Fearless Prediction

Americas public school kids are in the middle of the biggest snow day in national history.

In-school classes in much, perhaps most, of the country are canceled for the rest of the year.. While schools are switching frantically to non-traditional, largely online instruction, it’s safe to say the apple cart has been completely upturned.

A former education bureaucrat and current consultant to the educational/industrial complex, writing in the Washington post, is very, very worried about What It All Means:

There is no research to measure what the effect of this massive break will be. In our lifetimes, Americans have never canceled so much school for so many children. But we know one thing for sure: The impact will not simply disappear. It will linger into next school year and beyond. Indeed, Hanushek and others have found that the effects of a single great teacher or a single substandard teacher can be measured into adulthood. And the negative effects of chronic absenteeism(typically defined as missing at least 15 to 18 days in a school year) on student achievement are clear — and dire.

My prediction: the only “dire” results, assuming the truth ever is let out by a media that is completely in bed with the establishment, will be to the establishment of the educational/industrial complex.; I predict it will be showing that the vast majority of children thrive, learning at their own pace, more or less, from home, and not being jammed into uniform desks in airless classrooms, having material presented to them in assembly line fashion as if they are widgets on an assembly line – which, cynical as it sounds, is the model for the vast majority of education, public and private, today.

I predict that most kids come out of this episode smarter than they would have had they stayed in school.

As the author notes, there will be exceptions; children of poor families, or whose parents aren’t able to devote as much attention to dealing with the kids needs while they’re quarantined.

Another fearless prediction: for the vast majority of those kids, this will still be the best educational time of their lives. And for the rest, they are the same ones that the public schools are leaving behind when they’re in class.

Prove me wrong.

4 thoughts on “Fearless Prediction

  1. Totally agree! Two of my neighbors have elementary aged children and report that they are really enjoying the time with them. Another neighbor, who used to teach math, and still has her substitute teaching license, has offered to tutor the kids in math and has provided math assignments based on current MN curriculum.

    One more thing that I’ll add. I would bet that at least 50% of these kids are glad that they don’t have to go to school, because they are bullied when they are there.

  2. My brother teaches in a private religious-based school. He mentioned the challenge in shifting to on-line learning. I scoffed – assign a chapter, give them a quiz, what’s the problem?

    He teaches Wood Shop. Oh.

    I suggested he mail every kid a jackknife to practice wood carving around the house but the Parents’ Council quashed that idea. Time to get creative.

    Remember the “Primitive Pete” filmstrips? They’re on the web. Hey, kids, for today’s “distance learning” we’re going to watch cartoons from 50 years ago and take an on-line quiz. Why not – they worked for us. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – yep, still got all 10 of them.

    Massive challenges, but massive opportunities for creativity, too. Maybe not in the public schools, where everything must be done according to Directive From Higher Authority and also must be Union Sanctioned. But watch the kids in private schools/charter schools flourish.

  3. JD;
    OMG! Loved the Primitive Pete series. We saw every one of them in 7th grade shop class. I had shop 2nd hour, so since we were all 13 year olds and all had “the Monday morning blues”, our shop teacher ran one at the start of class each week.

  4. My oldest is in preschool at a Catholic school that covers grades PS3-8. The school administration, anticipating distance-learning after Spring Break, contacted parents, ahead of IA’s decision to close the schools, and distributed instructions for setting up their computers for distance learning. The Monday after Spring Break was designated the day to debug the system, and Tuesday the first official day of classes. We had no problems getting things working on my wife’s old iMac, and my wife’s been working with my son on his daily learning assignments from his teacher. Funny how when there’s sufficient incentive to provide a quality education to children, it just works.

    Of course, the media have their prepared narrative that quarantining social distancing is going to have an adverse effect on schoolchildren.

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