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The truth about returning to school? There’s no easy answer

Morgan Polikoff – Hechinger Report |

There are no good answers or easy options. Instead, we are paralyzed because of four simple truths about the present situation. Recognizing these truths is essential if state and federal leaders want to develop and execute a careful plan that will get more kids back in classrooms safely.

First, we have had a total failure of federal and state leadership on education. Second, there is an unequal desire among families to return to school that falls along racial and socioeconomic lines. Third, sending children and teachers back to school in person while the pandemic is still raging will result in a non-zero number of deaths and serious health effects. (And fourth), we just cannot yet do online learning well.

Morgan Polikoff is an associate professor of education at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. His research focuses on K-12 education policy, curriculum reform and assessment policy, among other topics.