School Year 2020-21: We Are Asking the Wrong Questions

Daniel Katz, Ph.D.

It is perfectly understandable that many in our country want public school buildings to be open for in person instruction this year. Among the many hardships of COVID-19 lock downs school closures were especially hard on children and families. Essential workers with very young children suddenly found it impossible to provide childcare and supervision. Parents who could work from home had to juggle the incompatible tasks of doing their own work while keeping an eye on children learning from remote. Remote schooling further demonstrated how unequal a society we are with millions of newly distant learners suffering from lack of reliable technology and sudden separation from the critical social and health services that rely upon school buildings to be delivered.  And, of course, a hastily cobbled together remote learning plan in response to a swiftly growing and deadly disease was a poor substitute for in person learning and the social…

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