Covid adjustments have been widespread and the impacts are great. However, the impacts are not necessarily permanent even though there are so many complaints that make this seem so. For this post I focus on education, especially elementary education.
There is no doubt there are impacts on learning by children across the country. Whether remote, hybrid, in-school, or any other combinations learning is different this year. The issue I have is the attitude this is inevitably a permanent setback for children. I am not aware of why this would be the case. There of course will be extra work to “catch up” or “make up” for lost time or difficult instruction. That is not a permanent setback.
It is actually a disservice to the children to suggest it will be. The fact is we have many policy options available to us, as well as private sector adjustments too. Is it the case that colleges will need to change their admission criteria for a few years? Well, wasn’t that a suggestion circulated for a long time? That college test scores are not predictive of student learning and performance potential?
If there needs to be adjustments to curricula to reinforce skills lost, or further emphasize what was given less time is that so bad? Curriculum concerns are a frequent aspect of the discussions around education in America, pre-Covid, during Covid, and I am sure they will persist after as well. That is fine, as long as we do not put kids into a hostage situation to ideological entrenchment. We need to display the flexibility and entrepreneurial attitude we say we want kids to have regarding how to move this forward.
What I cannot abide is that many that were critical of education administration prior to Covid are the same ones screaming that kids need to be back in school now. Be consistent. It is way more complicated and nuanced than you made it out to be before, and will continue to be so now. Do not make it more difficult with inconsistencies in your attitude towards children’s education in furtherance of some other political ends. Rant over.