‘I see a disaster in the making.’ Professors slam reopening plans at Illinois colleges amid COVID-19 crisis, prompting some schools to reverse course.
Illinois State University’s first attempt to articulate its vision for reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic this fall didn’t sit well with everyone.
The plan, dubbed “Redbirds Return” after the central Illinois college’s mascot, drew swift criticism from faculty after it was shared in early June, prompting instructors to draft their own proposals and call for greater precautions when scores of students are expected to descend on campus next month. The faculty’s letter objecting to plan has been signed by more than 500 employees, students, parents and other community members.
“Since releasing the plan, we’ve received a great deal of feedback,” ISU President Larry Dietz said earlier this month. “Many faculty and staff members have also made it clear they would like a greater voice formulating plans.”
At the same time, Dietz announced modifications the faculty had been seeking: increased flexibility to work from home, through at least December, and to
As American school officials debate when it will be safe for schoolchildren to return to classrooms, looking abroad may offer insights. Nearly every country in the world shuttered their schools early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have since sent students back to class, with varying degrees of success.
I am a scholar of comparative international education. For this article, I examined what happened in four countries where K-12 schools either stayed open throughout the pandemic or have resumed in-person instruction, using press reports, national COVID-19 data and academic studies.
Here’s what I found.
Israel: Too much, too soon
Israel took stringent steps early on in the coronavirus pandemic, including severely restricting everyone’s movement and closing all schools. By June, it was being lauded internationally for containing the spread of COVID-19.
But shortly after schools reopened in May, on a staggered schedule paired with mask mandates and social distancing
As Miami-Dade County — the epicenter of the pandemic in Florida — reports thousands of COVID-19 cases each day, some faculty and staff at the University of Miami are pushing back over the school’s plan to reopen its campuses, feeling the administration has ignored their pleadings over personal safety.
The private university, based in Coral Gables, granted its nearly 17,000 students the power to decide how to learn, but failed to do the same for many of its approximately 16,000 faculty and staff, full and part time, some employees said.
Students got two choices: Take classes entirely remotely, or return to campus and take some classes in person and some online, which UM describes as a “hybrid protected model.” UM encouraged professors who qualify as vulnerable with underlying medical conditions, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to request accommodations, but didn’t do same for those who
(Bloomberg) — If any school in America could find an edge just now — a magic way to reopen kindergarten or teach Algebra online — you might think it was one beloved by Wall Street millionaires and billionaires.
But not even Success Academy, the largest charter-school network in New York, the nation’s largest school district, has easy answers for teaching kids during this pandemic.
As school districts everywhere weigh bringing students back against the risks of spreading the virus, Success Academy offers a sobering lesson about how daunting that calculus has become. This much is certain: reopening schools is now one of the most formidable obstacles to fully reopening New York — and the nation’s entire economy.
Over the years, Success Academy has formed ties with the likes of hedge fund luminaries Dan Loeb, Ken Griffin and John Paulson, who have collectively lavished tens of millions on the network and
WASHINGTON ― In a matter of weeks, millions of children will head back to school in the middle of a pandemic, leaving millions more parents filled with anxiety about risking their child’s health ― not to mention school staff ― to get an education.
Public schools cannot safely reopen without a massive infusion of emergency funding from Congress, which is already dangerously late to this. Think of all the things a single school needs: Hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes for classrooms. No-touch thermometers. Regular deep cleanings, which means hiring more custodial staff. Ensuring that every school has at least one full-time nurse (25% of schools have no nurse at all). Someone on every school bus to screen kids’ temperatures before boarding. Gloves and masks for staff. Masks for students who don’t bring one from home. Resuming before- and after-school child care programs with new cleaning protocols.
That doesn’t even factor
Case of teen jailed for missing online classwork shows how schools and courts oppress Black students
While school districts all over the country grapple with how to best educate youth this upcoming academic year during a global pandemic, one Michigan teen sits in a juvenile detention center with no prospect of returning to in-person or remote learning anytime soon. The 15-year-old, identified only as Grace, has been in jail since May because she violated the terms of her probation by not completing her online coursework, according to a new report co-authored by ProPublica Illinois and the Detroit Free Press.
Grace, who is Black and has diagnosed ADHD, was on probation for fighting with her mom and stealing a cellphone from a classmate. After her school transitioned to remote learning on April 15, Grace said she felt unmotivated and overwhelmed by the work for her school, located in the predominantly white community of Beverly Hills, Mich.
That’s true of many students displaced from their schools, but, calling
While school districts all over the country grapple with how to best educate youth this upcoming academic year during a global pandemic, one Michigan teen sits in a juvenile detention center with no prospect of returning to in-person or remote learning any time soon. The 15-year-old, only identified as Grace, has been in jail since May because she violated the terms of her probation by not completing her online coursework, according to a new report co-authored by ProPublica Illinois and The Detroit Free Press.
Grace, who is Black and has diagnosed ADHD, was on probation for fighting with her mom and stealing a cell phone from a classmate. After her school transitioned to remote learning on April 15, Grace said she felt unmotivated and overwhelmed by the work for her school, located in the predominantly white community of Beverly Hills, Michigan.
That’s true of many students displaced from their schools,
They’ll be following all the rules this fall at the University of Michigan: masks, social distancing, smaller class sizes, frequent hand and surface washing, and more — much more. They’ll also be pioneering new rules for a new reality, particularly in the realm of remote instruction, as befits one of the country’s leading centers of social and cultural innovation. Put it all together and Scott DeRue, dean of the Ross School of Business, expects a memorable term.
“As with every year, I’m looking forward to welcoming students back to campus safely for a very successful fall term,” DeRue says. “Of course, I also recognize the profound difficulties that many of our students face in this moment, and that much uncertainty remains for all of us. We will get through this, and we will do it together.”
Five months after it shut down business school campuses and curtailed spring instruction and … Read More
Andrea Galeotti, a professor at London Business School, did not realise what he had started when he began preparing a talk on coronavirus for his students this spring in response to growing interest in the pandemic.
“There was a lot of confusion,” he recalls. “It was a mess in Italy, and the UK was not even talking about lockdown. I started to pull together information so people could make sense of it. I couldn’t stop, it was so interesting to learn about, and soon I had 40 slides. I was very surprised to see the reaction.”
His presentation with his colleague Paolo Surico evolved into Leading Through a Pandemic, a range of free online materials which have been widely shared. They sparked discussions with governments to shift policy towards the use of real-time data to guide a more rapid economic recovery, and helped inspire an overhaul of the curriculum for
Many school districts have announced they won’t hold in-person classes at the beginning of the school year, while others are pushing forward with plans to reopen — and educators, especially those whose underlying medical conditions put them at increased risk of dying from COVID-19, tell PEOPLE they are fearing the worst.
Terri Crothers loves her job as an art instructor, but when her middle school district said teachers must return for in-person classes next month, she was so terrified of getting sick, and maybe even dying, she immediately contacted an attorney and started writing goodbye letters to her family.
She joins a growing list of anxious school teachers who are rushing to lawyers and estate planners to draw up new wills as they face the prospect of going back to their buildings amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m scared as hell about going back into the classroom,” Crothers, 57, of Gallipolis,