As the debate continues over the safety of Fall school opening it is instructional to note that America’s elite Universities are nearly all going remote. 60% of schools are opening with in-person or a hybrid of online and in-person instruction.
For the wealthiest of institutions of higher ed it appears to be a no-brainer. The safety of their students, faculty and staff is their ultimate concern and they can afford it.
Harvard is going all online.
So is Princeton.
With ICE threatening foreign students with the loss of their student visas if they take online courses, these elite institutions are fighting back.
But White House pressure on less elite colleges, those without the huge endowments that Harvard and Princeton have, may be more successful in pressuring colleges to put students, faculty and staff at risk.
On the other end of the eduction spectrum, I spoke with a friend of mine this morning who teaches in a local Chicago suburban school district.
His school year starts at the end of August but the district has not shared any opening plans with him or his colleagues.
Of course, he would prefer to be in his classroom with his students, but the logistics of doing that keep him up at night.
He’s seen the protocols, but can’t imagine how they could be implemented and still keep students and staff safe.
What is the acceptable level of risk and acceptable to who?
He wonders about older teachers who have health issues. Will they be terminated?
We discussed the likelihood that schools might open and then have to return to full-time remote teaching and learning if there is a case of a student or teacher reporting positive.
“But what if that is at one school in town. Does that school shut down, but not the others?” he asked.
It’s a good question, of course.
But that he doesn’t know and that he hasn’t been asked about any of this is a big part of the problem.