Some schools across the U.S. have “pulled the plug” on distance learning. Distance learning is reportedly too stressful – “the lack of devices and internet access is too much to overcome, and what students get from it just isn’t worth the struggle,” said Fox Business.
“Honestly, remote learning, I don’t think was my favorite thing,” said Isabella Branson, 18. “It’s kind of hard to stay motivated when you don’t have anything to look forward to and you don’t see your friends.”
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The school year is ending early for one of every ten students in Georgia. According to district leaders, the final weeks of the school year would have been for now-canceled standardized tests anyway.
A Possible Alternative
According to the governor and state school superintendent, they don’t oppose having fewer instructional days.
“We didn’t cut any class time out,” said Chattahoochee County High School Principal Josh Kemp. “There was no reason to pile more on our parents and students.”
However, Kemp and others also admit that they didn’t cover some materials.
“They weren’t able to get all the standards,” said the high school’s science department chair Tammy Bailey. “I think there will be a gap.”
Teachers will need to find a way to incorporate it next year.
The last three weeks of school is “probably not prime instructional time,” Andrew McEachin, an education policy researcher at RAND Corp., said. He added that kids in struggling households may suffer the most.
“I think the biggest thing about cutting a school year short is not what it does on average, but what it does on equity,” McEachin said. “Even if school isn’t working as well as we want it to be, that may be the best access low income students have to learning.”
According to state Superintendent Richard Woods, schools’ focus during the pandemic should “not be on test scores” but on making sure the students are “healthy, safe and nurtured.”