To: readers across the Aisle

Subject: School's out- forever?

Date: July 17th, 2020

School's out— forever?

School- can't live with it, can't live without it. All states ordered or recommended school closures during quarantine, but life is proving difficult without school.

In this week's newsletter:

  • reopening of schools

  • online universities 

  • inequality in education

Let's take a walk down the Aisle...

Online learning pros: there are none

Negatives of online learning:

  • low attendance (30-50% of students missing from classrooms in LA and NY)

  • limited access (30-40% of students don't have access to wifi in Cleveland)

  • falling behind (may lose up to 50% of the learning gains made in math)

Positives:

  • you can cheat

For parents, it's becoming increasingly impossible to balance remote work and childcare. 2 in 3 parents would sent kids back to school in the fall.

 

Essentially, life will never go back to normal until we have reopened schools.

Right: left is purposely preventing life from stabilizing to affect election results

Left: the risk is too high with cases spiking

So what exactly is the risk?

The American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed getting kids back to school safely, citing irreversible costs on children.

 

This year, more kids have died from the flu than of COVID-19. The age group is very low risk if social distancing and masks are enforced.

Teachers are higher risk and children may increase community spread when they go back home to their families. As a result, teachers unions do not want to reopen schools.

Right: teachers unions are not prioritizing the wellbeing of the students. CDC guidelines for reopening are unrealistic.

Left: schools need more funding to reopen safely; Secretary DeVos has no federal plan.

Igor Bastidas via The New Yorker

The Achievement Gap

The academic achievement gap between white students and their minority counterparts isn't narrowing.

  • Ex: In DC, only 8% of black eighth graders are proficient in math compared to 80% of their white counterparts.

Results are highly correlated to zip code, so poorer communities have worse academic results. So how can we fix it?

Right: school choice allows minorities to choose better schools for their children, particularly charters, which result in better outcomes.

  • Ex: one predominantly black charter (avg. household income: $49K) had higher test scores than school with avg household incomes 5x higher

Left: teachers unions oppose charters because they create competition & hold teachers to strict performance outcomes.

  • want more gov. funding for all public schools & increased wages.

via Giphy

Virtual Beer Pong I mean college

via Twitter

That tweet aged just as well as this 2013 clip of Don Lemon. Tea.

 

The Administration was using international students (by forcing them to leave the country if enrolled in online classes) as pressure for universities to resume in person classes.

MIT and Harvard sued, and Trump overturned the decision due to a large amount of public pressure. 

In a pandemic, Harvard preaches socialism and runs a capitalist agenda:

 

  • acted quickly when international students (often pay full tuition) were jeopardized than when DACA students were in trouble

  • fired cafeteria workers despite endowment

  • Cost of tuition* remains the same despite online classes 

 

*Fun fact: tuition is a hot topic for young Democrats in the upcoming election. This counters why more gov ≠ cheaper tuition.

Other controversies

What: President pardons Roger Stone

Right: Mueller investigation never found collusion with Russia so this was part of the hoax

Left: abuse of power- Stone lied to Congress about WikiLeaks 

What: Cancel culture

Right: GOYA CEO has a right to freedom of speech & why wasn't Jackson cancelled for anti-semitism?

Left: cancel anything that supports Trump or racist stereotypes (renamed the Redskins)

What: Fauci vs. the Administration

Right: President doesn't always agree with Fauci but respects him

Left: Fauci is being attacked/ undermined by the White House for political reasons

What: Biden's $2 trillion climate plan (spend on clean energy & build new infrastructure to stimulate American economy)

Right: much more liberal than his previous centrist platform & will increase prices

Left: praised by ex-Sanders & Warren supporters

What: NYT resignations

Right: centrist writer resigns after being criticized & censored 

Left: even some on the left have noticed NYT becoming increasingly intolerant of conservative views

Spread some good 

Closing Points

  • Schools can't stay closed forever- the negative effects on children are too high

  • Strict precautions must be taken to ensure teacher safety 

  • Reopening strategy will likely differ based on region

  • Universities will adopt a mix of in-person and virtual classes

  • School choice vs. increasing funding to all public schools are 2 opposing solutions to the achievement gap

Quote of the week

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

-George Orwell

Thank you

Thank you for walking across the Aisle with us this week. Now that you have both sides of the story, it’s up to you to decide where you stand. 

 

Regardless of where you end up, we’re thankful that you read ideas that challenged your position, and we hope you’ll leave with a better understanding of the other side.

 

See you next week!

 

Share this with someone you disagree with.

 

This article cites 22 liberal news sources in blue and 15 conservative news sources in red. 10 sources were considered neutral in gray. 

                      politics for us

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