Schools across the country are opening their doors to students again. Many have remote options for those who need it. But a handful of states, including New Jersey and Massachusetts, have largely banned remote learning, saying it’s just not effective enough.
But as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, more kids may need to quarantine at home — and without remote options, they could miss weeks of school.
Many school districts face a lot of uncertainty, said Michael Horn, founder of the think tank the Clayton Christensen Institute. The following is an edited transcript of his conversation with Jed Kim.
Michael Horn: They don’t know, ‘Are we allowed to provide a remote option? If we legitimately have students that need to quarantine, that have maybe had COVID in their families, and they conclude that they shouldn’t go to school, does that mean that schooling is not open to them?’ It’s highly unclear, and districts are therefore limited in the preparations that they can make and really handicapped in being able to serve these students, for really what is disaster preparedness at this point, right? Even if it’s not in this year, we know that there’s going to be future pandemics, natural disasters, things that necessitate students learning from home at various points in time. Districts ought to be able to prepare for that, and right now they feel like they’re not supposed to.