BlueYouth being "youth" and politics focused we thought we should weigh-in on the remote learning vs live classes issue.
According to the Atlantic the British and most most of the EU never shut down schools because:
1 - Kids under 18 are not in danger from Covid nor do they spread it easily.
2 - Parents wanted kids in school.
3 - Teachers unions are weak.
Differently in America the teachers unions are well funded and spent millions on ad campaigns for school shutdowns, based on the ideas:
1 - Covid risk is too high.
2 - Kids can learn just as well from home.
** There is mounting evidence that kids do not learn nearly as well from home / remotely.
As for the Covid risk being too high other research shows that is not true either. According to the CDC Covid deaths for those under 18yrs totals about 200. That is less than 1% of 1% of 1%. It is literally the least cause of death for school children. Additionally, those under 18 have the least significant capacity to spread Covid.
And so on...
PROS & CONS OF OPENING SCHOOLS
Many people have concerns about kids returning to school, and have argued that school shouldn't resume until the children receive the vaccine.
Others argue that the teachers should be the ones to receive the vaccine because students under 18 are less affected by the virus as a whole and it's the teachers we should be worrying about. But it's not only the teachers that present concern, there are so many other members of staff like the front office workers, the school nurse, the cafeteria workers, and the janitors that could all be put at risk without a vaccine.
While those groups of people could have the vaccine available to them relatively soon, it will take a bit longer to get the vaccine to children under 12. “Their biology is different in ways that may affect the way vaccines work.” There are many complications in the process.
Learning Deficits During COVID: While safety and sanitation is a priority, we do have to take the significant loss of learning capability to account. Failure rates for high school and college students are currently through the roof, going up by 5% in some schools and areas, and with young children their reading and comprehension levels have fallen behind average significantly. Learning online presents so many challenges to so many different groups of people, and a transition into in-person schooling could present many benefits.
Two Major Downsides To Online Learning:
Students Mental Health is suffering greatly.
The education gap between the wealthy kids and poor kids is growing more and more the longer we continue with remote learning.
Schools should be the first things open and the last things closed. "But the idea that schools should be the first casualty, before casinos, bars, and restaurants, in my mind defies logic."
Deep rooted fear has prevented scientists from having reasonable conversations about how to open all schools.
The CDC and the federal government has not given enough instructions or national guidelines to schools specifically. This makes it more difficult for schools to re-open because all districts have to make their own COVID plan.
PRO OPENING SCHOOLS
Mental Health and Social Development: Kids in school, especially elementary aged children use school as a place to learn not only the alphabet, but tons of crucial social skills. They learn by positive and negative social interaction with their peers like, "to play with other children and to form and maintain relationships, as well as a host of skills including co-operating, negotiating and the art of compromise." By keeping them from peers they risk a lack of self confidence and self awareness, and become more prone to insecurity and a feeling of isolation.
AGAINST OPENING SCHOOLS
Statistics From Polls:
Survey by Hart Research Associates:
62% of voters do not feel comfortable sending kids to school.
40% of voters said that schools should not open without a vaccine.
63% said that they would only feel comfortable if infection rates were low enough and we followed to four tier system.
1/5 said that the virus is the most important thing to consider when deciding whether or not to re-open schools.
80% of voters claimed that the schools would need more funding to assure that schools would have the ability to re-open safely.
“Before we open schools, we can’t do it unless we are safe. And that has been what we’ve been saying. And the research has showed us that we have been on the right track.”
AGAINST OPENING SCHOOLS
In the UK every age group had a decline in cases, except for children and teens who were attending school.
usnews took data from more than 6,000 school districts to see how re-opening schools affected the COVID case numbers in the community and the schools themselves.
250,000 cases from students and staff after schools reopened.
-The higher the community rate --> the higher the case rates in schools.
-High school student case rate: 13 per 1,000 students
-Elementary school student case rate: 4.4 per 1,000 students
-Downsizing in-person classes by 50% can decrease cases by 40%
-In Florida: Schools that mandate masks have half the amount of cases than schools that don't.
PROS & CONS OF OPENING SCHOOLS
-While COVID may not affect the students when contracted, they will in-turn bring it home to their families and could potentially spread it throughout their communities.
-Between .2% and I 8.8.% of children that had COVID needed to be hospitalized; while those numbers may seem relatively low, they are bound to go up if schools re-open.
-Re-opening schools puts teachers, janitors, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and all other school employees at risk.
Students (especially elementary students) have been struggling to learn and keep up during online school.
-30 million kids rely on their school to provide meals, physical activity, and mental health care.
Younger students need special attention to keep them engaged, learning via computer doesn't keep them focused and in-turn can't teach them much.
-Families who can afford it have gotten their kids tutors or in-home teachers; this puts children who's families who cannot afford this luxury at a disadvantage developmentally wise.
"the wealth gap between white and minority families means this imbalance in school outcomes may increase the achievement gap between white and minority students"
Often times families rely on school so they can go to work and have assurance that they are leaving their children in the good hands of the school. Now, students are either left at home, or parents are forced to quit their jobs or take on less work, meaning lower income.
We need to focus on how to re-open schools in a safe way that benefits the entire community.