October 8, 2020

Reopening Backlash – Kaya Henderson’s Next Adventure, Political Demographics, More…

By Bellwether

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Couple of articles driving some chatter:

If you missed it this Alec MacGillis’ article on reopening it is worth reading – and emblematic of a pretty hot debate.

This from Jon Chait.

Years from now, when we look back at the coronavirus pandemic, it is very possible that the most damaging element we will identify is its catastrophic effect upon public education. The devastation will be social and economic, permanently degrading the skill base of the workforce and robbing a generation of children, especially low-income students, of any chance to enter the middle class. And the question we will have to ask is whether the tragedy was truly necessary…

…One survey found parents of children in private or charter schools were 50 percent more likely to say they were “very satisfied” with their children’s schooling during quarantine, and also lower levels of reported learning loss. Politics, far more than science, shaped school district decision-making,” finds a new study by political scientists Michael Hartney and Leslie Finger, “Mass partisanship and teacher union strength best explain how school boards approached reopening.

The challenges of reopening and operating are real but it seems hard to miss a few things:

– It’s very local and situational and yet the debate is unproductively nationalized and politicized

– There have been a lot of kids in school now for a while in a lot of places without a big circus, that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate everywhere but there are lessons to learn

– Plenty exceptions to this (good and bad in both parts of the sector) but on average charter networks seem to have pivoted more effectively than districts. Superintendents privately say the same thing. Lots of reasons but one does seem to be the ability to be agile. Yet charter supporters are in such a defensive crouch this, like a lot of nuances in this situation, is lost in the noise.

538 analysis on Black Americans and electoral politics.

Kaya Henderson and Roland Fryer have a new venture and it looks interesting and timely. Here’s Kaya in her own words.

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