Chaos Reigns In Schools From Chicago To NYC As Thousands Of Students Miss Classes
In Chicago, parents and students are anxiously waiting to hear whether school will finally resume on Monday, or be cancelled for a fourth straight day as City Hall and Mayor Lori Lightfoot continue to “negotiate” with the Chicago Teachers’ Union, which is demanding that the city spend more money it doesn’t have on COVID testing and PPE, as well as more stringent restrictions on student behavior and social distancing, to keep teachers safe from omicron.
Chicago Public Schools said in its latest communique that it would try and update parents as soon as possible about the state of negotiations, and a breakthrough, once one has been achieved, Bloomberg reports.
“CPS is committed to working toward an agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union throughout the weekend, and we are dedicated to working day and night so we can get our students back to school next week, hopefully on Monday,” the district said in a statement late Friday.
“We know families need to plan ahead and we will be sending additional communication over the weekend with a status update regarding classes on Monday.”
But even in school districts that are still, technically, functioning, the system appears to be on the verge of collapse as unprecedented numbers of students and teachers have either tested positive asymptomatically and been barred from school, or actually been sickened. The city said 300,000 of NYC’s approximately 1M students – nearly 1/3rd – missed school last week.
One Bronx high school student perfectly, telling Bloomberg:
“We don’t really learn anything anymore,” said Alan Sun, a sophomore at the Bronx High School of Science, one of the city’s specialized high schools.
“There are Covid cases left and right, it’s just a mess.”
It’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t just a big city problem: across the country, tens of thousands of students have been left without in-person instruction, often many who are completely asymptomatic.
And with so many students absent, teachers have been left in a difficult position, not wanting to teach too much material to the students who are there for the benefit of those who aren’t, according to Bl
The standoff comes at an interesting time, as millions of Americans have been sickened, but deaths have been (happily) low.
The situations in NYC and Chicago – the largest, and third-largest school systems in the country, respectively – illustrate the dire states of America’s public education system, and by extension, the economy (since workers who are parents must scramble to find child-care).
Sun, 01/09/2022 – 13:00