Every chance he gets, Bill de Blasio reminds the city that he was a public school parent. So why is he so often so tone-deaf to the concerns of moms and dads?
Monday, de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza pulled the rug out from under families trying to make this extraordinarily complicated school year work. They announced that, contrary to plans announced earlier, in which there would be one opportunity per quarter to opt back into in-school learning, parents and kids would only get one shot to make the switch — in the first half of next month.
Forget about the fact that many parents were hoping to get through Christmas visits with extended families before sending their kids back into classrooms. Or planning on seeing how well the city made it through the start of the “dark winter” Joe Biden talks about. Or that random testing of schoolchildren and staff has only just begun, making it difficult to gauge how much COVID is really inside school walls.
Parents are expected to make a final decision even as nearly 80,000 kids are still awaiting promised devices for remote learning, and de Blasio has yet to deliver more than 80,000 of 100,000 child-care slots promised.
Meanwhile, the city just released new figures saying that, contrary to earlier reports that 460,000 schoolchildren are participating in hybrid schooling, just 280,000 students have attended in-person classes so far.
Do the math: The difference between previous and current totals of in-school learners is 180,000 boys and girls.
Urgent questions: How many of them are actually learning full-time from home? How many have exited the city or the school system entirely?
And if fewer than a third of the kids in the system are showing up in school buildings, why can’t many more schools transition to five-day schedules?
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