Chicago schools plan for remote learning falls woefully short

I’m not surprised the Chicago Teachers Union objects to the fall framework for remote learning. I, too, object.

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Jesse Sharkey, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, expressed confidence a deal could be struck to resume in-person high school classes.

Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey on Tuesday blasted a CPS remote learning plan as having been created “without imagination or input from teachers.”

Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

I’m not surprised the Chicago Teachers Union objects to the fall framework for remote learning presented by the Chicago Public Schools. I, too, object.

The CPS press release says nothing about additional staff needed to implement remote learning. Nor does it address any of the following:

Has free wifi been made available on every block in Chicago? Does every CPS family have at least one computer?

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If the answers to those two questions are not “yes,” then how many children are being left out of CPS’ remote learning plan?

I spent almost six hours on Zoom recently. I had a virtual high school reunion and two organization meetings on the same day. I could barely sit through all that; I found myself frequently jumping up and walking around and away. CPS’ so-called plans for older elementary and high school students are laughable.

Students should not be asked to sit in front of a screen all day. As many as possible of the assignments should be designed to be worked on offline — using the computer to review instructions or for research as necessary. A summary of their work could be entered into the school app online.

I am working on several collaborative projects. My colleagues and I create and edit documents in Google Drive using Google’s online document app. I recently discovered I could download the Google Docs app on my phone.

The ability to do some work on phones could benefit households that have more than one child. Do the programs CPS will use allow such flexibility?

What about one-on-one teacher-student interaction? I suspect the most a teacher could do is give maybe 30 students maybe 30 minutes per week ( a total of 15 hours per week).

What about high school teachers, who have as many as 150 students — how will they manage?

Obviously, CPS will need many more teachers and teaching assistants to achieve competency in instruction. Is such hiring of temporary staff well underway?

It has been demonstrated that students lose some of the gains made during vacations. Some schools have experimented with year-round classes, with more frequent, shorter breaks. A lost school year would be disastrous for our children.

Muriel Balla, Hyde Park

Nothing noble in looting

Stealing merchandise from a store and destroying property in the process will never call meaningful attention to the injustices suffered by minorities. Rather, these criminal acts vandalize the Black Lives Matter movement itself and only enhance the fear, disgust and anger of most Americans.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. The destruction of a legitimate business in the Loop or elsewhere is like burning down your own house; it adds fuel to the fire of racism. It is time for lawfulness and decency to be everyone’s job. Everyone, whatever race, color, creed or financial status.

Kathleen Melia, Niles

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