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Your are so correct.
In the wake of the coronavirus crisis with most people self quarantined at home, schools across the country are shut down.
Some offer (or are considering offering) distance learning over the Internet.
However, this poses problems.
Not all student services can be provided via computer.
And not all students even have a computer, online compatible device or Internet access.
Should our nation’s public schools soldier on anyway and provide some kind of learning experience for those not thus encumbered at the expense of those who will be left behind?
The U.S. Senate’s proposed coronavirus aid package includes a provision to waive existing federal law that requires all schools to provide services to special education students. Removing this specification would allow districts to move forward with virtual learning without having to worry about meeting the needs of their special education students.
Advocates worry that even a temporary suspension of the Individuals…
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TRUMP (snorts some Adderall and steps to the podium): OK, I wanted to start by saying some people are blaming this thing on Asian Americans. Where would they get that idea? Terrible, just terrible, OK? Don’t do that. Good people, Asians. The Asians love me. They love Donald Trump. We’re going to get through this Chinavirus. We’ll get through this.
This is going to be bad. Really bad. People are going to die. Am I right? Terrible. All those people. That’s why we need to lift the restrictions immediately and go back to work like normal. Can’t let the cure be worse than the disease. We need the economy working. People going to eat in Trump restaurants. Going to Karaoke at Trump private clubs. Staying in Trump hotels. Playing at golf Trump courses. People call me, they say, when you going to open those up again? Everybody agrees. You got…
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The main reason that the U.S. was unprepared to respond promptly to the coronavirus was that Trump repeatedly told the public that it was not a problem, that it would disappear spontaneously, and that it was under control. None of this was true. Even now, almost half of Republicans do not believe that the virus is a genuine public health problem. Now, we are learning that there are real life-and-death consequences attached to electing a vain and ignorant narcissist the the presidency.
New York Times columnist David Leonhardt catalogued the evolution of Trump’s views and statements to the public.
President Trump made his first public comments about the coronavirus on Jan. 22, in a television interview from Davos with CNBC’s Joe Kernen. The first American case had been announced the day before, and Kernen asked Trump, “Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?”
The president responded:…
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Yes, it is that time for the monthly feature of cartoons. For March, I have collected cartoons about online learning. With K-12 schools and universities shutdown, many school leaders have turned to online courses as a way of teaching and learning as well as keeping up-to-date in the business world. Social distancing during the pandemic has expanded online teaching beyond even promoters’ dreams. So it is a moment when the cartoonist’s pen is welcomed. Enjoy!
I was recently contacted by a journalist who asked me if there was any precedent for the current school closings in response to a health crisis.
My first impulse was to say “no,” based on my knowledge of history, but I started googling before responding.
I googled “school closings” and “1918 flu epidemic” and found this excellent article by Alexandra M. Stern, Marin S. Cetron, and Howard Markel, published in 2009.
The authors wrote in 2009, in relation to an outbreak of the A/H1N1 influenza of that year:
”Nine decades before our current encounter with a novel strain of influenza virus, the deadly second wave of the 1918–19 influenza pandemic struck the United States. In response, most urban communities closed K–12 public schools for an extended period of time, in some locations for as long as fifteen weeks. Typically, the order to close schools came late in the epidemic…
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On Friday, March 13, 2020, I reported to school for a professional day to end the third grading period. Since it was a teacher workday, my students had the day off.
Just as our faculty was assembling for an afternoon meeting, Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards released a statement that all schools were to close until April 13, 2020.
My principal was stunned.
The afternoon was surreal.
I thought about my classes, wondered about how to end the school year, but I had no answers.
When I was on social media that evening, I began reading the expressions of shock and grief written by some of my seniors.
My desire to help the Class of 2020 nationwide and their families process grief over the profound loss of the senior year prompted me to contact a friend who had also lost his senior year, 2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year, Chris…
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Chris Dier is Louisiana’s 2020 Teacher of the Year. He teaches social studies in St. Bernard.
I have known Chris for most of his life. I remember celebrating his third birthday with his family (and have the Barney pics to prove it).
Chris knows what it is like to have his senior year of high school wrecked by a major crisis– Hurricane Katrina.
As a result of the social distancing required for America to combat the impact of the coronavirus, governors and other officials are canceling school, and the Class of 2020 across the nation is grieving the profound loss of their senior year.
I know your grief is real, and I am so sorry for your loss.
I want to comfort and encourage you, and for that reason, I asked Chris if he would write an open letter to America’s high school seniors. He enthusiastically and graciously…
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Last night, House Democrats introduced the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes:
Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured;
Paid emergency leave with both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave;
Enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers;
Strengthened food security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors nutrition and food banks;
Clear protections for frontline workers, including health care workers and other workers who are in contact with those who have been exposed or are responsible for cleaning at-risk places;
Increased federal funds for Medicaid, as states face increased costs.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is being brought to the floor less than 24 hours after Democratic leaders unveiled the legislation, a stunningly swift turnaround that indicates…
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I confess that I was very disappointed by the review of my new book in the New York Times. The reviewer thought that I should have presented “both sides,” not argued on behalf of public schools, which enroll 85-90% of American children. If we starve the public schools that enroll most children, we harm them and the future of our society. I debated whether to respond on this blog but then decided against it. Sometimes it is best to remain silent.
Happily, Neil Kulick, a teacher, critiqued the review. He posted his comment here.
Thank you, Neil!
Your new book gives public school teachers (like me) hope. You are truly our champion. Thank you.
A while back, I read the review of “Slaying Goliath” in the NY Times. I did not quite like the review. Here is my reply to it:
Readers of Annie Murphy Paul’s review of…
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