Friday, July 24, 2020

How Many People Have to Die Here?

In Israel, the reopened the school buildings. A 64-year-old teacher died of Coronavirus after having reported that parents failed to quarantine students with the virus. Could that happen in a country where a President generally pretends the virus doesn't exist? Could someone be unfamiliar with the symptoms and assume it's something else? Could someone decide to wear a MAGA hat and ignore it altogether?

If NYC and other districts get to open public schools. it seems like people are going to die. It could very well be that parents send infected kids to school. In the highly unlikely event that the DOE manages to take every precaution, and screen the temperature of every student, what about those who are asymptomatic? Even if teachers somehow manage to socially distance, they could spread the virus to other students, who can spread it to their older family members. 

Hey, how clean is your school building? In mine, every time a custodial worker leaves, no replacement is sent. Mayor de Blasio's policy appears to be to get staffing as low as possible and hope the Keebler elves come in an finish the job. Ordinarily, a policy like that would result in dirty school buildings. These days, we'll have to trust that somehow schools are deep-cleaned, or whatever exactly the de Blasio deep cleaning entails.

Do you think your school buildings will be sufficiently disinfected to preclude bringing a surprise virus home? If they are, do you think young children and teenagers will socially distance sufficiently to avoid infection? After that happens,

The DOE, in its infinite wisdom, is now denying schools an all remote option. It doesn't matter if the faculty, students and parents all want it. The important thing, to the mayor and the chancellor, is to give the appearance of equity and excellence while providing neither. We already know that there is little equity, if any, in the mayor's half-assed hybrid. We know that some students can go to school buildings every other day, while others can go as little as once a week.

Let's look at the excellence in the mayor's plan. The notion that students will benefit from being socially distanced, in classrooms that preclude normal interaction is absurd on its face. That's not to mention the fact that much of what students can't do in these hobbled live classrooms is entirely possible online. That's not to mention that neither the mayor nor the chancellor have focused on making online learning better, let alone providing us with tools to do other things, e.g.  giving an assessment securely online. That's not to mention the utter lack of focus on substantive training.

But hey, let's play the mayor's game. Let's ignore all that an focus on the basics. UFT members died because de Blasio failed to close the schools. Family members died. That's true also of family members of our students. And that's not even figuring all the people who've gotten sick and spent weeks in hospitals. Has de Blasio learned anything from the blood on his hands?

It's good to see he's backing off of his idiotic pledge to open the buildings. Yet no one knows which way the wind will be blowing in late August.

How many people have to die here?

None, if it's handled correctly. Only time will tell.
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