The failure of ‘remote summer school’ is an ill omen for NYC’s fall classes
When it comes to the city’s remote-learning program, something — or more accurately, someone — doesn’t compute: Too many students failed to sign on for their online classes this summer.
This bodes ill for the coming school year, when all city public-school students are to do at least some schoolwork remotely.
Department of Education figures show that nearly a quarter of students who were required to attend online summer-school classes never signed on even once.
“It was such a choppy beginning — we lost a lot of kids,” Stephen Lazar, a teacher at Manhattan’s Harvest Collegiate HS, told Chalkbeat. “We were just set up to fail.” A week into the summer school program, at least 43,224 hadn’t logged in.
This, despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s firm promise (after this spring’s dismal experience with online instruction) that kids would enjoy “unprecedented learning” over the summer. Ha.
Connectivity and access issues, particularly for poor kids, played a role. Some teachers fell down on ensuring students participated. Kids had teachers who didn’t know them or their learning styles. And all those hurdles are sure to pop up this fall.
Let’s face it: Even for students who do participate, computer classes rarely match the benefits of in-person instruction.
“As a parent,” de Blasio himself said last week, “I would say my kids are not going to get educated if they are all remote. It just won’t be as good.”
Which is why he’s been insisting on at least some in-person class time for those who want it — and without delay. The evidence behind that position keeps building.
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