Brenda, a mom in Brooklyn, tells me her kids are floundering. Her 7-year-old rejects learning apps because they “hurt her eyes and brain.” Brenda’s 11-year-old, previously a “healthy, easygoing, studious kid,” now has “a hard time concentrating.” He used to love math but now doesn’t and is “very, very lonely.” He also now “gets migraines and developed a verbal tic.

It’s a nightmare. Yet only public-school kids in the city are suffering: Private schools are largely open in New York and other cities. And public schools are open full-time just a few miles away in suburban areas like Long Island.

What science says COVID is dangerous for public-school kids in the city but not private-school kids? Nor is there any scientific reason schools can stay open full-time in London, Paris, Berlin but not in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles.

American kids will have a far harder time competing. We’ve also opened up a gulf between kids in different parts of the country. A fifth-grader in Florida is charging full-steam ahead, studying for state tests and getting ready for middle school. A fifth-grader in New York has a schools chancellor who hopes to skip state tests and hints he may decide on all-remote middle schools in September.