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Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

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ImLawBoy
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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by ImLawBoy »

Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:01 pm
Isgrimnur wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:52 am
I doubt Will Swaim is who you want for nuanced policy discussions.
So what? As the cited lawsuits and LA Times article clearly elucidates, the consequences involved for numerous minority and low-income students are not insignificant and ought not be swept under the rug and disregarded simply because of a few unnuanced tweets from the op-ed author. Attacking and undermining the op-ed writer instead of tackling the issues he, the LA Times, and the relevant lawsuits raise is fallacious ad hominem reasoning.
No, addressing the motivation of the op-ed writer is completely appropriate when responding to that op-ed. If you were more interested in discussing the LA Times article, then you should have posted that instead of an op-ed based on it. I knew after reading the first paragraph that I couldn't bother trusting the author, so why am I going to address his interpretation of the source material?
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Anonymous Bosch
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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

ImLawBoy wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:14 pm
Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:01 pm
Isgrimnur wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:52 am
I doubt Will Swaim is who you want for nuanced policy discussions.
So what? As the cited lawsuits and LA Times article clearly elucidates, the consequences involved for numerous minority and low-income students are not insignificant and ought not be swept under the rug and disregarded simply because of a few unnuanced tweets from the op-ed author. Attacking and undermining the op-ed writer instead of tackling the issues he, the LA Times, and the relevant lawsuits raise is fallacious ad hominem reasoning.
No, addressing the motivation of the op-ed writer is completely appropriate when responding to that op-ed. If you were more interested in discussing the LA Times article, then you should have posted that instead of an op-ed based on it. I knew after reading the first paragraph that I couldn't bother trusting the author, so why am I going to address his interpretation of the source material?
I posted the op-ed because it cited both the LA Times article as well as the relevant lawsuits involved.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

Isgrimnur wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:12 pm
Physiological needs outweigh psychological needs. How are disadvantaged students helped by putting them in a situation where they may bring home a disease that could cripple or kill their caregivers?
Granted, as the American Academy of Pediatrics observed, circulation of the virus may not permit in-person learning to be safely accomplished in parts of the US. But we've previously been able to use cost-benefit analysis in terms of evaluating the risks and benefits of continuing to educate children during the arguably deadlier threat to children and their caregivers in flu season. The CDC reports that in the 2016-2017 flu season, there were 110 "influenza-associated pediatric deaths." In 2017-18, there were 188; in 2018-19, there were 144. And remember, that’s with a flu vaccine. The point being, children go to school every year, day in, day out, as flu seasons come and flu seasons go. And regretfully dozens upon dozens of children die each year. In contrast, the CDC reports only three pediatric deaths from COVID-19. However, individuals with asymptomatic and mild disease, including children, may well play a role in the transmission and spread of COVID-19 within the community. Which is why social distancing and everyday preventive behaviors are still recommended for persons of all ages to further slow the spread of the virus, protect the health care system from being overloaded, and protect older adults and persons of any age with serious underlying medical conditions.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

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Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:48 pm
ImLawBoy wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:14 pm
Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:01 pm
Isgrimnur wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:52 am
I doubt Will Swaim is who you want for nuanced policy discussions.
So what? As the cited lawsuits and LA Times article clearly elucidates, the consequences involved for numerous minority and low-income students are not insignificant and ought not be swept under the rug and disregarded simply because of a few unnuanced tweets from the op-ed author. Attacking and undermining the op-ed writer instead of tackling the issues he, the LA Times, and the relevant lawsuits raise is fallacious ad hominem reasoning.
No, addressing the motivation of the op-ed writer is completely appropriate when responding to that op-ed. If you were more interested in discussing the LA Times article, then you should have posted that instead of an op-ed based on it. I knew after reading the first paragraph that I couldn't bother trusting the author, so why am I going to address his interpretation of the source material?
I posted the op-ed because it cited both the LA Times article as well as the relevant lawsuits involved.
I'm not buying it. You posted the op-ed because you wanted the spin of the author on the LA Times article and the lawsuits. Otherwise, you could have posted the actual article itself and a news article on the lawsuits. Therefore, the motivations of the author are fair game.

And again, I don't think anyone is denying the disproportionate impacts of remote learning on the poor or minority students. It's been raised here multiple times in a variety of contexts. It's a balancing question - which does the most harm? Is it remote learning with its negative impacts both on academics and social aspects, including a disproportionate impact on the poor and minorities? Or is it onsite learning with its negative health impacts, many of which are still being discovered (such as the potentially higher rates of myocarditis)? How long term are the health concerns vs. schooling concerns? There are a lot of unknowns and anyone who knows the answers for certain is likely wrong.
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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by Scuzz »

MHS wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:21 pm
Once again, I am so very, very thankful that we don't have school age children. I can't even imagine how much harder it would make everything. Mad props and strength to all of you muddling your way through it in whatever ways you're managing.

I saw an article today that said some country (can't remember where, sorry) was just bagging it completely and all the students would just have to repeat that grade when they eventually go back. I can't imagine what a shit storm that would cause here in the US. People in our county are already doing a campaign on NextDoor to demand portions of their taxes back because they've pushed out letting students back into schools until at least the end of September (remote learning started last week, I think.)
I am with you. I am so glad my kids are past this.

I work evenings and it is surprising (maybe not) how many people have to guide their kids thru school before they come to work, and how many deal with school related items while at work.

Personally I think with young kids this only works if the parents completely buy into it and accept some of the responsibility for seeing their kids learn. Not all parents are ready for that. Just doing it for a weeks vacation was about all I could take.

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

ImLawBoy wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:59 pm
I'm not buying it.
Then we'll have to agree to differ because…

Image
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

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Scuzz wrote:Personally I think with young kids this only works if the parents completely buy into it and accept some of the responsibility for seeing their kids learn. Not all parents are ready for that. Just doing it for a weeks vacation was about all I could take.
My wife and I were talking about this last night. So far this week we've collectively spent about 10 hours assisting the kids one-on-one with their schoolwork. And it's only Thursday. Because of our work schedules, this all has to take place in the evening after dinner. So 2 hours of schoolwork after dinner and sometimes not getting them to bed until 10 or 11pm is the norm.

I can't imagine what a disaster this is going to be for kids whose parents physically can't or aren't willing to put that kind of time in. And even with all that, my kids are struggling to keep up and grasp key concepts.

I'm not saying "throw everyone back in school" as I know we can't do it safely. But I am saying that remote learning as it's being done in our district is about as effective as just sitting them in front of YouTube. My son, in third grade, gets a grand total of 2 hours a week of actual teacher instruction. I honestly don't know what the fuck they're actually doing.

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by Smoove_B »

YellowKing wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:48 pm
And even with all that, my kids are struggling to keep up and grasp key concepts.
It's partially because K-12 education hasn't changed in a 100 years (delivery). Everything - including the two-parent working household - is predicated on sending your kids to school all day. Its no different in higher ed (from what I've seen). Some of my peers are running general lectures through Zoom where hundreds of students are required to attend and make comments in the chat window so a TA can count them as being "present" and give credit. Why would you do this? Why would you not learn about all your options and come up with better ways to educate and evaluate student learning?

So many times (at all levels) it seems like instructors are just trying to simulate what an in-person teaching experience was like instead of figuring out how to use any number of tools or options to have learning occur.

None of what I've said addresses access inequity, the role parents play or the special considerations for young children or anyone with learning disabilities.

There was so much time to figure this all out, but instead...

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by Isgrimnur »

Image

They're there to teach, not to learn. :roll:

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

Smoove_B wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:56 pm
YellowKing wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:48 pm
And even with all that, my kids are struggling to keep up and grasp key concepts.
It's partially because K-12 education hasn't changed in a 100 years (delivery). Everything - including the two-parent working household - is predicated on sending your kids to school all day. Its no different in higher ed (from what I've seen). Some of my peers are running general lectures through Zoom where hundreds of students are required to attend and make comments in the chat window so a TA can count them as being "present" and give credit. Why would you do this? Why would you not learn about all your options and come up with better ways to educate and evaluate student learning?

So many times (at all levels) it seems like instructors are just trying to simulate what an in-person teaching experience was like instead of figuring out how to use any number of tools or options to have learning occur.

None of what I've said addresses access inequity, the role parents play or the special considerations for young children or anyone with learning disabilities.

There was so much time to figure this all out, but instead...
Absolutely.

Leader of Massachusetts teachers union blasts new state guidance for remote learning
Boston Globe wrote:The head of the Massachusetts teachers union is condemning new guidance for remote learning from the state during the coronavirus pandemic that says officials expect educators to teach from their classrooms, even if their district is implementing all-online instruction for the start of the school year.

Merrie Najimy, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, excoriated the updated guidelines from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that were released Friday, saying the union is “100 percent behind” any local teachers who decide to “reject” the guidance.

Najimy wrote in a statement over the weekend that the requirement that teachers conduct remote instruction from their classrooms puts educators in school buildings “regardless of safety” and took aim at Jeffrey Riley, the state’s commissioner for elementary and secondary education.

Riley, she said, should be “advocating for the resources that educators and districts need” to redesign remote instruction with the goal of a phased-in approach to in-person learning, rather than “putting the thumbscrews to teachers to get them to return to school buildings before it is safe to do so.”

“It is paternalistic and punitive and has no bearing on the quality of education that the real experts — the educators — provide so masterfully,” she wrote of the updated guidance. “This new guidance is clearly designed to force local educators’ unions to agree to in-person learning regardless of the condition of the school buildings in their districts, indoor air quality, testing capabilities or area COVID-19 transmission rates.

“The guidance also demonstrates Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley’s fundamental lack of trust of educators, most of whom are women,” Najimy wrote. “While parents entrust the lives of their children to teachers and other staff, the commissioner’s guidance implies that educators are not capable of doing their jobs without being told how — and then supervised to make sure they follow orders.”

The state wrote in the updated expectations that in districts opting for remote learning, having teachers and “critical support staff” working from school buildings will allow “students to develop and maintain a level of familiarity with a classroom environment, which will be beneficial when students transition back to in-person instruction.”

Officials also argued the move would provide “more consistency” for students, ensure teachers have access to reliable internet, and allow “administrators to monitor the level and amount of instruction students receive throughout the course of the school day,” according to the state. Other updates to the guidelines released Friday included letting teachers who are teaching remotely from their classrooms to “bring their own children to school with them for child care purposes, if feasible.”

In her statement, Najimy said while some educators may prefer to work out of school buildings if they are safe, no teacher should be required to do so:
The safety issues that are leading a growing number of districts to start the year remotely may include lack of adequate ventilation, lack of personal protective equipment and training on how to use it, lack of frequent testing and contact tracing, high rates of community transmission, or all of the above. Despite these unresolved problems, DESE’s guidance states that teachers should be allowed to bring their own children into these not-yet-safe school buildings to address their child care needs. This move to expose both students and staff must be reversed. It is typical that educators travel to work in a town or city from dozens of different communities. In some districts, educators come from more than 100 different municipalities — and even from other states. When they travel, COVID-19 can travel with them or their children. The needless exposure of both students and staff is a reckless approach to child care that will put entire communities at risk.
In her rebuke of the updates from the state, the union president reminded educators the recommendations are just that — not requirements.

“Like other changes in educators’ working conditions, it still has to be negotiated with the local unions,” Najimy wrote. “We are 100 percent behind any of our locals that choose to reject this recommendation.”

The Friday guidance updates were handed down as Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the city would start the school year fully remote, with a four-phase approach through the fall to gradually return to part-time in-person instruction.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by YellowKing »

This is purely anecdotal based on my wife's school, so do with it what you will, but the reason some of the teachers here don't want to come in is because they want to be free to record an hour video or a single zoom call and then have the rest of the day to goof off. How do I know this? Teachers have literally told my wife.

From what we've seen from her school, teachers bitched about returning to the classroom because it was so dangerous, even as they posted pics of themselves on Facebook partying with their friends with no social distancing or masks. Then when they got their way and got to do completely virtual teaching, they bitched when they found out they'd actually have to work.

My son has five teachers this year to split the load. Five. He has one Zoom call a week. The principal told the teachers they needed to be Zooming at least once a day, and they all bitched about it. Because God forbid five teachers together have to figure out how to hold one Zoom conference a day.

I know I'm only seeing it from one side, but it burns me up. My wife has been in the building, 40 hours a week, since the pandemic started. She never got to work from home. She never got an option for doing her job remotely. She didn't complain, she did her job. She didn't have a union laying down threats. And then one of them had the audacity the other day to say that the office staff "don't do anything." This from someone who had the whole summer off while my wife was working 60 hour weeks. I have little sympathy for teachers right now.

I know there are many good teachers our there working hard to provide education the best they can. They just apparently don't work at my son's school.

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by ImLawBoy »

That sounds terrible, YK. It sounds like your school district wasted an opportunity to plan. It's got to be extra frustrating for your wife.

The twins start on Tuesday, and their daily schedule includes 3 hours of synchronous learning (i.e., live virtual interaction with teachers) and 3 hours of asynchronous learning (i.e., using pre-recorded or offline learning). I'm not sure if the district is forcing teachers to come in to schools or not (I suspect they are), but I would have no problem with them working remotely because the day is set up so that they have to be available the whole school day (7:45-2:45) every day. They wouldn't be able to fake it like you're describing.

CPS is using the Google education suite, and it seems pretty nifty. I'm cautiously optimistic about how things will go (I'm the designated optimist, my wife is the designated pessimist - it's a nice balance), but talk to me this time next week and we'll see if I've pulled out all my hair (which is pretty shaggy, since I haven't had a haircut since February).
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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by naednek »

Our experience has been incredibly positive. Other districts around us seem to be a mess but ours took what they learned last year and built around it.

The kids are in class from 8am to 2:45, with Mondays being out 1 hour earlier.

Both kids are in elementary. Both meet on Zoom from 8 to lunch time. My son goes back the last part for independent study, where the teacher hangs around for any questions. My daughter has independent study and the teacher isn't on zoom but can be reached by google classroom.

Both kids tend to finish their work 30 minutes into independent study and are free the rest of the day. They get all their work done and generally have no homework so far.

While it's not in person school, it's very much like school, and both are excelling. My son who hates writing is getting a strong A, which has surpised all of us.

We get weekly emails from the teacher with updates, suggestions, and a preview of the next week. Office staff are always available, Principal does his morning announcements over their facebook page.

It's been very pleasant.
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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by Smoove_B »

YellowKing wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:06 am
This is purely anecdotal based on my wife's school, so do with it what you will, but the reason some of the teachers here don't want to come in is because they want to be free to record an hour video or a single zoom call and then have the rest of the day to goof off.
Yeah, this is on the school district and whatever their problem is in having educational requirements enforced. I don't think what you're describing would fly in NJ in any district. They all seem to be doing synchronous meeting times and just holding the day accordingly. We're on a 1/2 day A/B type schedule so there's only 4 hours of instruction each day, but technically the teachers are supposed to be on the clock and available for questions and meetings from 12:30 pm to 2:30pm daily, or something close to that. The only bad class so far seems to be gym as the teacher is acting like he has no idea what to do. I don't understand that at all and I'm just hoping these first two weeks (they started on 8/26 - I mean really) have him catching up real quick.

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by El Guapo »

Yeah, there seems to be pretty wide variation. My kids go to a private Jewish day school, and our experience was pretty great under the circumstances - a full day Zoom class schedule, roughly as close to normal as possible. But I have heard from parents of kids at Boston public schools that they basically got a homework packet for the week and one or two Zoom instructional calls per week. My general impression is that it was similar even in a lot of the wealthier suburban public schools as well, though I've heard less from them.

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

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El Guapo wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:10 pm
My kids go to a private Jewish day school
My oldest goes to a private Jewish day school! (Well, kinda. He goes to a therapeutic day school that is run by a Jewish organization and that shares space with a private Jewish day school.) Our experience with him has been less than great, but that's at least in part due to our ongoing frustration with their teaching practices and how they communicate with our son. They do currently have a decent amount of synchronous learning, but they're switching to hybrid in a couple of weeks. We're not sure how things are going to work then since we still won't be sending in our son (and I've heard we're not the only ones who will stay fully remote).

Oddly the school they share space with is apparently going fully in person right now. I haven't heard anything about how that's working out, but we don't currently have much interaction with that side of the school.
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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by Little Raven »

My daughter is a sophomore in high school. The first week of school was a nightmare - constant crashes, terribly slow websites, and one horribly upset daughter. I spent hours trying to figure out what was happening with my router....THEN I figured out that the school supplied Chromebook was barely serviceable as a doorstop, much less a computer. I moved her learning experience to her PC, got her a camera and and a headset, and since then everything has been working rather well. It probably helps that she's in an early college program and half of her classes as being done at the local community college.

Academically, things are fine - she just misses her friends.
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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by RunningMn9 »

One positive in this with older kids is that they can just drive and see their friends. That’s blunted some of this. I really feel for parents with younger kids though.
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
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Make up bags of change
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Well he's slowly drifting out of range

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by Victoria Raverna »

For my 6 years old daughter, remote learning seem to be okay. The school doesn't use online classroom app to do it. We use zoom, whatapps, and e-mail.

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by Jeff V »

After months of being told other people have virus, my son doesn't want to get close to or talk to anyone. His classmates say hi when we walk to/from school, he doesn't even acknowledge him. I was summoned to the principle office after an incident with another kid, and the principle had to explain to him that he can talk to anyone wearing a red lanyard. He should have spent the summer solidifying friendships with nearby neighbors, but he's as aloof as he ever was.

10 days classroom time and still no reported outbreaks at the school. Wife had her weekly test the other day and it's a no news is good news thing, they don't bother to tell her if the test is negative. That would mean we survived a weekend excursion to that Covid cesspool known as Wisconsin.
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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by naednek »

RunningMn9 wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:34 pm
One positive in this with older kids is that they can just drive and see their friends. That’s blunted some of this. I really feel for parents with younger kids though.
That kind of defeats the purpose of social distancing... :P
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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by RunningMn9 »

They’ve been under lockdown for months. They don’t gather in groups of more than 4 or 5. Generally speaking in NJ, virus circulation is low.

I’m not Smoove, I don’t operate in a zero risk world. They are pretty low risk, and they mask up if they go out in public.
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by Smoove_B »

RunningMn9 wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:35 pm
I’m not Smoove, I don’t operate in a zero risk world. They are pretty low risk, and they mask up if they go out in public.
Zero risk is impossible, particularly when I'm now in the food/goods sourcing, transport and allocation business for 3 families. :D

For those that care, the guiding principle I've been following involves using a contact budget, which is way more fun than it sounds like. Also, I like budgets.

As someone that has done outbreak investigations and knows the nightmare that is tracing contacts, I keep mine minimal. As someone with the ability to do so, I feel it's my obligation to minimize risk overall so I've been actively avoiding scenarios that impact the aforementioned budget. I know that not everyone has this choice (or ability) so YMMV.

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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

An interesting write-up addressing this topic from the NYT:

Will This Be a Lost Year for America’s Children?
NYTimes.com wrote:As students across the country start school, education experts reckon with the long-term implications of remote learning, vanishing resources and heightened inequality.

School in the United States is nowhere near normal this fall. Most students are not walking through schoolhouse doors, sitting at desks next to their classmates or meeting their new teachers face to face. They’re at home, trying to learn through screens. (This is even more likely to be the case if the students live in cities or suburbs.) If they’re lucky, they have a laptop or a tablet and a fast internet connection — the bare minimum that remote education requires. If not, they may be cut off from school through no fault of their own or of their families. According to the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a nonpartisan research group, students in high-poverty districts are the most likely to start the year with fully remote learning.

The debate over what form school should take this fall foundered amid political division and uncertainty. In early August, as teachers raised safety concerns about reopening and education officials struggled with inconclusive and constantly changing public-health guidance, President Trump tweeted “OPEN THE SCHOOLS!!!” It was a blanket statement, made with no consideration of where or how reopening could be attempted with reasonable risk, based on the local rate of coronavirus cases and testing. The Trump administration also threatened to take federal funding from schools that did not reopen rather than offering more assistance for the preparation and precautions the pandemic demands.

The risk of coronavirus outbreaks has been the primary concern. But shutting school and going remote will also inflict a serious cost, borne by students: a loss of learning and social-emotional development. In Los Angeles, for instance, kindergarten enrollment has plummeted this fall, a drop that school officials attribute to the difficulty families have supporting online learning full time at home, which is what young children need. “Once schools shuttered in the early days of the pandemic, educators quickly discovered the possibilities and limits of distance-learning technologies,” notes Justin Reich, director of the M.I.T. Teaching Systems Lab and author of the book “Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education,” which will be published this month. “Months later, it is obvious that the bright points of learning tech are substantially offset by the loss of schools as places for camaraderie, shelter, nutrition, social services, teaching and learning. Many things that happen in schools simply cannot happen at a distance.” We brought together five experts to talk about the lasting impact of this extended and unprecedented period of upended education. Accompanying this roundtable are photographs of students, school faculty and staff during the opening days of the 2020 school year, capturing the wide variety in learning environments around the country.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

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Anonymous Bosch
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Re: Remote Learning is a Bad Joke

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And in related news, courtesy of the San Diego Union Tribune…

One San Diego school district drops an online program over offensive content; another sticks with it
SanDiegoUnionTribune.com wrote:The Acellus online learning program is run by a Missouri man who news reports say has endorsed polygamy and has run a school out of an underground mine

Public schools in several states, including California, are dropping a controversial online learning program called Acellus after parents say they have found racist, sexist and other offensive content in the curriculum.

According to screenshots and videos posted on social media by various people, Acellus’ academic content includes a question asking students which image best represents Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery — a running woman wearing a green dress, or a man that looks like a robber. An Acellus official denies that is part of its official curriculum.

There also is a video of a woman teaching the alphabet and pulling out a toy gun for the letter “g.”

“Ooh, it’s a gun,” the woman says. “Good thing it’s got this orange thing telling us that it’s a toy, right?”

Another video shows a talking young bear and duck asking a female pig named “Sweetie Lips” how she got her name.

“Don’t ask. We’re not even going there,” the pig replies.

One San Diego-area school district, La Mesa-Spring Valley, quit using Acellus last month after it saw reports about Hawaii parents’ concerns about the content.

“We didn’t feel that they had any sort of proactive measure to make sure that content didn’t exist,” said La Mesa-Spring Valley Superintendent David Feliciano, referring to Acellus.

Another San Diego-area district, Grossmont Union High, is continuing to use Acellus and has no plans to cancel it.

“We were assured that they (Acellus) are reviewing the courses we are presently using and will continue to monitor and make any changes we deem necessary,” said Grossmont spokeswoman Catherine Martin.

Acellus is based in Kansas City, Mo., and is owned by the International Academy, a nonprofit. Acellus officials say the program is used by 6,000 schools nationwide.

Beside its academic content, some parents say they also are concerned about the personal history of the man who runs Acellus, Roger Billings.

Billings is an inventor and businessman who —according to a 1994 Los Angeles Times article — has endorsed polygamy, was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and, according to a 2004 Lawrence Journal-World article, led a sect called the Church of Jesus Christ in Zion and called himself a prophet.

Billings founded and has run a graduate school out of an underground mine in rural Missouri called the International Academy of Science, according to a 2004 Deseret News article. He has a doctorate from this school as do some Acellus teachers.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

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