Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 27, 2021

In-personal

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Even as AUSD looks to the fall to fully re-open schools to in person learning, some parents are not happy with AUSD dedicating resources to planning out a full re-opening. They also don’t want AUSD to offer a remote school option for families who may need this option due to health issues. I’m not quite sure why these parents are not interested in accommodating families in need other than it might “pull resources” away from the in-person classes but it’s definitely something that is on brand for these parents who misuse the term “equity.”

A few days ago Politico (aka Teen Beat on the Potomac) tore itself away from gossipy blind items and wrote about who isn’t heading back to in person classes and it’s, personally, one of the things that we should keep in mind when we talk about fall schooling and which communities need outreach to feel comfortable sending kids back in the fall. Highlights:

President Joe Biden is on the verge of meeting his 100-day pledge to press the majority of American schools into reopening for five days of weekly in-person instruction. But there’s a problem. Most of the kids returning to classes are white.

….

Eighty percent of public schools were open for at least some in-person learning by the end of February, according to a government survey, but an estimated 78 percent of Asian eighth-graders were learning in a fully remote environment. Nearly 60 percent of Black and Hispanic eighth-graders also learned at home full time.

And more:

A tangle of factors are likely responsible for the uneven reopening.

“Students who are experiencing homelessness, they might have different reasons why it’s hard for them to return to school. English learners, different reasons as well,” Cardichon said. “We see our role as really a comprehensive approach of understanding the many different reasons why families are not returning and how we can support schools and districts in creating welcoming learning environments and re-engaging students who may have been disconnected for quite some time.”

Cardona has meanwhile suggested “issues of distrust” between minority families and their schools lie at the core of the problem.

“It is concerning that students of color in particular are not coming in at the same rates as other students,” the secretary told reporters earlier this month. “But it shouldn’t surprise us, if prior to the pandemic we have had issues engaging and achieving the same outcomes for students of color as the general student population.”

It’s kinda what some folks were saying when the issues started kicking up a lot of feelings. That we can’t just return to “normal” when it comes to education because “normal” wasn’t serving a lot of kids and families. Folks who are rushing to return to normal are those whose kids are have always been centered and the normal is geared to serve them almost exclusively.

We should take this time to do better for our kids and families who have been disconnected for school and find that there’s not a lot of advocacy to get them engaged. We’re all told that equity is secondary to just getting butts back into classes but we can see the divide in our own community. The other day I heard someone celebrating that they have 100% of students in one classroom in one school back to in person learning. The person announcing that factoid was, understandably, proud of that statistic but it’s not a gauge of the quality of the teacher or the school but rather it’s a tell tale sign of the demographics of the school more than anything else.

So, yeah, we should celebrate that kids are able to see their friends and see something other than a screen, but let’s not kid ourselves that the percentage of kids who go back to school is indicative of one school doing better or being better than another.

7 Comments »

  1. Among all the factors listed above, the wacky in person learning schedule probably also keeps marginalized students from returning to school. Many working parents can’t keep up with the crazy schedule,so they’ll keep their kids in online classes. Really who has time to drop their kid off at 10:50 just to pick them up about an hour and half later?

    Comment by Andrew Phillips — April 27, 2021 @ 7:08 am

    • That’s not what the data showed when AUSD ran the survey. Even with extended hours, Title 1 school families still said they would not return for this school year for in-person classes.

      Comment by Lauren Do — April 27, 2021 @ 8:15 am

  2. This survey from AUSD seems to show some students are used to remote learning and don’t want to disrupt their schedule. Page 27 –> http://alamedausd-ca.schoolloop.com/file/1514016404888/1376459767278/4538168132348414866.pdf

    There doesn’t seem to be any mention of homelessness, language barriers, or distrust of schools in the free response sections.

    What survey are you referencing? My search only turned up this one. Thanks!

    Comment by Andrew Phillips — April 27, 2021 @ 8:56 am

  3. Thanks for the info. Looks like the schools should be emphasizing how they’re making things safe to return. At least for the start of the 2021-22 school year. I don’t really understand why some people are fighting so hard for a return to in person teaching for the last two months of this school year. But I also don’t have kids, so what the heck do I know!

    I think it’ll work out like the vaccine. Hesitant groups will see that returning to school does not lead to massive outbreaks, and will return by the start of 2021-22 school year. No amount of messaging from schools can compete with peer pressure. Especially since the most vulnerable people should be vaccinated by then.

    Comment by Andrew Phillips — April 27, 2021 @ 9:24 am

  4. Why is this “equity” argument so distorted by the progressives? It’s really simple: rich white people put their kids in private schools (which have been open the WHOLE TIME) … and/or they work from home, on Zoom. Other marginalized groups don’t have this luxury. Thus, keeping schools closed screws over marginalized groups more. How is this so hard to understand?? OPEN SCHOOLS NOW.

    Comment by Enormous Johnson — April 28, 2021 @ 1:27 pm


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