As we recently discussed, the arrival of the first shipments of vaccines isn’t going to suddenly bring life back to “normal” in America, at least based on the government’s most recent statements and projections. (Or whatever passes for normal these days, anyway.) Even the people who are first in line for the shots will need a second dose several weeks later, with more time needed for their immune systems to reach “full strength.” Based on most of the rollout plans we’ve been hearing, healthy young people and children will be near the bottom of the priority list, so that means that the vast majority of students in the United States aren’t going to be getting vaccinated until May or June of 2021. In other words, after the current school year is over.
So what happens to the class of 2021 and all of the younger kids who are making their way through junior high and high school? I highly doubt the teachers’ unions are suddenly going to start becoming fans of going back to work. And that means that the majority of kids will still be stuck with “distance learning.” As this report from the Boston Globe informs us, remote education simply isn’t working and there are a variety of reasons for that. The end result, however, is that the number of kids receiving failing grades is rising significantly and an alarming number of students never even log in for online classes on any given day.
Nearly a quarter of Boston public high school students did not log into classes on any given day this fall as schools remain closed and course failure rates rise, according to school data released Saturday that paints a worrisome picture of academic disengagement.
Among students in grades 6-12, failure rates for the first academic quarter, which concluded last month, jumped to 18 percent in English, from 12.4 percent the previous year. Increases in failure rates in other subjects were similar.
Black and Latino students experienced the biggest increases.