Webinar Reax

We’ll get a recording of today’s webinar with Janice Jackson and Emily Oster up as soon as possible. A few quick reactions I had:

Think 2022. The vaccine is not a cure to this problem for a host of reasons. We’re all thinking about the 2020-2021 school year, but also need to think about the 2021-22 one. As Janice Jackson said, at some point the system will be called on the carpet for how it served kids during this time. Thinking about the timelines realistically is a piece of that.

Risk of furthering the two-tiered system: Right now we have a two-tier education system in a lot of ways but running concurrent live and remote instruction seems to carry a risk of deepening that. Teaching live is challenging, easy to badly, hard to do well, and teaching remote is its own set of challenges and most people doing it for the first time this year say it’s a real learning experience. So pivoting to doing both live and remote concurrently means teachers will need more support and we have to be intentional about it. But, if you think parents should have a choice *and* you want live instruction, you’re left with doing both at the same time.

Ventilation: The rates of asthma we see in many communities – long before Covid19 – should be front page news and seen as the crisis it is. The lack of ventilation in schools is only one piece of that but is part and parcel – and is a major issue with regard to Covid. There is a big opportunity for the Biden Administration to tackle air quality and environmental quality.

Challenge of building trust: If you’re a parent in a school system where they’re not even doing a good job teaching your kid to read, then “trust us” is a high hurdle when talking about health and safety. What parents want and what they trust schools to do are not always the same.

Update: Here’s an op-ed from today by three large city superintendents, including Jackson, on some of these issues.

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