorities and Majority will expand.
Add to the mix the rural counties where there may be spotty internet if any at all. Poorer kids may not have computers to do the classwork at home or the computers may be so old they are not suitable for this use. I know Districts are responding they could use either one at the Library or maybe one at a neighbors or relatives house. Again not it is not realistic and will further add to the disparity of results.
Add to that the trend that has been developing for decades where we stopped teaching History and Classics. We stopped teaching the Constitution and what it really means. We stopped teaching Critical Thinking. We have replaced it with a group think.
By using COVID 19 the way it is being used we have weaponized/ politicalized Education. We need to take several steps if we are going to regain control of our schools and put COVID 19 in its proper prospective. First we must stop the panic over COVID19. Yes one life lost is a tragedy. However with a recovery rate at 98% in North Carolina it is far from a pandemic. Schools need to re-open on time. Teachers need to teach in front of students not over the internet. Our Governor needs to look at his own figures and stop using this as a tool to effect the Election in November. Kids not in school, Parents worried how to supervise them while they work. Or they cannot work because of it. Again with a 98% recover rate in North Carolina.
After we get schools open we need to elect Politicians and School Board members that will revise and replace a progressive curriculum. Exactly what needs to be changed is another column. Stay tuned…………..