Online School Is A Disaster, Media Discovers

Online School Is A Disaster, Media Discovers

Online School Is A Disaster, Media Discovers

Welcome to the party, 60 Minutes – and as a result, the rest of the mainstream media. It only took you eight months to put together what parents, students, and honest teachers knew back in March. Online school is a slow-motion train wreck.

And who is paying the price? The kids that the system claims they wish to aid and protect more than any others. Low-income students. Minority students. Students with unstable living conditions and family lives. But hey, so long as the teachers’ unions are fat and happy, then who cares about a few… hundred thousand… kids disappearing from online school.

I wish that number was a joke. It’s not.


60 Minutes followed around a social worker in Tampa who is just trying to find the kids who have disappeared from school, hoping to talk to them or a parent to figure out if they just left, or if they are being homeschooled, or they’re just not participating.

Laura Tucker is one of 235 social workers at the Hillsborough County School District. At the beginning of this school year, their job wasn’t just checking in on kids, it was finding them.”

Sharyn Alfonsi: To have that many kids with a question mark next to their name– where do you begin?”

Laura Tucker: Well, every student attended some school last year. All 7,000 of them. So we start there. You know, what about their emergency contacts? You know, maybe Grandma or Grandpa is on the emergency card and Grandma and Grandpa can tell you where they are. You know we find kids because another one went to a birthday party and they saw ’em and so yeah, they’re still in Tampa. Ok – you know we’re energized to keep looking for that student.”

Sharyn Alfonsi: This is detective work.”

Laura Tucker: Right and I think that being willing to talk to friends and neighbors is also helpful.”

The clues take her to public housing and suburban cul du sacs.”

And it’s not older kids who are simply refusing to log in. It’s little kids who likely CAN’T without an adult to help. But what if there are no adults to help?


Are we really going to pretend that it is ideal for a 4, 5, or 6 year old to sit for hours in front of a computer, despite all warnings to the contrary by the American Academy of Pediatrics to limit screen time? Well, yes, if for no other reason than to make parents feel LESS guilty about it, in the name of online school!

We asked UCLA Health pediatrician, Dr. Carlos Lerner, to weigh in on what the increased use of screen time means for children’s emotional and physical health, and how it’s becoming an essential tool for parents, as well.”

Q: The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that parents place consistent limits on screen time for children of all ages. Is this still the case?”
A: These guidelines were not developed with our current situation in mind, and they aren’t really relevant right now. But this does highlight a common misunderstanding about what screen-time guidelines really are about. The guidelines are not just about screen-time limits; perhaps, more importantly, they are about the quality of the content that kids are exposed to and the valuable activities that kids miss out on when they are on screens, such as playing or interacting with other people.”

Yeah, forget about that whole “interacting with other people” part, too – we’re all supposed to be on lockdown right now and avoiding people at Thanksgiving. And “quality of content”? No one who has sat through trying to make a preschooler or kindergartener pay attention during a Zoom meeting can see it as anything else as public access TV, with about the same production values.

It’s amazing that the media has suddenly realized that the ongoing school shutdowns are a bad thing. Now that they believe that the Bad Orange Man won’t be able to be blamed for the fallout that is due to come, they are now interested in putting out pieces saying that the kids should go back to school. The New York Times put a piece out. Politico put a piece out. How marvelous that they all discovered that maybe, just maybe, schools weren’t the hotspots of superspreader activity and we are losing kids – the very ones the Democrats claim to champion – RIGHT AFTER THE ELECTION. OH MY. Too bad I’m all out of shocked faces.

We already know that the politicians are ignorant and don’t care, we know that many teachers are slacking off, and we know that under a Biden administration, things are not likely to get better. In fact, the teachers’ unions may gain an even greater foothold on the system.

What are the kids learning? That the system doesn’t care. The system is only worried about what their test grades look like in a few years, and even then, there will be excuses and demands for more money to fix the problem. And reports are out all over the country about kids failing classes while attending online school.

The kids are paying the price for the adults’ failures, both now, and in the future. The media might finally be paying attention to the failing of online school, but this is now old news. The question is, what happens now? And it can’t be just “leave public school.” That can and should be part of it, but when 240,000 kids can’t be accounted for from the largest school districts in the country, you’re talking about kids who have NOWHERE else to go and don’t have adults to help them. They should not be condemned for the failure of others, and the collapse of the online school experiment. Maybe the media should have paid a little more attention to this all along, and demanding accountability from local and state leaders for the state of their schools. What a concept!

Featured image via Pixabay, cropped, Pixabay license

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5 Comments
  • CJ says:

    Of course the reversal will require some “journalisming” of the issue which will purport to “discover” what was already apparent to everyone. It would look way too obvious for authorities to state that they were incorrect all along and, in fact, everyone can go back to school tomorrow. Expect more of these “shocking” news reports about other sectors of society that the left controls.

    Imagine what happens when everyone who gave up their holiday plans this year did so unnecessarily. But of course, it’s already too late. Biden will be in the Oval Office in January, regardless of what far too many on the right believe about these challenges.

  • GWB says:

    It’s too early to know how the disruption caused by COVID will impact student learning.
    Given how crappy a job our educators do, I’m betting it will be small.

    can see it as anything else as public access TV, with about the same production values
    Hey now! Wayne and Garth would have something to say about that slander on public access tv!

    you’re talking about kids who have NOWHERE else to go and don’t have adults to help them.
    This is the real crime. But it’s what happens when we create a public entity to take care of our kids, instead of doing it ourselves. I won’t bash anyone for the personal choices they make related to their family. [deletes long rant]
    Quite simply, though, a lot of parents are suddenly becoming aware that someone else has been raising their kids 40 hours a week, and they’re discovering it’s hard to actually be a responsible parent. THEN there’s the parents who are in tough situations (single moms, etc.) and need a hand (some fraction of whom are actually the parents engaged with the teachers of their kids).

  • Cameron says:

    And then when parents find solutions such as learning pods, it’s “cisheteronormativepatriarchalcolonial.” And it hates poor colored people.

  • Sam says:

    1) Good write up. Now do public schooling pre-pandemic. (Hint: you will only have to change a few words from this post and hit submit)

    2) Those “missing” kids are very likely getting a better education than they would have otherwise. I lived in Tampa for many years – they were not being taught before the hysteriocalypse I assure you.

    3) Though teachers unions do plenty of damage as all public sector unions will, they are most definitely not THE problem, as many rightwing pundits assert. The taxpayer-funded, government-run education-industrial complex is the problem, and dismantling it at this stage is nigh impossible.

    Education is an individual pursuit, but “public education” is a byzantine system of graft resembling an organized religion – with the powerful elites as well as the rank-and-file reading from the same holy books. Their scripture cannot be questioned, their methods cannot be misguided, and you cannot achieve salvation privately, but rather only in the houses of their Lord.

    Public schools K-Bachelors are churning out barely literate, mal adjusted people who are very, very susceptible to progressive indoctrination, and with your money to boot. The situation is so advanced that most private schools – while perhaps more effective at teaching the R’s – are just as bad given they draw from the same pool of teachers and admin . I’ve been beating this horse for decades but have found rock-ribbed conservatives to be the most ardent defenders of the system designed to destroy their way of life (a common phenomenon of the Right, unfortunately).

    Frankly it’s too late now, and ensuring your own children receive as much education and training from people who truly love them and/or from schools who make education the only priority – and who can and will kick out miscreants – was and is our only recourse. You will still be required to fund your enemy’s recruitment camps, however, because socialized education is as American as apple pie. Don’t fret too much, though. I mean, everyone says good things about YOUR public school, right?…

  • Roscoe says:

    “How dare these children refuse to take part in their indoctrination.We must open the “schools” now, otherwise they might be infected with reality, common sense and a decent, moral education…..We can’t have nor will we tolerate such radical behavior…..”

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