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To the editor:
With regard to your “Idle Chatter” column in the 23 July Mount Ayr Record News, you’ve pretty adequately identified the administrative chaos which results when someone “moves the goal posts”, but of course the larger issue is that the public education system as we know it is in the throes of being destroyed by someone(s) decision to transition to online learning.
Disregarding the choices which must be made by two working parent families if the kids aren’t old enough to be left alone or if technology access at home is beyond the financial reach of the parents, the public schools as the current parenting surrogate do not re-assume that role for working parents given only part-time student attendance.
Taken to its ultimate end, online teaching is an abrogation of the services the taxpayers currently pay for, becomes a teacher jobs issue (only one teacher is necessary to teach an infinite number of online students-the class/classroom size argument squelched), obviates the need for multi-million dollar school facilities, and while the relaxation of substitute teacher credentialing is presumably related to the need for an adult classroom presence, it is clearly unnecessary if there are no students in the classroom, and designation as a proctor to ensure student and test-taker are the same individual does not include a requirement for being a certified teacher.
Further to the Mary Kathryn Gepner letter to the editor on p. 8 and 9, the COVID-19 U.S. cases number is of no particular value for decision making in the context of how many people were tested (3.6M cases is – 1% of the U.S. population, 140,888 is a 3.8% mortality rate but mathematically 0.38% for the entire population).
Maybe we should start teaching math again.
I suggest a read of Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One by economist Thomas Sowell:
“Sowell discusses how basic economics is generally misapplied because politicians think only in Stage One. Stage One is the immediate result of an action, without determining what happens then. He argues that many politicians cannot see beyond Stage One because they do not think beyond the next election.” – Wikipedia