On Wednesday afternoon, New York City parents learned their children’s schools would close the next morning, writes Zoe Kirsch on The 74. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the coronavirus positivity rate had reached 3 percent, an arbitrary number negotiated with the teachers’ union.
Minutes earlier, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had announced the number was 2.5 percent, by the state’s method of calculation, at his own press conference. Then he yelled at a reporter who said parents were “confused.”
Alexander Russo is so right about the sign-language interpreter. It’s very funny.
Come for the testy exchange between Cuomo and @JimmyVielkind; stay for the heroic sign language interpretation by the guy in the bottom right corner. https://t.co/acIDR47JIs
— Alexander (@alexanderrusso) November 20, 2020
At the mayor’s press conference, Chancellor Richard Carranza said 60,000 devices were needed to enable students to participate in online classes, reports Kirsch. A Brooklyn principal told parents that she’d been told it will take four to six weeks to get the devices they need.
Parents are “frustrated, exasperated and fearful,” writes Alina Adams on The 74. She asked her New York School Talk blog readers and newsletter subscribers: How are you feeling? The phrase “spit in our face” came up several times.
Sarah: “This is a political game to appease unions, at the expense of our children’s learning.”
Kelly: “I’m in my savings already paying someone to watch my kids and manage remote learning while I work (my kids are 4 and 6). Why are we paying taxes?”
Elena: “Disgusting. Spit in the face over and over. This is a definite way to drive away all families that are still left in the city.”
Faiza: “. . . I may have to leave the city I love and have invested so many years of my life in in order for my kids to get the education they need.”
Maggie: “The teachers union should be ashamed of themselves. It is absolutely nonsensical that they can’t do this by individual schools and shut them down if a certain percentage of people test positive.”
Stephanie: “The DOE has done a terrible job with remote learning and the thought of endless months of it is hideous on a level that’s beyond words. The days my hybrid-son is home are a complete waste. Today the class told each other knock-knock jokes for 20 minutes. . . . I plan to move out of the city to ensure my child has the best education possible moving forward!”
Several parents noted that many Private Schools are teaching in person. City-funded preschool programs are operating if they’re in private schools, but closed if they’re in district buildings.
If the chaos and incompetence drives middle-class families out of the city or into private schools and students who remain have learned little but knock-knock jokes, New York City’s public schools will go into a death spiral.
This post first appeared on Joanne Jacobs — Thinking And Linking By Joanne Jacobs, please read the originial post: here