Here's a better question: Can we use the pandemic as an opportunity to improve education?

One of many possible answers: Assign one on-line teacher to 10-15 students and have them get to know each: their interests and their motivations. Then be charged with reinforcing those interests and guiding them to deeper understandings. If necessary, help them find and develop their own interests. Do this by disregarding the standard curriculum which is not designed for on-line learning and by assigning readings and holding discussions, sometimes with other students, sometimes with teachers, and sometimes with community folks who have similar interests.

A few other points:

Trust the teachers. Give teachers maximum control over how they design their learning

Keep the federal government and accrediting agencies far away from the program. This will avoid bureaucratic paperwork, useless regulations, and mindless testing. Oversight can be handled by local school districts.

Set up procedures that allow teachers to share ideas and when appropriate shift students to different teachers based on mutual interests.

If there is a shortage of teachers, hire well-educated caring teachers to fill the void. It is ok if they are not certified

And so on…

View all of this as a grand experiment. It is unlikely to hurt students and very likely to light a motivating fire for some. Students will survive if they miss doing pages of long division and similar activities.

JOSEPH RUBINSTEIN

Hartsville

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