We have been against the reopening of school buildings from back in the summer when we knew COVID-19 was not going away and a second wave was probably eventually going to come to NY. Why risk it? Close the school buildings now. It was rather naive to think we could escape a second wave. The city spending God knows how much money for school buildings to open what are in large part phantom schools, while largely not working to improve remote learning, may not have been a wise investment. Here are the NYC COVID-19 numbers for the schools from The NYC Situation Room:
Now for the NYC COVID-19 numbers from the NY Times:
Are the so called leaders who run NYC and NYS (de Blasio and Cuomo respectively in case you have forgotten) going to wait until the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths start to spiral out of control before they shut down school buildings and major parts of the economy? They waited too long in the spring. Will they repeat that error in the fall? I hope not, particularly with an effective vaccine possibly on the horizon.
I fully understand a national approach would be a better idea to attack COVID-19 (you may want to give Biden's task force a little credit here) but it looks like the current President is too busy filing lawsuits that might if successful overturn literally a few votes so we are left to mostly fend for ourselves in the states.
Most learning In NYC is remote. I read Michael Mulgrew's op-ed in the NY Daily News yesterday along with his recommendation that teachers and students bundle up. He starts his Daily News piece off with a boast about schools in NYC being reopened.
Unlike virtually every other major American urban area, it managed to safely re-open its school buildings, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
More than a quarter of a million students — most on staggered schedules — and thousands of teachers have returned to schools under strict safety guidelines, including social distancing, obligatory masks, and mandatory virus testing.
Despite fears of schools increasing exposure to the virus, testing in schools has so far shown remarkably low infection rates, while in-school students are getting the benefit of the small classes made necessary by social distance guidelines.
So far, the logistical and safety challenges of re-opening schools have been met. But despite enormous efforts by teachers, remote learning — something more than 540,000 kids now rely on all the time, and the rest rely on all or part of the time — is still lagging.
He then goes on to say that we need to improve remote learning:
To ensure remote instruction provides children what they need, the DOE needs to better support school communities in two critical ways: getting (and keeping) working technology into all students' hands, and providing the necessary staffing and professional training to make remote learning more effective.
Good ideas, but I have a question for the President: If more than a quarter-million are in hybrid (many not showing up) and something over 540,000 are in fully remote learning, where are the rest of the kids?
The Department of Education numbers reveal that there are 1,126,501 students of which 119,000 are in charter schools so Mulgrew's numbers don't add up. There are plenty of missing students.
This is not good news. Funding for schools is based in large part on how many students there are. Reaching out to families is important. Some who comment here can knock the kids all they want but ultimately educating them is the school system's job. We need to find them somehow to attempt to educate them. I fully understand why the DOE is trying to spin the numbers as best as they can. Fewer students lead to huge budget cuts. Those cuts won't be absorbed at Central DOE but in the schools probably.
In the end, so many of those in charge mostly blowing off remote learning to concentrate on the comparitively smaller number who went to buildings might be looked back on as a huge mistake. The powers that be have a chance to fix this while stopping some people from getting COVID-19 in the process. I have no confidence they will.