White House Reveals What Biden Means by 'Open' Schools - and It's Pathetic
The White House on Tuesday attempted to clarify its plan to reopen schools in the coming months, and the answer was less than stellar.
“Could you help us understand what the White House’s or what the president’s definition of open schools is?” a reporter asked.
“Does it mean teachers in classroom teaching, students in classroom, or does it just me kids in classroom with a remote screen? Help us understand,” he continued.
“His goal that he set is to have the majority of schools, so more than 50 percent, open by day 100 of his presidency,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded. “And that means some teaching in classrooms, so at least one day a week, hopefully its more. And obviously it is as much as is safe in each school and local district.”
White House: Our goal is to have 50 percent of schools open by April 30, 2021 — “at least one day per week” pic.twitter.com/7VNpG9i0Sx
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 9, 2021
As a senior in high school who is about to graduate this June, this is an incredibly disappointing goal for the Biden administration to set.
Even here in California, many school districts are open for some in-person learning and have been for months.
Personally, my school district offered an option for hybrid learning, which means in-person instruction for two days a week (double the Biden plan), or a 100 percent virtual option.
If the administration is worried about keeping parents, students and teachers unions happy, they should be looking at options like the above.
Not all parents feel comfortable with sending their children back to school, especially if they are in a coronavirus hotspot, and the same goes for hesitant teachers. If families want a virtual option, I am sure there are plenty of public school teachers who would be happy to teach in that format.
But as for the rest of the families and teachers that want in-person instruction to resume, it needs to be encouraged and enacted everywhere as soon as possible.
Virtual learning has proved to be a disaster for working parents, especially ones with small children who cannot be left home alone.
There is also an additional burden on poorer families who are unable to afford a stable internet connection or computers that can handle schoolwork.
Although it is far from perfect, I am very grateful that my school district was able to find an option that allowed for some in-person instruction, especially as someone who in their final year of high school.
The White House has little power in how local districts make decisions, but they have some control over the narrative and rhetoric used.
If the Biden administration truly wants to “Build Back Better”, they need to raise the bar for reopening schools.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.