As of yesterday, the overly-large school district has all it’s classrooms open for live instruction. Sort of.
Some students are in face-to-face classes while some are still attending class online. Parents have the option to choose and, according to one report in the Post, only about 47% of kids are currently in the live classrooms. As for the teachers, Fairfax is using something called “concurrent instruction” to cover all the bases.
The business magazine/website Fast Company is not a place I normally look to find writing about education (at least not good writing), but a recent post on their blog caught my eye.
The short piece is by a high school sophomore who has some suggestions for “how schools can teach kids to solve real-world problems”.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is committing some pocket change to solve the “Algebra problem”.
In his column this week, Jay Mathews begins with a premise I can agree with. I know. I was also surprised.
His concept is that schools don’t make writing a priority and that students don’t engage in writing nearly enough.
So far, so good. But then he heads off into well-worn territory, making the case largely about himself.
Almost from the start of the chaotic, but necessary, shift to online schooling last spring, articles started appearing about the amount of learning that students were going to miss. Including several studies claiming to “estimate the size of the learning loss students have experienced under such conditions”, although they didn’t make clear where researchers obtained meaningful data to arrive at their conclusions.
As students head back to school, still mostly online, we have even more stories about students falling behind, including one British study predicting that “lost school time will hurt economy for 65 years”. Again with few details about how they obtained their “huge base of evidence”.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind while reading these reports.