Most California schools may remain closed when the academic year begins in the fall, according to new state directives, with a majority of campuses likely having to shift to distance-learning instead.
The new requirements stipulate how and when schools may reopen for in-person learning when the academic school year begin. … Under the new rules, a county must also not be on a list of counties being monitored for rising coronavirus infections. Thirty-two of the states 58 counties currently don’t hit that benchmark. To open schools for in-person instruction, those counties would have to be off that list for 14 consecutive days, according to the directives.
The directives are on the heels of announcements that some of the state’s largest districts had already decided to enter the academic year with no in-person classes. Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco all recently said they planned online-only learning when students returned.
This makes sense for a population whose only goal in life is avoiding Covid-19 infection. But why wait for the fall? Given that students already missed a lot academically during what would have been the spring semester, wouldn’t it make sense for K-12 to start up right now for any student who wants to try to catch up? Supposedly, the schools and teachers that did a lame job with online education in June will be doing an awesome job in September. But why not start with the awesomeness tomorrow, for example?
- “Reopen Bay Area schools? Online learning was a fail, coronavirus is surging, time’s running out” (Mercury News, July 12)
- “Virtual charter schools and online learning during COVID-19” (Brookings): We find the impact of attending a virtual charter on student achievement is uniformly and profoundly negative, equating to a third of a standard deviation in English/language arts (ELA) and a half of a standard deviation in math. … In contrast, we find that students who attended brick-and-mortar charters have achievement no different from their traditional public school peers
- “COVID-19 and student learning in the United States: The hurt could last a lifetime” (from McKinsey, the brains behind Enron (TM))