The COVID-19 virus impacts every part of our daily lives. Nevertheless, few families will see a more significant effect this year, and in the future, than the virus’s impact upon education. Any parent with school-age children sees this first-hand because some teachers could better deal with these challenges than others.
Charter schools better positioned
While there are good and bad teachers everywhere, charter school advocates believe that the direct learning approach better prepares students and teachers for remote learning challenges. The reasons for this include:
- Classrooms: Charter schools typically eschew traditional teaching methods for classes fitted with technology that they used daily as part of the lessons. Teachers were more tech-savvy on average, and the children were already used to learning this way.
- Hiring practices: Charter schools often bring in staff from diverse backgrounds, which means that these teachers are less beholden to traditional methods.
- Flexibility: The individual nature of these schools enables the administration and teachers to quickly adjust instead of building a plan based on an entire school district with all the inherent bureaucracy.
It becomes increasingly likely with each passing day that most students will not be in the classrooms full-time this fall. California schools will likely teach remotely or use an in-class/at-home learning hybrid learning model to keep students, staff and families safe. This and other reopening guidelines are outlined in AB-77, an education trailer bill accompanying the state’s 2020-2021 school budget. Three hours of daily online learning and other accommodations will need additional financial support and still may not address students at risk of falling through the educational cracks.
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions
The needs, strengths and weaknesses of each student are different. Charter schools may seem best poised to adjust to this new reality, but both charter schools and state educators will likely need to adapt and adapt again as needs change during these unprecedented times. If they do not, they could be held accountable for their stated goal of teaching students the tools for moving forward in life.