Thursday, February 25, 2021

NOONAN | Teachers between rock and a hard place | Opinion | coloradopolitics com

NOONAN | Teachers between rock and a hard place | Opinion |
Teachers between rock and a hard place

K-12 education in Colorado is a big fat mess. No question. Schools are caught in COVID limbo, with some schools returning to full time, others keeping to a hybrid schedule, and many students continuing online. Teachers are trying to get their vaccinations, which puts to rest complaints from some that they’re resisting returning to the classroom.

That claim about teachers is particularly pernicious. Talk about working between a rock and a hard place. Public school teachers catch derision for their caution, with the deriders accusing teacher unions of blocking classroom returns. But very recently, 1,500 Jeffco middle and high school students petitioned the school board to not resume full-time classes because of COVID insecurity.

Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers says that New York City offers a model for returning to classrooms. That’s a district with a strong union presence. How has the district moved forward? New York City schools benefit from a much larger budget than any Colorado schools. Elementary schools returned to full time in December upon receipt of parent consent forms for COVID testing.

For students to return to school full time in grades 6-8 starting Feb. 25, parents must agree to in-school COVID testing. The random testing occurs weekly for students and staff. The city has improved its CONTINUE READING: NOONAN | Teachers between rock and a hard place | Opinion |