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Question of the day

Tuesday, Jul 7, 2020

* AP

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday assailed plans by some local districts to offer in-person instruction only a few days a week and said schools must be “fully operational” even amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Anything less, she says, would fail students and taxpayers.

DeVos made the comments during a call with governors as the Trump administration launched an all-out effort to get schools and colleges to reopen. Audio of the call was obtained by The Associated Press.

“Ultimately, it’s not a matter of if schools need to open, it’s a matter of how. School must reopen, they must be fully operational. And how that happens is best left to education and community leaders,” DeVos told governors.

* CNN

Florida, the new US hotspot for coronavirus, will require schools to reopen in August.

The state’s Commissioner of the Department of Education, Richard Corcoran, issued an emergency order on Monday requiring all “brick and mortar schools” to open “at least five days per week for all students.”

Florida, which initially avoided the worst of the pandemic in its first few months, now has the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the US at 206,000 and counting.

Under the order, schools must reopen in full to “ensure the quality and continuity of the educational process, the comprehensive wellbeing of students and families and a return to Florida hitting its full economic stride.”

* The Question: Should Gov. Pritzker mandate that all K-12 schools fully reopen on schedule, regardless of local school board opinions? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please…


bike tracks

* Related…

* ‘Nobody should hide behind CDC’s guidance’ to avoid reopening schools, Azar says

* Face masks in school likely to be mandatory, so it is time kids get used to them now: officials

* Teachers have their own concerns as District 186 grapples with in-person learning

- Posted by Rich Miller        

91 Comments
  1. - Morty - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:38 pm:

    Forward, the Light Brigade
    Was there a man dismayed
    Not though the soldier knew
    Someone had blundered.
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die.
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.


  2. - Huh? - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:40 pm:

    No. Pritzker has been a leader throughout the crisis. He needs to come up with plans for the local communities to adapt and implement. Mandatory reopening the schools creates a potential hot spot for outbreaks.


  3. - Nick - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:41 pm:

    A mandate would be bad politics from almost every angle.

    Why would the Governor want to put himself in charge of when and how school districts re-open? Especially when different communities face different risk factors and consideration for why and how they might re-open?


  4. - Morty - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:41 pm:

    And if those educational and community leaders say it is irresponsible to open?


  5. - thunderspirit - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    This is a really tough one, because families often need to have the students in school to allow the parent(s) to work, but at the same time there’s no way to avoid exposing the employees or the students.

    Especially without Federal guidance.

    I fear the science will say that opening schools (pre-, K-12, higher ed) is a disaster waiting to happen, and that the realities of the workforce will nevertheless necessitate it.


  6. - efudd - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    No, and he won’t.

    By the by, Florida classes won’t be open either.
    DeSantis, if still in office, won’t have the political muscle to squeeze a grape.


  7. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    Voted no. Why?

    =And how that happens is best left to education and community leaders,” DeVos told governors.=

    This is the same guidance that was given on reopening the economy early. And we’ve now seen the disastrous results of that decision. It’s as if we aren’t learning anything.


  8. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:45 pm:

    Mandatory is a difficult thing. But I do think they need to do absolutely everything they can to get kids - at least some of them - back in school. Online learning doesn’t work for all kids and if that’s the only option you are punishing those kids.


  9. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:45 pm:

    No - and that’s with the admission that distance learning wasn’t very good in March, April and May in my district. But schools can’t be “open” and act like nothing else is going on. There are plenty of ideas to get through this with as little damage possible to both learning and to people’s health.

    But I will say - I’d hope that education and what it looks like K-12 around Illinois consumes hours a day for the Gov and others. Right now I think its one of THE most important things the state has to work out over the next two or three months.


  10. - Moderate Mom - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:48 pm:

    I voted Yes. All schools K-12 should be required to be open for in person instruction. Attendance should be at the discretion of the parents and or the children’s health care provider. In other words provide an e learning option for children who need it but let the majority of children back into school. E learning has been a disaster for most of these kids and it really hurts children who have IEPs and need the services they get in school.


  11. - West Sider - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:48 pm:

    Voted no. Why would Republicans who (nominally) believe in local control advocate for top down government?


  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:52 pm:

    === I voted Yes. All schools K-12 should be required to be open for in person instruction. Attendance should be at the discretion of the parents and or the children’s health care provider.===

    What’s next, have parents and students sign waivers?

    If they can’t be fully functioning and open…

    My vote is no.

    Plain and simple.

    A vote “yes” puts the governor in total concert with those downplaying the real dangers and makes all the sacrifice and hard work seem trivial when mandatory schooling will put children… and teachers, and support staff, and… in a position to decide “what is my heath worth, I’m required to go”

    Nope. Sorry.

    No to “call to mandatory”


  13. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:52 pm:

    Voted no. Each school district needs to figure out how to make remote learning plus, maybe 1 day a week in person, work.

    For Springfield, I can see where the pre-K Early Learning Center would have a problem; may have to drop it or make it church based to get the room. K would be a special case; maybe only have 1/5 each day. But the elementary schools at 1-5, middle schools at 6-8, and high schools at 9-12 could just have an entire / different class each day and scatter throughout the entire building. It would also mean ALL the teachers would be teaching different classes than they are used to … plus trying to keep up lesson plans for their ‘normal’ classes. But that is probably what needs to be done.


  14. - Commonsense in Illinois - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:53 pm:

    @West Sider

    Because the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has decreed it.

    Secretary DeVos’ decree was meant for an audience of one, and only one.


  15. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:55 pm:

    Voted No. We have no idea what things are going to look like in a month and a half. Everything needs to be fluid and ready to turn on a dime. West Sider, you are are funny. You believed them when they said that?


  16. - Notorious RBG - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:57 pm:

    As I said yesterday, parents need schools (and daycares, and camps) to reopen in order to get fully back to work. The economy can’t function until working parents have childcare. Regardless, I voted no. Local communities should have a say in whether or not it is safe for their schools to reopen. IDPH and county health departments should work to advise districts on when it is safe to have in-class instruction and when it is necessary to switch to remote instruction. This has to be done in conjunction with robust contact tracing methods and widespread testing. And, let’s be honest: we need to discuss switching to a year-round school model, or at a minimum, a plan to extend the school year into the summer of 2021.


  17. - LakeCo - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:08 pm:

    Voted “no” only because of the “all school districts” part. I think there needs to be flexibility from area to area, depending on infection rates.
    However, as much as it galls me to come anywhere close to agreeing with Betsy DeVos, I do think schools need to try their darndest to be open full time. Online or a half-time hybrid just isn’t going to cut it with working families.


  18. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:10 pm:

    Voted no. The local taxpayers are the ones footing the bill and they should have final say. State should get out of the way as much as possible.

    I’ll agree it causes problems for working parents of children from 5-9. (anyone lesser is too young for mandatory school anyway and anyone older and neurotypical can be left at home alone after that).

    That’s a minority of folks. Maybe something can be worked out individually for them by the school district.


  19. - LakeCo - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:11 pm:

    =Each school district needs to figure out how to make remote learning plus, maybe 1 day a week in person, work=
    So how exactly are households with two parents working full time going to make this work?


  20. - Moe Berg - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:12 pm:

    You can’t buffalo the virus. It doesn’t care.

    The anger and demands should be directed at the federal government. The only way to bring this pandemic under control is through a coordinated, national response. States are not self-contained.

    Good luck, though: “The White House hopes Americans will ‘grow numb’ to the escalating death toll’ ahead of the looming November elections, according to an alarming report by the Washington Post.”


  21. - Interim Retiree - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:18 pm:

    I voted no. The vast majority of educators would like to have schools reopen w/students in person. However, not at the expense of a community’s health.
    Middle and high school students will find out that online or hybrid learning will be much improved and more demanding than in the spring. It’s the elementary students that need to be meeting in person as much as possible.


  22. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:20 pm:

    Voted no. Teachers and parents will strongly resist being forced to have students in overcrowded classrooms while this deadly virus is still raging full steam.

    Side note. interesting that Republicans are supportive of emergency orders to force “brick and mortar schools” to open but vehemently opposed to emergency orders that require people to stay at home.


  23. - JoanP - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:20 pm:

    No

    And I’m sick and tired of hearing that kids aren’t “high risk” so it doesn’t matter. Tell that to the dead kids and the sick kids. Tell that to their families. Tell it to the adults kids have infected.

    Schools are petri dishes. “Fully reopening” them is asking for trouble.


  24. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:26 pm:

    Voted no because by the time the school year starts, this question may be moot and Pritzker may be contemplating whether to close schools again.


  25. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:27 pm:

    voted yes.

    Can you imagine the outrage if high school football doesn’t happen?


  26. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:29 pm:

    Voted No. Given school budgets and how people feel about property taxes, it wouldn’t surprise me if teachers wind up having to pay for the kids’ PPE out of their own pockets. Among dozens of other reasons.


  27. - AndyIllini - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:33 pm:

    I voted no, because I think local school boards should be involved, rather than the governor mandating it. But I do support them being fully open.

    I think full e-learning, was, well “disaster” may be too strong, but not good at all. It would be worse if more parents were back at work.

    And a hybrid model, to me is the worst of the 3 options. Kids would be exposed to other kids at school, with sure an attempt at social distancing, but come on. Then they’d leave school and go to a at risk grandparents house or a daycare with a completely different group of kids. And the education, while probably better than full e-learning would probably also suffer. Beyond these concerns, there literally are not enough day cares to handle that many students being out of school.

    Obviously there are problems with full-time 5 day school too, but I just don’t see the other two options as at all workable, unless you go back to full lockdown.


  28. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:33 pm:

    ===Can you imagine the outrage if high school football doesn’t happen?===

    Can you imagine the outrage if high school athletes start coming down with COVID-19?


  29. - Seats - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:37 pm:

    Blue Dog Dem - I don’t expect high school football closing to be that much of an outrage cause. It’s largely expected and has been a strong possibility for months. Considering all the pro sports closed down, there wont be a ton of outrage over it.

    This isnt like a teacher strike during the Fall threatening a team to have to forfeit games, where we normally see outrage.


  30. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:40 pm:

    No. Re the “fresh look at indoor air” post today. IF schools can not use AC and have windows to open, another story.


  31. - CBarr - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:41 pm:

    Yes. I don’t trust the administration to figure it out otherwise. As long as the fallback of repeating the spring is available, that’s what they’re going to default to. And quite frankly, not mandating a return is only going to set already disadvantaged kids back even further.

    E-learning was disastrous. I pay way too much in taxes to my local school district for them to decide to do the state mandated minimum 40 minutes per week again. For a district that buys every 6th grader an iPad, their response was awful. They were caught flat footed. I can’t imagine how districts whose students have less access to technology fared, but I’ll bet it was just as poor.

    There’s plenty of research now saying that kids are not the at-risk population. Don’t tell me the kids haven’t been playing together all summer anyway; the roving bike packs say otherwise. Figure out a way to keep the teachers and staff safe, and go from there. At the very least, create a hybrid model, where families that are comfortable sending their kids do, and families who still want to maintain distance can stay home.


  32. - Top of the State - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:42 pm:

    No. Let each school district decide, but the 60+ pages of ISBE guidelines are difficult to follow. Take preschoolers… social distancing and masks?


  33. - bogey golfer - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:44 pm:

    Voted no, because of the word ‘mandate’. The issue of sanitizing the classrooms each day could be difficult to achieve. But if kids are home but parents work….


  34. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:44 pm:

    I voted no even though friends with school age kids are not happy about what they’re seeing from their school districts. Still, aerosol transimission + school with mediocre ventilation and no budget to improve + full time in-person instruction has the potential to be a toxic mix - literally.


  35. - LoyalVirus - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:45 pm:

    I voted no. Can’t mandate something knowing that each school/school district is going to be at varying levels when it comes to preparedness in general, let alone proper preparedness. Let’s keep following the science.


  36. - Guy Probably - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:47 pm:

    Hard No.

    As a HS teacher, fully reopening means I will be in close contact with 150 students a day. In enclosed spaces. If I catch COVID from one of them, they all become at risk. Then their parents, families become at risk. As do mine.

    As it is, my school’s plan is students 1/4 of students in the building each day. I still come into with 150 students a week. Better, but still not great in terms of preventing spread. At least we’ll be able to distance better with those lower numbers.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:47 pm:

    === At the very least, create a hybrid model, where families that are comfortable sending their kids do, and families who still want to maintain distance can stay home.===

    Yeah…

    That’s *not* fully reopening.


  38. - We are here again - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:49 pm:

    This is a tough decision but my vote is NO. This virus has raised it’s ugly head and it’s attacking a new age group according to doctors in Florida. The average age in the hospital in Dade Cty is 30 and under so if you think about that it’s our teaching staff. Plus we have children who are going to need to be wearing masks and washing their hands so they aren’t taking germs home to their young parents or grandparents if they are their caretakers. So far the Governor has made tough decisions and I know not everyone has been happy and people from all over are suing him, but our numbers compared to so many other states are holding steady. We open these flood gates now God help us.


  39. - Chi - T - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:51 pm:

    Voted yes:
    Mandating the opening of schools isn’t the same as mandating in-person instruction.

    Schools will just need to figure out how to suck this egg with the help of the community, government and teachers (because yes - a second wave or another pandemic will happen anyway).

    Solution won’t be perfect or pretty, but it can be done - just as communities have previously developed ingenious work-arounds for other emergencies: and educating our kids is on of them.


  40. - Seats - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:51 pm:

    Voted - no. Take a look at the Bay area principals that all just recently caught it at once at a planning meeting on how to best reopen schools

    If you run into cases where it spreads in a school and you have multiple teachers get it, districts will not be equipped to have substitutes fill in for them. There is a sub issue already as it is, not many subs will want to walk into this school year.

    You remote learn and you are best equipped to have teachers make it through the year without needed 2+ week absences.


  41. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:53 pm:

    Guy, can you open windows in your classroom? Ventilation seems to help.


  42. - historic66 - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:56 pm:

    ===Guy, can you open windows in your classroom? Ventilation seems to help.===

    In my district not every room has windows. Many that do don’t open enough to get good ventilation, especially in August or September when it is 90 degrees with no breeze. I used to teach in a building that was not have air conditioning in all rooms, and it was brutal. I’m sorry, but opening windows is not a solution to anything.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:57 pm:

    === Mandating the opening of schools isn’t the same as mandating in-person instruction.===

    I don’t think you are *grasping* what the White House is advocating.

    ===…can you open windows in your classroom? Ventilation seems to help.===

    Huh?

    “You may not feel safe, but try this”?

    What?


  44. - Mr. Hand - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:00 pm:

    I voted no, this should be a local decision. There is no way JB knows what is best for our district. He has never been to it. That is why we pay superintendents 150K - 250K a year. They should be able to make decisions.

    In theory, providing curriculum for face-to-face learning and remote learning to the students would be ideal. However, that would take a considerable amount of planning on the teachers part and many teachers have not been trained or well-trained on how to give remote instruction effectively.

    If a district decided to go face-to-face and as a parent I was concerned for my child’s safety, I would pull them and homeschool, especially if they are at the age they can stay home by themselves or with limited supervision. In the 21st century, there is unbelievable amount of quality resources for FREE on the internet. If a student has a decent internet connection, and the will power they can learn at home.


  45. - Funtimes - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:00 pm:

    Well… we are headed for the worst possible outcomes. We lock things down and tank the economy, but don’t lock down long enough or seriously enough to get a handle on the virus. If we, as a society, are not willing to do the right thing and lock down, then we should open up fully and let the virus burn through the nation as quickly as possible.


  46. - Diver Down - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:01 pm:

    I voted no. However, if there is regularly mandated testing for students and staff it could be a good way to keep track of where the virus is/isn’t. Again, I voted no.


  47. - Union Dues - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:05 pm:

    I voted yes. The online education was practically non existent and of extremely poor quality in my district. We had to come up with our own curriculum for three different grade levels and conduct school in the evening after we got home from work.


  48. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:11 pm:

    =Mandating the opening of schools isn’t the same as mandating in-person instruction.=

    That’s not what DeVos is advocating. She’s quite clear that being open means being “fully operational.” This is rooted in much in politics as it is public policy. It’s another attempt to claim that the virus is behind us despite evidence to the contrary.

    I would agree that kids need to be back in school. But not by mandate but as a result of an effective plan that enables it. The feds are making it clear that they won’t be delivering anything beyond a meaningless directive.


  49. - Jibba - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:19 pm:

    Hard no. The operative word is “mandate.” No way I’m sending the kids under these circumstances, even though e-learning was a joke. Spend your time getting better at that.

    DeVos is continuing the White House line of setting unrealistic goals (”reopen the economy now”) but blaming the locals for the poor outcome because “how that happens is best left to education and community leaders.” Dodging your responsibility to lead and shifting blame.


  50. - Lt Guv - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:20 pm:

    Voted “no” as that’s a call to be made based on local conditions on the ground. State can urge and encourage in-person learning, but it should not be mandated.


  51. - JDuc - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:24 pm:

    Nope.


  52. - ajjacksson - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:27 pm:

    According to the IDPH, in the last seven days, in the entire state of Illinois outside of Cook County, there have been only 7 deaths for people under 60. Depression is up among students by as much as 20%, says a U Wisconsin study. Kids need to go back to school. There’s almost a non-existent danger for the students.

    As for the teachers? I’m over 60. Kids need to go back to school. And, once again, remote learning doesn’t work.


  53. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:27 pm:

    Voted no. The right answer will vary with population, buildings, pervasiveness of the virus, and many other factors. Some districts will find solutions that work for them. Some will blow it.

    Keep track of what works where and why. Stop failures and copy success. It will be a series of risky trials.


  54. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:27 pm:

    I voted no…

    But I want to cover this comment

    == Can you imagine the outrage if high school football doesn’t happen ==

    I think if there is football it isn’t going to be classic HS football. At best I think we are playing in front of families that are distanced. There are going to be few players on the sidelines, most of them will be kept further away and brought in at a change of possession. I have been wearing a mask for longer durations, trying to get ready for having to ref a game wearing one, and I have my electronic whistle. I will add if you thought the ref shortage was bad before, I think it is going to be worse. You have a very real possibility of a shortage since the average age of an HS football ref is like 50.

    To the question.

    I voted No because you can’t make the ‘local control’ and they are going to have to full open argument at the same time logically. It seems that Illinois has been at least a little on the ball here trying to figure out how to do it, but lots of states are not. What happens when your teachers start either saying ‘I can’t due to medical reasons’ or just go ‘I retire’ and walk out. Both situations are going to happen. There are jobs where you ’signed up for this’ Mrs. OneMan says they told her early in her nursing program that you may end up in harms way during a pandemic or like situation and if you are not comfortable with that go do something else. I doubt they say that to teachers and I don’t think it is fair to teachers to put them at that risk when you don’t have to.

    I get this sucks, but the logistics of 5 days a week in a building for every kid is a tough nut to crack in 2 months.

    Then again I think she is saying this in order to promote homeschooling and private schools.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:30 pm:

    === only 7 deaths===

    Tell that to those 7 families.

    Cavalier with others lives, students, teachers, administrators… whew.

    How many deaths will make you take pause?

    As a nation we’re at 130,000 deaths, with the virus growing, and in fact surging with more infections and severity.


  56. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:35 pm:

    =ccording to the IDPH, in the last seven days, in the entire state of Illinois outside of Cook County, there have been only 7 deaths for people under 60.=

    We’re fortunate that the stay at home order worked as intended. But other states that have reopened provide a cautionary tale.


  57. - Earnest - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:40 pm:

    No. Pritzker should keep leading and making decisions based on the best currently available information and keep adjusting as we learn more. Odd that this would be the first glimmer of official leadership guidance from the Trump administration regarding state response to COVID-19. Had it been combined with activation of the Defense Production Act to put Americans to work increasing our PPE supplies and testing and tracing capacities, and perhaps developing and manufacturing new approaches to indoor ventilation and sterilization, it could have been truly welcome.


  58. - Truth Teller - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:44 pm:

    The academic and social/emotional impact on kids is huge if schools don’t open fully. An immediate health concern should not be valued greater than a lifetime impact on children’s progress. Suicide rates are up, alcohol abuse, physical abuse are up also. Time to count the cost and get back to personal responsibility on the health side and the responsibility of government to advance the educational future of our children.


  59. - Now What? - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:44 pm:

    Voted No. Lake Zurich High School opened for athletic camps today and had to report over 20 cases of COVID. Camps closed until further notice. This is what a “mandate” will get you. Every school is trying to open, they understand the data and the importance of in-person learning. They also know that remote learning was designed for snow days, not pandemics. As we try to open, it will be two steps forward, one step back until a vaccine is available. I, for one, will be asking Ms. DeVos to sub for me when I get ill.


  60. - dbk - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:47 pm:

    There’s a pretty substantial literature on the topic of K-12 schools reopening; Florida’s plan, such as it is (requiring all K-12 brick-and-mortar schools to be open at least 5 days a week) has aroused enormous opposition in the space of 24 hours - today’s presser with DeSantis devolved into a shouting match.

    Florida will be in no position in six weeks to open its schools given its current infection rate. If they do open, it will be criminal negligence of the public health.

    There should have been a national policy that stipulated the R-factor had to be somewhere below 1.0 (like, 0.6 or 0.7) for two consecutive weeks minimum before districts could reopen their brick-and-mortar schools.

    @Blue Dog Dem
    =Can you imagine the outrage if high school football doesn’t happen? =

    Get ready for the outrage, then.

    I voted “no,” education experts don’t think it can be done safely, and they’re the ones who actually know what goes on in schools / classrooms.


  61. - Vive - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    Voted no. Once one third of staff have become disabled or worse by the virus, who will choose to take their places? Last I heard there was a teacher shortage.


  62. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:58 pm:

    I voted No because our country is in the middle of a healthcare crisis with no vaccine. Child can catch COVID-19 and die from it.


  63. - Groundhog Day - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 4:01 pm:

    https://t.co/UqkjmTq18T?amp=1 Article in Science magazine today. Doable, but thinking outside the box is essential.


  64. - billy boy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 4:02 pm:

    voted no are grandparents with health problems going to stay away from their grand kids allowing children to go back to school is time bomb with the fuse lit


  65. - Lara - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 4:09 pm:

    This disease has caused 40 deaths for children nationwide (under age 15). CDC data as of July 1.
    https://data.cdc.gov/…/Provisional-COVID-19…/9bhg-hcku

    Education is essential and teachers are essential workers. It’s time to go back to in-person schooling five days a week, with provisions for families who would like e-learning for their high-risk children.


  66. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 4:12 pm:

    No, no way will itl be safe enough until positivity is less than .05 %.
    Trump’s not going to take responsibility, so it’s the governors’ call on when and under what conditions schools can safely open.


  67. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 4:12 pm:

    === This disease has caused 40 deaths for children nationwide (under age 15). CDC data as of July 1.===

    When did in-school learning end?

    === teachers are essential workers===

    Says WHO? You

    === It’s time to go back to in-person schooling five days a week, with provisions for families who would like e-learning for their high-risk children.===

    lol

    “with provisions for families who would like e-learning for their high-risk children.”

    Yeah, that’s not fully open then, and not what the White House wants.

    Keep up


  68. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 4:18 pm:

    === with provisions for families who would like e-learning for their high-risk children.===

    Why not…

    “with provisions for families who would like e-learning for their high-risk father or mother, sister, brother, grandparent… teacher.”?

    Same thing, isn’t it?


  69. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 4:32 pm:

    == So how exactly are households with two parents working full time going to make this work? ==

    First, you are assuming both will be working full time … which may not be the case for the next year if the economy can’t reopen due to the virus.

    That aside, Grandparents, family, friends, neighbors … that whole village.

    And, if necessary, some temporary government support funnelled through the schools to the parents so one parent can stay home if there are no other alternatives.


  70. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 5:02 pm:

    The feds should pay for better indoor ventilation and sterilization systems for every school building in every state prior to reopening the schools full time.


  71. - Rasselas - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 5:04 pm:

    Who knew it would take a pandemic to discover how much the right wing cares about disadvantaged students’ education, young people’s mental health and the daycare needs of the working poor?


  72. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 5:05 pm:

    , if necessary, some temporary government support “funnelled through the schools to the parents so one parent can stay home if there are no other alternatives.”

    RNUNG, the feds will never pay for this because it is not important to them. Plus the state and local governments cannot afford paying a parent to stay home with their child(s).


  73. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 5:08 pm:

    “And if those educational and community leaders say it is irresponsible to open?”

    Morty, the they would lose federal funding. No one can afford to lose federal funding.


  74. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 5:12 pm:

    The feds should provide PPE for every teacher, school bus driver and other people whom work for the schools before the schools and colleges reopen.


  75. - Guy Probably - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 5:13 pm:

    @Cheryl44

    ===Guy, can you open windows in your classroom? Ventilation seems to help.===

    I’m in a new classroom next year, and I’m not sure it it’s windows open. Regardless, being in school fully open as the question asks is a terrible idea. Being open to partial students is only slightly less terrible.


  76. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 5:15 pm:

    What will happen when some parents will not allow their kids to wear a mask to school. Plus some parents cannot afford to buy masks for their kids to wear to school. Would they be expelled?


  77. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 5:27 pm:

    If schools don’t open, will educators and administration still get paid?


  78. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 5:43 pm:

    === will educators and administration still get paid?===

    What do you care.

    According to you, your son is 17 minutes away from solving this whole thing.


  79. - M - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 6:06 pm:

    DeVos sent a ton of public school funds to the private schools not long ago. To me, it sounds like DeVos is trying to force public schools to close so parents will be forced to send their kids to a private school. Not sure what parents can do if they can’t afford to send their kids to a private school. Plus private schools will not accept children with disabilities. Plus if teachers get seriously ill or die from COVID-19, there will not be enough teachers to teach the kids in a public or private school. Then what?


  80. - M - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 6:11 pm:

    - Rasselas - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 5:04 pm:=

    The signs where there during his last election campaign in 2016. Start reading all the books people have written about him. Not all but most of those books are an eye opener.


  81. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 6:26 pm:

    =To me, it sounds like DeVos is trying to force public schools to close so parents will be forced to send their kids to a private school. =

    I don’t think this is nearly as thought out as you think. This seems to follow the same basic pattern that encouraged the early reopening of states. It’s nothing more than an attempt to force us back to “normal” regardless of what the virus is doing. I expect that if implemented the results would be just as disastrous as what we’re seeing now in states that opened too soon. The virus will dictate our plans and responses not some arbitrary mandate particularly when it’s not supported by any federal assistance or guidance.


  82. - Morty - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 6:28 pm:

    ‘ The feds should provide PPE for every teacher, school bus driver and other people whom work for the schools before the schools and colleges reopen.’

    But they won’t.

    a. not nearly enough PPE to go around
    b. The whole point of it is to project normalcy. That’s it.

    As Rich said yesterday- if you want schools to open, get it together..

    But roughly 30% of our population refuses to do even the bare minimum.

    No.
    No.
    No.


  83. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 7:29 pm:

    So much for the party of state’s rights, local control, and self sovereignty


  84. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 7:38 pm:

    =E-learning was disastrous….For a district that buys every 6th grader an iPad, their response was awful. They were caught flat footed.=

    The truth is that you are correct. Public schools, at least in Illinois, are not designed to provide “elearning”, we use those ipads, laptops, chromebooks, and other 1:1 devices to ENHANCE in person learning. If your school is executing best practice kids are not sitting at their desks reciting grammar and listening to a teacher lecture for an entire class period. They are engaged ion exploration, collaborations, and application with some direct instruction and teacher guidance. Learning is supposed to be hands-on, interactive, and experiential.

    That is all but impossible even through the “best” online services like Illinois Virtual High School, edgunuity, and Apex which are some of the most common providers. They spend millions of dollars creating online instructional content. Aside from Kahn Academy (which is a supplement) they all cost big bucks. We have used all of these providers at times for credit recovery or students that are homebound. Even the best providers cannot compete with quality instruction from a great teacher. And schools mostly lack the resources to produce online content like that, none of us ever intended to be like that. That is the reality.

    So yeah, we were caught flat footed, but e-learning isn’t what we have ever been designed to do and kids research tells us that online learning is not nearly as effective as being in school. For a lot of kids it is easier and they love that, but if they try to go to college they are in for a surprise.

    I say all of this as a teacher, school administrator and the parent of a child that received homebound instruction for an extended period. Online was better than nothing, but that is about as good as it got.

    Nowhere did DeVos or Trump offer resources to help schools open up and they didn’t even offer any ideas. When you are making decrees like they did, you should at least have something to offer. DeVos has been completely absent during the pandemic and has done nothing to help schools in the literal sense. for her to come out and order schools to open is a laugh riot. She could have mobilized federal resources to help with internet access and/or provided devices. Instead, crickets. This is nothing more than a feeble political stunt from two paper lions.

    To be sure, school is the best place for kids and we want them back, this whole thing is nuts. But we can’t endanger people in the process any more than we have to.


  85. - Morty - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 7:40 pm:

    ‘ Can you imagine the outrage if high school football doesn’t happen?’

    What a sad commentary on our society


  86. - RDB - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 8:40 pm:

    Voted no. Kind of ignorant to expect people to go to school and completely disregard their health.


  87. - srboisvert - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 8:59 pm:

    Political pronouncements won’t mean squat once word gets out there is an infected kid or teacher at a school.


  88. - OOO - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 9:45 pm:

    I voted no. Let local school districts decide based on what is best for students. Some will require more support than others - those students should be encouraged to attend in person so as not to fall behind. Others are better equipped for remote learning (both aptitude and technology), so they’ll do fine at home. No district should be allowed to establish learning plans that serve the interest of teachers - students first!


  89. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Jul 8, 20 @ 7:49 am:

    Requiring schools to reopen fully for five days of instruction can only be done if you force 20-25 percent of students out of the public education system and into homeschooling.

    Let’s be honest, DeVos is trying to make a double play here, cover the President’s behind and undermine public education.

    Pritzker is not forcing it to happen, but he is allowing it to happen right under his nose. Conservatives took over school boards for a reason, and now is their moment to shine.


  90. - Local control - Wednesday, Jul 8, 20 @ 9:38 am:

    Our governor is horrible but schools should have a hybrid opening. Combination of e-learning and in-school learning with local control.


  91. - Chris - Wednesday, Jul 8, 20 @ 10:59 am:

    no - not every community has the same mix of issues. kids need consistency, so schools should only open full time when we can be reasonably certain that we won’t have to go into lockdown again. Also, I’m a teacher, and I shouldn’t have to put my life and the lives of immunocompromised family members on the line. I know people think kids aren’t carriers, but there’s no way to assure that, and so all school staff are at risk, as well as parents and grandparents.


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