This episode of “Steady Habits” is the second episode in our two-part “Back to School” series. Yesterday, we explored higher education; Today, we turn our attention to primary and secondary education.
The start of the school year is now less than a month away, and nobody really knows what it’ll look like. Governor Ned Lamont had been saying that the plan was for Connecticut schools to return to in-person classes in the fall, but early last week, he reversed course, saying that it would be up to individual districts to make that determination.
Meanwhile, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, backed the call to return to classrooms where infections are under control.
These mixed messages have caused confusion among many parents, and prompted health worries from many teachers.
The end of last school year showed how the problems presented by remote learning are especially acute for low-income parents and students, who are significantly less likely to have broadband access. Our education reporter Jacqueline Rabe Thomas has been detailing these realities. During what’s being called the “lost school year” that ended earlier this summer, some districts saw a massive drop-off in attendance when Covid forced classes online.
Last Tuesday – just after the state had announced that towns can determine their own plans – John hosted a “Coffee Conversation” on this issue with the CT Mirror’s education reporter, Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, and Miguel Cardona, Education Commissioner of the state of Connecticut, and Ryan Brown, a Middle School Teacher from Bridgeport.
Over the course of our conversation, you’ll hear some questions that came from our online audience, as we talk about the digital divide, what’s expected of teachers and parents in this new world, and how teaching might change forever.