Today is the last day of public school here in Missoula. My son gets done at 11 AM today and won’t go back until August 31.
He’s spent most of this year at school, and has been going five days a week for the past few months.
In other parts of the country, this is not the case.
In mostly blue cities, many schools are only partially reopened and are still doing remote learning.
This has had a devastating effect on our already terrible ability to learn.
Just today, the Department of Education released a 53-page report telling us that:
- In Chicago, 14% of white students skipped remote learning altogether, while 30% of black students did.
- In Ohio, black students saw a 50% greater decline in their test scores than white students did.
- Disabled students saw significant declines in education achievement.
- English-as-a-second-language students also suffered greatly.
- Asian-American students saw an increase in harassment and discrimination.
- Female students experienced a greater level of sexual abuse, harassment and violence.
- Violence and abuse against children went up.
- Students of all demographics experienced mental health challenges.
The Department of Education’s only answer to these glaring and generational issues are to throw more money at the problem.
“Attention to these disparities is vital for building equal opportunities in K-12 education during pandemic recovery, the report said. States and districts should close opportunity gaps through money from three relief packages equaling nearly $200 billion of which districts have broad flexibility to spend on academic and SEL supports, equitable digital resources and more, the Education Department advises.”
I feel their advice will only make the problem worse.
It seems they really want to focus on race a lot more than just educating everyone equally.
At the same time, all the minorities are being left behind with the terrible school situation we had before the pandemic, and the even worse remote-learning model that came after.
Amazingly, anywhere from 56% to 68% of different minority groups were learning entirely remotely, while just 27% of whites were.
Why is this? Personally, I think a lot of that data is skewed. In red states, which are mostly white, many schools never shut down, or did so for a short time. In blue states’ large cities, which are largely minority, 48% of middle schools were still fully remote in February 2021.
We’re going to experience the fallout from these pandemic school closure for decades.
So many more young people will never be fully educated, will never read that well, and won’t be able to do everyday math.
Many will wind up dead or in prison. Many more will have children, that in turn won’t be educated and will repeat the vicious cycle.
The more liberal blue states that closed down the longest will continue to spiral out of control, while the more conservative red states that stayed open will do better...but not great.
Education across the country was already quite poor before the pandemic, and when compared to other countries, it was abysmal.
You really do have to educate your own kids, which so many of us don’t want to do because it’s easier to stare at our screens, easier to let them stare at theirs.
Here’s a high school math book from 1921. I doubt many of our high schoolers could do those lessons today.
Here’s a girl’s reading book from the mid-1800s. How many of our students could comprehend it and answer critical questions about it today?
We often think we’re smarter than the people that came before us, but I feel it’s the exact opposite these days.
And it doesn’t really show any signs of changing, does it?