The post-pandemic US education system will have to adjust to accommodate students from less privileged families. The inequality will have created a situation where students are not on the same footing when it comes to academic progress during the lockdown period.
The US has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with more than 367,000 cases recorded in the country, with 10,943 succumbing to the virus. This has led to the closure of most institutions including schools.
Changes in the US education system
Experts estimate that the lockdowns will last for months, which means schools are now working on solutions to continue with their curriculum during the lockdown. Virtual learning has been the go-to solution for most of these schools. However, this is leaving most students who do not have access to resources for online classes.
The reopening of schools post-pandemic lockdowns will highlight these differences, where disadvantaged students will be lagging behind. The concerns about the current shutdown is also raising questions about whether the school calendar should be extended.
Parents and education stakeholders concerns
A new Gallup poll shows that parents are not enthusiastic about the extension of schools with only 27 parents of US parents in support of the extension of the school calendar year. The poll also showed that 48 percent of the parents were in support of students advancing to the next grade after taking online classes. 22 percent of parents supported advancing to the next regardless of what school work they complete.
The poll highlighted the difficult situation that the education policymakers are contending with. After the reopening of the school, will it be necessary for some students to repeat a grade or have an extended calendar due to a lack of resources that would have enabled them to continue with their education?
Inequality highlighted during the pandemic
The fear about the current state of education is also running deep in parents and especially minority parents. Research from Gallup showed that 15 percent of parents were very concerned about the school lockdowns. 27 percent were moderately concerned while 33 percent said they were not too concerned. Only 26 parents of parents according to the research said they were not concerned at all.
The same poll also showed that for minority parents consisting of Black and Hispanic parents, the rate of concern was 52 percent. Only 36 percent of white parents were very concerned about the school lockdowns affecting their children badly.
The post coronavirus US education system will have undergone changes that will take time to heal. The gap between the rich and the poor will be evident, especially between the academic progress students will have made during the lockdown period.
Featured image by Pixabay