File this under people send me stuff. A teacher who shall remain anonymous (no relation to me in case you are curious) shared some observations from several teachers’ groups with which they are a member. Summary: people are ALREADY giving up on a typical school year next year.
Related: How to re-open public schools
It may come as a surprise to the parents who pay them and can’t work from home indefinitely or at all. But I feel confident that was not something these educators considered. Teachers are being surveyed as if something other than normal school is the more likely outcome.
The sense I get from these sources is that teachers are reluctant or even scared of what it means to be around kids again, given what they think they know about virology and SARS CoV2. And based on these conversations, I’m going with “very little” outside the media establishment bubble. But that makes sense. Teachers, education unions, strong ties to the Left, some would say sharing a spine and a pocketbook. Anything outside the approved narratives is verboten.
I have heard other rumors elsewhere that this idea (no more normal school) fits in with some grander plans at higher levels in the Education food chain, but I have had no direct conversations with anyone about that or what exactly that may mean.
I can’t imagine the Teachers Unions wanting to give up an inch of in-person propaganda time. They, the Democrat machine, and the ed schools are all-in on separating kids from their families to ensure parents have less influence on them. Long term remote learning will not support this scheme. Over the long term, private and charter schools or home schools will present significant benefits that could ultimately undermine the Education Industrial complex.
Here in New Hampshire, in most town budgets, the single most significant property-tax burden is inefficient over-priced underperforming public education. Something like 60-80% of your local tax bill feeds the Public School beast despite declining enrollment and, in most cases, less than impressive results.
Put those previous two paragraphs side by side and tell me what parents and taxpayers might decide if forced to do so?
We have schools, even home schools, that take the kids for about a third of the cost (or less) and produce better results or, more remote learning that – let’s face it – is not better than what you can find for free on an internet they are already using.
A massive local push to defund public education as we know it or to implement a viable voucher program that ties the money to the student could rapidly undermine the government-monopoly. Massive budget cuts and savings to resident’s tax bills would not be far behind. Even if you did need the town to launder the money, the cost of public education would have to plummet to compete or collapse under the weight of its inflexibility and excessive administrative overhead.
Scads of services once assumed by Public Ed would be cheaper as the private sector rose to compete for those dollars – many of them former public educators looking for a new source of income.
If it matters, my own experience with the educators I know is different. They want to go back to school, see kids, interact in person, but most of them are not your typical union-stooge public school registered Democrat types. A few of them were but have since changed teams because of the political response to COVID-19. That’s fun to watch. And they would also be open to working in other environments, but they think personal interaction matters.
While I would love to see fanatical union teachers too afraid to go back (because I want parents to break the public-school cartel), we need a trigger for the creative destruction required to see real change. No more Left-Wing Government Education propaganda mills. Lower property taxes. Better learning and outcomes.
But I’m just too cynical to believe any of that could happen in my lifetime no matter how hard we push for it.
But if the union teachers want to help, if the rumors have legs, I say run with it!