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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Teacher Tom: No One Has Fallen Behind

Teacher Tom: No One Has Fallen Behind

No One Has Fallen Behind

Seattle's schools closed due to the coronavirus on February 27, which means the kids have been out of school for 15 weeks. Yes, there have been valiant efforts at online schooling, but neither the teachers with whom I've spoken, nor, more importantly, the kids think it amounts to much. They're going through the motions because that's what's expected of them, but when I recently asked a group of teenagers how it was going they all agreed that they were "learning about half as much." And these are "good students." They all told stories about how some of their classmates weren't even trying, doing things like turning off their cameras and renaming themselves on Zoom as "Reconnecting . . ." Of course, kids have ways of tuning out even without remote learning, but I think most agree that from an academic point of view, this sort of schooling falls into the category of "better than nothing . . . but just barely."

Of course, this is all just from the "academic point of view," meaning that if you measure success by the pace at which the kids are marching through material that a committee of adults has determined they need to be marched through, then the children are falling behind. "Months Behind" screams a recent headline in the New York Times. "New research suggests that by September, most students will have fallen behind where they would have been if they had stayed in classrooms, with some losing the equivalent of a full school year's worth of academic gains."

First of all, allow me to respond with a resounding, "No duh!" If CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: No One Has Fallen Behind