In many American cities, public school buildings have been closed for nearly a year. Virtual learning is the only choice for students who attend these schools.
The impact these closures have had on children is grim. Academically, public school students—especially special needs and minority children—are losing ground. Emotionally, children are suffering. Socially, kids are feeling lonely and isolated. Despite this, leaders in the education sector continue to push to keep schools closed.
They defend these decisions with the oft-heard bromide that they are “following the science.” That might have been true in March 2020, when the scientific information was filled with uncertainties and questions. Indeed, that early science clearly justified school closures. Yet, to use that tired phrase today shows public school leaders are ignoring the most important word in that phrase: “the.” Instead, we have devolved into separate camps that choose to follow “my science”—or the version that best suits their personal or ideological needs.