Public schools

Fairfax Teachers Union Wants Schools Closed Until August 2021

"No one should return to in person instruction until there is a widely available scientifically proven vaccine or highly effective treatment."

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If the Fairfax Education Association had its way, public schools would remain closed until at least August 2021—and possibly much longer.

The union representing teachers in the northern Virginia school district is asking parents to sign a petition demanding all-virtual education until a "scientifically proven vaccine or highly effective treatment" is available.

"The metric for Safe Reopening should be 14 days of zero community spread," wrote the teachers.

The petition comes as Fairfax officials are moving toward a limited reopening of schools for some students, involving two days per week of in-person instruction. Elsewhere across the country, many private schools have reopened, as have some public school districts. Large districts in major cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and New York City have proceeded with extreme caution, even though some of those districts have extremely low COVID-19 case numbers.

The preliminary data from schools that have reopened suggests the risks of outbreaks are low. While many colleges and universities have seen significant spikes—mostly due to social gatherings outside the classroom—there's little evidence of surging cases in K-12 education. Moreover, kids and teenagers seem to have very, very little to fear from COVID-19 in terms of their own health outcomes. They represent a category of people for whom the consequences of heavy-handed mitigation efforts—having to endure distance learning, for instance—are much worse than the disease itself.

But teachers unions don't represent the interests of students, parents, or families in general. They represent the interests of public employees who get paid regardless of whether they have to show up for work or not. For the union, a cost-benefit analysis might never favor reopening: As long as there's any danger whatsoever, why not keep teachers at home?

"Since none of the requirements for safe return are likely to be met in the foreseeable future of the 2020-21 school year, we reiterate: Keep Fairfax County Public Schools Virtual for the 2020-21 school year," wrote the union.

But one can easily imagine this demand extending well beyond next fall. Such is the result of making the needs of children the lowest possible priority.

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  1. I moved to Fairfax county in part “for the schools”; left in less than 18 months.
    And that was in 1988. It was falling apart even then.

    1. Time now to abolish gov schools. Fairfax co can afford to allow parents to be totally responsible for their children’s education.

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      2. Current per-capita spending in Fairfax Co is around $16.5k. I always like to do that on a classroom basis: with 20 kids, that’s $330,000.00 for every classroom.

        Divide that up, and you could have 3 teachers in every class each making around $60k + 50% more in benefits, have $50k for building maintenance, facilities, and classroom materials, and still have $10k left over.

        1. “Current per-capita spending in Fairfax Co is around $16.5k. I always like to do that on a classroom basis: with 20 kids, that’s $330,000.00 for every classroom.”

          I don’t know why you like thinking of it that way, since it bears little resemblance to how running a school actually works.

          “Divide that up, and you could have 3 teachers in every class each making around $60k + 50% more in benefits, have $50k for building maintenance, facilities, and classroom materials, and still have $10k left over.”

          You forgot transportation for students, cafeteria services, guidance counselors, administrators, clerical staff, media services and personnel (including software licenses as well as hard copies), technology services and personnel (intranet and internet and equipment), a school nurse, groundskeeping and custodial staff and equipment and supplies, security, . . .

          If you really want to understand how schools are run and budgeted, those documents are usually publicly available on district websites. They are dense and take work to go through and figure out, though. It’s a lot easier to toss some numbers from the top of your head together instead, even if that isn’t accurate. Maybe I do know why you like thinking of it your way, after all.

          1. You’re correct. But there’s no need to be rude.

          2. Most of that actually is part of my point: clerical staff, internet (for on-site school), software licenses, media services, etc. are not necessary for either teaching or learning. Our kids got better educations and learned more than they do today before computers and “media” in the classrooms were ubiquitous. Paper is still the best learning and teaching media ever invented, and textbooks can last several years. Strip off the bells and whistles and focus on teaching information and skills.

          3. 20+k per student in NYC while less than 9.5k per student in Colorado, yet on national tests Colorado outperforms. The amount of money has little to do with it, with privatization of all schools we could get better education with less money.

    2. I graduated in Fairfax County in 1988 and I concur.

      1. I grew up in Fairfax County and also graduated high school in 1988… from a private school in Montgomery County, Maryland. Thank god my parents cared.

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  2. Fine. Lay the teachers and staff off then. Let’s see how the feel when it turns out the only truly ‘essential personnel’ is the groundskeeper.

    1. ^this x 1000^

    2. And use the money for parents to chose what they want to do with it (daycare, nanny, private school, homeschool, etc.)

      1. “And use the money for parents to chose what they want to do with it (daycare, nanny, private school, homeschool, etc.)”

        Are there not going to be teachers at private schools? Are you suggesting a nanny or daycare for a 14 year old? People talk about how great homeschooling is around here, but I wonder how many actually understand parents that homeschool actually do to make sure that their children are learning successfully. The time commitment can’t be so small and knowledge of what the child is learning can’t be so simple that any parent could do it successfully, or we truly wouldn’t need any schools at all, private, charter, or public.

        I’m a bit confused here. Are teachers important to student learning or aren’t they?

        1. My brother & ex home schooled up to high school. Given my degree in physics, they had me come over for science classes while one parent handled language and the other math. At first I did it to help out the family but it was truly a trip when you see that “light” of understanding come on in their face. It had me consider becoming a teacher but yeah-nah, tutoring is just as rewarding and pays better for the few hours after I’m done with real work.

          The time commitment isn’t huge once you realize that a schools 50 minute classes are actually a hindrance to learning since there’s usually 20-30 minutes spent reviewing the last classes “learning”. Yes, you want it committed to long term memory so teaching one class in ~40 straight hours in one week isn’t ideal but that’s all that goes into it and nearly half is just review. There has to be a better way and most professional courses are longer days on one topic for a brief period.

        2. They are not important, most of them are actually harmful, since their primary mission is brainwashing kids.

    3. Don’t allow teachers into stores/restaurants/any other establishment until they open up their own.

      1. This.

        If it’s too dangerous to have school, it’s too dangerous to shop or do anything else in public.

        This seems to be a case if Karen wanting time make sure she can still sit down with Susan and share a bottle of wine over their lunch break and still get paid.

        1. (Full disclosure – I am public high school teacher and union member in Florida)

          “If it’s too dangerous to have school, it’s too dangerous to shop or do anything else in public.”

          Without any pandemics, 20-30 students in middle school and high school classrooms will be sitting within about 3 feet of each other, and the teacher will circulate closely among them helping with lessons for at least part of each of six ~1 hour periods. (That’s a total of 120-180 students going in and out of each classroom per day.) Classrooms are generally not big enough to spread the same number of students out further than that. Oh, and since I have Type II diabetes, I am more at risk of severe illness than my teenage students, so there’s that as well. That is not comparable to people shopping in a grocery store for less than 30 minutes and staying 6′ or more from each other or even sitting in restaurants for an hour.

          I don’t think the research is in yet, but preliminary examinations of part-time in-person instruction (2 days per week of rotating students between home and school) show that it isn’t great, just like all online isn’t that great for students either.

          We all want to be back to “normal” and have students in regular classrooms 180 days each year. I honestly don’t know what the best solution is to the problem, but I can tell you that my current situation has a lot of problems. I have a few students at school in each class, while most are at home (by the choice of their parents). The students at home are logging in to a conference tool. I then have to try and teach both sets of students equally. Tests and quizzes I have to give online, and any dreams of preventing cheating by those at home are just dreams, so I have to accept that. I have to try and figure out how to do lab activities (science teacher) that are meaningful for both sets of students along with every other type of lesson.

          Whether the Fairfax County teachers are insisting on too much is not something I can address fully. Zero community spread for two weeks is a really high bar, though, I’ll say that. My district has moved a few schools to all online due to outbreaks among students, so it is not correct to talk about K-12 as if they are zero risk to the adults or students.

          1. Are those kids actually getting sick or just testing positive?

            76,000 “cases” in the colleges and something like 3 hospitalizations?

          2. Just think. After this year, florida teachers can actually brag about their students being the smartest in the country.

            Wouldn’t you like to do that just once?

          3. If you’re scared, stay home. That’s fair. But don’t complain if you’re replaced by someone willing to take the risk.

            Don’t let a union prevent the district from hiring replacement teachers or allowing funding to “follow the students” to schools that are open or to hire private tutors. That’s the sticking point.

            That’s why no one has sympathy for the teachers. They’re actively trying to prevent kids from getting an education to preserve their own jobs.

    4. Works for me. Before I retired, I was expected to come to work if I wanted a paycheck, with exceptions for taking vacation and sick time.

      If we are going to total digital education, I see no reason why we need more than a few instructors nationally to produce the lessons. Why do we need 1000s of algebra teachers when every student in the country can watch the same video? Algebra is the same whether it’s being taught in southern California or southern Georgia.

      1. Damn good comment and a heck of a PLAN!
        These teachers like staying home and getting paid. of course they don’t want go back to work!

      2. “Why do we need 1000s of algebra teachers when every student in the country can watch the same video?”

        You have a very wrong idea of what quality teaching is.

        1. To be fair, many teachers also have a ‘very wrong idea of what quality teaching is.’

        2. How many algebra teachers actually know how to do algebra?

        3. How it that a wrong idea? Tens of thousands of teachers, all repeating the same topic in person… or record the lesson and then after watching it, all the students can be receiving one on one help by all the teachers who have been freed up? It will be more efficient and allows each student to receive much more one on one help.

          1. “How it that a wrong idea?”

            Jay Hanig’s comment that I quoted is saying that watching a video of a lecture is the same as being in a classroom with a teacher and other students. It is not. A lecture that is not even interactive enough to have the teacher pausing to ask questions of the students and respond to student questions is not going to be sufficient instruction for learning. It can be part of how students learn a topic, but it takes a lot more thought, scaffolding, and active involvement to really teach.

            There are various ideas and strategies that educators have been trying in the last 10-20 years to make use of technology, including video, but it is all still a work in progress as to what is effective and what isn’t. Some schools and teachers try to “flip” the classroom by having students watch video lectures, read the textbook, and take notes on those at home and then they arrive in the classroom ready for activities that will help them organize that information, apply it, and otherwise deepen their understanding. The teacher can be the coach leading students through that process and monitoring them to assure consistent effort and on-task behavior as well as to give that individual and small group assistance. It sounds good in principle, but it is not an easy thing to implement and results will depend on how successful the implementation is and the buy in from students to do what they are supposed to at home, when that isn’t what is graded. “Is this for a grade?” That is probably the most commonly asked question I get from students after directing them to start a task.

            A really important reason why I don’t support the charter school movement as practiced and advocated for by Republicans and libertarians is that it doesn’t line up at all with how charters were first envisioned. The idea was actually supported strongly by some national union leaders in the 80’s, because they saw it as being led by motivated educators that wanted to try new things rather than simply do whatever state-level bureaucrats were pushing because of some political motives of legislators and governors. They would get more freedom to try many different things and at least a few years to see how well it could work. If they worked well, then further research could validate those innovations as being effective and they could be instituted more widely throughout the whole school system.

            Instead, charters became simply “competition” for regular public schools aimed at forcing them to keep up or lose students. But self-selection keeps that competition from being truly even, since regular public schools still have to take all comers, while charters can try and ‘counsel’ parents that their children really wouldn’t be a good ‘fit’ and they can require high levels of parent involvement and stricter student discipline than would fly in a regular public school. Add in the business nature of for-profit charter management companies and the original ideal of sharing what works with all schools becomes more of a trade secret instead.

            1. You are full of shit.

              Charters had been envisioned from the start as non-union semi-private schools operated with public funds. The education lobby was always opposed to them and you can read the AFT bulletins from the 90s opposing them.

              Regarding the video lessons, you are also full of shit. The education industrial complex has been pushing tech in the hopes of securing more government money. It never had anything to do with positive outcomes for students, because every study done has shown it to be not beneficial. It’s just a money grab.

      3. I think in southern California they are teaching algebra slightly differently, with a real emphasis on anti-racism. They are applying anti-racist methods to grading as well, from what I hear.

      4. Excellent point. It is time to get rid of ballast in education.

      5. Colleges have been doing online learning for a long time now. Our antiquated, Government run schools are extremely inefficient and out of date. Jay is absolutely correct. Students could watch videos on each topic at home and have one on one help with a teacher when needed. Teachers Unions don’t want to reduce membership or dues received. I had one teacher that was memorable in a good way, in my life. Most told me to read the book again, when I had questions. It’s well past time to modernize schooling.

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  6. Must be quite a few teachers who have children of their own. Can this group really cope with a full time job, plus being a Zoom nanny for their kids any better than the rest of the working world?
    I guess that there are not enough teacher-parents to swing the union vote to something parent friendly.

    1. Online learning might as well be no learning, to be blunt. The only ones who are getting anything out of it are the students whose parents are already deeply invested in their education.

      The real issue that the teachers are overlooking is the increase in child abuse that’s taking place.

      1. Slight disagreement. There are self-motivated kids getting things (not necessarily curriculum related) out of it.

        We’re moving to hybrid learning, half the kids went to school on Mon./Tues. while the others learn from home. Thurs./Fri. they switch (if participating in the hybrid plan).

        Broodling No. 2 has learned from Mon./Tues. friends that, in order to go to the bathroom while in person, QR codes and a Google form are required to check in/out of classroom to make sure kids aren’t congregating. He subsequently laid out a plan whereby he sets up an autoclicker on his phone to spam the Google form and that if his friends want to use the restroom, they should contact him.

        I explained to him that, by telling me his plan, he now owes me 10% as hush money.

        1. Hopefully he figured out that he should charge his customers an additional 15% administrative cost.

        2. Monopolizing a scarce resource for personal gain?

          And people here think they teach anti-capitalist ideas in school.

        3. Depends on the age of the student and their English-language skills. Try teaching 20 six year olds all to read through Zoom, with a couple of them being from non-English-speaking homes. It’s simply not going to happen. Nor are those kids going to ever catch up when things reopen. We are permanently destroying a generation of kids because teachers are irrationally afraid…or waiting for the all-clear from President Harris.

      2. “The real issue that the teachers are overlooking is the increase in child abuse that’s taking place.”

        As if kids never get abused by their teachers in public schools.

        1. “As if kids never get abused by their teachers in public schools.”

          Um, yeah, there have been teachers caught abusing students. What is your point otherwise? Do you have data to show that this happens often enough for your comment to have any purpose other than to disparage teachers as a group?

    2. LOL – of course there are plenty of teachers who have children of their own. They send them to private schools. You don’t think they’re that damn stupid that they’d send their kids to the public schools, do you?

  7. I went to a government run school that taught me middle class values about gay marriage and transgender womyn and I put my own kids in private school – Joe Biden

    1. And Biden’s kids turned out great, right?

      1. “I love you, crack pipe.”
        “I love you, too, Hunter.”

        – Hunter Biden’s mid-afternoon routine, as he lays down for drug-induced stupor.

  8. Fairfax Teachers Union Wants Schools Closed Until August 2021

    Or November 4th, depending on how the “pandemic” goes.

    1. Nah, the teachers’ union will want to keep the schools closed regardless, because why would they want to cut their extended paid vacation short by a couple of years? The only difference is if taxpayers from outside of Fairfax county will be funding the Fairfax teachers’ unions whims.

      1. ^ this. The local school board should agree with them and start laying teachers off.

        The idea that a virtual teacher is doing anywhere near the same level of work as they were is absurd. 1 or 2 hours a day of classes and a bunch of worksheets for the kids. It’s pathetic.

        1. I would actually like to hear from an elementary school teacher about how different/hard it is to teach virtually.

          1. The quiet part is that many aren’t actually teaching — virtual lessons are being outsourced to private companies, with the teachers’ job being merely data aggregators for test results. The lazy slobs never had it so good (and that’s saying plenty).

          2. I know several middle school teachers.

            Those I know hate it, though they openly admit most love it. There is virtually no teaching involved, and most of the work is administrative. Kids “losing” zoom invitations. Kids “not being able to get in” to meetings.

            I was told by one who hates it and wants to resume in-person schooling immediately (although it appears they won’t go back until fall of 2021) that he’s in a position where he cannot differentiate between legit problems, and students simply lying while having a ready made excuse to play video games instead of school.

            They’re not educating shit.

      2. we wouldn’t need all the federal bailouts of states that shut everything down due to the pandemic if only Trump had shown some leadership and ended this crisis by making everyone wear masks like California did.

        1. we get it CE… orange man bad.

        2. Let me see if I understood that babble.
          You blame Trump for failing to enforcing a nationwide mask requirement? What legal basis do you imagine he had to do that? And you also claim to be a libertarian?

          I also note that there seems to be no correlation between states with strict shutdowns and draconian mask rules and low infection or death rates.

          Did you actually have a point other than “orange man bad”?

  9. Why not keep schools closed until August 2024?

    1. Why not keep schools closed until August 2024?

      As long as the unions keep getting their dues, they will be completely on board with this important safety measure.

      1. If children paid union dues, the teachers would have their assess in the classroom.

    2. “The metric for Safe Reopening should be 14 days of zero community spread,” wrote the teachers.

      Given that’s their metric, it will likely be well beyond 2124. Isn’t the Spanish Flu still in circulation, just not as lethal?

    3. Lets keep public schools, and only public schools closed until 3333, and fire all the public school teachers. “Sorry, your position has been eliminated, nothing we can do about it.”

  10. Vote any way you want, but if unionized government employees don’t like the result; they will use their monopoly power to make your lives miserable. That’s Peoples’ Democracy.

    1. To be fair, everyone who lives in Fairfax is already miserable.

    2. Fun fact: Among the first groups up against the wall when the socialists take over are the teachers.

      1. I don’t think that is true. The teachers were the group that the socialists focused most of their efforts on as the cold war set in. They have proven a fantastic resource for propaganda and are trained to identify potential troublemakers. Also, Science! is a critical component of 21st century socialism. Academia is sacrosanct to the left.

        Other than the professors of American History. They will be a necessary sacrifice for the exciting New History of the CSA.

  11. finally a system can be blown up and rewritten.

  12. I was living in Fairfax County in 1987 when the 17 year cicadas hatched. That means 2021 is a 17 year cicada hatch as well. Maybe that is what the union is waiting for?

    I am sure there is a metaphor in there or something.

    1. Damn. What’s up with so many of these commenters living in the same county at the same time?

      1. (for balance in the universe) I have never lived in Fairfax County.

        1. Until this article, I didn’t even know Fairfax County existed.

          1. Really? It’s the richest zip code in the country.
            I have family that lives there.

        2. I’ve never even set foot there.

      2. Something about living in the shadow of the federal government created a bunch of libertarians.

        Who’d have thunk.

      3. I haven’t lived there. However, I’ve worked 3 jobs based in Fairfax, my wife (then girlfriend) and daughter lived there, and I frequently have work there now. Hard to live in northern virginia and not put up with shit from fairfax

      4. I lived in Fairfax County — sent my kid to private school for pre-K to 4th grade. Moved to Loudoun and the kid went public 5th-12th. She graduated a few years ago and just in time…. Loudoun is becoming Fairfax. Northern Va is a political mess.

  13. This is what you get with an education monopoly; zero options as a parent.
    CHOICE !!!!

  14. While many colleges and universities have seen significant spikes

    CASES!

    Are we really just done reporting on actual substantive negative consequences?

    1. *Not* cases! Infections.

      A “case” presents symptoms. An “infection” is simply a positive test. There’s a huge difference between the two, especially for the ChiCom flu.

      1. Well, they decided that positive test results are cases too because that’s scarier.

        1. Very scary. My daughter goes to a big, state college. They had around 1500 cases in the first 3-4 weeks of school. Then, the kids wised up and quit getting tested. Now they get 5-8/day. They are over 1800 cases, no hospitalizations, and who knows how many that didn’t want to spend two weeks quarantined in a dorm.

      2. The irony of a vaccine is that it is deliberate infection.

        And the tests being used to determine infections don’t differentiate between active and dead viral particles.

        So basically, the vaccine will increase the number of “cases”.

  15. even though some of those districts have extremely low COVID-19 case numbers.

    Even if they had higher case numbers, I’d need a clear definition of a “case”.

    1. Having a positive test results; or knowing someone who is related to someone who had a positive test.

      1. LTF, see my comment above.

        1. Right, are infections being reported as cases? Or when the media says ‘case’ do they actually mean symptomatic. Let’s pretend, just for a moment, and give the media and definition THE most charitable interpretation: presenting symptoms.

          So, now we have a better definition of a ‘case’. I still require further definition. At home with the sniffles? Laid up in bed for a week? In the ICU with a respirator? Hanging by a thread a death’s door?

          Merely presenting ‘symptoms’ does not give us a clear view of the seriousness of this pandemic. I want to see how many bodies have piled up, and those deaths MUST be deaths that would have been completely avoided in the absence of a positive test for Coronavirus. I want to see how many deaths were as a DIRECT result of being infected from COVID.

          1. Here’s my state’s Phase 2 plan for changing how they count ‘COVID deaths’. Previously, anyone who tested positive was counted as a covid death. That included suicides, homicides and drug overdoses.

            Phase 2: Expand how we report deaths to identify whether we can confirm or rule-out COVID19 as a contributing cause of death, including identifying probable and suspected deaths. As
            part of Phase two, future COVID-19 death classifications will include whether:
            1. COVID-19 contributed to the death (death certificate, testing, and other case
            information available to confirm);
            2. COVID-19 probably contributed to the death (death certificate information available but
            testing information not available);
            3. COVID-19 is suspected to have contributed to death (follow-up being conducted prior to
            ruling out or confirming death); o
            4. COVID-19 did not contribute to the death (examples include homicide, overdose,
            suicide, car accident, or disease with clear exclusion of COVID-19 illness)

            To their credit, they’re going to be now trying to suss out of COVID actually contributed to the death. I do not know if they’ve even started phase 2 of this reporting process.

            Next Steps?
            In a few weeks, we will begin reporting deaths in categories such as Confirmed, Probable,
            Suspect, and not COVID-19. This will provide an even more accurate case count. We will
            continue to review these processes to ensure we are provide the most accurate, current
            information possible as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

          2. Cases

            Effective June 16, 2020, Washington State Department of Health (DOH) uses the date of an individual’s first positive lab result as the case date. Previously, the date a case was reported to DOH was used as the case date. Our current approach provides a more accurate designation of case confirmation dates while shifting less than 10% of case counts by date, most noticeably for cumulative case counts and graphics.

            So charitable interpretations aside, it appears that a positive test is considered a case. I still can’t suss out whether or not they’re yet breaking down deaths by confirmed/probable/suspect/n/a

      2. “or knowing someone who is related to someone who had a positive test.”

        With how many degrees of separation? Since supposedly everyone in the whole world knows everyone else within six degrees of separation.

    2. Case numbers are bullshit. They are positive test results. Look at deaths or ICU admissions if you want to see if there is a real outbreak going on. The virus is out there now. If you test lots of people, you will find virus even if no one is getting sick.

      1. And this isn’t even the first time this has happened in recent history. People made the same mistakes with swine flu. Here’s a pretty good report: https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/reconstruction-of-a-mass-hysteria-the-swine-flu-panic-of-2009-a-682613.html

        1. How the hell has everyone forgotten everything we used to know about epidemics like this?

          1. Remember the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books? That’s the way people learn history now.

            1. turn to page 78 if you want to punch the next person w/a chin diaper on their rearview

              1. It’s the people wearing them while driving or walking alone that I want to punch in the head.

              2. What page do I need to go to to nuke DC from orbit?

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  17. No tickee no washee. Work or don’t get paid, show some gnads Fairfax.

    1. My kids were going to Alexandria City public schools until last year before COVID. We pulled them out because the schools seemed to be stuck in the 1970s with how they were teaching, and now we hear how envious many of our friends with kids still in public school are. 2021 is a big election for governor and assembly in Virginia and the Dems are controlled by the teachers unions. Look for all those suburban moms to quit team blue.

      1. No, because they’re more preoccupied with their now-children daughters having the ability to have an abortion should they become pregnant at 14.

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  19. And no layoffs or pay cuts for our heroic front-line teachers who are risking their lives to interact with the children on Zoom. In fact, they deserve a big raise. Signed, the teachers’ union.

  20. What if they opened a public school school and nobody came?

  21. Sure no problem. And no reason for kids to log in to the mediocre local teachers online, just find the best in classes teachers available on the Internet.

  22. So what if we don’t get an effective vaccine or highly effective treatment? We going to keep living like frightened idiots forever? This shit has to stop. People die, diseases are a thing. Time to get used to that again (somehow we managed to live with those facts, but everyone forgot everything that they always knew 6 months ago it would seem).

    1. I don’t know Zeb. I’ve become disheartened and cynical now. I don’t see this ending well. The mental cases are digging their heels. Not evolving with the data. We’re literally destroying our social and economic order for a virus with a 99.85% survival rate. I’m stunned.

      A pivot should have happened by now. I’m afraid I’m seeing all kinds of bad things on the horizon including Covid-Passes (digital ID).

      The only way we can avoid this crap is we get to the ‘normies’ and shake them out of their fears.

      Too many people out there still think this is a virus that kills 10x as much as the flu and others who think it’s proportionally as lethal as the Spanish flu.

      Of all the people who have disgusted me (after public officials) TEACHER’S UNIONS are right up there. If any good can come of this public schools collapse. By keeping schools closed like sick idiots, they destroy a generation of kids.

      May they all rot in hell.

      1. I’m afraid I’m right there with you. I’m starting to thing that the only thing to do is try not to think about it too much because it’s not good for my mental state. But, also like you, I’m not very good at that.

        I think there are a few people I can get through to, but so many people are so deeply misinformed that it’s a real struggle. People will resist the notion that they have just been suckers for the past 6 months pretty hard.

      2. “Not evolving with the data. We’re literally destroying our social and economic order for a virus with a 99.85% survival rate.”

        How do you figure that number out? The total case fatality rate in the U.S. is 2.7% right now, though that is a changing figure and only factors in the known cases, not those that never get tested. The actual infection fatality rate is going to be highly uncertain until we get better data on how many people have been infected but never got tested. No one with any credibility is comparing it to the seasonal flu anymore, which has an estimated infection fatality rate of 0.1-0.2%.

        Survival rates are also going to vary dramatically depending on whether the patient has additional risk factors, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. That is a lot of people in the U.S., since we are ranked low on those measures of general health.

        Then there is the issue of the long term impacts on survivors. Some people still experience debilitating fatigue and other problems months after other symptoms disappeared and they tested clear.

    2. NYC just tested 16000 kids and staff. 10 staff +
      8 kids +
      None hospitalizations

      Miami is doing even better

      This shit is not a problem in schools.

      We should just focus on nursing homes and hospital staff, since they’re the problem.

      March/April it was primarily healthcare workers and their families catching and spreading it.

      Even before lockdown, few teachers got sick unless they lived with a healthcare worker, which there are a lot especially in immigrant low-income communities.

  23. They are digging their own grave. And it warms my heart to watch.

  24. Fairfax County has also had their bus drivers running their routes with empty busses two or three times a week, apparently so they can remember the routes and people will be used to seeing them. Talk about a Potemkin school system.

    1. Those drivers had jolly well better be wearing masks!

  25. … until a “scientifically proven vaccine or highly effective treatment” is available.

    As opposed to the normal hit-or-miss seasonal flu stuff.

  26. “The metric for Safe Reopening should be 14 days of zero community spread[.]”

    What?

    Now that it is out in the wild, they literally want the impossible to happen before they’ll return to work. They’re using kids’ lives and futures as political bargaining chips.

    Fuck them with a rusty chainsaw.

    1. Fuck them in the ass with a telephone pole, sideways.

      1. Dracula, is that you?

  27. WOW.

    Just. Wow.

    I can’t believe this covid thing has destroyed all reason.

    Also any pic with a child in a mask is despicable.

    2020 truly is a horrible year.

    1. It’s not only destroyed all reason, it’s on the verge of destroying all Reason.

  28. This garbage attitude has filtered over into several surrounding counties as well.

    I live in Clarke County, about 30-40 minutes west of Fairfax, and our local school board has been hamstrung by a group of teachers that have taken the same attitude about COVID and returning to the classroom. It forced a last minute change to 100% virtual at the middle and high school in the county, whereas they were originally were offering the option of 2 days in person instruction per week, or 100% virtual.

    Here, they are not unionized, but it is fairly evident where they have been getting their motivation.

    I find it laughable that their metric is “zero community spread”. Are they going to play the same card in a particularly bad flu season now? There’s no “cure” for the flu, and you certainly can’t force people to be immunized for it.

    1. I’m not a Trump fan. Not at all. But I agree with him that no federal funds to schools are that are not teaching children. Schools want to stay closed? Fine, let them. But no taxes to that school.

  29. All this because we let women vote.

    1. Nice. Why not mention Black people and people that don’t own land? Take us all the way back to 1800 when the real Constitution still ruled.

      1. Take a deep breath Jason, it was dry humor.

        1. When there is a “sarcasm” or “dry humor” font option in internet posts, then I won’t have to guess whether someone is being serious or not. Given the nature of the internet, it is not that unusual to find actual sexists/racists/anti-semites/whatever or trolls pretending to be one making comments.

          1. You’re a fool and missing the point.

            Women voting coincided with women entering the labor market in noticeable numbers, such that full time daycare was required. This coincided with expansion of school hours and a larger role of schools in the lives of children.

            QED Disenfranchise the women and you won’t have this problem of teachers undermining kids’ education.

  30. Meanwhile, Peru, second only to San Marino for the most per-capita deaths (currently at 1025 per million), opened their schools. Same with poverty-stricken Bangladesh.

    Somehow, they can manage it, but the U.S. (665 deaths per million (with lots of those in the NYC area)) can’t, or won’t.

    1. It used to be that many districts up north wouldn’t take snow days except in extreme weather conditions. The thinking was that school served a daycare function to allow parents, especially single parents, to get to work and keep critical labor running.

  31. COVID-19 Case Data for Fairfax Health District

    Aged 0-17 Years
    Deceased Count: 0

    https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/covid19/case-information

  32. “Virginia Department of Health reported 6 influenza-associated pediatric deaths during the 2017-18 fluseason.”

  33. > The metric for Safe Reopening should be 14 days of zero community spread

    We don’t even have zero spread of polio yet. I mean, seriously. There’s still one or two cases a year. This zero tolerance shit has spread to health. Zero transmission? It’s ridiculous.

    We don’t have zero transmission for the flu, and we have a fucking vaccine! We still get Rubella and Pertussis because there are still a few progressive antivaxxer fuckers who won’t vaccinate their kids and still send them to public schools. But that’s okay, even though those diseases KILL CHILDREN. And we have a vaccine for them! But nope, we have to literally have zero transmission for COVID because D.C. area schools can reopen.

    So keep them closed. Bulldoze the buildings. Refund all the property taxes. Fire all the teachers… and let the wave of private school openings hire them.

  34. You don’t work you don’t get paid. Seriously AI can teach kids at this point over the net just as good as humans…great opportunity to allow advances in productivity to finally make an impact in education. My school taxes are close to $10K a year…my kids graduated years ago…I’m all for shutting down brick and mortar and using AI to teach..teachers? Especially elementary teachers with their BA in education degree? Well the world needs ditch diggers…Judge Smails

  35. Every day, I’m grateful we can homeschool right now since we’re both working at home. At least my kids will come out of this more educated and more resilient than if we had thrown them to whatever the public schools are doing right now.
    Fingers crossed we’ll be able to get them in private school eventually.

  36. I live in Broward county, Florida, home to one of the largest school systems in the country.

    It has been fascinating to watch the interplay of personal priorities, politics, lobbying and scare tactics over the last half year as the district tries to come to grips with the virus.

    There are so many layers. The primary change from the spring has been the move from “flatten the curve” in order to prevent the hospitals from being overwhelmed to a fearful and fervent desire to prevent even one person from catching Covid.

    Over the spring, our school administration put together a comprehensive set of plans for reopening schools. They had various criteria for infection rates and hospitalizations and plans for different scenarios. They clearly were augering for a plan to return that placed high priority on maintaining social distancing… So they were looking to have kids go to school every other day – half at a time. But they let parents vote on their preferred solution among 5 choices.

    Then came the union. Clearly animated by partisan politics, their aim was to push for total lockdown. They are even opposed to having teachers work from their empty classrooms. Their top level rhetoric is focused on protecting people – namely “the children” but in reality “the teachers”… But the central feature is always making everything as difficult as possible and preventing the economy from recovering.

    So they have been scaring their members about how deadly this is for them… And encouraging them to refuse to work anywhere other than from home. (Oddly, they favor hiring more teachers to act as proctor’s for virtual classes held in schools while the real teachers all work from home.

    1. This has resulted in huge disparities with neighboring counties. Palm Beach county had some grumblings from the Union, but nothing compared to Broward. So in Broward county nearly a third of the teachers did not come back to school, filing for an Americans with disabilities act exception. many of the teachers have lobbied their children hard, trying to scare them either with tales of death and destruction from covet or with tales of how they are going to be locked in isolation rooms not able to speak to anyone or do anything fun.

      So even though a majority of parents originally expressed support for the idea of returning to school in one form or another, only a third of the kids are coming back now. This is the direct result of the incredibly inept job that the district has done. In an effort to appease partisan players, they change their plan in order to defy the governor’s orders and in order to define the desires of the Trump administration that things start getting back to normal before the election. So the district chucked out all of their original plans and decided that they were not going to allow students back even though all of their criteria had been met. Now they have gone out of their way to make it as useless as possible at many of the schools. Our middle school, and open defiance of the orders of the superintendent, has decreed that all students will remain in one classroom for the entire day. They will attend all of their classes online, with a teacher who is teaching entirely different subjects and entirely different sets of students sitting at the front of the class.

      It is clearly designed to create maximum pain for everyone involved.

      So at our middle school, only 20% of the students went back. At our elementary school, where the students are getting taught by their teachers in class, 51% of the students originally came back.
      This intrusion of politics into the daily lives of children is a historically horrible thing. It is damaging our children in ways that will be impossible to precisely measure, but which will have impacts for the rest of their lives.

      Just when I thought this alternate reality we are living in could not get any more stupid, reality says hold my beer.

      1. Awful. Hope it gets better.

  37. Sounds like someone’s about to get scabbed.

  38. Teachers also have families, tend to be older, and have to work with children who they have no idea where they have been. Who knows if those children have incompetent parents who refuse to wear masks, and still go to large social gatherings? How does a teacher know if a child lives in a house with a Covid-19 positive parent? Oh right, they don’t know! If I was a public school teacher getting paid peanuts I wouldn’t want to do in-person teaching either.

    If you want your kids to be doing in person learning so badly, pull them out of pubic education and send them to private school and suck it up and pay the $20k+ yearly tuition or homeschool them. Stop bashing the union for protecting it’s workers. Teachers are people too and they shouldn’t have to martyr themselves because you’re getting sick of having a kid at home doing Zoom learning.

    1. Kate, I am SO sorry for those fragile teachers. When 60% or so of the country continued to work, producing and transporting food, keeping the power on, maintaining production on necessary items, those fragile flowers need to isolate in their safe spaces.

      They should be fired. Not only for being uncooperative, obstructionist, and generally useless, but also to protect students from being encouraged to believe that such behavior is at all acceptable.

      My lovely daughter is in school, in her fourth year of Latin (as a 10th grader), cheerleading for the volleyball team (and soon basketball) and having normal teen experiences. Masks and reasonable efforts for separation and sanitizing had a few cases at the beginning of the year and nothing more for weeks.

      Grow. Up.

    2. You hit on it right there. They take this stance because they get paid regardless. School voucher will solve this selfish self serving nonsense.

  39. They can do this because they are getting paid. Need to furlough them as many others have had happen. Give the money in voucher form to the parents and let them decide.
    They will be back to work tomorrow.

  40. It would be much more better if students would know what are the different types of essays instead. Where are we heading with this?

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