Schools Closing at Last Minute Amid COVID Staffing Shortages; Remote Learning Destroying Outcomes

Schools Closing at Last Minute Amid COVID Staffing Shortages; Remote Learning Destroying Outcomes

The left-wing education establishment in America has latched on to the COVID pandemic as a way to permanently alter how students are taught and barring major pushback from parents or massive changes in voting habits, it doesn’t appear like that will change anytime soon, as long as this virus continues to be a ‘thing.’

According to The Epoch Times, schools around the nation announced “last-minute closure” over the weekend, and of course, officials blamed it on a virus that has had little effect on young people:

Students in a number of districts are slated to return to class on Monday morning from the winter break. Some districts blamed the closures on staffing issues or the rise in cases driven by the Omicron variant.

In Massachusetts, more than a dozen separate school districts were closed or delayed opening on Monday, Jan. 3, with officials citing the spread of COVID-19 and some snowfall.

Also on Monday, in another example, the Pittsburgh Public Schools announced it is shuttering 12 schools due to staffing shortages caused by COVID-19, WXPI reported.

A local infectious disease expert who was interviewed by the local station said that it’s “inevitable that we’re going to see cases in the school” but stipulated closures “can’t be tolerated.”

“We have rapid tests, we’ve got antivirals, we have vaccines, we have monoclonal antibodies, and we have best practices that occurred in the pre-pandemic era, so there really is no excuse for schools to be going virtual at this point, in 2022, in the pandemic,” Dr. Amesh Adalja noted in response to the closures Monday.

A number of other districts in other states were similarly closed, with officials blaming the closures on the virus. That included districts in Connecticut, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, The Epoch Times noted.

Most of them are returning to the failed ‘remote learning’ model which has been found to have been a disaster.

In a Dec. 6 editorial, The Wall Street Journal cited the most recent data indicating that remote learning throughout the pandemic not only put a large plurality of students behind, but test scores fell as failures increased.

“The researchers—from Brown University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and MIT—examine the relationship between in-person learning and third- through eighth-grade student scores in 12 states,” the editorial states. “They found that the share of students who scored ‘proficient’ or above declined in spring 2021 compared to previous years by an average of 14.2 percentage points in math and 6.3 percentage points in language arts.”

And while the left-wing educational establishment claims to care more about low-income and minority students, the continuous return to remote learning demonstrates otherwise: The WSJ said that the most recent remote-learning data proves that those students suffer most.

The researchers noted that “these declines were larger in districts with less in-person instruction,” adding that they found “offering full in-person instruction rather than fully hybrid or virtual instruction reduces test score losses in math by 10.1 percentage points (on the base of 14.2 percentage points).”

Meanwhile, in the language arts, losses for full in-person classroom instruction were trimmed by 3.2 percent.

“In short,” the WSJ editorial continued, “remote and hybrid instruction were linked to two to three times more learning loss.”

There’s more, and it’s especially bad for minority students.

Losses in language arts were “significantly larger in districts with larger populations of students who are Black, Hispanic or eligible for free and reduced-price lunch,” the researchers wrote, citing their data.

And those results ought not to surprise anyone, given that lower-income parents have less time and financial means to dedicate to supporting their kids’ academic activities.

“But here’s the kicker: The study also found that districts with lower test scores and more black students also offered less in-person learning,” the WSJ editorial said.

It should be obvious by now that the American educational establishment and teachers’ unions care far less about actually teaching our students than they say as they continued to use the pandemic as an excuse not to teach.


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