NYT Opinion Piece: Keep Remote Learning Options To Promote Equity

In a provocative opinion item in the New York Times, an education advocate argues for continued remote learning options as a tool to combat equity concerns in school outcomes.

RiShawn Biddle, Senior Fellow at education think tank FutureEd, writes about equity concerns with eliminating remote schooling options, as most school systems migrate back toward in-person learning.

Read a segment below from the New York Times opinion item, titled “Don’t Kill Remote Learning. Black and Brown Families Need It.” (reading the full item from the NY Times requires a free registration)

Children suffering chronic illnesses such as asthma and diabetes can use remote instruction to continue learning without missing days of school and falling off-track toward graduation. Students with asthma, who make up about 10 percent of all youths in classrooms, miss more than 10 million school days annually, according to Attendance Works, a nonprofit that focuses on school attendance. Black children are more likely to have asthma, with 14.3 percent diagnosed in 2018 versus 5.6 percent of white children.

Thanks to the pandemic, school districts have already invested heavily in remote learning. They may as well keep it in use. Some districts, notably L.A. Unified, Houston and Fairfax County, Va., are currently planning to offer virtual options next year. There is no reason why remote learning is not integrated into regular classrooms, as it is being done now through hybrid instruction. That way, Black and brown students can keep learning and still stay safe.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties