Listen to the Science, Listen to the Students: Schools Can and Must Reopen
Throughout the fall, New York City repeatedly delayed reopening its schools for most students, despite an emerging scientific consensus that classrooms were not significant areas of spread for COVID-19. Now Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered a full shutdown of schools due to rising coronavirus numbers; the city has reached the 3 percent test-positivity rate, the predetermined (and largely arbitrary) threshold for keeping kids at home.
Many parents are rightly infuriated, and even some district officials think the call might have been premature. New York bars and restaurants are operating under new restrictions, but they are still open for business, even though these establishments are believed to be far less safe than schools. Public school children and working-class families appear to be planners’ last priority.
This approach runs completely counter to the science. K-12 schools have not caused significant outbreaks. The risks to children are negligible, and there’s scant evidence that kids are infecting a large number of their teachers. Meanwhile, the adverse consequences for children who don’t attend classes in-person can be quite serious. Remote learning has been a stunning failure for younger kids, and the economically disadvantaged are falling further and further behind. Policy makers could be dooming a generation of at-risk students to years of suboptimal social and professional outcomes—and it’s all for nothing, since pandemic mitigation doesn’t actually require this course of action.
“Keeping kids out of the classroom will make recovering from the pandemic harder in the long term, while not keeping us any safer in the near term
Article from Latest – Reason.com