July 23, 2020

"As school districts across the nation announce that their buildings will remain closed in the fall, parents are quickly organizing 'learning pods' or 'pandemic pods'..."

"... small groupings of children who gather every day and learn in a shared space, often participating in the online instruction provided by their schools. Pods are supervised either by a hired private teacher or other adult, or with parents taking turns. At face value, learning pods seem a necessary solution to the current crisis. But in practice, they will exacerbate inequities, racial segregation and the opportunity gap within schools.... For parents who need to work and can’t supervise their children’s learning, joining a pod may feel like the only way they can educate their kids and keep their jobs.... Paradoxically, at a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has prompted a national reckoning with white supremacy, white parents are again ignoring racial and class inequality when it comes to educating their children. As a result, they are actively replicating the systems that many of them say they want to dismantle.... The history of public schooling in this country is one in which white parents have repeatedly abandoned public schools, or resisted integration efforts at every turn.... We can either take this moment to continue that pattern by retreating into the comfort of our own advantages, or...." Or what?

I'm reading in "The Latest in School Segregation: Private Pandemic ‘Pods’/If they become the norm, less privileged kids will suffer" by Clara Totenberg Green, a social emotional learning specialist in the Atlanta Public Schools (NYT).

129 comments:

mockturtle said...

Most of the states [and districts] here in the west are offering a choice between in-person or virtual [I guess that lets them off the liability hook?] 'learning' [in quotes because, well, you know]. Either way, they can't win. IMO, the entire public school system should be scrapped and now might be a good time to do it. But we'll need a lot more private schools.

Ken B said...

Thus Trump is wrong to want to open schools?

There’s a lot of assumptions and guesses here. Chief among them is that the present system is significantly better than nothing and better than whatever impromptu replacement arises. And that is very much unproven. Especially over the longer term. If this can break the teachers’ unions whole new possibilities open up.

Mary Beth said...

Parents who have the interest and/or resources to improve their child's learning experience should just not do so because all children should suffer from poor education equally?

Calvinus said...

A similar dynamic is playing out in California where last week the governor decided that all public, private, and charter schools would have to remain shut down. The big teacher's unions (LA Unified in particular) had taken a hard line about not coming back to work unless their COVID, racial justice, and police funding demands were met. Most private and charter schools were planning on coming back. But we can't have those kids getting ahead, so better to just shut down all schools throughout the state. But motivated parents will find a way . . .

Dave Begley said...

I find it astounding that parents would sacrifice the education of their children in order to defeat Trump and keep the pandemic narrative going. BTW, per the CDC's own definition this is no longer a pandemic.

I also note that there were few problems in European schools. And more kids will die of the flu this year than Covid-19.

The Governor of SD noted that 30% of kids "disappeared" during the on-line classes this Spring. Kids need to be in school.

This is all insane.

EH said...

Our local Catholic school might have to add classes because parents in the public school want to ensure they have access to in person education this fall.

Mr Wibble said...

Homeschoolers have been doing this for years. Schooling should be a local function, so I see this as good. Smart legislators would push to allow this once the pandemic passes. There's no reason that parents can't pool resources and pay for a private teacher for their 10-15 kids.

Martin said...

The media have aided and abetted and encouraged the fear that has forced even skeptical political leaders to lock us all down. Now they discover that they don't like one of the predictable consequences of their fear-mongering, and decide that those of us trying to cope as best we can are racists.

I am a pretty articulate perosn, but words fail me in expressing how much I loathe the liberal national media.

madAsHell said...

I'm reading in "The Latest in School Segregation: Private Pandemic ‘Pods’/If they become the norm, less privileged kids will suffer"

Do the kids pay union dues??

I didn't think so.

In fact, if we are now home schooling, then are we still paying the teachers to stay home??

Can we re-appropriate the schools as shelters the homeless? /sarc

n.n said...

NYT colors its publication with em-pathetic appeals, while sustaining a history of supporting affirmative discrimination to cover-up widespread failure of affirmative action.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

body-snatcher pods

Dave Begley said...

"The history of public schooling in this country is one in which white parents have repeatedly abandoned public schools, or resisted integration efforts at every turn.."

No, it is a history of parents of any race escaping the terrible performance of big city public schools. Small town schools in Nebraska can be quite good. In the county with the smallest population of the entire state, one kid scored a perfect 40 on the ACT.

The public schools aren't fixable. That's why we need school choice.

Larry J said...

Parents who care about their children's futures will do whatever they can to help their educations, equality be damned. If the idea of education pods are such a problem, open the schools. Besides, with all the clamor at colleges around the country for segregated dorms, classes, and even graduations, why is segregation such a bad thing at the K-12 level?

Original Mike said...

"Paradoxically, at a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has prompted a national reckoning with white supremacy, white parents are again ignoring racial and class inequality when it comes to educating their children."

You want parents to hurt their own child for your "woke" fantasy? Not going to happen. You don't like it? Open the damn schools!

Jack Klompus said...

"A social emotional learning specialist."

In other words, a useless drain of tax dollars paid to make excuses for and cast blame on others for the chronic underachievement of a large sector of many urban public schools.

chuck said...

But in practice, they will exacerbate inequities, racial segregation and the opportunity gap within schools

Wow, just like the public schools :) Could be pods will be an improvement, especially if black parents get involved in forming their own.

doctrev said...

Some time ago, Republicans would do considerable research before rebutting the NYT's exhortation that looking after your kids is white supremacy. Well, in a way it absolutely is. We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children, after all, while the BLM terrorists and their eunuch apologists from podunk Michigan assure you that looking after the interests of white children is NAZIISM.

Nowadays, you can point to the article itself and say, "Well, thanks for your well-meaning advice, but you yourself admit you don't have the answers, so why don't you shove it up your ass before I take my kids out of public schools entirely?"

Eventually, people won't get past the byline "by Clara Totenberg Green" before telling her to shut the fuck up because she's a treacherous fifth columinst. May that day come soon.

Ambrose said...

From social media memes it seems that keeping the schools closed has become a random important goal for the left. They don't care as much about stores and restaurants and protests are ok - but federally mandated masks and closed schools are crucial.

Of course well off people will deal with that better.

Unknown said...

"Many will read this article and ask what they’re supposed to do instead. I don’t have the answer."

Then please shut the f**k up and stop accusing people of racism until you do.

chuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

Derbyshire, apply to public schools. My take, teach good character.

For white yuppies from gentrified neighborhoods, a free public swimming pool is a place to swim a little, sunbathe a little, have fun with the kids a little if you're married, flirt a little if you're not, and catch up on some reading. For young blacks and Hispanics from the projects, it's a place to show off, status-challenge other young toughs, get in fights, and defy authority.

The two things don't mix. Whoever thought they would - whoever spent $50 million to bring this pool back to commission, with open admission for all who show up - is an idiot, an idiot whose brain has been addled by the kind of dishonest, reality-defying linguistic malpractice on display in the New York newspapers this week.

Rory said...

During WWII, Britain evacuated about 800,000 kids from areas threatened by the Blitz to less-threatened areas. It seems like that would be a practical model - kids could stay with farm families away from surging cities, go to school with rural kids or throw up tent schoolrooms to handle the overflow.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mattman26 said...

Yes, Mary Beth (the commenter). So we can count on your support?

tcrosse said...

Somewhere Megan McArdle wrote that people in nice suburbs already send their kids to private schools, but are confused by the fact that they come bundled with granite countertops.

Michael K said...

This is probably the end of union schools. It's about time. It will be interesting to watch the teachers' unions implode.

Francisco D said...

Clara Totenberg Green, a social emotional learning specialist in the Atlanta Public Schools

It figures that a SJW who openly wants to end Whiteness would have such outstanding qualifications.

Mattman26 said...

If white people could stop feeding their children, that would be a major blow for equity too.

Darleen said...

Is this just another riff on the "parents who read to their children are RAAAACIST" theme?

Too bad Clara is too busy decrying wypipoo and hasn't read Thomas Sowell's Charter Schools and Their Enemies, she might actually learn something.

Skeptical Voter said...

Humm--the public schools will all be closed per Governor Newsom (or some other hack governor), and what happens. Middle class educated parents who can "pod together' recreate the Christiam Acacemies that sprung up in the South shortly after desegregation. The Blacks could have the public schools in toto, and the Whites or those who could afford it sent their children to Christian Academies.

And this is all happening at the behest of "progressive" governors who lust for power.
My wife and I were big time supporters of K-12 public education back in the 70s and 80s when our daughters were in school. These days--even without Governor Gruesome Newsom's meddling, I would not send my children through the local public school system. The days when California had first class public schools are long gone.

Jim at said...

I eagerly look forward to the corresponding decrease in my property tax bill.

Birkel said...

World to end on Wednesday.
Women and minorities hardest hit.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Back when I was workin on the line, the black Baptist, single mothers in my department worked the voluntary overtime to death so they could send their kids to Catholic schools. No fools there!

Big Mike said...

If they become the norm, less privileged kids will suffer.

Cry me a Yangtze River. Yet another effort by a privileged white woman to try to make middle class parents feel guilty over their natural desire to see their children educated. I have no idea what a "social emotional learning specialist" does to earn a living, and I imagine that neither does Clara Totenberg Green. Twenty dollars says poor Clara can't describe what she does without resorting to impenetrable jargon.

I see that the same old complaint is thrown out there. "As is the case across the country, white families largely socialize with one another, white children are disproportionately represented in gifted and talented programming, and white parents dominate parent committees." Democrats and other low-life scum were complaining about that back when my sons, now in their thirties, were in elementary and middle school. It seemed obvious to me then, and still seems obvious today, that the way to remedy this problem-that-isn't-a-problem is to get black parents interested in their children's education. Much harder than guilt-tripping the white folks, but that's the only way this "problem" is ever going to get solved.

The key takeaway: "Many will read this article and ask what they’re supposed to do instead. I don’t have the answer." And this supports what I wrote above: if it really is a problem then the solution is either to get black parents interested and involved in their own children's education or to dumb everything down to the point where white, Asian, and Hispanic parents totally abandon the schools, cease to support them, and the school systems collapse because they are more willing to spend money on social emotional learning specialists, and not on quality teachers.

And, yes, I can also read the article as a push for teachers to come back and do in-person education. But I doubt that Clara Totenberg Green is actually pushing for that.

mockturtle said...

For young blacks and Hispanics from the projects

How many white liberal elitists know that most people who live in 'projects' are white? As are most people on welfare. Are lower-income white kids considered at all in any of these plans?

Tommy Duncan said...

"Paradoxically, at a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has prompted a national reckoning with white supremacy, white parents are again ignoring racial and class inequality when it comes to educating their children.

I have an image of crabs in a bucket in my mind.

So the correct answer to racial disparity in learning is to make sure no one learns? By jove, that's it! Let's make everyone equally ignorant, poor, violent and miserable. How do we do that you ask? Implement communism, of course.

BUMBLE BEE said...

If nobody succeeds who pays the taxes? On that same thought, I'd bet there's a database of graduates, 2020 going forward, from Portland and Seattle, that will guide employment recruiter's hiring decisions. Those kids will have red marks on 'em from all the ten foot poles.

Gahrie said...

Personally I'm prepared to become a tutor for a small group of motivated kids rather than a public school teacher. Give me five to eight kids and pay me per kid what the school gets for each of them right now.

DavidUW said...

The parallel argument to:
Gentrification is racist

White flight is racist.

Roger Sweeny said...

Well, duh. Children with parents who have the time and money and care more about education are more likely to get this than those who don't. Also, children with two parents will be more likely to get this. Alas, more white kids check those boxes than black kids.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Sacrifice your child on the altar of our Woke God!"

Gonna be a tough sell, I think.

Won't it be easier to keep the schools open with distancing in place if a great number of students leave for the year? And all these places not offering in-person school, do they have no poor people? Our town could never move to online only. It would be totally unworkable.

Here, I agree with the writer:

"To compound the problem, I’ve heard from my colleagues that some parents are already pressuring school leaders to create class rosters that would enable the children in learning pods to have the same teacher, making the online instruction easier to manage for these families."

The schools should ignore this pressure. There's no reason for the public schools to coordinate with these pods. If you want to homeschool or private school, do it, but don't expect the public school to conform to your homeschool or private school desires. Tell them that if they want a learning pod with the same teacher, they are free to draw their pod from their child's class.

It seems like the most logical approach would be to encourage as many families as are able to keep their kids at home this year. That way, the families who can't keep their kids at home will be able to send their kids to schools that are less dense and less likely to spread disease. This would have the added benefit of giving the kids who are at school smaller class sizes. Win-win.

Susan said...

Disadvantaged kids will be disadvantaged no matter what happens.

Notice no one seems to think that clearing out the students who's parents are willing and able to provide an education for them by other means will free up resources for the disadvantaged.

I mean if the districts only had to worry about the kids who had nowhere else to turn, they should have oodles of extra money, equipment and staff so disadvantaged kids could finally get the individualized instruction they deserve, right?

Leslie Graves said...

When the schools are closed, it very much disproportionally hurts poor families. It hurts single-parent families and families where one or both parents must work outside the home much more than it hurts families with parents who get to work from home.

Black families are disproportionately represented in the lower-income families who are most hurt by the schools being closed.

It's not surprising that wealthier (and also correlatively Whiter) families are hiring private tutors, forming pods, etc. They're going to do what they see themselves as having to do, to survive the situation. Note that these are parents who WOULD have sent their kids to the local public school if they COULD have. They aren't the typical homeschooler/school choice crowd.

I am very worried about these lower-income families and how they're supposed to cope with the situation. Pointing out that wealthier families are exacerbating inequalities through their pod-forming activities does nothing to help these lower-income families. Opening the schools would help them.

SDaly said...

Clara Totenberg Green is the niece of NPR’s Nina Totenberg, and her mother is federal judge Amy Totenberg. That’s how you get an editorial in the NYT.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

https://uncletom.com/

effinayright said...

Big Mike said...
If they become the norm, less privileged kids will suffer.

*********

Agreed that it's another attempt to instill guilt on the upper middle class.

Thing is, the parents of the "less-privileged" kids are MORE "privileged" in that many pay no property taxes used to fund the *closed* schools the the teachers still paid *not* to teach in them.

So the upper-middle is stil paying for what they're not getting, and the lower classes are not paying what they don't pay for in any event.

Rough justice, I'd call it.

bwebster said...

@JUJU_Anr made the following suggestion on Twitter to teachers who don't want to go back to school:

Now is the time for teachers to eat...quit your job and charge $250 a week to home school 10 kids...do such a great job that we never send these kids back to school....your class of 25 students will be cut to 10 and your income goes from 30,000 to 130,000.....you're welcome!

I wouldn't be surprised if we see a lot of efforts to do something like this. Frankly, I thinking the Teachers Unions are doing more to kill public education than any libertarians could dream of.

James K said...

The NYT never fails, like the old satirical headline: "Atomic bomb hits New York, poor and minorities hardest hit."

It seems like that would be a practical model - kids could stay with farm families away from surging cities, go to school with rural kids or throw up tent schoolrooms to handle the overflow.

I know of some parents who are moving to places where schools are open, because the remote learning is so terrible. What a ridiculous situation.

Original Mike said...

"Learning pods undermine the very reason some districts are going online in the first place. Like any environment in which people gather, they’ll potentially contribute to the spread of the virus in the communities in which they exist, and that could contribute to delays in the safe reopening of schools."

Until you tell me, upfront, what the criteria for opening the schools will be, this argument falls on deaf ears. Fool me once, …

Drago said...

Dave Begley: "I find it astounding that parents would sacrifice the education of their children in order to defeat Trump and keep the pandemic narrative going."

According to tim in vermont and the other Biden Backers, what we did do wasn't nearly enough.

wild chicken said...

"social emotional learning specialist"

Another "educator" who really didn't dig classroom teaching.

JaimeRoberto said...

How dare those white parents refuse to sacrifice their children for The Cause!

Original Mike said...

They're afraid that the "rich"* kids are never coming back. And they're right, they're digging their own grave.

*The legitimately rich have already left, of course.

stevew said...

Teachers don't want to go back to the classroom because they believe, against the all available evidence, that doing so is a substantial risk to their health, and possibly their lives. So some parents, having lived through the failure of "virtual education" last spring, set up an alternate solution, which they pay for. And this makes them the racists.

There is a simple solution to this problem: open the schools.

Earnest Prole said...

Teachers’ unions are again ignoring racial and class inequality when it comes to educating children.

FIFY

Jeff Weimer said...

But in practice, they will exacerbate inequities, racial segregation and the opportunity gap within schools

What they mean is, these parents should not be *allowed* do what's best for their children because some parents aren't able to. Literally: if everyone's child is uneducated, they are all equal.

Rick said...

Splitting classes into pods exposes even more teachers to risk than the traditional model. I can't read the article but I've seen it discussed multiple places without anyone mentioning any concern about how these teachers will take elevated risk so the unionized (privileged) teachers can be protected. More evidence government employment is a modern aristocracy extracting rents by virtue of political control rather than in exchange for expertise.

n.n said...

The public schools aren't fixable. That's why we need school choice.

Religion (i.e. moral philosophy in a universal, not relativistic ("ethics") frame of reference) to keep honest people honest. Competing interests to mitigate progress of others running amuck ("protesting").

Kevin said...

This is no different than when we’ll-off parents put their kids into the “pods” of private and suburban school systems.

Fernandinande said...

white parents are again ignoring racial and class inequality when it comes to educating their children.

As they should.

I hope the kiddies register good happiness indices, expressing themselves and eating chocolate for breakfast, within the constraints imposed by their podification.

MartyH said...

Learning pods- what a great idea! I’m going to bring it up to my HS senior son tonight.My job is to give him every single advantage I can.

doctrev said...

SDaly said...
Clara Totenberg Green is the niece of NPR’s Nina Totenberg, and her mother is federal judge Amy Totenberg. That’s how you get an editorial in the NYT.

7/23/20, 5:12 PM

I am shocked. Just tits-fucked-off shocked. How could you accuse such a Nice White Newspaper of practicing nepotism and Tribal supremacy??

Shame. On. You.

Original Mike said...

Is the NYT allowing comments to this article?

Gordy said...

And bring back corporal punishment, just like in the good ol' days.

rcocean said...

Paradoxically, at a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has prompted a national reckoning with white supremacy, white parents are again ignoring racial and class inequality when it comes to educating their children.

I found this absolutely hilarious. Yes, *paradoxically* the white liberal bourgeoisie are in favor ending "White Supremacy" except when they feel it hurts THEIR kids. LOL. And it'd be interesting to know how many DC pols, Big City Pols, and Newspaper Pundits/talking heads in NYC/Dc send their kids to PRIVATE schools.

After all you and kids can fight "white supremacy" from an exclusive $40,000/year prep school - as the Clintons and Mr. and Mrs. Obama can tell you.

rcocean said...

There's no reason why the public schools shouldn't open. as Trump stated in his press conference. schools in Europe have re-opened with no problems. And studies show deaths and CV-19 cases among the under 17 age group are almost zero.

Joe Smith said...

"But in practice, they will exacerbate inequities, racial segregation and the opportunity gap within schools...."

There's a reason you work hard, stay in school, get (and stay) married, and don't take on debt...so you can acquire money to spend.

This is what money is for. If you did things that people of any race can do, you'd have money too.

Let the whiners commence whining.

walter said...

The losing formula was meant to be equitably distributed.

rcocean said...

i can remember when calling someone a "Pod person" was an insulting allusion to "Invasion of the body snatchers (1977)". Of course the early version which was done in the 1950s was superior.

RNB said...

"Clara Totenberg Green, a social emotional learning specialist in the Atlanta Public Schools." The same APS where eleven teachers were convicted in 2015 of falsifying test scores to cover up the system's poor performance? The superintendent, Beverly Hall, died of cancer before she could be brought to trial.

wild chicken said...

"I thinking the Teachers Unions are doing more to kill public education"

You thinking that eh?

The reason there are teacher and police unions is because the work sucks and because politics. Admin turns on you in a heartbeat. Parents are entitled idiots.

And the dear little darlings, or at least 30% of them, dgaf.



Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

"learning pod"? Isn't that what public teacher's union schools do to our kids? turn them into PODS.

Doug said...

Now they discover that they don't like one of the predictable consequences of their fear-mongering, and decide that those of us trying to cope as best we can are racists.

It's about time that I and my brethren of the Caucasian persuasion started firing back with, "Okay, I'm a racist ... now what?"

walter said...

wild chicken,
If you saw the WEAC charter before Walker's reforms, you'd hard pressed to say they were about anything feathering their own beds and avoiding accountability.

minnesota farm guy said...

If kids are going to school 50% of the time, or not at all, shouldn't school taxes be adjusted accordingly? Teachers certainly should not get paid for not teaching. Schools would open in a hurry if all tax payers withheld the appropriate amount from the allocated school funds. Someone is going to do that and I bet that they win.

The same applies to colleges. Classes are only a portion of the "college experience" that tuition pays for. As an estimate let's be generous and say 50%. In that case tuition should be reduced by 50% for those forced to take classes on line. You would see a lot of colleges open in a hurry if a mass movement in that direction began.

There is going to be a boom market in services that provide "tutoring" which is essentially what these pods are.

Ultimately closing the schools is going to have a killing effect on integration, educating special needs kids and the disadvantaged as public education becomes" every man for himself".

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

Busing?

David in Cal said...

If these pods become the norm, nobody will suffer. Kids who have the pods will benefit, but their benefit doesn't hurt the non-pod kids.

BTW why can't less privileged parents also set up pods? It doesn't require money to do this.

Josephbleau said...

True equality will come only when "w"hite, Hispanic and Asian children are randomly shot in proportion until total average lifespans are equal across all divisions of diversity. No more Black children would be shot under this program, just the normal amount. I think "Divisions of Diversity" is a much better way to say "race." "w"hite can be used to emphasize that you are NOT capitalizing white.

Jupiter said...

"Give me five to eight kids and pay me per kid what the school gets for each of them right now."

Greedy bastard.

James K said...

It seems like the most logical approach would be to encourage as many families as are able to keep their kids at home this year. That way, the families who can't keep their kids at home will be able to send their kids to schools that are less dense and less likely to spread disease.

Well considering that several studies have shown that kids at schools do not spread the disease whatsoever, it's hard to see how they could be "less likely to spread the disease" in a less dense environment. Less than zero? See, for example, this WSJ story on the European experience of reopening schools.

Jupiter said...

The American Public School system was invented at roughly the sane time as the American Public Transportation system -- the one that involved horse-drawn wagons. While Public Transportation has improved since then, it still has the same fundamental problems. It never seems to go where you want to go, when you want to go there, and even when it does, it stops at too places along the way. When people found that they could purchase private transportation, which does go directly where you want to go, when you want to go there, those who could scare up the money began to use it. But paying for Public Education costs so much that most people can't afford the good stuff.

I'm Not Sure said...

"Someone is going to do that and I bet that they win."

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that. People without kids have been paying taxes to support schools since forever.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

Robert Conquest's 1st Law:
"Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
I amend that to:
Everyone is conservative about what is most important to him or her.
I.e., family.

Jupiter said...

"Paradoxically, at a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has prompted a national reckoning with white supremacy, white parents are again ignoring racial and class inequality when it comes to educating their children."

Sorry, Clara, but White Supremacy has an appointment on the other side of town. Y'all let us know how the reckoning comes out, y'hear?

Owen said...

I just downloaded Thomas Sowell’s most recent masterpiece (published on his 90th birthday!) which is “Charter Schools And Their Enemies.”
I highly recommend that everyone read this work before they try to comment on the current madness about pods, social equity, etc.

Bottom line, the teachers unions have destroyed the school system and that hard fact has to be borne in mind as we reconceptualize the essential question: what the next generation simply must know, and how this knowledge can be imparted quickly and cheaply to them. And the devil take the hindmost.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

BTW why can't less privileged parents also set up pods? It doesn't require money to do this.
-David in Cal 7:26 pm

Setting up pods requires organizational skills, planning, time management, focus, motivation.
Those are essential and basic components of White Fragility.
They would be risking a lot if they tried.
Even more if they succeeded.

JAORE said...

I remember a movie about pod people. Seems like it was .a nice, dull world....

Bob Smith said...

“Give the complainers an evasive answer. Tell ‘em to go **** themselves”

What this really is? Another version of “punctuality, professionalism, and good manners” being “whiteness” or elements of racism.

wildswan said...

"California ... last week the governor decided that all public, private, and charter schools would have to remain shut down. The big teacher's unions (LA Unified in particular) had taken a hard line about not coming back to work unless their COVID, racial justice, and police funding demands were met. Most private and charter schools were planning on coming back. But we can't have those kids getting ahead, so better to just shut down all schools throughout the state."

I guess this is what it's all about. The Teacher's Union has decided going to close the schools till the police are defunded, etc. But many parents are setting up learning pods and others are home-schooling. Hence, the Teacher's Union's tactic is on track to fail disastrously: schools won't open AND lefty legislation won't pass. So now racism is being deployed to try to shame parents into not educating their children. This won't work - especially when the author of the article says "I don't know what to do." Parents can't write an article and be finished with the "issue." They can't do nothing and they can't wait. They must and will get their children schooled this fall. The final outcome of this confrontation may be like Reagan's firing of the air controllers - the end of Teacher's Union power. Not with a bang but with a pod.

mccullough said...

The solution is to open up the schools.

All kids are disadvantaged by keeping the schools closed and having the fake education of “remote learning.”

The better off can mitigate the damage to their own kids. But they are not the ones who closed the schools. The administrators, threatened by teachers unions, did it.

Also, instead of donating hundreds of millions to the useless Black Lives Matter Network, companies could set up pods for disadvantaged kids.

Put their money to good use.

Openidname said...

So it turns out we AREN'T all in this together.

reader said...

In California teachers are supposed to receive pink slips in May if they may not be teaching the next year. Sometimes, based on budgetary triggers, the pink slips may be issued in August.

I’m assuming, due to a lack of hue and cry, that an abnormally large number of pink slips were not issued in May. Why????

Even if districts end up needing more teachers to achieve distancing, districts should have prepared for the possibility of not needing as many teachers whether due to online teaching or a declining number of children returning to in class teaching.

boatbuilder said...

How about focusing on teaching the kids? Never mind that some of them might be taught better than some others. Teach them, even (or especially) the poor kids, and don't worry about the rich kids. Teach them not what you want them to believe, but what is true.

The kids aren't responsible for what they are born into, and don't care. Teach them something other than that they are doomed by what happened before they were born. Teach them that they are who they are, that they can't change where they came from, and that the only thing that matters is what they make of themselves.

They will get it.

(And if you teach them the opposite, they will get it, too.)












I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

How do we get rid of this ridiculous and false and imaginary notion that teachers are at risk?

I have completely lost what respect I had for public school teachers due to their behavior around school reopening. A close friend, who is a teacher at our kids' school, and who used to be one of the sensible ones, has now gone over to the dark side and is afraid to send her kids back or go back herself. She admits it's not rational, and there is not really any evidence to support her position, but, "You can't be too careful."

Yes, you absolutely can. You can cause all kinds of other mayhem with your irrationality. Look around.

I also never want to hear one more goddamn word from any liberal teacher about how much they care about The Poor and the At Risk. The best thing in those kids' lives is school and you hysterical idiots are not even hesitating to throw those kids under the bus. You don't give one wet shit about The Children and now everyone knows it.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Also, it takes a really giant pair of solid brass balls to pretend you give the aforementioned wet shit about the poor and disadvantaged when you work for the Atlanta MFing public schools.

iowan2 said...

Haven't read any of the comments, as far as white privilege.
Obviously blacks can do pods. Money is not a limiting factor.
The limiting factor? Identifying a goal. Blacks have actively accepted worthless education. Baltimore has a school that 100% of the kids dont compute or read at grade level. That's a failure of parents. Parents that dont care if their kids cant read, wouldn't come up with pods, or steal the idea once they heard of it.

Stu Grimshaw said...

A smart R politician could really make a name for herself/himself by leading the movement to withhold the paying of property taxes until in-person schooling Is fully back. May not be successful but it will energize a huge segment of voters who are feeling like a giant load of dung has been dumped on their heads.

And to “I’m Not Sure”, yes childless taxpayers pay for school as well. Because it’s a service provided by the state, whether you use it or not. Just like paved roads, whether you drive on them or not. But when that service is no longer provided...

minnesota farm guy said...

@I'm not sure I agree that those not using the schools have had to pay forever. It seems to me that the taxes are computed based on a school budget that assumes 100% operation. If school expenditures are off by 50% because school is not in session someone smarter than I am should be able to figure out a winning argument that the taxes are out of line and should only be used to cover actual expenditures. Of course the teachers will be there 100% of the time to get paid. It's only the kids that are getting 50% of the input they should be getting.

So I guess that the schools will end up spending closer to 100% of their budgets while providing 50% of the service and my pipe dream of withholding taxes goes out the window. Doesn't that piss me off?

Big Mike said...

If the students are receiving their education at home and not in a brick and mortar school, then we don’t need one teacher for every 16 students or one for every 30 students or whatever the teacher/student ratio is in the school system. You need precisely ONE teacher for each grade to develop lesson plans for the entire school district, no matter how large the district is, and perhaps one grader — doesn’t have to be a full fledged teacher! — for every fifty or sixty students. The rest of the teachers in that school district can be Emailed a PDF copy of how to apply for welfare for all I care. Likewise we won’t need principals or vice-principals or “social emotional learning specialists” or any coaches or assistant coaches, and they can be CC-ed in the same Email. We don’t even need as many maintenance employees. The money saved could be divided equally among the students and distributed to the parents to help defray the costs of home education. Many parents will waste the money, of course, but that can’t be helped. As it is, much of the money is wasted in the current environment anyway, paying for “educators” who couldn’t teach a fish how to swim.

minnesota farm guy said...

I agree with Misplaced pants that the kids who are really going to be hurt by schools not opening are those most in need from a socioeconomic standpoint; those kids who Lefties have been making the loudest noises about needing more and more resources to make up for their disadvantages. This is one case where the classic headline "schools close, poor hardest hit" is absolutely accurate.

Original Mike said...

"If the students are receiving their education at home and not in a brick and mortar school, then we don’t need one teacher for every 16 students or one for every 30 students or whatever the teacher/student ratio is in the school system. You need precisely ONE teacher for each grade …"

Hell, you need one teacher per grade per COUNTRY. These people have not thought this through. But then planning is a white thing. Or maybe just a smart thing.

Where do these teachers think this ends up?

Joanne Jacobs said...

https://bit.ly/2OI51Nq

The "pod people" stories stressed parents who hope to hire a teacher for small groups of children. That's expensive. I think many pods will be taught by college-educated middle-class parents, trading off homeschooling and supervision time so they have time to work from home.

"Essential workers" living in crowded apartments don't have the space or time for this, or the money to hire a tutor. They will be stuck with whatever the school provides.

Good luck trying to get parents to not do what they think is best for their children.

Vonnegan said...

Pants at 8:41pm: AMEN. I have 1 kid left in K-12 - and it's a private school at that - so I really shouldn't care what the idiot teachers and school administrators do for public school kids that its been clear for years they don't care about. And yet I don't know if I have been this angry about anything in years. Argh.

buwaya said...

Word from California is the shutdown of private schools is going to cause many of them to close permanently, particularly the Catholic parochials, which have always worked close to the edge. The SF Archdiocese has limited means to keep them going if tuition payments aren't coming in. They were in trouble already with so many people out of work and unable to afford them.

wildswan said...

Plenty of members of the black community have been trained by the US Army and big corporations to organize and execute. They could set up pods. But they seem as a group to be hesitating and floundering about their response to the teachers refusing to open the schools. And here's the thing. If the black community said, "Open the Schools," the schools would open. The white community can't make "open the schools" happen in the big cities but a lot of the white community is outside the big Dem run cities and a lot more are very busy fleeing those cities without giving the appearance of doing so. "I'm just worried about covid, not anarchy and mayhem." So they won't work on open the schools (and they wouldn't be heard if they did.) Now the black community would be heard, but that community seems to be hesitating about what to do. Not much time left. Tune in again in a few days.

stephen cooper said...

to be fair, even if all schools miraculously opened this fall for the new school year, the bottom ten percent of parents are still gonna send their kids to school wearing cheap clothes, wearing embarrassingly bad shoes, sporting bad haircuts, and looking poorly groomed overall, because nobody at home cared, and - also because nobody at home cared much - with a bad attitude because the parents don't like their kids much and that guarantees, almost, that the kids are gonna have trouble relating to other kids (through no fault of the kids - it is the parents who are at fault): and we all know that the bottom ten percent of parents are not going to spend a moment feeling bad that they are sending their kids to school with obvious health issues, to include greasy obesity from too much cheap greasy food. We all (except for the lunatic fringe) know what I am saying is true, and we all know why it is the way it is.

Almost Nobody really cares about this much. I know that lots of elementary school teachers think they have hearts of gold and think they really care about the kids in their classrooms, but I seriously doubt that more than one in a hundred school teachers is going to spend ten seconds a day, years from now, remembering those poor loser bottom ten percent kids who came to school, hoping with their childish enthusiasm to have a good time and learn, and who were bullied and disregarded by the cold system, and who obviously did not have a good time (and probably did not learn much - it is hard to learn when you are miserable and people can see that your parents don't care about you).

A basic rule of human behavior is that almost nobody cares about the bottom 10 percent. Think about it. That is one of the reasons why we need God.

Either you care about other people or you don't. Thanks for reading.

0_0 said...

This problem at least could be avoided by opening the schools.
Seriously, why pay teachers, administrators, and such if school is closed? The online training doesn't teach everyone well.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Better than nothing is at work here. The schools are doing nothing to attract customers. They’ve always denied competition could exist and did their best to kill it. Now they’ve cut off their funds to spite the President. Of all the self-owns in the COVID era, schools voluntarily ceding the customer base you homeschooling and private contractors might be the best for all involved. Their past work is exposed as horrible. Their most recent semester was plagued by unacknowledged widespread absenteeism. Schools have managed to make the best case for Federal dollars following the student to get through this emergency. Then it’s over. Only the least motivated and at-risk students will he left for a few public schools to fight over, as motivated students of all ethnicities gravitate to the learning environment that suits them best.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Parents are responsible for their own

Yancey Ward said...

I am just all out of fucks to give on this issue. Damned if you do one thing, damned if you do the fucking opposite. There is literally no pleasing these people- they will always find something else to complain about.

Temujin said...

Cut the crap. "Social emotional learning specialist" are four words that should never be used consecutively. And if they are, the person who hires said 'specialist' should be fired.

It's for the good of the kids.

I could not imagine taking years of schooling to call myself (in public, no less) a social emotional learning specialist.

Oso Negro said...

Stephen Cooper, there is something really wrong with you. I hope God sees fit to keep you well-medicated.

Mom said...

Why aren't the schools helping to organize pods for the disadvantaged families? If the teachers are going to be paid anyway, why can't the ones who won't be needed in the virtual classrooms get out there and put together pods of kids from families of essential workers and do the teaching, so the families that can't afford to pay don't have to?

This woman wants to put all the responsibility for taking care of poor black kids on better-off white parents. But SHE is the "social emotional learning specialist" who's getting paid by the taxpayers to specialize, apparently, in the kids' socialization, emotions and learning. Why is she lecturing people who aren't getting paid to solve this problem that they should do it, even though she admits she has no idea how -- rather than rolling up her sleeves herself?

I know why. It might succeed, that's why.

Kevin said...

BTW why can't less privileged parents also set up pods?

And be accused of acting white? What a culturally-insensitive suggestion!

stephen cooper said...

Oso Negro - Thanks for reading. I hope you were not being unkind and insincere:

there is hope for all of us!

Nichevo said...

Stephen Cooper, I'm sure that Oso Negro was not insincere, and I hope I am not unkind when I say that I broadly agree with him. You are DEFINITELY doing something wrong. Cor ad cor loquitor, evaluate yourself and figure out what you are doing wrong, and change it. Think motes and beams.

You are a source of, for lack of better phrasing, pain and misery in the world. If you think this is justified by the pain you yourself have incurred, think millstones.

Again, I'm prepared to entertain the notion that you think of yourself as a good person doing good. I repeat:

You're doing it wrong.

Jupiter said...

Blogger Oso Negro said...
"Stephen Cooper, there is something really wrong with you. I hope God sees fit to keep you well-medicated."

That was uncalled-for. Mr. Cooper is entirely correct, that it is a lot easier to become a parent than to be a good one, and the evidence is all around us. He has not turned his sympathy for the unfortunate into a criticism of the fortunate, as the Left is inclined to do. He is merely expressing an entirely appropriate sadness at all the pain and waste in this world.

gerry said...

It's about time that I and my brethren of the Caucasian persuasion started firing back with, "Okay, I'm a racist ... now what?"

White Fragility precepts assert that the oppression white people cause for all other colors of people is caused by motivations that area an innate part of whiteness. White people have a racial defect that causes the undesired behavior, in other words.

Is this the latest Progressive belief? White people cannot help being racist? Indeed, now what?

RichAndSceptical said...

Her time would be better spent trying to find a solution that would work in poor, black neighborhoods.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

OK: Let me stipulate that I am 100% behind the "pod people," who are just educating their kids when the state tasked to do so has failed. Preventing a parent from educating his/her own child is Chapter 1 of "Cheap and Easy Torture Techniques for Fun and Profit."

But: All you folks complaining that public school teachers do nothing but sit on their asses anyway, and this is just a yet easier way to do it ... don't, with the very greatest respect, have any idea what you're talking about. Take my husband -- not because he's particularly special (OK, yes, he is, but I'm not an unbiased source in this regard!), but because I happen to know his case very well.

He ordinarily teaches four and a half classes a semester: three string orchestras, symphony orchestra (shared with the band director), and music appreciation or music theory (one of each a year, alternating). A couple of weeks before spring break, classes were cancelled, and in the end they never reopened. So for the remaining three months of the school year, he had to move everything online. So he set up a filming/recording studio in the basement, tried out a lot of software, both for interacting with kids and for instructing them in theory and in ensemble playing. The last is hard. They are playing, for example, a Reger transcription of a Bach chorale prelude; he put the work into music-typesetting software, played each part personally (yes, he plays violin, viola, cello, bass), and set it up so that any one part of the mix could be removed and the individual student's own playing substituted. He then undertook to listen to each of his 100-plus students tackle this. (Not all on the Reger, of course; that was for the top ensemble of three. But similarly for the other two less-advanced groups.)

That was "distance learning." That was Phase 1 of the sitting-on-your-ass part.

When/if (there is always an if) school restarts at the end of next month, his class will be divided into two groups. One will be enrolled in Edge, the district's "edgy" new "vibrant, student-centered online learning academy" (hey, we do not name this crap), and so will be all-online. The other will be in "blended" or "hybrid" learning, half online, half in-person. Ah, but the latter will be arranged in cohorts, and those go by grade level. His orchestras are not organized by grade level, but by what they can do; few seniors are in the bottom one, and few freshmen in the top, but the correlation is loose. Now they are slightly-differing slices of the same roughly homogeneous blob, with very poor and very good players in each.

How is he supposed to keep everyone interested at the same time? How can he teach everyone at once? A hypothetical single math class for entering college freshmen that was mandatory for everyone, from those who flunked trigonometry in HS to those champing at the bit for honors linear algebra, having already done a year of AP Calculus, would be easier to manage. But he is supposed to do this -- while also doing the "online-only" course path he started working on in spring. And some here have the temerity to call this "less work." Really.

Whoever suggested "one teacher per grade level to assign everything," and whoever else followed that up by saying that one teacher for the entire country would do: Try doing that for orchestra. Just try. Then get back to me. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Why piling on Mr. Cooper?

A basic rule of human behavior is that almost nobody cares about the bottom 10 percent.

Do you dispute that? Do you assume that Mr. Cooper is advocating that, rather than merely pointing it out?

those poor loser bottom ten percent kids who came to school, hoping with their childish enthusiasm to have a good time and learn, and who were bullied and disregarded by the cold system

Does anyone think these people do not exist?

doubt that more than one in a hundred school teachers is going to spend ten seconds a day, years from now, remembering [them]

Does anyone think that's not true? I would be SHOCKED if any of my teachers remembered me at all, let alone had an opinion on how I was treated in school.

I don't understand what is objectionable in that comment.

KellyM said...

buwaya said...
".....The SF Archdiocese has limited means to keep them going if tuition payments aren't coming in. They were in trouble already with so many people out of work and unable to afford them."

This is true. My parish in SF is quite small, but the K-8 school is consistently one of the best among parochial schools in the city, and always places well in scholastic and sports events. I wonder if it will open again.

Aside from the school, the parish had delayed big budget repairs (seismic retrofit, roof repairs) with the plan of getting it done this year with a capital campaign. Guess not now.

I'm Not Sure said...

Stu Grimshaw said...

"And to “I’m Not Sure”, yes childless taxpayers pay for school as well. Because it’s a service provided by the state, whether you use it or not."

Good point. Another service provided by the state is drinking water. But in this case, you don't pay for it unless you use it.

So- why do people have to pay for schools they don't use when they don't have to pay for water they don't use?

stephen cooper said...

Unknown - there has been a sort-of-theological dispute in the comment sections between me and Nichevo (and a few others) in which he (and one or two of the others) has made some good points from time to time. (I hope I have made some good points, too ....). He thinks I dwell too much, too often, on my disappointment in my fellow human beings.

I don't mind criticism - Proverbs 27 5-6 .... but Ann does not like "back and forths", and this is her place, so these days, I kind of shut up after one or two consecutive comments.

ken in tx said...

Everyone here wants to blame teacher's unions for the problems, but I have taught i two districts that didn't have unions and they were just as bad. That's because the Education Establishment is centered in the Colleges of Education in the Universitys, and the permanent bureaucracies of the state depts of education. These are the people who issue teachers certificates, write the Praxis teacher exams, teach the bs courses that all teachers have to take and set the requirements for being an administrator.

Doing away with teacher's unions won't touch these people. It will take a long march to correct public education.

Tina Trent said...

Clara Green is a "literacy coach" and earns 51K plus benefits.

I know a couple dozen "woke" people in downtown Atlanta. Not ONE of them sent their kids to the local public school unless they lived in the one uber-rich lefty community where the school was completely internally segregated. They made up all sorts of excuses -- we just wanted to start a little charter; junior needed special services; the magnet school has the program she wants; oh it was time to sell the house...

No-one told the truth, not even to themselves. Meanwhile, in the neighborhood schools, I participated in "lockdowns" where we bribed the parents with restaurant vouchers and a weekend of free partying as we locked their kids into the school, fed them, innoculated them, gave them check-ups, screened them for abuse and mental issues, did eye and hearing tests, and updated their records because obviously the parents/grandparents/guardians wouldn't do such things. We also used the weekend to do the all-important head count to qualify for maximum state and federal aid, even though many of these kids wouldn't set foot on campus again all year.

Tina Trent said...

Michelle Dulak Thompson: that sounds maddening. Your hubby sounds like one of the good ones...

Tom said...

Imagine what happens when parents figure out that kids learn better in PODs - especially multi-age PODs.

Imagine if a teacher worked with 10 kids at &10k a year, that’s $100k a year income for the teacher. Industry will rise up to supply the learning content.

Now, imagine if a group of teachers organized to over see PODs of 10 but also allowed for kids to meet with other teachers with a speciality. What’s that education worth?

Then imagine if rich people began to sponsor teachers for inner city PODs - PODs where the teacher spends many years with the same group of students?

Maybe it’s time to abandon Industrial Age schooling for something more personal and personalized. Maybe it will take a pandemic to push us into something new.

Nichevo said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson,


So for the remaining three months of the school year, he had to move everything online. So he set up a filming/recording studio in the basement, tried out a lot of software, both for interacting with kids and for instructing them in theory and in ensemble playing. The last is hard.


VEREE interesting. I have a music teacher friend trying to ramp up to do such. If I could get her with you/hubby offline, how happy I should be.

I think a performance subject like music is different from a mostly one-way topic like math. To scale to kilo or megastudents you might a) program the best pedagogy into AIs, b) have one master teacher and multiple TAs, c) somehow break synchrony.