Students across the United States are falling behind and teachers are faced with loads of stress as schools remain online. Even with all the drawbacks taking place in schools, there is no plan to improve virtual learning? Does that fall on the school districts? Betsy DeVos? Who should be taking the shoulder of the blame for the lack of uncertainty? 

Millions of students spent the first semester of school on the computer. Many students are floundering academically, socially, and emotionally. As the pandemic heads into its winter surge, media outlets are distributing reports that an alarming number of students are falling behind, failing classes, or choosing not to show up at all. If this continues into the second semester, we could have a very serious problem on our hands. 

Second Semester

If there was one variable that everyone overlooked, Best bonus would find that teachers gave students plenty of grace. They understood the situation. For months, experts have hoped that students will return to the classroom. It happened all during the first semester. Schools were telling families that students could return after midterms. Then, that was pushed back to after thanksgiving. For some schools, in-person learning was made possible, but for larger school districts, remaining at home was the only option. For those students that live in low-income households and do not have the best Internet connection, free and appropriate education was far from accessible. 

Nearly half of United States students were given virtual-only options. It’s becoming clear that many districts and states need to improve their remote instruction and find a way to give kids a chance. Some districts are requiring students to quarantine the first two weeks of school after Christmas break. The projected return date for students to be in school will be the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day (school holiday). However, anything could happen, and the entire second semester could be online. 

The Consequences

For low-income and minority children, learning is difficult due to the less likelihood of having appropriate technology, while home environments for independent learning are less structured compared to their wealthier peers. Many students that are English Language Learners are faced with reading content that is not in their native language, which puts them even further behind. Let’s not even start with standardized testing, which was postponed by many school districts. 

There’s also the cutbacks to school sports. For families who have concerns about the virus, they may not give their child access to participating in sports if they feel it is unsafe. Budget cutbacks due to a result of the pandemic also hamper schools and clubs from growing and improving the equity gap. Before the pandemic, athletics and recess have been cut out of school budgets and schedules. While the attention was turned to increasing academic achievement, the idea of play was a casualty. Fast forward to the present, there is a real need for play, but winter sports such as basketball and wrestling are on pause. Can schools, teachers, and students survive another semester of this?