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Should schools reopen?   The Newsy You: News of Today

Started Jul-7 by Showtalk; 636 views.

While it's an old thread, I'll share what I heard on the radio on Friday July 31st.

A lot of teachers are retiring early rather than risking their health and lives if they have any kind of pre-existing conditions. They are saying that they'd rather not bail out of the profession this way but also would rather not die or end up permanently disabled from catching the virus. Many have said that traditional schools were a Petri dish of disease exchange even pre-pandemic, and there's no way they could possibly re-design all the buildings for infection control between mid March when Spring Break began and hasn't really ended yet, and mid August when school begins in most places.

I suspect the actual numbers here in west Texas are a lot higher than 20% of parents or 36% of staff not ready for campuses to open.

Home school and on-line schooling is absolutely booming at the moment.

The problem is still the internet bottleneck faced by rural residents. You just can't handle video or other high data volume stuff using a smart phone with a 1 gigabyte data cap because you can't get real broadband out into Podunk USA because the major ISPs refused to build infrastructure out when they brought it to the big cities, despite the tax on all the phone bills that is supposed to fund infrastructure build-out much like the Rural Electrification Administration brought farmhouses out of the 19th century decades after the cities were lit.

The same bottleneck is present for people who have to work from home (those who can, because their livelihood isn't at the meat packing plant or the prison or the big nursing home)

Of course the big city dwellers usually can get several megabytes per second throughput so they can actually stream a virtual classroom with Zoom. Out where I'm at, it just quits for quite a while and drops a lot of stuff just because the connection falls behind trying to buffer and will never be able to catch up.

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk 

Aug-2

Eventually the problem of Internet in rural areas must be resolved.  At this time, most homeschooling is also online. They are not two separate things.  Parents who can afford it are cr3sting their own teaching pods, where they pool resources to get their own programs and teachers.

Once they realize their old models are failing, th government will try to control homeschooling more than they do now.  Bit the traditional homeschoolers are prepared to fight back.  Arguably the best programs are religious based, and people are not going to give that up or let bureaucrats ruin it.
 

While I have said before public schools don’t handle learning disabilities very well, I am still a strong supporter of public education, as long as it’s working.  But Covid has shown parents there are other options and better options.

Showtalk said:

While I have said before public schools don’t handle learning disabilities very well, I am still a strong supporter of public education, as long as it’s working. But Covid has shown parents there are other options and better options.

Covid has been like a spotlight shining on and revealing things to the masses that only a few have known for maybe decades.

Sort of like you only see cockroaches in the kitchen when you suddenly flip on the light and they all scurry for cover, but now you know they're there.

Many people with learning disabilities that I know or have known use terms to describe their public school experience like "horrible psychological abuse", "like being a POW in the Hanoi Hilton", "an experience I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy", and "a miracle I survived", and "came very close to suicide several times", or "I'm 48 and still get PTSD symptoms from seeing the school supplies in the WalMart every July even though the last time I set foot in a school was 30 years ago" or "we worked very hard to home-school our kids because we didn't want them to go through the hell on earth I did".

A fun fact about home schooling - the past few spelling bee champions were all home schooled, and if the parents have the resources to do it properly, many others go on to excel in life while they might have just been put on the "school to prison pipeline" had they been stuck in a public school.

A good example was the weekend before the total eclipse. The family in Nebraska whose ranch we stayed at almost under the centerline of totality, has 6 kids and homeschooled them. They were out there with proper protective equipment and thoroughly participated in the eclipse.

Meanwhile, I read numerous stories of schools in the path of totality that had just opened the week before the eclipse, had put blackout drapes on all the exterior windows and canceled recess or any outdoor access rather than let the kids actually witness first hand a once in a lifetime experience.

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk 

Aug-3

It’s true, it is a form of PTSD. I worked for a long time with learning disabled students.  They are bullied and abused by teachers and schools in ways the teachers don’t even understand.  They think they are teaching.  Instead it can be in obvious abuse.

I meant to post this here.

Thing is, most people can't afford a private school.

That's also why learning disabled kids usually end up going through hell.

This fall's school season is going to be an unmitigated disaster.

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk 

Aug-3

That is why homeschooling could be very popular. It’s not expensive.  Parochial, private schools are less expensive than others and they often cut tuition for poor families. Jesuit colleges give away a lot of scholarship money to the poor, too.

I know people who declined to even have children because of their experience in public schools, and knowing they couldn't come up with the kind of deep pockets to afford private school. Essentially they saw an insurmountable problem for them that had no solution that they could see.

Poor families often don't know how to access resources that require "thinking outside the box"

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk 

Aug-4

That may change. At one time most people didn’t have cell phones or know how to use them. Now a five year old can use every app and feature of a phone.

It depends on the 5 year old. Often it's the 55 year old (or the 86 year old) that will be the one that is unable to access badly needed resources because they were left behind over a decade ago.

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk 

Aug-4

They can keep up if they want. I said hello to my 95 year old neighbor from my car, and she shouted through the window that she was using Zoom to chat with people.  If she can figure it out, set it up and learn it, anyone can.

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