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Saturday, August 8, 2020

De Blasio’s ‘plan’ for schools reopening falls far short of what kids, parents need

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Parents are rightly panning Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza’s plan for a half-reopening of city schools come September — a vision that seems to only work for families with at least one stay-at-home adult.

Unless the parents opt for pure remote-learning, the scheme has students in school on a two- and three-day rotating — possibly staggered — schedule, with online instruction the other days.

This, when online “classes” have been a disaster. Last week, parent and veteran city teacher Jenny Lombard ripped the “abysmal” quality of remote teaching at Brooklyn Tech, where her son is enrolled. In a letter to school and Department of Education officials, she outlined how her son’s teachers loaded up students with assignments and homework without any actual instruction.

And Tech is one of the city’s top high schools, which suggests that most schools failed as badly. (Hail to those teachers who, despite the lack of support, went all-out to make online learning work.)

Neither de Blasio nor Carranza has acknowledged these failures. Then again, both went along as the United Federation of Teachers told members they had no obligation to provide live teaching during the pandemic — no matter what principals said.

It’s one thing for the DOE to be unprepared when schools suddenly closed in March. It’s another that, four months later, the DOE’s remote-learning program remains of dubious quantity and quality.

Plus, the new plan assumes much smaller in-school class sizes — requiring a lot of teachers. Who’s left to run online classes?

The mayor is making vague promises that parents won’t have to stay home with kids, though it’s hard to see how that will avoid the very crowding that the plan aims to keep out of the schools: The city doesn’t have that much excess day-care capacity.

Gov. Cuomo isn’t helping: After de Blasio announced his so-called plan, the gov reiterated that no one’s reopening without his OK and said the state will issue reopening guidance for local school districts next Monday — and judging the districts’ plans starting Aug. 1. So it may be back to Square One for the city.

One thing’s clear: Working parents (especially single ones) are the last people whose needs matter to state and city leaders.

Read More at NYPost

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