Boots & Sabers

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1956, 06 Dec 20

Schools Are Failing Kids

This is a national travesty.

School districts from coast to coast have reported the number of students failing classes has risen by as many as two or three times — with English language learners and disabled and disadvantaged students suffering the most.

“It was completely off the rails from what is normal for us, and that was obviously very alarming,” said Erik Jespersen, principal of Oregon’s McNary High School, where 38% of grades in late October were failing, compared with 8% in normal times.

And this is failing them even more.

Now, teachers have been instructed to give less homework, prioritizing the most important assignments. They’ve been encouraged to find alternatives to traditional lectures. Grading has been changed from a 100-point system to a 50-point so that missed assignments with zeroes hurt students less.

If you aren’t educating anyone, then you aren’t an educator.


1956, 06 December 2020


  1. Kevin Scheunemann


  2. Mar

    We are going to have a generation of stupid kids in mostly liberal areas

  3. jonnyv

    How is this schools and teachers failing students? This article says that a majority of kids are not participating. This is mostly parents failing their kids. Other than logistic issues like internet issues, it sounds like parents are not forcing their kids to attend required schooling.

    I have 2 students on full-time remote learning. 3rd and 6th grade. And we are very active in their learning and making sure they attend every single day. Both kids are doing fantastic.

    I have one friend whose kid is not reacting as well to remote learning. Normally a good student who is suffering online. Some kids just need much more structure. But I would bet that at least 80% of the problem isn’t in the school, but in the home.

    What I have learned is that my kid needs about 30% of the actual time he spent in school, and the other 70% is filler and waiting for other kids to catch up.

  4. Owen

    The schools are failing because in-person learning has proven to be the most effective way of learning for most – not all – people. For some learners, they just do better with personal interaction vs. self-driven or online. For others, they may be OK, but lack the home environment and/or support. Either way, that’s why in-person learning works best for most people.

    So if the schools are refusing to provide in-person learning when they know that it is the best and most effective methodology, then the schools are failing the kids.

    I don’t disagree that it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that their kids are staying engaged. For a two-parent household where one or both parents can spend time monitoring the kids and provide an appropriate learning space, it is doable – not preferable, but doable. It sounds like that is your family circumstance and that’s great. But many families aren’t like that. Single-parent households where the parent has to go to work leaves the kids on their own. It’s pretty unfair to blame a 10-yar-old for lacking the self-discipline and dedication to sit at their computer for 3-5 hours and work. Again, that’s why in-person learning works better for most people and the schools have an obligation to provide an effective learning environment.

  5. jonnyv

    I will disagree with you when you say that in-person is the “best” way. It is one way. It is better for many, not all. Many parents are choosing online schooling even before this. Of course some people have the advantage of being more engaged and helping their children. My wife and I split time home with the kids each week. She spends 3 days, I spend 2 days.

    The one thing my kids are missing out on is direct social interaction with other kids. They get online time with their friends, but not direct. And honestly if I could swing it, I would put my kid in an online school and let him learn at his own pace with our help. Sadly that won’t work for us once both of us have to be in the office full time. And frankly, he would rather be with his peers.

  6. Jason

    >I will disagree with you when you say that in-person is the “best” way. It is one way. It is better for many, not all.

    I would say that compared to cold turkey K-12 school from home, it is the “best” way.  Now there are caveats…  1 – there are children, parents, and families that will be able to succeed in remote learning.  2 – I think 90% + of all kids could succeed in remote learning, if they had a graceful transition to it.  The schools haven’t done that, understandably so in most cases back in March 2020…  but they have had 9 months now, and I don’t see schools in my district has gotten any better than they were in March.

  7. Mar

    Yes, jonny, the public schools are failing ALL the children that are not going to in-person learning.
    Yes, a very small amount of kids might do better sitting front of a computer for 7 hours but maybe 1 out of a thousand. But they could take online classes already but they choose not to. Why? Socialization? Sports? Clubs? So these kids are missing out on that.
    Other students can be home schooled but they already would have been.
    So, yes, ALL public students who are not in school learning are being failed by so-called professionals called teachers and principals and superintendents.

  8. jonnyv

    Mar, most kids when they are at school are sitting in front of a PC a majority of the day anyway.

    And personally, if it were up to me, I would eliminate all after school sports from schools anyway. Let them become local clubs. Focus that money into other aspects of schools. There is no reason that schools like Arrowhead need to spend HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS on locker rooms and fields. Lets get things back in school like Music, Art, Tech Ed on a regular basis.

    And again, my experience with MPS virtual learning this year has been very good, especially compared to the end of last year. Teachers are prepared. They take attendance. They have one on one time for kids if they need it. My son, and most of my son’s friends are doing very well in it. In fact, it is actually a bit easier to get my son in some more advanced classes due to the fact he just has to log into another meeting and not travel. It is easier to split kids up depending on their needs.

  9. Tuerqas

    Jonny V says:

    My son, and most of my son’s friends are doing very well in it. In fact, it is actually a bit easier to get my son in some more advanced classes due to the fact he just has to log into another meeting and not travel. It is easier to split kids up depending on their needs.

    I wonder when that tune will change?  The obvious outcome of something like this will be ‘advanced’ classes that could span entire school districts.  Teaching according to ability?  Doesn’t that fly in the face of the lowest common denominator teaching designed to ‘include everyone equally’ in use by the liberal ‘intelligentsia’ of today?  Will it still be okay if a bunch of white privileged kids end up dominating these advanced classes?  Will ability again be a factor in schools Jonnyv?  I find it interesting that a liberal can actually recognize that their kid often has to wait for the class to keep up and is happy with a new school path that may allow him/her to forge ahead of their mates.  Like maybe it really was the dumbest of all dumb-downs to teach all kids at the most basic levels only?  Maybe face to face teaching should go away so that all kids could learn to their abilities?

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