The First Ward Report – Remote learning is a farce – Part 2!

The First Ward Report – Remote learning is a farce – Part 2!

If you haven’t read Tuesday’s installment, may I humbly suggest you refer to part one before proceeding.

Also before we continue, I want to point out that while those progressive nanny staters like to dismiss anyone possessing half a brain with “Are you an epidemiologist?,” they insist upon making their own ongoing pandemic pronouncements despite consistently being wrong.

Here’s what I mean:

  • “If we re-open restaurants and bars there will be a massive COVID spike!” But there wasn’t!
  • “All this social unrest and protests will cause a massive COVID spike!” But they didn’t!
  • If we allow high school, college and professional sports to reconvene, we’ll see a massive COVID spike!” But there wasn’t!

And my favorite! “If we allow in-person learning there will be a massive COVID spike and teachers and students will die.” But there wasn’t and they haven’t. The fact that these ninnies have been wrong every step of the way will, in no way, deter them from shrieking their next “the sky is falling” prediction.

Meanwhile, as if an abject ignorance of the facts and science wasn’t bad enough, anyone who can’t see how the remote learning “cure” is so much worse than the disease is seven bottles short of a twelve-pack. The truth is, remote learning works about as well as a remote marriage, a remote boxing match, or a remote square dance!

Once again, before we proceed, let me clearly stipulate that remote learning DOES work for a minority of students, particularly those out-on-the-autism-spectrum children who have great difficulty with social interactions. But those are EXACTLY the children who should be back in school because, despite a lifelong search, I can’t find a single gig with the word “hermit” in the job description.

Moving on! I’ve “enjoyed” the privilege of sitting in on a number of remote learning sessions in a number of school districts, both from the students’ and frustrated teachers’ side, and with rare exception, every last one of them makes me cringe. And it starts with, given the enormity of the task, no school district could adequately prepare teachers for this new Zoom reality, and when Zoom doesn’t crash outright, I’ve listened to classes quickly descend into cacophony of:

  • “No, no Sarah! Don’t press that button, press this one!
  • “Jimmy, Jimmy? Where did you go?
  • “Can everyone see this?” Followed by a resulting chorus of “No I can’t!”

Thankfully, the teachers who can handle the software are helping those who can’t, but between utterly absurdly bad remote schedules and all those technical issues, every last student is falling way behind.

It’s not much better from the student side, either! If my Aurora University son isn’t dealing with frequent Internet outages and slowdowns – on the school side – he’s being randomly thrown out of sessions. My personal favorite is when the AU system blocks him from signing in and then he misses the entire class.

It got so bad that my wife had to get AU Vice President Frank Buscher to finally address those persistent problems. Meanwhile, we’re enjoying the unique privilege of paying 12 grand a semester for this amazing “educational experience.” And my son is one of the lucky ones because I work at home and can help him resolve those issues. But I’m thinkin’ Aurora University won’t be paying the invoice I just submitted for all those teacher’s aide hours.

All I can say is, I fully understand and support every last one of those back-to-school parent protests. And CPS parents are about to join those open rebellion ranks!

But the worst part of remote learning is what it’s doing to teachers. They need to play off their students’ energy to survive those grueling five to six daily classroom hours, and remote learning doesn’t provide that boost. So, I’m suddenly seeing a slew of tired teachers, and exhausted educators aren’t nearly as effective.

What really frosts my cookies in this regard is how all those progressive nanny staters regularly quoted the CDC until that fine group emphasized the importance of a fall classroom return. Then those erstwhile shriekers did a 180 and declared the CDC was “in Trump’s back pocket.” And while I fully expect the rabble to engage in that kind of rank hypocrisy, I expect a LOT more from school Superintendents like U46’s Tony Sanders.

To quote the CDC:

The best available evidence indicates if children become infected, they are far less likely to suffer severe symptoms. Death rates among school-aged children are much lower than among adults. At the same time, the harms attributed to closed schools on the social, emotional, and behavioral health, economic well-being, and academic achievement of children, in both the short- and long-term, are well-known and significant. Further, the lack of in-person educational options disproportionately harms low-income and minority children and those living with disabilities. These students are far less likely to have access to private instruction and care and far more likely to rely on key school-supported resources like food programs, special education services, counseling, and after-school programs to meet basic developmental needs.

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Before we conclude, I want to make it abundantly clear that I consider Tony Sanders to be a stellar Superintendent, particularly because he has to contend with the second largest and most diverse school district in the state. But that doesn’t make him infallible, either. We don’t call him Pope Tony for a reason.

So, yes! To quote The Bard, “The Superintendent doth protest too much, methinks!” Considering the vast array of evidence presented here this week, Tony caved to political pressure and overly terrified CYA government employees when he made the baseless decision to resort to remote learning.

The science and facts DO NOT support that decision.

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