Following the Science—to Parents’ Rights (Real Clear Policy)


    Following the Science—to Parents’ Rights – By Ian Kingsbury (Real Clear Policy) / Oct 26, 2023

    American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten committed an enormous mistake in insisting upon protracted school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After more than a year of closures, she attempted to course correct by advocating for the end of all remote learning because it’s “not on par with in-person teaching and learning.” A new study suggests she was wrong about that, too.

    The study published by economists Jesse Bruhn, Christopher Campos, and Eric Chyn features survey data from families in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The surveys reveal widespread frustration with emergency remote online learning during the 2021-22 school year, though some parents reported positive experiences and desire to utilize remote learning in the future. Critically, students whose families provided the most positive survey responses about virtual learning and expressed the greatest likelihood of using it in the future performed somewhat better than would be expected than had those students received in-person instruction.

    The finding presumably qualifies as a surprise for Weingarten. But it might also shock some organizations within the education reform world. The influential National Alliance of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), for example, advocates for “high quality” charter schools. In their mind, virtual schools don’t fit the billing: A top NACSA deputy previously compared virtual learning to thalidomide, a drug once used to treat morning sickness that resulted in thousands of birth defects



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