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School is for Wasting Time and Money
That’s the title of my editorial in the New York Times’ new education symposium on “What is School For?” Read the whole thing on the official website, but here’s my favorite paragraph to whet your interest:
School closures were a disaster for convenience. And while you’ll never hear a “convenience above all” political speech, actions speak louder than words. By February of 2021, about 90 percent of private schools serving elementary or middle schoolers offered in-person instruction. Why? Presumably because they knew that parents cherished the convenience of in-person education. Less than half of corresponding public schools, funded by taxes rather than paying customers, were fully open by that time. Many large districts stayed closed or in hybrid mode for over a year. While the pedagogical costs of closure remain speculative, the convenience costs are beyond all doubt.