Monday, January 17, 2022

The schools!

Back in the dark ages of blogging "the schools!" was a shorthand for the pro-Iraq War people's insistence that the war was not the disaster it clearly was turning out to be, because the U.S. army repainted a school in Ramadi.

Anyway, in what's left of the blogosphere and on twitter, the schools is all about the debate of whether to reopen schools in light of the current COVID rates. ("Reopen" really refers to having in-person school, as opposed to online school, in either case the schools are actually trying to provide education) I haven't participated at all in those debates because what I see online (and to some extent in the news) is just very different from the actual discussions about schools in my community.

I can't tell if my school district is an outlier or if the online debate is just off-base from what is actually happening. Outlier is a real possibility. My local school district is well-off. The public schools here have resources that are lacking in many other districts, even just down the road in Philadelphia. I just haven't seen the demonization of our district's teachers or the teacher's union, or any serious controversy over whether to have in-person school (the broad consensus seems to be to keep things in-person unless staffing shortages make that impossible). I mean, I'm sure if I looked hard enough I could find local people taking any position imaginable. But its just that as a parent who talks to other parents, and who has some interaction with some teachers and administrators in our local school, I just have not seen the issue talked in anything like the same terms I am seeing online.

Again, maybe (probably) I'm just not seeing past my bubble. But every time I see people yelling about this issue online, it strikes me as really weird.