The pandemic has laid bare society's inequalities and long neglected organizations and instituations. Sadly, we see this reality in education in multiple ways.
Teachers left out of the narrative
Too many educators have been left out of decision making conversations and choices in significant ways. Instead, many who are not teaching/learning experts, have been leading the narrative for schools in the fall. This is frightening since many of those individuals don't understand learning with a modern lens and real experiences thus too many of the stories I read and hear don't represent what it means to teach well. Instead many narratives are more about warehousing children--this is very sad, but not surprising since the Trump team shows little regard for children in general.
Instead of focusing on what it means to be healthy and well-educated, most of the priorities focus on how to warehouse children with the fewest number of deaths or grave illnesses. This is a deficit model, not a strengths model for learning. This appears to support the Trump team's will to keep a servant class in the United States--a class that does the service work with few to no supports that helps those people live and rise up in healthy and positive ways.
Private takeover of public education
Privateers are seeing this poor education management as an opportunity to make money. In so many ways, public schools systems are responding to privateers' glitzy, cost-saving messages. These privateers don't represent significant skill or investment in good education, but instead a mediocre-at-best response to systems' needs for remote education, school building/tech quick-fixes, and pass-the-buck-solutions. Too often, public school leaders and decision makers are attracted to the slick marketing, low costs, and empty promises of privateers in education who are out to make a quick buck without any true concern about deep and valuable education.
Denial of the real issues
As I listen to many decision makers discuss education in the fall, they appear to ignore the science behind this pandemic and they don't take the pandemic risks seriously. They also ignore the social issues that this pandemic lays bare. I wish that decision makers and leaders would look for the promise in the pandemic with the following questions:
- How can we use this time to uplift families, schools, and community life?
- How can we build a more scientific savvy society, a society that takes science seriously and reacts responsively?
- How can we collectively learn from our error during this virus--what did we do wrong and how can we change that now and into the future?