School reopening is now a political football tossed about by Trump who wants schools fully reopened, Biden with a big dollar plan of his own, and governors/district leaders offering two and often three models for parents to choose from.
As for parents, according to a Gallup poll:
- 56% want full-time, in-person schooling
- 37% prefer part-time in-person, part-time distance learning—a hybrid model
- 7% want full-time distance learning
At the same time, a recent EdWeek Research Center online survey found that:
- 96% of school leaders, and
- 90% of district leaders are willing to return to school for in-school instruction.
But what about the more than 3 million K-12 teachers whose futures are bandied about and headlining. According to that same survey…
- More than 50% don’t think there should be any in-person instruction this fall.
- Nearly 20% say they will NOT return if their district reopens in-person.
- 35% of teachers of color said there should be in-person instruction vs. 47% of white teachers.
- 83% of white teachers said they’re willing to return vs. 66% of teachers of color.
- 43% have a physical condition that makes them more vulnerable, such as age, obesity, and diabetes; and 46% have a family member at higher risk.
Meanwhile, in Madeline Will’s “Teachers Are Scared to Go Back to School. Will They Strike?” Detroit middle school teacher Patrick Harris says, “Teachers like myself feel like we’re being thrown into the fire, and I don’t think there’s an amount of [person protective equipment] that can be given to ease that angst. Every teacher wants to be able to go back to school, … but we want to go back to school without feeling like we’re putting our lives at risk.”
Protests are already underway in Texas and Arizona, and the Florida Education Association has now filed a lawsuit against the state to block the “unsafe reopening of schools.”
Where do you stand? With them or with the countless folks—so called “essential” and “non-essential” alike–masked, gloved, and already on the front lines in service of the rest of us?
Would love to know. With thanks, Carol