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Opinion: What comes next for America's students

January 12, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 24.8%. 2 min read.

David Perry writes that throughout the pandemic, the American education system has been falling behind, instead of building capacity for the next year. While there's very little that can be done to fix this February, a better August is still on the table.

(CNN)In attempting to get American life back to "normal" in 2021, one of the first agenda items will be making up for a disrupted, disjointed year of school.

It's a powerful tool not just during this pandemic but also for kids who have to bus a long way to reach a school building, during snow days or extreme weather events (and not just natural disasters, but also heat waves since schools are often not air-conditioned), and perhaps most of all for children who are learning better from home than they did in school.

The Department of Education can provide guidance on maintaining that flexibility, articulating the rights of students when it comes to mode of delivery for their educations, and convening (and funding) experts to look at successes and to figure out how to build on them.

He wants to learn, and our state department of education has ruled that the school district "may" permit parents like us to hire an in-person aide and have the school district fund it, but our district has thus refused to allow this for any families.

Of course, remote learning is the elephant in the room when it comes to public education in the age of Covid-19, but there's another disaster looming in terms of how students are evaluated.

According to a recent study of one school district in Fairfax County, Virginia, students are failing in the literal sense of getting "F" grades.

Standardized tests should be canceled wherever possible, with schools encouraged to wipe the year away (or at least offer to do so) from the GPA of all students who are struggling.

When it comes to education, there are also plenty of non-pandemic-related challenges ahead of Biden and Cardona, as well as for every school district in America.

I'm hoping that Cardona will work on the school-to-prison pipeline (which hits disabled non-White children especially hard) by banning restraint and seclusion practices, the incarceration of children for offenses like not doing homework and getting cops out of schools.

But as we transition out of the Trump presidency -- and then, eventually, the pandemic -- every school, every official, every state education department and especially the Biden administration has an opportunity to ease the burdens of a lost year and to try to do things better in the future.

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