There’s a ramification of our current circumstances that as parents, educators and a community we need to consider. As schools close at varying levels of preparedness for distance learning, a large gap is forming for students’ access to education. There is disparity among schools as well as individual students’ access to technology and resources.
This is going to be an issue. Not only for the students who are falling behind, but for the teachers. This educational gap will not end at this school year but could carry on for the remainder of today’s students’ college preparatory education.
At the end of this epidemic, students will all be at varying levels of readiness for next year. What will teachers do when a classroom of students at all different learning levels arrive on the first day of school this August? How can they teach Calculus when the students never completed algebra? Will the Physics teachers need to do Chemistry reviews, or will that knowledge be lost forever?
One concerned parent said to us, “Will my child be in 10 ½ th grade, or 11th?”
The effects that will last beyond May.
It may be fine to lose pieces of our education now, as grades aren’t being counted and promotions to the next level are being given as a free pass. But one day colleges will have entrance exams, the ACT will ask questions on material never learned, and teachers will be ill-equipped for challenges in the classroom.
Louisiana is already behind in education. For decades we have been among the lowest ranked academic systems in the U.S. We need a plan to get our students to the level they need to be when the new school year starts.
It’s easy and dangerous to lose motivation. Sickness is ascending, hospitals are overwhelmed, the world is shut down, jobs are lost, economic opportunity is teetering, and on top of it all you’re in a shared space with your children 24 hours a day, every day. It’s hard to think about the future, we get it.
Asking Hard Questions
As parents, educators and members of a community we must find the space to think past this pandemic. Look past tomorrow, next month and even this year to the long-lasting effects of today’s circumstances. How do we respond to the reality of unprepared students? What solutions can be offered for families or schools without additional resources? How can we work now to create a successful future for today’s students and teachers?
Let’s work together to not simply take the “free pass”, because it may be much more costly than we think.
We’ve been working to find answers for some of these questions. We’ve got ideas, some of which are in the works for the summer and fall. But right now, the best opportunity we can see to help is to fill the gap left by the disparity among school resources to continue educating students in the interim. Studyville® has developed online tutoring for a wide array of classes and subject across our community. We’re trying to make these services accessible to as many students as possible. For more information on Online Tutoring, visit Studyville.com/schedule/