We're neck-deep in an online learning crisis
We are facing a growing crisis within our schools — especially K–12. With school closures and stopgap measures with online learning (which does not replace face-to-face learning), the United States is falling behind most democratic societies and certainly the communist and autocratic countries which control nearly all aspects of society.
For K–12 in the United States, virtually all school districts normally have a 9- to 10-month school year (including holidays). With the ravages of COVID and all of its variants, this timeframe has been dramatically altered. It is fair to say K–12 students may be fortunate to have the equivalent of half a year of instruction and learning and social interaction at best. This means, upon graduation, K–12 students could have a 10th- or 11th-grade education, especially if lockdowns and online learning persist.
With this current crisis, our kids cannot get a fair education to allow them to compete in the ever-changing job market in the United States, let alone the world. This further erodes a college degree, which has suffered a similar crisis in education. Fortunately, unlike K–12, colleges and universities can offer summer classes as well.
Damage to our educational system, which before the pandemic was arguably the best in the world (especially at the college level), has been done. I believe that at the K–12 level, if massive changes don't occur soon, our students will never catch up or reach their potential.
What to do? The traditional and wholly outdated school "year" for K–12 must be dropped for the foreseeable future. There can be several one- or two-week "vacations" during the entire year, but there cannot be the traditional two or more months off during summertime. Teachers and teachers' unions will probably fight this suggestion with great resolve, but this is the only way our K–12 students will ever get a reasonable education for their future.
Bottom line: The United States cannot compete or prosper internally or globally with the majority of K-12 students receiving a sub-par education.
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