Better education options than staring at a screen all day
Regarding Chris Roemer’s Dec. 17 Community Voices column, “Parents sending CCPS a message,” he is decidedly not wrong about in-person education being better for everyone.
CCPS underpays both teachers and subs, so the teacher attrition and sub shortage that originally prevented fall reopening is no surprise at all; changing the requirements of substitutes to high school grads at $16.75/ hour was. Then again, the current situation of kids sitting in classrooms on laptops all day just with a sub as a room monitor roughly equates to babysitter pay, so that sounds about right. For teachers pulling double-time though, their stagnant pay rate is more than injustice.
Regarding students, the observations of y attrition are true everywhere. Private schools and home schools still need to meet basic standards, which Carroll’s public schools typically do better than neighbors. This is especially interesting as private schools are usually not required to admit students with IEP, 504, or other conditions (behavioral, previous expulsion, etc). Yes, we the taxpayers fund equitable education for all, as we should as Americans.
Not all of the private schools in Carroll are accredited or approved by Maryland either. Via state law, none of the church schools are required to be. As a licensed teacher and parent, this concerns me, but if my choices were between an “acceptable” school in person, or loss of a paycheck, probably I would send the kid to the mediocre school and keep my job.
Homeschooling is exceptionally hard. I would wager parents who made this choice from originally using other schools have discovered this. However, if private school were not a fiscal or health-related possibility and my choices were either homeschool or have a young child stare at a screen all day, I would 100% give homeschooling a try until schools reopen safely.
Psychological affects of COVID aside, my concern with any of the students who have been temporarily pulled from CCPS for any reason is learning gaps or repetition next year created by the lack of congruence between public and private school curriculum. My concern with those who stay in CCPS this year is ambivalence toward education from screen fatigue.
Regarding Commissioner Frazier, the unprofessional attitude of many of the board members, but especially Tara Battaglia, have repeatedly made the five-plus hour board meetings worthy of a deeper cringe. The commissioner does have the right to a voice, if not a vote.
Carroll will likely have to raise taxes anyway to cover the impact of COVID. I don’t disagree that better or different funding of public schools should be conditional on some sort of audit. I worry that without better funding of classrooms and qualified teachers that the students will return, but the teachers will not. And that, I believe, is the elephant in the room.
Accomplishments? Here are some of Trump’s failures
In Tuesday’s Op-Ed, columnist Rick Blatchford summarizes Trump’s accomplishments. What a joke. Here are some of Trump’s failures:
· Handling of the coronavirus. Over 300,000 deaths so far, making it the worst pandemic in US history.
· Separating families and locking up children in cages.
· Diverting money from the military to build his wall at the southern border.
· Declaring that there were good people on both sides at a Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville.
· Gassing peaceful protesters near the White House so he could have a photo op at a nearby church.
· Consistently demonizing anti-racism demonstrators, and sending federal agents into U.S. cities to squash unrest and intimidate the local population.
· Elevated conspiracy theorists and people who threatened protesters with guns.
· Favored dictators over our proven allies and pulled out of international agreements
· Never condemning Putin for putting a bounty on US troops in Afghanistan or the Saudi’s for murdering Jamal Khashoggi columnist for the Washington Post.
· Committing an impeachable act of abuse of power and obstruction of justice.
· Abandoned our Kurdish allies by withdrawing troops out of northern Syria thereby leaving them to their sworn enemies the Turks.
· Trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement.
· Eroded democratic norms in many ways.
· Over 25,000 lies and more to come.