Coronavirus Education Opinion

Coronavirus exposes America’s fake equal education doctrine

When schools in Japan closed due to the coronavirus, I joked that students in America finally have a chance to catch up. Now that schools in America are closed, we’re seeing how much further behind students from poor school districts are becoming compared to students from rich school districts.
I know I’m going to sound like a broken record, but until we combine school districts to allow all students an equal opportunity to learn, situations like this will make it worse for the children on the low rung of the educational ladder.
My sister lives exactly 6.6 miles from me and you’d think she was on another planet when it comes to the education her children receive versus children in Chester. Someone from her school district knocked on her door last week to deliver 2-laptops and 1-iPad for my nieces and nephew to conduct their online learning while sequestered at home. Here in Chester, school is out, that’s it, period!
Two things I know for certain: 1) You can’t turn a brick and mortar school into a cyber school overnight; and 2) You can’t turn a parent that doesn’t check homework into a parent that conducts homeschooling.
Folks are mad at the Philadelphia school district for telling schools to just stop trying to make these kids study while out of school. Their logic is, if every student doesn’t have the resources to learn from home, than nobody will be required to learn from home.
This doesn’t mean students shouldn’t be learning from home if they have the resources like a parent to facilitate learning; some learning materials like books, paper, and #2 pencils; internet access and learning devices that connect to the internet, etc. Philly said teachers are no longer responsible for tracking, grading, or making sure students have any curriculum to follow while out of school..
I’m not mad at the Philadelphia school district or Chester-Upland. These school districts are so far behind in offering any type of learning outside the classroom that it makes no sense to try to patch something together now. They have a hard enough time getting any learning done on a normal day in the classroom.
To keep all students on an imaginary even keel, you’d think the U.S. Department of Education would use the same logic as Philadelphia based on how not all students across the country have equal access to learning resources at home. So, let’s everyone stop trying to learn until we get back to school.
Why should rich school district kids get an advantage over poor districts just because they can keep learning? Aren’t we leaving the least of our students behind even further? Is that the plan? I’m sure there’s no plan, but it sure exacerbates the existence of have-and-have-nots when it comes to education in America.
Even if we took baby steps, what harm would occur if the school district my nieces and nephew attends allowed just 3 students from Chester in each grade from 1st to 12th? Just like Chester-Upland pays for students to attend failing charter schools in Chester, they will pay for students to attend the good school district 6.6 miles away?
I know that’s too logical. Our country, county, and cities would rather entire school districts stop teaching all together while their ‘other’ students continue learning every day.
Sometimes I just hate how badly we behave in this society. Race and class discrimination hurts us all, and when it comes to education, why would a society not want all their citizens as educated as possible?
I know I can’t be the only one who agrees.

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