- Jul 12, 2020 at 5:18 pm #3657791d kBPL Member
@dkramalcJul 13, 2020 at 9:43 am #3657942
This is a hot topic in Washington. Fortunately our state is taking a “we have it handled, butt out” approach.
As far as we know, our son will be distance learning in the fall.
We live in a very conservative part of Washington but this is tempered by the fact that we have more engineers, scientists, and MDs per capita than Seattle, so the conservative influence manifests itself differently here than other conservative places I’ve traveled to.
One benefit is that locally, our schools are well supported and we put our wallets where our mouths are. Most (all?) of our ambitious school levies pass the first time up to bat. A year or two ago, our teachers were given a raise that brought them up to a six figure salary.
With what we’re asking them to do and the dramatic shift in how they have to teach during a global crisis, they are worth every dime.Jul 13, 2020 at 10:27 am #3657947Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
I work at a university. I also never had children.
I am still not clear what the university’s plan is. I have seen plans for how severely limited the computer labs would be if they socially distanced. I have seen plans for how IT staff have identified weak areas of the campus wifi and plans to improve those areas so people can sit outside and access internet reliably. The campus LMS is going to continue to be the main way people access content. I think it works well for most classes. There is no reason anyone needs to sit inside an 800 person lecture hall at 11AM on Tuesday to passively listen Prof So-and-so speak. It is so much better to have an asynchronous video-taped lecture made available that you as the listener can speed up, slow down and rewind. I have heard reports from instructors in topics like Chemistry that it actually worked really well to have graduate students demonstrate the experiments on Zoom instead of having students do them themselves. They said the questions they got were a lot smarter and demonstrative of actual learning. Even a dance instructor said that they found some really creative solutions that expanded learning. As for online learning itself, there is asynchronous and synchronous, meaning that some classes don’t have set times you have to show up online to do the work and others where you do. And then there is hybrid online/in-class learning. It’s kind of an exciting time in some ways as people are forced into being more creative in how they teach, and it’s not all bad. A lot of it is good.
It appears from the campus subreddit that it’s fairly split among undergraduates whether they want to come back on campus or not. Mostly they don’t want to get COVID by being forced to come to campus but at the same time they really miss the campus life experience desperately. Grad students, faculty and staff would rather not get COVID. My department assumes we will all continue to work from home. I have worked from home since March. I’ve come to like it after initially not liking it at all. The governor is suing over the arbitrary requirement for foreign students having to be on campus, but I think the plan for our campus was that foreign students were going to be the ones who would be in the dorms.Jul 13, 2020 at 10:58 am #3657951idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
That was a good read Deb, thanks for posting the link.Jul 13, 2020 at 11:06 am #3657954
Based on the meetings I’ve been in at both district and site level, I think it’s likely that most public schools will be online all year. Larger colleges as well.Jul 13, 2020 at 12:03 pm #3657963d kBPL Member
My grand niece in Novato’s high school has the option of online only or 5 days a week 9-12 plus online. If you opt for online only, you’re locked into that format for the entire year. It sounds like she is doing the in school option; she said she has a lot of trouble learning anything as well from the online teaching as she can in person. I understand that, but of course I worry about that situation.Jul 13, 2020 at 12:26 pm #3657966
Understandable. Our daughter is opting to take this year off from college as she prefers sticks and bricks to online learning. We’re supporting her decision and not pressuring her either way. It’s not a race and frankly we don’t care if it takes her 20 years to finish her degree, if she finishes at all.
I’m looking forward to my retirement so I can take some classes at our local branch campus. I’ve always wanted to take some basic geology, physics, and meteorology classes, but they don’t offer them in the evening.Jul 13, 2020 at 2:28 pm #3657979KatttBPL Member
I have noticed a big difference between synchronous and asynchronous classes; the former engage students with professors getting a sense of who is on board and who is getting lost, the latter can only work with disciplined and self motivated students. Of course even the synchronous ones allow for people to do next to nothing and panic last minute; professors cannot require the cameras be on, understandably. In the class I am currently taking, on average 5 of us ( out of 42) have the camera on and give feedback/ ask questions on the material. If I keep my camera on ( at 52) while in my tool shed….can’t more students try and little more? Anyway..
Hopefully this pandemic will eventually leave us with more school choices, less centralized systems and more money for good teachers vs everyone gets paid the same. That is how it works in Switzerland; most of my cousins are schoolteacher with several of them sharing a class with another teacher ( so working 3 days a week) and still making really good money. Along with that comes at will employment. The majority of teacher would not want it any other way.Jul 13, 2020 at 2:52 pm #3657981
Have you examined the complexities of merit pay in public education Kat?Jul 13, 2020 at 3:14 pm #3657986
Have you examined the complexities of merit pay in public education Kat?
As you stated, it is complex and might derail this thread. (But that isn’t a new reality of Chaff).Jul 13, 2020 at 3:19 pm #3657987
As you stated, it is complex and might derail this thread. (But that isn’t a new reality of Chaff).
Oh definitely, but just dropping the merit pay bomb in passing as if it’s that easy…Jul 13, 2020 at 3:26 pm #3657989
In my experience so far, I would refrain from counting on anything a school says about K-12 in-person education until you actually see the kids in the classroom. Plan for online and consider anything else a mere possibility. If I could tell you how much time we’ve spent going back and forth! Two weeks ago we had it completely solved…and then cases started spiking and the whole plan was scrapped. California doesn’t even know what the budget is going to be.Jul 13, 2020 at 3:35 pm #3657991
So I’m looking at this from a far . . . I haven’t been a classroom student for almost 30 years and my kids graduated from college over 10 years ago.
As the schools try to find solutions and engage all the stakeholders (students, teachers, administrators, parents, support personnel, etc.) we are going to find more and more obstacles as long as this pandemic continues.
As Craig pointed out, most schools, colleges, and universities are probably going to need to do online only. What we really need to do, which isn’t practical (especially for K-12), is just cancel the next school year.
If we look at K-12, this is the foundation of our educational system. A poor education here usually limits people for the rest of their lives. And yet, we seem to just be going through the motions trying to open the schools with a focus on just checking attendance boxes instead of putting together a quality education program. Where are the pundits who have been critical of past failures in education and declaring the US is falling behind many other countries?
Speaking with my daughter who is a teacher, her district’s current plan is for students to be in classrooms 2 full days a week and one half day. There will be two rotations of students, so each student will be in class 50% of the time. Somehow online classes will fill in the other 50%. However, teachers will be spending the same amount of time in a classroom, with only half of the class in each session. These teachers will have zero time to do anything with the online activities. Seems to be doomed for failure from the get-go.
The other thing the “plan makers” forgot to consider is these teachers also have their own children. Where will a teacher’s own kids go during the 50% of time not in a classroom? They can’t stay at home alone if they are in elementary school. Child care is expensive. How do we expect teachers to pay for that? Plus, most child care operations are already at capacity and can’t handle the influx of additional part-time children.Jul 13, 2020 at 3:50 pm #3657997
It’s something to think about Nick. However, I think the “cancel school” plan would be an equal disaster because a lot of parents would go berserk if there was nothing to occupy their kids. In some ways, the worst of all worlds, the kids are at home and there’s not even a pretense of structure to their day. Though for some families it would undoubtedly relieve a lot of the stress of fighting over schoolwork and grades in a scenario that’s dubious to begin with. You would be surprised how many parents actually clamored for more work though…it wasn’t about education, they wanted their kids busy.
By sending their 10 year-old back to school during a pandemic, parents are presumably placing a lot of trust in the institution to keep their kid safe through a strict set of protocols. But humans err.
Wait until the first Kindergarten outbreak where a kid dies.
Wait until the first family gets their $150,000 ICU bill.
Wait until the first teacher dies or is permanently impaired and it can be proven that HVAC wasn’t properly maintained or the cleaning crews skipped their room the night before.
At this point, all bets are off and the lawsuits against cash-strapped districts are on.Jul 13, 2020 at 4:08 pm #3658007
That’s an interesting can of worms to open.
A merit based pay system was proposed for us and I’ve seen it implemented elsewhere. I’m not a fan
A merit based pay system sounds great and I wouldn’t object to if the teachers (officers in my case) were objectively evaluated on relevant tasks. What it doesn’t account for are vindictive or lazy evaluators.
I’m evaluated in five categories but there’s so much of what I do that’s critical to my job and how it fits into public safety that doesn’t neatly fit into any of those five categories.
As an example, I spend hundreds of hours developing lesson plans, running the range, conducting firearm qualifications, and teach how policy, law, and case law apply to how we use force and giving examples of how it applies in a large variety of scenarios, and mentoring officers who are otherwise my peers so they have the skills and knowledge to be safe around each other and the public. None of this applies neatly into any category that I’m evaluated on and I’m lucky if one sentence of my evaluation mentions any of this.
However, 20% of my evaluation is dedicated to interagency cooperation. When I occasionally assist the US Attorneys Office, probation, a local task force, etc with something, I perform this task. I know it sounds important, and it is, but it’s essentially just doing my job, just with people who aren’t my coworkers. It doesn’t have nearly the same level of complexity or effort as my instructor duties.
Who’s doing the evaluation? How many people become teachers with the goal of becoming a principal one day? Same is true for my job. I wanted to be an officer, not a manager. Two completely different jobs. The result of me never applying to become a supervisor is that I work with supervisors who don’t know as much as I do and have far less experience. These are the people who would determine my salary in a merit based system.
As things stand, my reviews are consistently rated “outstanding,” but it’s not difficult to imagine a scenario where if I performed the same duties to the same level in another location for another supervisor, I would be rated lower because they are of the “no one gets outstanding” mentality.
Jul 13, 2020 at 4:20 pm #3658010
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Ian.
However, I think the “cancel school” plan would be an equal disaster because a lot of parents would go berserk if there was nothing to occupy their kids. In some ways, the worst of all worlds, the kids are at home and there’s not even a pretense of structure to their day. Though for some families it would undoubtedly relieve a lot of the stress of fighting over schoolwork and grades in a scenario that’s dubious to begin with. You would be surprised how many parents actually clamored for more work though…it wasn’t about education, they wanted their kids busy.
I find it so sad that some parents find their kids such an inconvenience these days.Jul 13, 2020 at 4:27 pm #3658011
“I find it so sad that some parents find their kids such an inconvenience these days.“
Some parents might have jobs? These jobs might pay for food and rent? Perhaps after commuting to/from said jobs and working X hours per week, there aren’t enough hours in the day for them to teach their children hour for hour the same material they are provided in school.Jul 13, 2020 at 4:39 pm #3658014
Some parents might have jobs? These jobs might pay for food and rent?
Yes, of course.
I’ve been watching my daughter who has 3 kids six and under (6, 4 & 2). She’s also at home with them all day, doing online teaching and endless Zoom meetings, and she has to make sure the 6 year old is doing his online work and homework. It isn’t easy to have to be working and keeping an eye on the two youngest, but she does a wonderful job with her kids. I’m amazed at all the activities she invents every day to keep the kids engaged — plus she heavily limits TV time and there are no video games for the kids. She tells me it has been difficult, but the difficulties are necessary in these unusual times.
One day she sent me pictures of the 4 and 6 year old washing all the windows in the house and she made if fun for them :-)Jul 13, 2020 at 4:41 pm #3658016jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
Many–most?–parents will opt for on line learning for their child. If schools open, class size is likely to be reduced. In an odd way, that might make for a better classroom experience for those in attendance. It will make things safer for those who attend for sure.
but like Craig I think a disaster is just waiting to happen. Despite the assurances from some, as everyone knows school kids in school are little germ vectors and receptors, as are teachers and everyone else. If some kids die, or even if a significant number get covid, there will be a large outcry. If a quarter of the staff is out sick, what then? and how about the slate of early retirements that are about a month away?
Not an easy situation. funny how, again, the newly discovered essential workers turn out to be largely underpaid. anyone still think hedge fund managers are essential and so deserve their salaries while grocery store clerks deserve theirs as well?Jul 13, 2020 at 4:46 pm #3658019
Many–most?–parents will opt for on line learning for their child.
Not in my district Jeffrey. In fact, across the board in our area, it’s generally parents pushing to reopen and schools pumping the brakes because they have no idea how to handle it safely. We’ve been extensively surveying households and it’s something to the tune of nearly 70% that want an in-person return at my high school.Jul 13, 2020 at 4:53 pm #3658021
Even with a “full” in-person opening, we estimate we’d have to provide online education for about 30% of our students who’s families would rather keep them home. And we have to accommodate that.
Further, can an at-risk teacher be forced back?Jul 13, 2020 at 5:04 pm #3658024
In fact, across the board in our area, it’s generally parents pushing to reopen and schools pumping the brakes because they have no idea how to handle it safely.
A lot of parents probably need to get back to work (especially since the extra $600/month funding is running out) or will be called back to work and they want school supervision. Is that a factor?Jul 13, 2020 at 5:06 pm #3658025
Further, can an at-risk teacher be forced back?
I hope not. Even though I have serious doubts about online quality, maybe at risk people should be given first choice for online teaching — and this, more than likely, isn’t as easy as it sounds. No easy answers.Jul 13, 2020 at 6:36 pm #3658035Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Well the hope for school opening is not happening as CA shut down today.Jul 13, 2020 at 6:45 pm #3658036
Yup Ken…and Los Angeles Unified School District just announced no in-person school and no hybrid model…100% online. Mind you, this is the second largest school district in the nation. It carries weight.
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