There’s a sense that parents in New York (or Dallas or Miami) shouldn’t complain about the problems their schools are encountering or the weird way administrations have decided to open schools. After all, school districts in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, and so on have not even attempted in-person school reopening.
But that’s merely an argument that total failure is worse than mostly failure. We have watched Europe do the opposite of what America has done, in terms of school openings, and it seems far saner than what we are attempting.
So much writing on COVID-19 is premature. Every article touting some country’s success, whether it’s South Korea or Australia, Israel or Spain, is often eventually followed up with a piece about what then went wrong in its response. All of these previously praised countries have had a resurgence of the virus and a second lockdown.
And, of course, more countries might close schools if things deteriorate. Looking at priorities, therefore, is far more telling. Unlike the Northern Irish or Czech school closings, American cities are largely mum about when, exactly, schools can reopen for in-person learning. In New York City, despite the sustained low positive test numbers, no plans exist to open schools for full-time education. It’s not even a consideration.