Wednesday, August 19, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: For Teachers, This Is All Unfortunately Familiar

CURMUDGUCATION: For Teachers, This Is All Unfortunately Familiar

For Teachers, This Is All Unfortunately Familiar

It didn’t have to be this way.

I’m not the first person to make that observation, and I won’t be the last. But it bears repeating. Because, for many regular citizens this school reopening-during-a-pandemic business may seem like a brand new adventure, but for educators, this is a new arrangement of a song they’ve heard many times before.

In some alternate universe, political leaders—top folks, like governors and even the President—sit down last winter, or even last spring, and have a long hard talk about schools in the midst of a pandemic.

“Schools are critical,” someone declares. “The workers who keep the economy going need to be freed up to get back on the job. Beyond that, we cannot tolerate on our watch a generation of young people getting a small slice of the education to which they’re entitled.” A resolution is reached. “We will do,” the elected leaders declare,” whatever it takes, come through with whatever resources are needed. We will assemble a blue ribbon panel of scientists and teachers and they will figure out what is needed to get public education safely running again, and we will take their recommendations and make them real.”

In this alternate universe, the secretary of education is pushing and cajoling and shaming and bully pulpiting Congress to authorize the necessary resources. “Not only that,” says the secretary (and some other leaders), “but if we are going to ask public school teachers to be the front line troops in this critical battle, we are going to make damned sure they are taken care of.” Or perhaps in that universe leaders are declaring, “It can’t be done safely. We’d better repurpose billions of dollars for the training, technology and infrastructure needed to pivot US education to distance learning. It’ll CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: For Teachers, This Is All Unfortunately Familiar