By John J. Duncan Jr.
One of my sons-in-law, Jason Brown, recently sent me two articles about the dismal results of online education.
The reports were from two school systems very far apart but strikingly similar in their findings.
Dr. Joe Gothard, superintendent of schools in St. Paul, reported that nearly 40% of St. Paul high school students had failing grades.
He said many students seem to “have turned away completely and disengaged, and that’s tragic and sad.”
More than a thousand miles away, in Fairfax County, Virginia, an internal analysis found that nearly 10,000 students there had received Fs in two or more classes.
The report said “online learning is forcing a striking drop in students’ academic performance, and that the most vulnerable students – children with disabilities and English language learners – are suffering the most.”
Jason and our daughter, Whitney, are the parents of three of our nine grandchildren, Emma, 16, Maclain, 14, and Harper, 11. They are very involved in their daughters’ lives and have great love and concern for young people.
Unfortunately, many years ago, we began a worship of computers in this country that has made us less human and has made billionaires out of a few in Silicon Valley.
Too much education was turned over to Google and not enough to live humans being teachers.
The national media, for partisan political reasons, blew coronavirus way out of proportion and scared many people into believing it was unsafe for children to go to school.
Actually, many more children are killed in car wrecks almost every week than are dying from this virus. For the very few children who get it, the survival rate is 99.97%.
I wrote in an earlier column that over 8,000 people die in the country every day, and every death is sad, tragic, or even horrible.
I am certainly not making light of any death from coronavirus, but it is good news that slightly over 99% of those under 65 who have it survive, most with just minor symptoms.
And the CDC reported that 94% of covid-related deaths have been with comorbidities such as pneumonia, heart failure diabetes, old age or something else that could have been the main cause.
In Japan, more people committed suicide in just one month (October) than have been killed by the virus this entire year.
I know that I studied much harder when I was in school for fear of being called on and embarrassed by some teacher or professor. And most students do better when other students are present.
Some teachers’ unions, trying to act like they are doing everything possible for their members, have falsely claimed it is not safe for the teachers to be in class.
This is a bunch of hooey. It is perfectly safe for healthy teachers to be in school except possibly in some big-city areas where most of the students come from dysfunctional families.
Any teacher who does not want to teach should be replaced.
Our children need to be in school instead of sitting at home staring at a screen.